Should We Study the Bible to Know More About the Bible?

You know what happens when chickens and ducks are in your backyard?

When you get animals you like, it attracts animals you don’t like. And the animals you don’t like tend to eat the animals you like. My sister and dad decided to solve this problem by building an electric fence (i.e., barricade) around the coop.

Here is how it works: electricity flows from the house to an electric converter box inside the coop. The electricity then flows out to 2 wires surrounding the home of the animals we like. And the animals we don’t like stay away.

Problem solved. Sort of.

knowing vs KNOWING

Here is the new problem: the “electric-converter-box-thing” energizes 5 acres. The distance around the coop is 40 feet.

Needless to say, we have found dead lizards, dead squirrels, and even a dead baby possum by the wire. A smidgen overkill. Anyway, I was helping my sister clean the inside of the coop. Without thinking, I put my elbow back on to the electric converter box.

I “know” the power of electricity and how it works. I understand if I touched the box, the electric current would flow through my body causing my nerve endings to relay a message back to the brain which in turn…

I get it.

It is one thing to know the power of electricity. But it is something far different to KNOW – experience – the power of electricity. “Knowing” and “KNOWING” are two distinct things.

Do you know or KNOW?

If you are a Christian, then you “know” about God, the gospel, and the Bible. You could even summarize the gospel in less than 5 minutes: Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, shed His blood, rose on the 3rd day…

You get it.

Some of you might even know what a synecdoche is, why the difference between higher and lower criticism is important, how Daniel’s 70 weeks were fulfilled, and…

Here is the problem: it is one thing to know about the gospel. But it is something far different to KNOW – experience – the gospel’s power in your life. If “knowing” and “KNOWING” are two distinct things, then my question is this:

Do we study the Word to know or KNOW?

I can know the Word without KNOWING the Word. I can have knowledge — however limited or extensive — and still be blind to its joy and power. Yes, I must study and saturate myself in the Word. But I cannot get the means confused with the end goal.

KNOWING the Word

What is the end goal for studying the Bible? Should we study the Bible to know more about the Bible? Yes…and no.

Don’t study the Bible and miss out on a transformational relationship with the Author of the Bible. 

Do I have to dedicate myself to His Word to know the Author of the Word? Absolutely! It is the only way to have a relationship with Him.

But the purpose of studying is for knowing. Knowing God.

  • To draw deeper into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him.
  • To KNOW and experience the power of His Word in my life.
  • To KNOW the beauty and power of His glory.

What do you think? Is it possible to miss out on a relationship with God while studying the Word of God? What should be our purpose when studying the Bible? Share your thoughts below and let’s talk about it!

  • Yes, you’re so very right! I personally know that one can “know” the Bible without actually knowing God, since that was where I was for several years when I was younger, before realizing that my faith had to be my own. It’s so amazing to look back now, seeing how much facts one can have, while missing the whole meaning of His Word! I learned recently that John uses two different Greek words to talk about these two kinds of knowing — eido and ginosko. We can eido-know, seeing with our eyes and having elementary knowledge of facts; or we can ginosko-know, understanding in a complete sense, deepening knowledge from experience. Thank you for this reminder to not miss the purpose of faith among the facts!

    • I think that many young people raised in a Christian home face a unique challenge you pointed out – we have to make our faith our own. It is so easy to be knowledge about the facts to impress our parents and friends, but then completely miss the point. And yes, at one time this was me.

      What you shared about those two greek words is awesome! Except I wish I knew this before I wrote the article. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Oh my goodness this is so right. We can know about God without every having a real and unique relationship with Him. How sad. This is just another reason why the gospel should be our daily focus and that we should be sharing it every single day. Thank you for this GREAT article.

    • It is so true that people can know about God yet never actually “know” him intimately and personally. Which is why, as you said, the gospel should “be our daily focus”. Thank you Emma!

  • Kayla Marie

    Very true! You can read the Bible al, you want, but until you start to develope a personal relationship with God, it won’t do you much good.
    Thank you! This is a great article!

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