ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a large language model designed to generate human-like responses. It was trained with 350 billion words. It would take someone about three thousand years to read that much! So ChatGPT is quite well-read.
The Bible is the most studied book in the world. You can count on ChatGPT having read a large amount of biblical commentaries. How do we harness its internal knowledge?
In this article, you will learn how to use ChatGPT to enrich your bible study.
How to use ChatGPT?
You can visit chat.openai.com to start using ChatGPT.
Caution about using ChatGPT for bible study
Since Christian and non-Christian scholars have studied the Bible using diverse perspectives and methodologies, ChatGPT can respond with non-Christian perspectives. For mature Christians, this can be a good opportunity to learn different ideas.
If you want to avoid non-Christian perspectives from ChatGPT, you can avoid asking questions about what a scripture means and stick with asking for scripture references.
If you prefer responses from a Christian’s perspective, you can use DiscipleBot, a large language model trained with materials from our church.
Large language models like ChatGPT are known to sometimes make up non-factual content. This drawback is known as hallucination and is still an active area of research.
Don’t trust what ChatGPT says entirely. Treat it as information that you should cross-check with other sources.
7 prompts to use with ChatGPT to enhance your bible study
Use the following prompts in ChatGPT to enhance your bible study.
1. Explore a topic
You can explore a topic by using the following prompt. It will answer with scripture references.
What does the bible say about ___?
Some examples are
- What does the bible say about love?
- What does the bible say about grace?
- What does the bible say about retaliation?
ChatGPT will return scripture references that are relevant to the topic.
For example, here’s the sample output from ChatGPT.
2. Find supporting scriptures
ChatGPT is a good tool for finding scriptures that support a topic. This comes in handy when researching a topic.
What scriptures in the bible support ____?
- What scriptures in the bible support unconditional love?
- What scriptures in the bible support giving to charity?
3. Interpretations of a passage
You can ask ChatGPT to list interpretations of a passage in the bible. It provides diverse perspectives from different schools of thought, both Christian and non-Christian.
What is the interpretations of (a verse)?
- What are the interpretations of Mark 12:31?
- What are the interpretations of John 1:1?
4. Find the historical context of a passage
It is beneficial to understand a bible passage with its historical context in mind. With the wealth of historical knowledge stored in it, ChatGPT can be a valuable source of information.
What is the historical context behind _______?
- What is the historical context behind Mark 12:31?
- What is the historical context behind John 1:1?
5. Summarize a passage
You can use ChatGPT to summarize the main points of a passage. This is particularly useful for enriching your understanding of a biblical passage and seeing if you have missed something.
Summarize __(a passage)____.
- Summarize Heb 10.
- Summarize Mat 2:1-12.
6. Understand a character
Studying a character in the Bible is a great way to understand the Bible deeply.
What is the main contribution of _____ in the bible?
What is the significance of _____ in the bible?
- What is the main contribution of Paul in the bible?
- What is the significance of John the Baptist in the bible?
7. Retell a parable
This is more of a fun application. Jesus’ parables were told two thousand years ago. At the time of Jesus, they are very relatable. Everyone understood the jobs of a Sherperd and a farmer.
But as our society changes, some of us can find it difficult to relate to the parables.
You can ask ChatGPT to retell a parable in modern, relatable terms.
Retell the parable of _____ in modern, relatable terms.
- Retell the parable of Lost Sheep in modern, relatable terms.
Here’s ChatGPT’s output.
You should treat the response to this prompt as a thought-provoking exercise. Is the analogy entirely correct? What’s right and what’s wrong about it?
We now have computational tools that we cannot imagine even a few years ago. The tools are neutral. It is up to us to find ways to use them to enrich our lives. I hope this article gives you some ideas how to use ChatGPT to enrich your bible studies.