I know you have a passion for Bible study... after all that is why you are visiting our free Bible study lessons web page.
Here you will find a selection of ready-to-use free Bible study lessons. Each includes teachers' guides and outline study notes for students, which you may download absolutely free. Some lessons also include PowerPoint presentations, which will enhance your Bible study of Sunday school class.
Are you looking for materials to enrich your personal Bible study or lesson plans and study notes to enliven your home, college, or workplace Bible study group or Sunday school class? Free Bible study lessons provides balanced, scholarly, non-sectarian studies which are well researched, well written, and easy to use.
Complete sets of study materials for full courses in biblical studies, theology, Christian living, and practical ministry are available through our online store for a modest charge.
Paul urges all who teach Bible study lessons to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15, KJV). “Rightly divide” is the Greek term orthotomeo; a compound of orthos, meaning straight, upright, not crooked (hence orthodox); and tomos, which denotes cutting incisively.
Biblical language scholar James Swanson explains orthotomeo as “teach correctly, formally, guide on a straight path.”
The apostle insists on "best practices" for teaching Bible study lessons.
I taught my first Bible studies in 1974. I was in the 9th grade at St. Albans School in England, one of the oldest schools in the world (founded in 948 CE).
One of my earliest studies was to the middle school Christian Union. We met in a classroom in the oldest building on campus, the Abbey Gateway, built in 1314. Originally this was part of a medieval monastery in which Augustinian monks and scholars preserved, studied, and taught the Scriptures.
This was the beginning of my own journey from student to scholar. I have had the privilege to teach biblical studies and theology in a variety of contexts ranging from a handful of people in a home Bible study to a convention hall with thousands in attendance.
Over the years, my students have included young people, mature believers, undergraduates to doctoral candidates, laypeople and leaders.
I have always striven to teach in a spirit of ecumenicism. As a result I have taught in churches and colleges affiliated with many denominations including Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, charismatic, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, non-denominational, as well as in public colleges and universities.
This breadth and variety of teaching experience over nearly four decades has helped me formulate some Bible study"Best Practices." All the free Bible study lessons offered here are based upon these principles. To get the "best results" out of the free Bible study lessons I encourage you to read and apply these guidelines.
Interpret the Bible passage in the light of the context of the book in which it is located as well as the Bible as a whole.
Interpret a passage in harmony with the teaching of the whole Bible.
The passage must be interpreted in harmony with sound, systematic theology.
A passage should be understood literally unless it is obviously figurative, or unless a literal interpretation would lead to an absurdity or an impossibility.
If possible consult the original languages as a help to interpretation.
If you do not have a thorough knowledge of the original languages, you will be helped to interpret the passage by comparing several different English translations of the Bible.
Consult parallel passages in other biblical books.
Consult some good commentaries of the critical, exegetical type.
A higher standard for teachers
James cautions, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (3:1).
The Bible teacher must use all Scripture in conformity to principles and practices of sound hermeneutics (principles of interpretation). We must take care lest the “poetic license” in secular public speaking becomes a “prophetic license” in Bible teaching.
No teacher, no matter how anointed, popular, or respected is exempt from the strict rules of hermeneutics.
I agree with the late professor of systematic theology, Bernard Ramm, that “to ask for exemptions from the strict rules of hermeneutics is to ask for an exemption from preaching the true meaning of the Word of God.”
Using our free Bible study lessons does not guarantee that you will teach the Word of God in the Spirit of God.
Ephesians 4:15 describes growth and maturity in the body of Christ as being related to our “speaking the truth in love.”
2 Corinthians 3:6 warns of the danger of God’s Word being ministered literally but not life-givingly.
The Spirit of Truth (1 John 4:6) and the Spirit of Life (Rom. 8:2) are the same—the Holy Spirit!
Blending both will always reveal three things:
A faithfulness to “Keep Straight” (2 Tim. 2:15)
A constant presence of love (2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 4:15)
An expectation of Signs to follow the preaching of God’s Word (Mark 16:15-20; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; 1 Thess. 1:5; Heb. 2:1-4)
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