“The beauty of putting in decades of Bible study is that you build a Rolodex of knowledge,” says author and teacher Beth Moore. “I often look at young men and women who are just starting to have those light bulb moments and just beginning to get ravenous about the Scriptures, and it’s inspiring. I remember feeling that I could never get enough of God’s Word. I’d slap my desk constantly, thinking, ‘This is the most thrilling thing I’ve ever seen.’ Now, 30 years in, I’ll see a word or a phrase in Scripture that immediately brings to mind a connection elsewhere in the Bible. It’s fun to be a part of that.”

Living Proof Ministries, the organization Moore founded to teach women to love God’s Word, recently celebrated its 20th year. But even as she begins her third decade of ministry, Moore continues to refer to herself as a student of the Word: “I love to approach my study of Scripture as someone sitting under a teacher. I’m a teacher who continually loves to be taught.”

Loving Scripture

Moore’s study process starts with the basics. “I begin with reading the verses—I read a passage over and over. If I’m preparing a message on that section, I scribble down observations or responses to the Word. I might read a passage aloud several times, changing the emphasis each time to see how it changes.” Next, Moore moves on to asking questions about the text. “I direct them straight to God. It thrills me to no end if I feel like he gives insight to my questions over the coming days.”

“Recently I taught on Lydia from the book of Acts. As I prepared for that, I read the passage over and over. I looked up the notes for that section in the net Bible, and then I turned to my Bible dictionary and commentaries. Scripture alone is our reliable truth. But God has equipped the body with spiritual gifts, including the gifts of knowledge and wisdom, gifts of teaching, and prophetic gifts that he’s given people who have written about the Bible. I’m going to look to those for insight as well and see what resonates in my heart—but the only thing I’m going to swallow whole is the Scriptures.”

Over the years, Moore has moved through the Bible thematically, chronologically, and canonically. These days, she likes to jump around a little more. “For a few months recently, God stirred up my fascination over the parables of the kingdom. I brought up every single time the word ‘kingdom’ appeared in the New Testament and printed out the list. Then, every morning, I took one or two of those passages and read them over, wrote down observations, and meditated on them.”

What she discovered surprised her. “Jesus placed so much emphasis on the kingdom in his teaching compared with how little it’s taught today. It’s such a broad concept, with so many aspects, that it’s difficult to address in teaching. If I were to dive into that topic for a weekend event, I would have to pick out one tiny slice of it.”

If she’s not doing a specific book study, Moore will often narrow her focus. “I like to explore a Greek word and track where it’s used in Scripture.” Moore pursues work in one area until she feels her interest pulling in a different direction. She emphasizes that the important thing isn’t to complete a particular study. It’s showing up every morning, ready to devote time to reading the Word. “Since my late 20s, I’ve been asking God over and over to grant me a supernatural love for him and for his Word, and he is so faithful to do it. I want to have an uncommon love for the Scriptures.”


As a 30-year veteran of teaching the Bible—whether through weekend Living Proof Live Conferences or as a teacher at her church in Houston—Moore passes her love of Scripture on to her students. “I taught Sunday school for 23 years straight and loved it so much. Boy, I cut my teeth in Bible study there with being forced to prepare week after week. The fun thing about teaching in an ongoing setting is exploring the depth and breadth of the Bible. Circumstances arise in your students’ lives—job trouble or something else—that provide an opportunity to discover so much about God’s Word.”

Despite her experience and years of study, she doesn’t feel the need to simplify her messages. Generally, the demographics of a study group or conference will include women who are just setting out on their Bible study journey as well as women who have been studying for decades. “I’m just a normal woman, with normal life experience. So if something really jumps off the page at me while I’m reading the Bible, I can be sure it will resonate with my audience as well. Often I’ll make a deal with the group, and say, ‘If you stick with me on this really technical segment for 15 minutes, I promise it’s going to bring us in a direction everyone in the room can understand.’ That’s what I pray for throughout the whole preparation and outlining process.”

Moore’s career has brought her into contact with countless people who are becoming passionate about the Bible. “I believe that in the last 50 years of Christian history, laypeople—not just leaders and teachers and speakers—have a hunger and thirst to know Scripture. And we have got to be equipped to meet that hunger. We’ve got to know God’s Word. Second Timothy 3 says what the Word will do for us: It’s there for our equipping, so that we may be capable of every good work.”

