Pioneer Bible Reading Methods

BIBLE INSTRUCTOR COUNCIL: Pioneer Bible Reading Methods

Author unknown

Bible reading techniques received a definite denominational mold during the eighties. S. N. Haskell, per haps our most outstanding contributor to this unique plan for teaching present truth, laid down some very helpful principles in his article in the "Review and Herald" of January 22, 1884. The colporteur then used the separate Bible readings much like our modern printed sets of doctrinal subjects. These were later assembled into a book entitled the ''Bible-Reading Gazette." This work soon developed into our present "Bible Readings for the Home." Elder Haskell's methods are still most usable in our Bible work. Every Bible instructor and minister will appreciate learning the background for this most productive method in our evangelism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L. C. K.

"Before this article appears in the paper, those who have subscribed for the Bible-Reading Gazette, and have paid in one dollar, will doubtless have received one number. The terms of the Gazette are no doubt understood by all our brethren,—that those who pay one dollar and furnish a Bible-reading each number will receive a Gazette monthly. The object is not to furnish the Gazette for general distribution, but simply to instruct those who are interested in Bible-readings. No person can conduct a Bible- reading successfully with those who are not acquainted with our, if he simply arbitrarily follows any list of questions. He should have a sufficient understanding of the subject to give, other references when necessary. There is a power in the simplicity of reading the Bible. This is being daily demonstrated by those who' take hold of the work understandingly.

"We make the following suggestions to those who would be benefited by the printed Bible- readings:

"(i) Before they ever attempt to give a Bible-reading, they should study the references until they become thoroughly familiar with the subject.

"(2) They should not feel that they are arbitrarily bound to follow the set form of questions, but they should be prepared to raise questions, make suggestions and explanations, so that the text when read will forcibly illustrate what has been said.

"(3) They should not read the references themselves, or hastily pass over any text, but let the person with whom they are conversing read the text and have time to think of its bearing.

"(4) If it is in a neighborhood where they have never known of the truth, and you get a company together, have them sit around the table with their Bibles. If it is in a private family, it is better to sit at a. table with the individual, and the family be gathered around also.

"(5) The colporteur should be supplied with readings on many subjects, both practical and doctrinal, so he can adapt himself to the wants and needs of those interested.

"(6) The printed Bible-readings, therefore, should serve more as an index, and should be used by ministers, judicious brethren, and colporteurs in educating others how to conduct a Bible-reading, at the same time - illustrating it.

"(7) Never argue the case with any person under any circumstances beyond what the Bible says but be prepared to make explanations and offer suggestions when desired, always refer ring to some scripture to substantiate every word which may be said."


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July 1950

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