Our Local Bible Bee committee is trying to help the students study and prepare. They had me help the older students with a session on how to study a book of the Bible. They have six books to study. Here are my notes from the session:
Studying a Book of the Bible
Before you begin, ask God, the author to help you.
•Read – Find out what the Bible says.
You have six books to study in-depth: Genesis, 1 & 2 Samuel, Matthew, Acts, and Romans. You have 78 days, June 26 – September 11. That is 13 days per book or 26 days if you study twice a day. For example: Do the OT book in the morning and the NT book in the afternoon. There are 177 chapters. If you want to read through all six books ten times before the competition, you need to read 23 chapters a day. To read through the books five times, read 12 chapters a day.
Ideally would be to read the entire book each day. But, because all six books are large, you probably won’t be reading the entire book in one setting. Try to read as much as possible at each setting. It is better to read several chapters at a time than one chapter here and there. Read at least a fourth of the book each day. Your goal should be to read each book several times. It takes an average of 15-20 minutes to read 3 average chapters. So we are talking about 1-2 hours a day.
Genesis 50 (12-13) Matthew 28 (7)
1 Samuel 31 (7-8) Acts 28 (7)
2 Samuel 24 (6) Romans 16 (4)
If you are want to study two at a time I would suggest the following pairing:
Genesis and Romans (66 chapters)
1 Samuel and Matthew (59 chapters)
2 Samuel and Acts (52 chapters)
Read each section repetitiously. For example: I’ve decided to try to read each book five times before the competition. This means I need to read about 14 chapters each day. I also decided to read OT in am and NT in pm.
So my reading schedule would look like this:
OT (This schedule allows for one catch-up day for each book.)
June 26-July 21 GE July 22-Aug 16 1 SM Aug 17-Sept 11 2 SM
June 26-30 GE 1-10 July 22-26 1 SM 1-7 Aug 18-22 2 SM 1-5
July 1-5 GE 11-20 July 27-31 1 SM 8-14 Aug 23-27 2 SM 6-10
July 6-10 GE 21-30 Aug 1-5 1 SM 15-21 Aug 28-Sep 1 2 SM 11-15
July 11-15 GE 31-40 Aug 6-10 1 SM 22-28 Sept 2-6 2 SM 16-20
July 16-20 GE 41-50 Aug 11-15 1 SM 29-31 Sept 7-11 2 SM 21-24
NT (This schedule allows for one catch-up day for each book.)
June 26-July 21 RM July 22-Aug 16 MT Aug 17-Sept 11 AC
June 26-30 RM 1-4 July 22-26 MT 1-6 Aug 18-22 AC 1-6
July 1-5 RM 5-7 July 27-31 MT 7-12 Aug 23-27 AC 7-11
July 6-10 RM 8-10 Aug 1-5 MT 13-17 Aug 28-Sep 1 AC 12-17
July 11-15 RM 11-13 Aug 6-10 MT 18-23 Sept 2-6 AC 18-23
July 16-20 RM 14-16 Aug 11-15 MT 24-28 Sept 7-11 AC 24-28
The reason you need to read and re-read is to get the text into your mind. The Holy Spirit can’t do much with an empty space! This will help you get a grasp on the flow and context of what the Bible is saying and to absorb its total truth and cohesiveness. You will start “seeing” your Bible page.
Make yourself read slowly. Don’t just skim over it to say you are done for the day. The first time you read through a section of a book or a book put a question mark by anything you don’t understand or write out questions you have and keep going.
The second time through try to summarize each chapter in one sentence. Write this down in a notebook. Start going over your Handbook notes.
The third time through note key words. What word(s) are you seeing over and over and over in this chapter? Write these words down and look them up.
The fourth time, try to answer those questions you marked or wrote the first time you read the chapter/section.
The fifth time, write a summary of the chapter/section.
An easy way to help re-enforce what you have read is to listen to an audio version of the NKJV. The more ways you interact with a subject you are trying to learn the more you will retain. Even try reading along with the audio. You could even put the audio on before going to sleep.
I found a couple of sources to purchase the NKJV on-line:
www.audiotreasure has it on DVD for $28.95
www.biblebible.com has it available as mp3/ipod for $20.00; DVD or CD for about $60; and ye olde cassette for $35.00
You have all the questions for Categories One and Two in your Handbook/Quiz Cards, except the bonus questions. It would be helpful to go through your Handbook and highlight or underline questions for each book in a different color. Then review those questions on the days you are reading those books and again the week before the competition.
For example: If I was using the reading schedule I gave you, from June 26 to July 11, I would read through the Handbook/Quiz Card questions for Genesis and Romans in the evening before going to bed.