A 'Have-a-Go' Introduction to Bible Investigation for Complete Beginners

Bible study is essentially about investigation. It helps to uncover the meaning, context, motivation of a text and can even reconstruct the journey that it took before finally reaching us in its present form.   

Just as a crime scene laboratory uses different tools to piece together evidence from an event in the (usually) recent past, Biblical studies (and here you might find it helpful to hum something from The Who's back catalogue) uses a number of different techniques to understand a particular text - an event which occurred in the distant past. These approaches act as a tool kit which can focus upon different aspects of the text. Using a combination of these techniques can help to create a clearer understanding of the meaning and nature of the text and the Bible as a whole.

Before we go into the BSI lab, the first step is to properly acquaint ourselves with the 'victim' - the text. 

The Text   

Right - all those who are familiar with the story - go back and re-read it. When reading something with which you are familiar it is all too easy to go into scan-mode and let your eyes slide over the words.

It is now time to proceed to the BSI lab.



Criticism or Critical?

You will discover that a number of approaches are described as 'criticism' (for example, Form Criticism). It is unfortunate that criticism is generally understood as being negative. Criticism, in this sense, does not imply an attempt to discredit or criticise the Bible, rather it describes an analytical and methodological examination.

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