Frequently Asked Questions

Why study the Bible?

The following quotation is from the beginning of the book of Proverbs. Although it was written specifically about Solomon's own proverbs, it can be applied to the Bible as a whole.

"For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-
for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." (Proverbs 1:2-7)

Learning to be wise, self-disciplined, right, just and fair are all good reasons to study the Bible. But in the end the best reason is because in the Bible we learn about a proper "fear" of the Lord. We do not fear his anger if we come to know him as a loving Father, rather we respect his power and his authority over us.

As we study the Bible we can see that it is not merely a fascinating collection of ancient texts, but a coherent message about a God who reveals himself. Ultimately he revealed himself in the person of Jesus.

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Our prayer for you is that as you look into God's word He will bless you with His presence.


What is a Bible Study group?

Many churches have small groups that meet to pray, provide support, discuss issues, eat, play sports or teach classes on parenting, marriage, finances or social justice. These are all good things, but a Bible Study group meets to read the Bible and study its meaning for the purpose of learning how to live from day to day in accordance with God's will. This may also involve prayer, chocolate or a game of basketball. It may be called a "Growth group", "Fellowship group", "Adults Sunday School" or even a "Quantity Surveyors' Wednesday Lunch Time Jesus Experience" group, but if you all open a Bible and seek God you are a group studying the Bible, and without it, you aren't.


Why are some of the quotations from the Bible different in my Bible?

In preparing these studies we used the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. This is a well recognised version with a very good balance between readability and literal accuracy. (It would be great if we could all read Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek and Aramaic, but for those of us who can't we need an accurate translation we can trust which still sounds like real English.) The NIV Study Bible is of great help with background information and explanations of terms. It also has great indexes, maps and introductions to each book of the Bible.

If your Bible is not an NIV it shouldn't make much difference to your understanding of the passage or the relevance of the questions. If you would like to compare your version with the NIV you can use Bible Gateway (http://www.biblica.com/bibles/). This website may also be useful if you have a group member for whom English is not their first language, as there are many non-English translations online here too.


Can I use these studies on my own?

Sure! When you study the Bible by yourself some people call it a "Devotional" or a "Quiet Time". It may take a lot less than 30 minutes without the discussions, but most of the 30 Minute Bible Studies questions are able to be answered from the passages listed. If you have any trouble or are wondering about any of your answers, contact us and we can compare notes!


How can I prepare these studies for my group?

Here are some tips we have learned from leading studies over the years. If you have some more ideas, please contact us.


How can I write my own Bible studies for my group?

You can take an existing Bible study and alter it to suit the needs of your group. Or you could start from the begining and write your own questions.

To learn how to write, design and implement your own Bible studies for your group, read our article 'How to Write and Lead 30 Minute Bible Studies'.