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BIBLE STUDY: HEARING vs SEEING

August 7, 2015

Text: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed. And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without some one preaching?” Romans 10:14

To begin, let’s cite poet Edgar Guest.  “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day…The eye’s a better pupil, and more willing than the ear…”  Of course, this poem is an encouragement for living an exemplary life, and that is an encouragement we really need. But I have a different study in mind. Read on.

What is the best way to learn the Bible? Consider our body’s senses. We have five senses, of course, but let’s deal with two: hearing and seeing. To read and study the Bible is to use our sense of sight. But we frequently listen to sermons and Bible classes using our sense of hearing. But what is the best of our senses for learning the Bible? I hope that you don’t think this is a trick question. My answer is this: both hearing and seeing! Some Christians must believe that hearing alone is the way to learn the Bible; they attend church regularly but never read or study the Bible at home. Oppositely, there are those who don’t attend church much, but may read the Bible at home. Here’s an answer. Both hearing and seeing are indispensable!

Remembering seeing chalk boards used by preachers, I realized the power of combining sight and sound  as a means of fortifying listeners to understand sermons. I purchased a tripod and had made for me a 3’x41/2′ metal board which I painted green. Voilá! A portable chalk board. But also a magnetic board. Slide presentations came to mind and being a photographer I bought some more equipment and made my own slides for sermon presentation. Lots of good comments on seeing and hearing as complementary to learning. Naturally the arrival of Power Point has caused the demise of photo slides. But preachers jumped on the band wagon to combine seeing and hearing.

Here is a perfect example. Philip was an evangelist who moved to the city of Samaria to spread the word. An angel instructed him to go south on the route from Jerusalem to Gaza. When he arrived at a certain spot he was told to hitch a ride with a chariot carrying an Ethiopian government official home to Ethiopia. Philip heard him reading from the book of Isaiah and asked him if he understood what he was reading. The man replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8:31  So he got in the chariot and “…beginning from this scripture (Isaiah 53) he told him the good news about Jesus.”  Acts 8:35 From Philip’s teaching he asked about being baptized. He learned all this by seeing the text and hearing the teaching of Philip.

Intense hearing in church and intense reading (seeing) at home is the key to enhancing your Biblical knowledge. Your memory is sharpened by combining the use of  both these learning senses. When you were in school  you were informed by teachers lecturing in the classrooms and using a chalkboard. There were films, demonstrations, and even field trips to enhance learning. But schools were places where you learned how to learn! If you want to learn about the Bible your must employ and enhance your methods of learning.

There are many resources that will polish your study skills and fuel your knowledge. Your preacher is a resource, not only his preaching and teaching but if you ask him he can suggest materials that will be of great help. How about libraries? Or, Bible studies by mail? The internet is ripe with tools to assist you. And there are Christian book stores all around you city. So make a commitment to build good study resources.

But first make a solid commitment to start and persist in Bible study.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”  II Timothy 2:15

REM

 

 

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