The best Bible study group ever!
Over the years, I've been in many Bible study groups in many denominations as job transfers took my husband and me to new places, but oh, what a blessing the group I'm now in has become!
The uniqueness of this Bible study group began when Bible publishers began to send me review copies to discuss on my Bible Reviewer blog. After posting a review, I either used that edition myself or gave it to a church member. Eventually, everyone in our Bible Study group had a different translation with footnotes unique to that edition to bring to our weekly discussions. This enabled our small group to stop buying Bible study booklets we sometimes couldn't afford and start focusing on the Bible text as we read aloud together.
Besides the importance of having a variety of reputable study editions of God's Word, our group discovered another very important key in developing insightful Bible study discussions with spiritual depth:
Do not be afraid of silence!
After prayer, we take turns reading the scriptures aloud, pausing at logical pauses in the Bible text, thinking about what we've read, embracing the silence, then sharing the insights God has given us and any footnotes the whole group might want to hear.
Although our small rural church in NE Florida only has a couple dozen or less members on Sunday mornings during the summer months, a dozen or more people usually come to Bible study - over half of our church congregation! That, too, is a blessing, but, most important, insights abound. Regardless of the numbers, I've discovered more about God's ongoing love in this Bible study discussion group than in my whole lifetime of reading and studying God's Word by myself.