In this episode of TGC Q&A, Taylor Turkington and Jen Wilkin address the question, “Why should women learn to study the Bible?” They discuss:
- Knowing God (0:27)
- When “we don’t need more Bible knowledge” (1:28)
- Growing as the church of God (2:14)
- Equipping to serve others (2:58)
- The joy of biblical depth (3:37)
Explore more from TGC on this topic:
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Heather Calvillo: Welcome back to TGC Q&A, a podcast from the Gospel Coalition where each week you’ll hear conversations between members of our council and friends who provide their unique perspective on your most pressing spiritual questions. On today’s episode, Taylor Turkington and Jen Wilkin discuss the question, why should all women learn to study the Bible? Let’s listen in.
Jen Wilkin: How should we think about this? Why, if I’m never going to teach the Bible, if I understand clearly, I’m just a student in this game. Why should I study the Bible in depth? Why not just be content to let other people pull me through it?
Taylor Turkington: Yeah, Jen, I feel like that’s a question I’ve heard people thrustle through and thinking about how the God of our salvation, the God of our creation has revealed himself primarily in scripture. This is how we know our God. And so even for our own personal growth, this is where we need to go. And we can study the Bible in more depth and know him better. It is in our knowing him better that shapes us, that we are actually better and transformed by the knowledge of God through the Word of God.
Jen Wilkin: Yeah. It’s what it means to be an image bearer, right? How can we be conformed to an image that we haven’t beheld? And so when we want to learn who God is, we turn to his word. And when we see who he is, we understand ourselves in light of that. And it changes us. I’m always fascinated when I hear people say, “Well, we don’t really need more Bible knowledge.” And I think, if the Bible is speaking truly of itself and it says that the word is living and active then Bible knowledge that doesn’t transform, I don’t know what that is. If you’re in dwelt by the spirit, then it is going to change you because it’s going to draw you to repentance, it’s going to draw you to thanksgiving. All of these formative things that are going to then make us look more like Christ.
Taylor Turkington: Spirit is always using his word to sanctify us, right? This is what the word is doing in our lives. That we’re not reading it just to grasp knowledge as academics, but that we’re Christians. So it’s always being applied to our lives for our own personal growth.
Jen Wilkin: So we need it for personal growth. That’s a really good point, but I think it’s also important to remember that we need it for growth as the Church of God. There’s a we element to this. And sometimes when I talk to women about Bible study, they’ll say, “Oh, I’m so thankful to have gotten some tools from you so that now I can study the Bible on my own.” And there is a right way to think about that, and then there is a not so right way to think about that. We don’t become equipped in learning the scriptures in depth so that we can then isolate ourselves and just do it all on our own.
The Bible is meant to be read and understood in community. And it’s given to the family of God. It’s given to us individually, but it’s also given to us corporately. It’s what unites us.
Taylor Turkington: We often talk about how we study the Bible to be equipped to serve others. It’s for our own personal growth and to serve. That all believers, and if we look in the New Testament, that all believers are commanded to exhort, to instruct, to encourage, and those commands are rooted in the scriptures. So what are we instructing if not the scriptures? So as we gain a better understanding of the Bible, we’re able to then serve others better. And that serving doesn’t always mean we’re teaching. As we talked about it, doesn’t have to be teaching in front of a large group. It can be speaking the truth to our coworker, or maybe leading a Bible study, or even just discipling this young gal that I met next to me in church.
Jen Wilkin: Yeah. And I would say, so we’ve talked about big picture. We’ve talked about some of the ways that it impacts us in terms of sanctification, but I also don’t want to leave out the fact that it’s actually deeply enjoyable and deeply reassuring. The deeper that I go into the Scriptures, the less objections I have in my head as to, is the Bible really true? The Bible is self-authenticating. That’s one way that people talk about it. And the deeper that you go into the scriptures, the fewer your concerns, “Oh, is that a contradiction that I’m seeing there?” Or, “Does God hate women?” Some of these questions that can come up when you’re hovering at the surface and getting a lot of secondhand knowledge from the text. The closer I get to the text, the more assurance I have in its continuity and in its integrity. And that it is exactly what it puts itself out there to be.
Taylor Turkington: Yes. How kind of God to do that for us as we dig deeper into the scriptures. And that great joy is something I’ve experienced too, that as we dig deeper, there’s that knowledge of God and the ability to serve others. But there’s also just this beauty that God designed us to be digging in here and to just be rejoicing in the truth that he tells us.
Heather Calvillo: Thanks for listening to today’s episode of TGC, Q&A. To submit a question that you would like to hear answered on this podcast, send us an email at [email protected] and remember to subscribe to our show on Apple podcasts, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks again for listening to today’s episode of TGC Q and A.