A Scholar's Devotion

A Scholar’s Devotion with Ben Witherington III

Going through seminary, students are taught to study the Bible and uphold its doctrines about God while also being encouraged not to neglect their devotional times with God. Yet during my own devotional time I, and probably many others, often ask, “Is this approach the best way to grow spiritually, or is there a better way? What could I do differently? Should I incorporate my studies with my devotions?”  

Each week, I ask a different scholar two questions about how he or she spends time with the Lord and continues to love him with all their mind, strength, and heart. While no one method or style is “the only way,” we can draw on one another’s experiences. 

This week, I have asked Dr. Ben Witherington III if he would share his thoughts with us.

1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord and how do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ?

I always find these questions not all that helpful. I don’t distinguish between my serious study of the Bible and my personal devotional time. Indeed, some of my best moments in the Word come from the in depth interaction in the original languages and commentaries.  In other words, I pursue the usual Hebrew model of growth in the faith through deep study of God’s Word, not the later modern model of ‘let’s set aside some specifically devotional private time’.  I find that what really nourishes my faith otherwise is worship and especially Christian music in worship, not having a ‘quiet time’, but then I have a brain that will not leave me alone when I’m awake (and even when I’m sleeping).  My love for Christ deepens the deeper I go into his Word,, and watch how it changes lives… and the more involved I am in corporate worship.

Ben Witherington III is the Jean R. Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. Ben has written numerous books. He has written commentaries on almost every book of the Bible in his socio-rhetorical series, as well as ones on Matthew, Revelation, and a shared work on Luke. He has written an introduction to the NT, a new biblical theology

Thank you, Dr. Witherington!

Other Scholars’ Devotions

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