“There is no long-range effective teaching of the Bible that is not accompanied by long hours of ongoing study of the Bible. Effectiveness in teaching the Bible is purchased at the price of much study, some of it lonely, all of it tiring. If you are not a student of the Word, you are not called to be a teacher of the Word.”
— D.A. Carson
I think one of the most difficult aspects in seminary and biblical scholarship, at least for me, is reading and studying the Bible itself. Far too often I am more interested in reading books and articles about the Scriptures rather than the Bible itself. I am always amazed at reading the Church Fathers and seeing the many connections they see in the Scriptures. I am amazed because they did not have the wealth of resources that we have today (cross-references, Bible software, literature from 1500+ years). The reason they could do this was because they lived and breathed the Scriptures. In a culture where all the information is at our fingertips it is so easy to skip the study of Scripture. I hate to admit but too often I fall into this trap. Recognizing this is the first step; action is the second step but often times the hardest.
Secondary literature is needed and definitely has its place but it can’t replace the actual study and interaction with Holy Scripture.