I must admit that during the thirteen years that I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I’d never read the Bible from cover to cover. Several years later, when I finally had the time and the desire to read the entire Bible, I did it twice in less than six months. That’s how I finally discovered what Bible study was all about and what the “holy book” really had to say.
When I was an active Jehovah’s Witness, I thought I knew how to study the Bible. I successfully studied with several potential converts that I’d met during my time in field service. I was also privileged to be appointed as a Tuesday night “book study conductor” for a brief time.
I found the use of concordances and reference books easy, allowing me to locate verses that I could use in field service, Theocratic Ministry School, and public talks. I soon made the study of the Bible’s history, historic events and characters my hobby. Even as a teenager, I had an excellent understanding of Witness theology and eschatology, making me quite an expert in biblical trivia.
Many years later, after I left the Organization and actually read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I came to the realization that until that time never really understood what was really in that book. I actually experienced an epiphany when I finally finished reading all the words and chapters in sequence from cover to cover.
I found a certain satisfaction in the straightforward reading of the Bible. My process of study didn’t involve jumping around, looking for scriptures to support a particular teaching (proof-texting). It was just a simple reading without any rules to follow or daily assigned texts to look up.