Introduction and Course Guide

Welcome to the Internet version of the “Learn to Read the Bible Effectively” course. This course has been developed from a series of evening classes. As the title implies, it is designed to help you read your Bible more effectively.

We know that your time is valuable, so the material is structured to enable you to make the best use of the time you spend on this course. From comments received from those who attended the seminar evenings, we know it will prove to be both useful and enjoyable.

More information and help

In the section giving more information and help, you have a number of options for getting in contact with us. Feel free to do this at any time.

We will always be willing to discuss any Bible-related topic, so do not hesitate to contact us.

Course Guide

What is the aim of the course?

The Distance Learning Course is designed to help you to read your Bible effectively. By this we mean :

  • To help and encourage you to open it and read it for yourself
  • To do so in a more organised way so that it is easier to understand and to remember what you read

We want to help you discover the real Bible message for yourself. Regardless of how much (or how little) you know about the Bible, we hope that this course will give you the ability to decide what the Bible really means.

How is the course arranged?

The course is divided into twelve easily managed sessions, each consisting of two sections. Each section would take less than an hour at an evening class, but you will of course be able to spend as much time as you like on each one.
Open Bible

To help you start reading your Bible effectively, we have included activities in most sections. Most of these activities involve looking up verses in the Bible. These activities will all have a Bible icon and be enclosed in a box like the one that surrounds this paragraph. 

Where you are invited to read a Bible text, we would encourage you to look it up in your own Bible. However, if you don't have access to a Bible, clicking on the Bible icon will bring up a small browser window displaying the text for you (this doesn't work with all browsers). Try it now! Please remember to observe the instructions about closing the window.

There are several assignments which are entirely voluntary. These are meant to assist your learning and your understanding by giving you something to explore in more depth if you so wish. Exploring a subject for yourself is one of the best ways of learning. If you wish to e-mail an assignment to us, we can arrange e-mail discussion with a tutor.

Using the “Bible” button you have access to a summary of the books of the Bible.

We would encourage you not to take our word about what any section of the Bible means, but always look at it for yourself. We can arrange e-mail discussion if you have any problems. If you do not have access to a Bible, we may be able to send one to you.

Topics covered

Session Section 1 Section 2
1 Background to the Bible The Bible Interprets itself
2 Overview of the Books of the Bible - Part 1 The Old Testament the foundation of the New Testament
3 God's Covenants The Role of Prophecy
4 Effective Bible Reading Overview of the Books of the Bible - Part 2
5 Study Tools - Part 1 Terminology - Part 1
6 Overview of the Books of the Bible - Part 3 Terminology - Part 2
7 Cross References A Law Ahead of its time
8 The Purpose of God Revealed Overview of the Books of the Bible - Part 4
9 Study Tools - Part 2 Terminology - Part 3
10 The Place of the Jews in God's Plan The Balance of Grace and Truth
11 Motivation in Reading the Bible Overview of the Books of the Bible - Part 5
12 Terminology - Part 4 The Problem of Suffering

Why are we offering this course?

We assume from your interest so far that you believe there is something special about the Bible. You may already believe that it is the inspired Word of God, or you may not yet be totally convinced of this. We also assume that, since you are taking this course, you wish to improve your understanding of the Bible. There are many reasons why people ask for help, including not knowing where to start, confusion, and a sense of being overwhelmed by the size of the task. We hope we can provide you with keys and tips to overcome such problems.

Our motive is to encourage respect for, familiarity with, and understanding of, the Word of God.

It is not our role to convert you to our way of thinking in this course. We may come to agreement on matters or we may not. If not, your conscience and ours must be satisfied independently. For this reason we will avoid a debate on doctrine. It is our aim to help you to read your Bible effectively, and from this we hope that God's message will be made plain to you.

Now you can start the course by clicking on the “Session 1” button in the left hand frame.