the weblog of Alan Knox

How do you use the Bible?

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in blog links, scripture | 10 comments

How do you use the Bible?

Growing up “in church,” I learned the proper use of the Bible. You use the Bible to find a passage the quickest during “Bible drills” so that you could get the prize. I was pretty fast, but not as fast as some people who shall remain nameless and always on my list.

But, now, two bloggers are suggesting that we’ve been using the Bible all wrong. (To be honest, these are not the only bloggers – or the only people – who have suggested this strange idea. But, these are the two that I’m highlighting today.)

Dan at “Some Church Stuff” writes about being “Biblical.” He tells us the special super-secret definition of what it means to be “biblical,” but don’t tell him that I told you about it.

Similarly, Randy at “Bible Study Geek” (I still love his tagline, “Nerd Groks Word”… perfect!) writes about something similar in his post “Frye: Story.” (He’s not cooking up narratives. Read his post and you’ll understand the title.) One good line: “So many pastors these days are drugstore clerks and the Bible is their pharmaceutical shelves.” I think you could change out “Christians” for “pastors” in that statement, and it would be just as true.

All this talking about “using the Bible” has left me wondering… How do you use the Bible? How has God used the Scriptures in your life?


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  1. 10-26-2012

    Haha, Bible drills. I had almost forgotten about those!

  2. 10-26-2012

    Is there a way to do this without leaving a comment?

  3. 10-26-2012

    I find the Bible works beter as a screwdriver and less well as a hammer.

    Seriously, I’ve transitioned, or am transitioning from, seeing the Bible as a collection of stories or books to looking at it as one overarching story. I’m currently facilitating an Old Testament “flyover” looking at all of Scripture as one story of “God on mission” and seeing how Jesus pops up over and over in the OT and then connecting the OT to the NT and to our lives today, since the Story keeps rolling on with us in it.

  4. 10-26-2012

    Bible Drilling is GREAT~
    How scripture is applied and shared in our lives is up to us in how it can further GOD’S Kingdom, ultimately…that is why the Bible is NEVER outdated, it remains current as long as the application is in us. Our spiritual growth is continuous. If what we learn on a WHOLE from scripture is not put into action with GOD’S LOVE, it is stagnant…ask GOD for His mind & to lift the scales from the eyes of our heart when reading His WORD & to be discerning with the prompting of the HOLY SPIRIT in interpretation and use of.

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every GOOD work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

    If a Christian applies this scripture to his actions, they can figure out, (if they profess to believe & to be a follower of JESUS), what is GODLY GOOD~there should not be confusion, taken out of context or the reciting of scripture to Bible ‘thump’…some key words, SERVANT & GOOD~The more scripture is read, it should reveal more of WHO the person of GOD IS to us, mind you, WHOLLY…question yourself before you speak on the interpretation of scripture, is this for GOOD, am I being a SERVANT of YOUR HOLY WORD.

  5. 10-26-2012

    I think that we could benefit from rethinking our models of Scripture. I blogged on the subject of Scripture as performance a while back.

  6. 10-26-2012

    I’ve learned that the Bible is like an instruction manual which is only relevant when you’re actively putting it into practice – that’s when it absolutely comes alive! When we glut ourselves in Bible input with no output, we get “spiritual bulimia”, and spew out verses with no context; when we avoid it altogether, we get “spiritual anorexia”, starving for truth. It only becomes “living bread” when we put theory into practice and live it.

    – Kathleen

  7. 10-26-2012

    Thanks everyone. I love these kinds of posts (and comments) to help us think about something that we might normally take for granted.


  8. 10-27-2012

    They were “sword drills”
    Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
    As I see it, the idea was not to quickly find prescriptions for problems but to become familiar with the order of the books so you didn’t have to go to the contents page to find the book being referred to in a sermon.
    Of course if you rely on the Bible as a sword you’re likely to go poking it around in dangerous ways!

  9. 10-29-2012


    Yes, I remember them being called “sword drills” also. Your last statement is so true… which is why it’s best to keep the Bible pointed away from yourself.


  10. 10-29-2012