Five Basic Elements to Bible Study
1. The Bible Tells a Story (from Eden lost to Eden restored)
Everything of which the Bible speaks, centers around this step-by-step
return to God's original intentions for life on this earth.
2. There is a Unifying Plot Conflict Throughout the Bible
From Eden lost to Eden restored, there is the interplay of God versus
Satan who both are striving for the our mental, physical and spiritual
"Almost every story, poem, and proverb in the Bible contributes
to this ongoing plot conflict between good and evil. Every act
and attitude shows God's creatures engaged in some movement, whether
slight or momentous, toward or away from God."
3. The Prevalence of Human Choice
All choices have consequences, either immediate or future, or both.
"The presence of the great spiritual conflict makes choice on
the part of Biblical characters necessary. Every area of human
experience is claimed by God and counter claimed by the forces of evil.
There is no neutral ground. Every human event shows an allegiance
to God or rebellion against Him. The Bible concentrates on the
person at the crossroads."
4. Human Choice, not External Environment, is the Crucial Point
Humanity in general and individuals in particular must face their responsibility
for the problems inherent in our fallen world.
"People's problems do not stem from outward events or the material
world. . . Its [the Bible's] plot is thus a moral/spiritual action in
which external events provide the occasion for significant action, whether
good or bad."
5. The Bible is the Story of God
The events and stories in the Bible were recorded for "our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11).
They were written so that we can know our Saviour and "hear His
voice" when He calls us out of sin to live righteouslessly by His
"The story of the Bible is the record of God's acts in history,
in nature, and in the lives of people." (all quotes from Leland
Ryken, How to Read the Bible as Literature, pp. 177-179)