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I am a bit curious about seeking out a bible study. There are several reasons for this:

A friend of mine (in another country) says she finds such a study group enjoyable, and it seems to be a good way to meet new people. (I myself just moved to a new country, where Christianity seems to have a larger place in society than I am used to).

It will help me understand Christianity better.

However, I do not really consider myself a Christian. Will I be out of place in such a study group, or even, will people be offended?

I do like to question things, and ask if something is unclear (I have a strong background in science). Is this something that might make people uneasy?

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Hard questions are actually the most fun! If it makes people uneasy, you're probably doing it right! –  Affable Geek Jan 31 at 22:28
    
You might not care, but you might want to read what Pope Francis just said about people in your predicament –  Peter Turner Jan 31 at 22:45
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@PeterTurner I don't really see the connection... –  BibleCurious Jan 31 at 22:51
    
I might look up area churches and call them up and tell them the sort of thing you're looking for. –  Mr. Bultitude Feb 1 at 4:38
    
The word of God (the Bible) was not meant to be kept a secret. Even Jesus himself said to spread it all over the World. Probably his reason for wanting to do that, was just so that people like you would learn about it. Otherwise how would they be able to make a choice about salvation? –  Bye Feb 1 at 14:39

3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

The best bet is probably to talk with the leader of the group you are considering going to. Many Bible studies welcome non-Christians. You don't have to be Christian to study the Bible and people are unlikely to get offended in most cases.

Some Bible studies may be more uncomfortable for you than others depending on how they are run and what kind of spiritual things you are comfortable with though. They may include prayer, worship music and confessing sins among other things in addition to time studying the Bible.

Bible Studies do tend to form tight nit communities studying together and often result in really interesting religious and philosophical discussions. If you want a safe context where you can get questions answered about the Bible, it is probably worth trying one out.

As for your scientific background, as long as you don't treat people like they are stupid, you are unlikely to run in to any serious issues. There are, in fact, many Christians who are very scientifically minded (myself included among them). It may make some people a bit uneasy at first, but if you are polite and honestly try to understand where people are coming from and express yourself clearly and respectfully, the vast majority of people will be fine with you.

I've been to many Bible studies where there were non-Christians, young Christians and long term Christians alike. Each have something different they can add and the best groups have generally been those that have a mix of all three.

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I like this answer! –  BibleCurious Jan 31 at 22:52
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@BibleCurious You can also ask questions here ;) –  fredsbend Feb 2 at 16:44

I would add that the Alpha series of Bible studies is very open, and non-christian friendly. It lays out the basics of the Christian belief quite well.

These courses are offered by varying denominations (its not denomination specific on purpose) in most cities.

You can see if there is one here.

http://www.alpha.org/try

P.S. I have nothing to do with Alpha. I used to help out with one locally and I was impressed with it.

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Welcome to the site and thank you for posting. If you decide to participate again, and I hope you do, please take a look at the meta site posts that spell out some site policies. This question is actually off-topic (should be closed not answered), but sometimes the community is more inclined to answer, especially if evangelism comes into play and there is little likelihood for arguments to ensue. –  fredsbend Feb 2 at 16:48

While A J Henderson's answer is excellent and I agree with it, I would like to add something. Many churches specifically run Bible Studies aimed at 'seekers' (which means those who are not Christians ... yet). Some of them are little more than a leader telling you what to think, while asking you trivial questions that can be answered by reading the passage for five second. But the good ones will be everything you are looking for. In general if you can find an Alpha course they tend to be the better ones.

However if you have a connection with a church or other group, or have found people that you like and trust, then I would recommend studying with them over going for something tailered to the outsider but by people you know nothing about.

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