Understanding

the Bible

How to Study Scripture
with Dr. J. Todd Billings

Professor of Reformed theology

Start learning

Watch

Learn about understanding the Bible through 10-15 minute video lessons.

Read

Engage with a written version of each lesson.

Reflect

Apply what you learn as you discuss questions related to each lesson.

Want to get more out of reading the Bible?

When it comes to Christian faith, there’s no question which book tops the reading list. The Bible is known as such a definitive authority that “bible” has become a shorthand descriptor for guides on everything from dating to gardening. Scripture deserves its impressive reputation. But understanding the Bible as a Christian today can be complicated sometimes. After all, unlike the Knitting Bible, it was written thousands of years ago. There’s translation involved.

In three engaging and digestible lessons, professor and theologian Dr. J. Todd Billings breaks down how to understand the Bible and wrestle with its complexities as a Christian. You’ll learn how you can get more out of reading God’s Word, work through differences in biblical interpretation, and ultimately, become more like Christ. 

Dr. Billings, who is the Gordon H. Girod research professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary, first developed this course as a video series that could be used in a church setting. The Faithward team has lightly adapted the video material so that you can read each lesson if you prefer. You’re welcome to journey through the material on your own or in a group setting.

Understanding the Bible course

You have the option to either watch a video or read the material for each session. At the end, you’ll find reflection questions related to the material that you can ponder and discuss.

Interpreting Scripture as God’s Word

Explore common ways people approach understanding the Bible and reflect on what it means to read Scripture as the Word of God.

How Culture Impacts Biblical Understanding

Unpack the role that your cultural context plays in how you understand the Bible and see how studying Scripture in community with others can enrich your understanding.

Resolving Differences of Interpretation

Learn what to do when there’s disagreement about what the Bible means and how to avoid common dead-ends in discussions about Scripture.

About Dr. J. Todd Billings

Dr. J. Todd Billings is the Gordon H. Girod research professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is also an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America. Dr. Billings has a doctorate in theology from Harvard Divinity School and an M.Div. from Fuller Seminary. In the past, he has served on the mission field in Ethiopia and in various other ministries, including five years on staff at a church homeless shelter while he was earning his doctorate. In 2012, Dr. Billings was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer. He continues to teach, write, and minister while receiving cancer treatments.