It is remarkable how little time and effort many are putting into the study of the Bible. Far too many preachers, teachers and church leaders think that if they read a book or commentary such makes them Bible scholars. They are wrong. Preachers from the past spent many hours each day in study. Our brother, Gus Nichols, devoted five hours every day for more than fifty years inside the Bible. I remember, as a young preacher, hearing him say that there were 10,000 sermons he had which he would never be able to preach. He was truly a student of the Bible and his life reflected this.
Franklin Camp probably had the greatest impact on me of any preacher I have ever known. I was a student at Lipscomb in 1961 when I heard him say, “If brother Nichols needed to study the Bible five hours each day, then I need to spend more than that.” So every day he went to the his study at 4:00 A.M. to begin his time of study—six hours every day! Those of us who were able to be around him know the depth of study he presented in every one of his classes or sermons.
These men may be exceptional in the time they devoted to study, but the decision remains for each of us to make as to how much time we devote to study. I am not just speaking of preachers, but of every member of the church. How much time do you devote to reading and meditating on His revelation? Have you ever read the complete Bible? How many of the fifteen judges can you name? Can you name fourteen apostles? What well know character in the Bible is Nathan associated with? What about Shem? Achan? Uriah? Abimelech? Balak? Caleb? Sheba? Naboth? Gehazi? Sennacherib? Jochebed? Orpah? Dorcas? Eutychus? Matthias? Og? Antipas?
What about Bible places? What event happened at Gethsemane? Carmel? Horeb? Troas? Kadesh-Barnea? Jericho? Moriah? Cana? Ono? Lystra? Damascus?
What about the location of important verses? Can you show someone the plan of salvation? What verses show the difference between the two covenants? Can you use your Bible to discuss the day we must partake of the Lord’s supper? What verses reveal God’s attitude toward abortion? Toward homosexuality? The works of the flesh? What verses show the permanence of marriage and the sinfulness of divorce?
Brethren, let’s study the Bible. Some of the people and places above may have little importance, but they serve as a challenge to each of us to study more. Be truthful—when was the last time you spent five hours in a week in study! by Dan Jenkins