COLUMN: Turning pages with turning leaves: Let’s fall into Bible study 

If fall comes, scores of other things besides school can’t be far behind. 

One of them for me and more than 400,000 other people on six continents in more than 120 nations is the beginning of a new year of Bible Study Fellowship. I’ve been in this particular interdenominational Bible study for 13 years.  

I began to attend because of the persistence of a friend. Never underestimate diligence and determination. 

This friend repeatedly asked me to attend the BSF classes in Monroe (Ruston didn’t have a BSF class at that time; it started here in 2015). I was polite, but all the while I was thinking to myself: “I don’t want to get up and drive over 30 miles on a weekday morning. I’m still enjoying sleeping in during my new-found retirement years.” 

One day, though, instead of an informal oral invitation, this friend took the tangible route. She put something in my hand.  

It was a “formal” invite, a little card published by BSF, with my name hand printed on it. How could I say “no”? I thought maybe God was trying to tell me something, but if he wasn’t, then at least I would pacify my friend. 

It was kind of like the first time I attended my cherished a cappella chorus: I never looked back. Indeed, I do think God was trying to get my attention. 

Since then, with BSF I have studied almost the whole Bible in an in-depth fashion, with just one more yearlong study remaining to finish out the 66 books, although I’ll have to wait on that a while because the yearly subjects are repeated from time to time.  

That’s one of my goals: to have thoroughly studied the entire Bible before I get to heaven – not just reading it without totally absorbing it. Oh, I know I could have done it on my own before now, but I’m ashamed to say that I have failed in that regard. Now, I’m trying to take care of that. 

In addition to my weekly BSF lessons on the Gospel of John – in which I am aided by my group leader, teaching leader and fellow group members – I am planning, on my own, to pick up a few more things that I have not yet tackled. For example: Psalms and Proverbs. Even though BSF covers those, we did not read each and every verse.  

I have ordered commentaries on the Psalms and plan to do so for Proverbs as well. My go-to modern commentator is James Burton Coffman, whose works I consider among the finest modern, conservative commentaries available. They affirm the inerrancy of the Bible and clearly point readers toward scripture as the final basis for Christian belief and practice. That’s what I want my commentators to do. What’s more, his series was written with the thorough care of a research scholar, yet is easy to read. 

So as I’m admonishing myself to do this, I want to encourage you to find a similar project if you are not currently pursuing one. Join a Bible class that, yes, studies the Bible as the inerrant word of God that can not only guide you in this life, but can also point you toward that eternal life to come. Get a commentary that, like Coffman’s, takes the stance that scripture is God-breathed and is totally relevant today. 

What’s more, I invite you to attend worship services with me and my forever family at Northside Church of Christ, where exceptionally good sermons are preached each Sunday and a loving group of future friends awaits. We’re small at the moment, but we’re on the pathway to growth. Come grow with us. 

If I could print this out with your name on it and place it in your hand, I would. From me, to you.  


Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at