What is Bible Study?
Followers of the Christian religion have been studying the Bible for millenniums. At it's most basic level, studying the Bible involves reading it (or hearing it), understanding what God is saying through the writer of the text, and considering how it applies to life today. Bible study can be approached in numerous ways, according to individual churches as well as Christian denominations.
From when the Bible was written on ancient papyri to free Bible studies that are found online, Christians have always been intensely interested in what the Bible says, believing that is God's word to them. While it's true that at certain points in history some church leaders discouraged Christians to study the Bible on their today, this is practice is rarely found today.
Today, Christians study the Bible on their own, but it's also common to meet in fellowship groups to do Bible studies that are either led by a person or a book that guides them in their study.
Bible Study in the Early Church
It is indisputable that in Apostolic times the Old Testament was commonly read (John v, 47; Acts viii, 28; xvii, 11; II Tim. iii, 15). Followers of Roman Catholicism admit that this reading was not restricted in the first centuries, in spite of its abuse by Gnostics and other heretics. On the contrary, the reading of Scripture was urged (Justin Martyr); and Pamphilus, the friend of Eusebius, kept copies of Scripture to furnish to those who desired them.
John Chrysostom attached considerable importance to the reading of Scripture on the part of the laity and denounced the error that it was to be permitted only to monks and priests. He insisted upon access being given to the entire Bible, or at least to the New Testament. The women also, who were always at home, were diligently to read the Bible.
Jerome recommended the reading and studying of Scripture on the part of the women. The translations of the Bible, Saint Augustine considered a blessed means of propagating the Word of God among the nations; Gregory I recommended the reading of the Bible without placing any limitations on it.