Learn how to study the Bible for yourself
Bible teacher and author Jen Wilkin teaches women of all ages to dig into God’s Word for themselves in her new book, Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, published by Crossway Books. The book promises to be a great resource for women, Bible teachers, youth workers, parents, and anyone else longing to study the Bible for themselves.
In the book, Wilkin gives her own testimony of learning to study God’s Word for herself, and she shares the value of Bible literacy. She humorously illustrates some incomplete approaches to Bible reading, including the Xanax Approach, the Pinball Approach, the Magic Ball Approach, the Personal Shopper Approach, the Telephone Game Approach, and the Jack Sprat Approach. In the process, Wilkin shows that not only should readers dig into God’s Word themselves, but they should use a well-rounded approach. Additionally, Women of the Word challenges readers to approach Bible study differently than they may have in the past. We often read the Bible and make it about us by asking, “What does God have for me today?” Instead, Wilkin encourages readers to see God as the central character of the Bible and to ask, “What do I learn about God and His character?” She says, “The Bible tells us who we are and what we should do, but it does so through the lens of who God is.”
The rest of Women of the Word deals with the 5 P’s of Sound Bible Study. Wilkin says Bible students should study God’s Word with Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process and Prayer, and that those five aspects are all interwoven and not necessarily linear. The over-arching Purpose is to know the Big Story of the Bible and see how all the parts fit together. Reading with Perspective means becoming an archaeologist and answering five basic archaeological questions. Serious study takes Patience, it follows a Process, and it starts, continues, and ends in Prayer.
After introducing the 5 P’s of Sound Bible Study, Wilkin then illustrates the process with the book of James. Women of the Word also includes some helpful extras, including a chapter just for Bible teachers and an appendix of recommended resources.
Overall, Wilkin offers a sound Bible study process for women of all ages. It’s simple, though certainly not easy, and it promises to reward the student with treasures from God’s Word. Though marketed to women (as the title indicates), Women of the Word would help anyone learn to study God’s Word for themselves. It would be great for a variety of study situations—mothers and daughters, mothers and homeschoolers, mentor relationships, and small groups. I highly recommend the Women of the Word and will be using it as I disciple other women in the Word.
The only thing I regret is that the book doesn’t include a one-page summary of the 5 P’s of Sound Bible Study so that as I study a book of the Bible or lead a group Bible study, I can refer to it instead of flipping back and forth in Women of the Word. A one page reminder of how to approach a Bible book study would be helpful, and perhaps it’s something that can be offered later on the publisher’s website or the author’s own website. Still, it’s a minor detail, and it won’t keep me from using or recommending Women of the Word. This is an amazing resource that will hopefully spark a revival of biblical literacy.
About the Author
Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. During her thirteen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.
* I received a copy of the book from NetGalley for this honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Published 8 months ago by Laura Langley