October 19, 2012

Writing Bible studies

Christian poets and writers who read the Bible often feel drawn to writing Bible guides but think the lack of a degree in biblical studies will hold them back. This can happen but might not!

A manuscript written according to the guidelines of your denomination’s official publishing house might not require a college degree if you have been teaching a Sunday School class or leading a Bible study group for several years or if the Bishop of your diocese agrees to proof the manuscript.

Self-publishing what you have written offers an option too, but self-published manuscripts, e-Books, and Print on Demand (POD) book sales succeeds mainly if your work is well-known and biblical soundness trusted. To build a following, many Christian writers begin with a Bible-based blog until enough followers want the articles in book form.

Regardless of the publishing route you take, consider these basics for writing Bible studies:

Pray for God to inspire and direct your thoughts and interests toward the project you’re to do.

Know the Bible – really well, preferably in several translations.

Select a topic you want to research such as the biblical word on work, marriage, or family.

Type any key word(s) relevant to your topic into the Search Box on a Bible website such as Biblegateway.com.

Investigate scriptures from a variety of translations.

If you want to use one version only and have a few hundred scriptural references, you need to find out if the publisher allows this. If not, just write to ask for permission. Or use the King James Version in the public domain.

Besides knowing the Bible, knowing your topic, and knowing which translation you plan to use, you need to know your potential readers:

Does your topic lend itself to group discussion or private reading?

What age group will most likely be drawn to your topic?

Will the study focus on the concerns of new Christians or church peoples?

What format do you plan to use? For example, you might provide background info for a group leader to use with scriptures for everyone to look up followed by pertinent questions to help readers or participants apply the Bible to their own lives.

If you plan to write for interdenominational groups or Christians from any church, see “Getting to know the whole Body of Christ” on the Christian Poets & Writers blog.

Begin your research with prayer. End with prayer, and invite your readers to do the same!

May God bless your work and give you the prayers to pray!


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved, but pass it on!


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