Reading the Bible can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to do it on your own. My first recommendation is to find a solid church that has Bible study groups (often called small groups). Getting involved in a group will make reading the Bible much less confusing, but if you don’t feel comfortable going that route yet you can pick up Women of the Word and it’ll be like having a Bible teacher in your back pocket.

Here’s a summary of the book, some of my favorite quotes, and a personal review.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin: A Book Review

Women of the Word

Women of the Word Summary

“We all know it’s important to study God’s word. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What’s more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?

Women of the Word has helped countless women with a clear and concise plan they can use every time they open their Bible. This book will equip you to engage God’s word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.”
Amazon.com

Women of the Word Quotes

Most people come to faith in God on very little information. We understand that we need forgiveness and grace, and we’re ushered into the kingdom on a wave of deep emotion. But we hold only a small sense of the One who has brought us to himself. We suspect that he is all good things, but we have not yet made a study of him. (p. 32-33)

We may have an earnest desire to build Bible literacy, but left untrained, we may develop habits of engaging the text that at best do nothing to increase literacy and at worst actually work against it. (p. 37)

When women grow increasingly lax in their pursuit of Bible literacy, everyone in their circle of influence is affected. Rather than acting as salt and light, we become bland contributions from those who have never been changed by the gospel. Home, church, community, and country desperately need the influence of women who know why they believe what they believe, grounded in the Word of God. They desperately need the influence of women who love deeply and actively the God proclaimed in the Bible. (p. 46)

[M]any of us choose to build our modern understanding of Scripture with no regard for the historical and cultural context that lies beneath its surface, a context that is essential for a right understanding and application of any text. (p. 62)

We approach our “time in the Word” like the drive-through at McDonald’s: “I’ve only got a few minutes. Give me something quick and easy to fill me up.” But sound Bible study is rooted in a celebration of delayed gratification. Gaining Bible literacy requires allowing our study to have a cumulative effect — across weeks, months, years — so that the interrelation of one part of Scripture to another reveals itself slowly and gracefully. (p. 74-75)

Bible study certainly does happen at a personal level, but within community it takes on dimension and accountability that it would not otherwise have. Studying with a partner or a group helps keep you moving forward, and it helps guard you against derailing into interpretations and applications that may not honor the text. (p. 123)

I believe the church desperately needs well-equipped women teachers, women who will handle Scripture with care and diligence and who have a heart for Bible literacy. It matters that women teach women, and that they do so with excellence. (p. 129)

Many things hold a legitimate claim on our attention, but when our eyes are free from the two-year-old or the spreadsheet or the textbook or the dinner dishes, where do we turn them? If we spend our time gazing only on lesser things, we will become like them, measuring our years in terms of human glory. (p. 151)

Women of the Word Review

I know we have both male and female readers, so it feels a little exclusive to recommend a book written primarily to women. If you know of a more gender-neutral book on how to study the bible please leave that in a comment!

Men will definitely have a bit of a challenge reading this book as Jen is clearly writing with women in mind, but just about every time she uses the word women it can be replaced by the word men. I believe men can get just as much from reading Women of the Word, and this is why:

First and most importantly

Jen Wilkin lays out a process for Bible study that is gender-neutral. Also, it’s easy and effective. She doesn’t necessarily suggest anything “new,” but the way she packages the Bible study process is easy to follow and quite concise.

Secondly

She spends a chapter talking about the ways we typically approach the Bible that are ineffective. It’s not that they are inherently bad, but if they’re all we ever do our study can become dull. They are The Xanax Approach, The Pinball Approach, The Magic 8 Ball Approach, The Personal Shopper Approach, The Telephone Game Approach, and The Jack Sprat Approach. Both men and women can unknowingly fall into these patterns and never make their way out.

We live in a very Biblically illiterate time. If you feel like Bible study is for “those people” or just for preachers you couldn’t be more wrong. And I say that with a gigantic pile of love. God is waiting for you in the Scriptures. If you’ve tried it before and things were just too hard to understand, please give it another try. Grab Women of the Word and implement Jen Wilkin’s strategy. Get your spouse on board and study together. Grab a friend.

Don’t miss out on what God wants to teach you. It’s just too good!

Because there’s a better way,
Sarah

If you’d like to check out this book on Amazon, click here: Women of the Word


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What are your favorite Bible study strategies or resources??

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