The Cyclical Nature Of Bible Study – By Daniel W. Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)
I have devoted my life to the study of the Scriptures. I have discovered that an honest Bible student, if truly interested in pursuing truth wherever it leads, will go through a continuous three-phase cycle in this pursuit:
Discovery is that “ah ha” moment when you come across a new truth. This is a dangerous time, however. Too many mistake the thrill of the moment for substance. The discovery must go through phase two, it must be proved. Criticism is the thought process that examines a discovery and looks for its beauties or defects. Many “ah ha” moments, though thrilling at first, when they are examined in the quietness of mature meditation, of rumination, in combination with consistent perusal of the Sacred Volume, are found to have been inaccurate and in need of adjustment – of reconstruction.
Treat new discoveries as a working theory. Subject that discovery to criticism. Most importantly, be willing to reconstruct that working theory to align with truth.
“Be careful for nothing,” says Paul, including your growth in the knowledge of God’s Word.