The Connection Between Biblical Literacy & Discipleship

The Connection Between Biblical Literacy & Discipleship

Do we need one in order for the other to be effective?


In order to dig into the connection between Biblical literacy and discipleship, we must first define each of them separately.

What is Biblical Literacy?

We need first to define literacy (word nerd here!!). At its most basic level, literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. When used in context it is competence or knowledge in a specified area. Biblical literacy, therefore, is the ability to read and understand what you are reading in the Bible.

What is Discipleship?

According to, discipleship is defined as the condition or situation of being a disciple, a follower, or a student of some philosophy, especially a follower of Christ. In the church today, there seems to be an emphasis on teaching or training someone to be a disciple or disciple-maker through a structured program. I am currently working on a certification in Women’s Discipleship through Church Answers University and the mission of my ministry is “training women to make disciples.”

While all this is great, discipleship is more about living than learning. Simply put, discipleship is your faith lived out. It’s not just about how to teach someone about Jesus, it’s more about modeling what having faith in Jesus looks like, in everyday moments. And this requires relationship-building.

So how does discipleship tie into Biblical literacy? According to Jen Wilkin in her book Women of The Word,

Bible literacy occurs when a person has access to a Bible in a language she understands and is steadily moving toward knowledge and understanding of the text. If it is true that the character and will of God are proclaimed in Scripture, then any serious attempt to become equipped for the work of discipleship must include a desire to build Bible literacy (p. 38–39). 


In Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus commissions us to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us. Other translations say to follow, keep, and obey all that He has commanded us. How can we follow and/or teach something that we do not know? If we are not Biblically literate, we won’t even know what Jesus commanded us, let alone how to obey it or teach others to do the same.

Every follower of Christ is called to not only be a disciple that learns and keeps His ways but we are also called to be disciple-makers that can say to our brothers and sisters “Follow Me” because we are following The One Perfect Example.

As you go through your week, pray about who you can “do life with” as you journey closer to Christ.

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