“When I get a chance to speak specifically with young women, I tell them that with a minimum understanding of Scripture, you can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But you cannot be equipped in your calling unless you have an ongoing relationship with God and his Word. You cannot be a disciple of God and sidestep his Word. Every believer is called to study the Bible. And no matter what our ministry area is—whether we minister to single moms, the poor, students, senior adults—whatever we are called to, we are equipped through the Scriptures.” 


Moore budgets enough time between events to plan her teaching schedule one weekend at a time. She compares her planning process to the Israelites, who gathered manna daily but could not hoard it. “I believe it’s going to be there for me at the right time—by faith he’s going to give me the next message.” 

She alters her teaching plan depending on the size and length of the event. “Teaching Sunday school forced me to prepare week after week. With the weekend conferences, I’m with that group just one time. I want to make sure, no matter what I’m teaching on, that I address suffering and salvation. There will always be someone in the audience who is truly suffering.  I speak from my own testimony, not assuming that everyone out there already knows my story. I come from a background of childhood abuse, and that makes a difference in the way I tell my story and I how I relate to Scripture.” 


Writing Bible Studies

Moore’s writing career spans nonfiction, Bible character and thematic studies, and expositional book studies. Moore chooses her next writing project the same way she decides on teaching topics: When something new piques her interest, her curiosity spurs her study. 

“I’ll become fascinated with a new topic—a book of the Bible or a character. I’ll read everything I can on it. Usually, I’ll work the topic into a weekend conference, but if I can’t quit thinking about it at that point, I start praying about it being my next book project. I’ll also share the idea with a couple of people who are close to me and ask them to pray with me.”

“If I’d like to write about a book of the Bible, like the one on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Children of the Day, I begin reading and perhaps doing memory work out of the book. The whole time I was writing on James, I worked on memorizing it. The brevity of the book made it more possible. It’s a great way to get Scripture far down in the marrow of my bones.”

After about two months of study, Moore creates an outline for the passage or book, which eventually becomes the outline for the study. This, for her, is a real crisis point. Her major decisions about content and direction happen here. “I can go in all sorts of directions during preparation, but this is the transition point where I settle into a final set of notes for an outline. I probably depart from that outline less than 20 percent. After I have the overarching outline, I start taking apart sections, using commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources. The process, from start to finish, takes about 18 months.”

Moore emphasizes the time involved partly to help set reasonable expectations for others who are considering writing. “We live in such an attention-deficit culture. We’re raised to think in 140 characters and bite-sized bits of information. I want to encourage young men and women who feel called to write books and curriculum: It’s really easy to lose your passion in the middle of your project and decide to start something else. But see that thing to the finish, push past the boredom to focus on making something that will have shelf life to it.”

When tackling a biblical book, Moore doesn’t skirt around uncomfortable parts. “We don’t always have the precise context. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul refers to God sending a strong delusion to those who have refused to believe the truth. These are hard things to know how to explain with a sense of confidence, because we don’t have the mind of God. We study the Word, what other scholars have said, and what wise men and women have written, and we ask God for wisdom. But sometimes we have to let it go and say, ‘That is for God to interpret himself.’ We always know that his Word is truth, and when he speaks, we have absolute confidence in his holiness, his rightness, and his zeal and affection for people. That’s the beauty of God’s sovereignty.”

Moving Forward

As Living Proof Ministries enters its third decade, Moore is not content to treat her mission with a business-as-usual attitude. “I’ve recently felt a very strong impression on my heart to get outside of the environment in which I normally serve. It’s time to stop sowing in one primary field. I’m working to cast the seed of his Word in a wider area. We’ve begun to prioritize the speaking invitations we accept, so that we are saying yes to areas and environments we’ve not been to before. Every speaking invitation sounds wonderful to me, so I have put a team in control of figuring out when to say yes. The question we’re asking is, “How rarely have we addressed this particular segment of the body of Christ before?”

Moore also is prioritizing opportunities to go deeper than a surface-level approach to Scripture. “We’re looking for women who are believers in Christ, who are being stirred up to study the Bible in depth. So the platform where we’ll serve will look different in the coming years. That’s on purpose, and it’s an act of obedience to God.” 

Even with her new focus, Moore says her main job hasn’t changed: She will keep writing, speaking, and studying. “I’m called to encourage people to come to love Jesus Christ through the study of his Word. That mission statement for our ministry is still true. There are a lot of areas we could encourage people in, but that is the one thing I’m after.”   

Jessi Strong is senior writer for Bible Study Magazine. She blogs at JessiStrong.com.

Jessi Strong is senior writer for Bible Study Magazine. She blogs at JessiStrong.com.