Agape Bible Study lessons are formatted for either individual or group study. 

Suggestions on where to begin:

  1. Every group study facilitator should read the "Guide to Bible Study" found in the Main Menu under "Bible Studies."  The "Guide to Bible Study" should be part of the introductory lesson for the first group session.
  2. Bible study selection is of key importance.  The "Salvation History" Bible study is the optimal starting point for any Bible study group.  This study provides an in-depth overview of the entire Bible, as well as the introduction to certain tools and concepts that are crucial to biblical interpretation.  These tools and concepts will assist students in future biblical studies and will provide an understanding of cultural traditions and the importance of symbolic imagery in Scripture. 
  3. A recommended course of study to follow the "Salvation History" lessons is the course on "How to Study the Old Testament Prophets." This study provides an understanding of the concepts which are necessary to appreciate the mission of God's holy prophets and the biblical imagery and symbolism found in prophetic literature.
  4. It is not recommended that you begin with a study on the "Book of Revelation," which is the most difficult book in the Bible for Scripture study.  It is best to prepare for Revelation by taking studies in "Salvation History," the "Gospel According to John," and "How to Study the Old Testament Prophets," since the Book of Revelation covers events of the very distant past, the present of the 1st century AD, and the future of Second Advent of Christ.

Suggested guidelines for group study:

  1. Group lessons should begin with prayer followed by a review of the previous lesson.
  2. At the first study session, the facilitator should provide the class with copies of the summary outline of the Bible book to be studied (see Charts/Summaries in the Main Menu) and any other relevant handouts and timelines.  
  3. Sessions should not last longer than 1 ˝ hours.
  4. The study facilitator should ask different class members to read aloud each of the separate Bible passages included in the lesson. Each biblical reading should be followed by the facilitator leading the class in the question/answer lesson format.  Each question and answer is structured to lead to the next series of questions and answers.
  5. All Catechism references or passages from Church documents referred to in the lesson should be read aloud.
  6. Ten to fifteen minutes at the end of each session should be devoted to group discussion.  Opportunity should also be made for individual class members to ask questions.  Students should be encouraged to refer to the on-line lesson which can be printed off and brought to class as a resource or studied as a review between study sessions.
  7. Close all study sessions with prayer.

Every student should be expected to bring to each study session:

All lessons, charts, and other Agape Bible Study documents may be reproduced subject to the Agape Bible Study permission policy which is listed on our website.  If you need any additional guidance, or if you have any questions concerning proctoring, permissions, or content please do not hesitate to contact us.

The great 4th century biblical scholar St. Ephraim gave this excellent advice on the study of Sacred Scripture:
Lord who can grasp all the wealth of just one of your words?  What we understand is much less than we leave behind; like thirsty people who drink from a fountain.  For your word, Lord, has many shades of meaning just as those who study it have many different points of view.  The Lord has colored his word with many hues so that each person who studies it can see in it what he loves.  He has hidden many treasures in his word so that each of us is enriched as we meditate on it.  [..].  So be grateful for what you have received and don't grumble about the abundance left behind.  What you have received and what you have reached is your share.  What remains is your heritage.  What at one time you were unable to receive because of your weakness, you will be able to receive at other times if you persevere.  Do not have the presumption to try to take in one draft what cannot be taken in one draft and do not abandon out of laziness what can only be taken little by little.

Encourage your class to drink deeply from the fountain of Sacred Scripture with the knowledge that there will be so much more to be enjoyed as the Holy Spirit continues to lead each class member to a deeper understanding of the written word of God.  St. Jerome wrote that "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."  Conversely, St. Jerome would have agreed that to seek to understand Sacred Scripture is to seek a more intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior: "To be ignorant of Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ!" 

May God bless your in your desire to share the Living Word through the sacred words of Holy Spirit inspired Scripture.

Yours in Christ,
Michal Hunt ><>