Why We Should Preach ABOUT The Bible, Not Just FROM The Bible

Teaching people how to read and study the Bible is the best way to help them distinguish good teaching from shallow or bad teaching.

The Bible has never been more accessible.

It’s everywhere. From bookshelves to laptops and phones, to e-readers and audio books. In multiple languages and translations, including the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, plus commentaries and Bible studies.

The biggest reason for biblical ignorance and misunderstanding in previous generations was lack of access. Today, the problem is the opposite. There are so many voices it can be hard to distinguish valid Bible teaching from fluff or deception.

As pastors, we have a great responsibility to teach our church members, not just what the Bible says and how to apply it, but how to read it for themselves, so they can distinguish good biblical teaching from shallow or bad biblical teaching.

In short, it’s no longer enough just to preach and teach from the Bible, we need to teach about the Bible, too.

And not just in smaller Bible Study settings, but in our main preaching time when we have everyone together in the room and on live stream.

Questions That Need Answers

Pastors need to regularly provide answers to questions people may not even know they need to answer.

Questions like:

  • What is the Bible?
  • How can we rely on it?
  • Why do Christians follow some of the Old Testament rules (like the 10 Commandments) but not others (like not mixing fabrics in our clothes)?
  • Why are there so many different translations?
  • How do the biblical narratives match up with secular historical events?

and more.

Here are five reasons why now, more than ever, people need their pastors to teach them, not just what the Bible says, but how to use it wisely.

1. People Need To Know “Why”, Not Just “What”

In previous generations, people trusted the authority figures in their lives to give them accurate information. Some of that was because the people in authority were often the only people who had access to the necessary information.

Today, with information being so universally and immediately accessible, we can all find out what the Bible says and what people believe about it. Now we need to know why.

2. It’s An Essential Aspect of Equipping Believers

You can’t have a mature church if it’s filled with biblically illiterate members.

If the only time people are hearing what the Bible says is when it’s being filtered through someone else, they won’t become mature in their faith, but when people are given the tools to study the Bible for themselves they can go deeper in knowledge, faith, and action.

3. It’s A Defense Against False Teaching

When two pastors or Bible teachers are giving opposite interpretations of scripture, which one should we believe? The one we like the most? The one with the biggest platform? The one with the longest string of letters after their name?

If people know how to “correctly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15) they will be less confused by the mixture of false voices, and they can more readily identify, and support good teaching over bad.

4. It’s An Essential Element Of Evangelism

The average skeptic demands a logical consistency in what we believe. If a Christian can’t say why we believe the Bible, our arguments for following it will carry no weight. But a consistency of thought and behavior is very compelling.

A loving attitude may be the most effective open door to evangelism, but making logical sense of our biblical beliefs is a close second.

5. It Will Keep People More Anchored In Their Faith

There’s a lot of concern about people leaving the church.

There are many reasons for the falling away, of course, but one the strongest determiners of whether-or-not someone will stay strong in their faith is how often they read, study, and follow the Bible for themselves. They need to have internalized their faith instead of just doing what they were told to do.

“God said it, I believe it, that settles it” isn’t enough to keep anyone active and growing in faith any more (if it ever was). They need to know the why.

Churches that keep their members biblically ignorant and simplistic, or that cherry-pick what they believe, will keep losing members.

Churches that preach a solid message from the Bible, backed with regular, vibrant lessons about the Bible will not just keep people in the seats, they’ll set up this and future generations for a stronger, more dynamic faith.

(Photo by George Bannister | Flickr)


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