As Ezra conference seeks to instill passion for the word of God among delegates, one of the ways Ezra conference uses to add a fresh approach to the Bible is manuscript Bible study.
Because of a level of familiarity with the Bible, some Christians think they have already plumbed the depths of the Word. In reality, however, there is no limit to what the Holy Spirit can reveal to us through the words of the Bible. Manuscript Bible Study remove all chapter and verse numbers, section headings, and footnotes from a passage in an attempt to eliminate all distractions. The desire is to see the passage in its original form.
In this Ezra conference 2015, participants have been introduced to Manuscript bible study, and through small groups, they did manuscript bible study on the book of 2 Timothy. The book of 2 Timothy which is actually the second letter of the apostle Paul to Timothy, revealed to be a letter from an experienced minister of the gospel Paul who after realizing that his time is near, writes to his young companion, who is also a pastor telling him what needs to be done in order for the ministry to carry on.
The study of this book, proved to be more than worthy, as this particular book addresses issues that GBUs are facing nowadays, among which false teachings, the study of this book has helped participants to know how to deal with false teachings, since in this letter, the young Timothy was also facing the same problem and Paul gives clear instructions of what he should do to keep the ministry going.
Studying the bible using the manuscript method, has proved to be a helpful tool for small groups for a number of reasons:
- It provides a fresh way to look at Scripture.
- It forces readers to search for themes and deeper meanings in the biblical text.
- It allows a reader to take ownership of the text, literally making his or her marks on the page, as well as drawing his or her own insights.
- It is an excellent way to build community among different individuals as they deeply engage the Scriptures together.
- It guards against heresy and false teaching as the members help each other to see what the text actually says and keep from over or under emphasizing one aspect.
- It makes the Bible the teacher.
- Finally, in many respects, it’s just fun!