Ok, the short answer is YouTube, by itself, is a terrible place to learn the bible. No scholarly paper or journal would ever quote YouTube as a credible source. YouTube is entertainment. You can say whatever you want on there — and they do.
Having said that, it’s not all bad. There are loads of good preachers and bible info on YouTube. And it is so accessible. That is a tremendous benefit. However, there are bucket loads of bad doctrine as well.
But honestly, how is this any different from how it’s always been: whether it’s books, bible colleges, churches or YouTube channels?
Well, the difference is mainly two things:
1. The sheer volume of information. There is a flood of both good and bad, helpful and destructive information that can wash anyone away if they don’t have something solid to hold onto.
2. There is no way to discriminate. You have respected bible scholars in the same playlist with a heretic and a novice making videos in his mum’s basement. Technology today makes it almost impossible to tell them apart.
So, is it possible for YouTube to actually be helpful? I believe it can be. Here are a couple of suggestions.
1. Learn your bible from the bible itself.
This is how everyone should start. Read it, study it and begin with what is obvious. Learning the basics well, is what enables us to go deeper. What you need first are not insights, but facts. Get them from the bible itself – not from a video or a book for that matter.
2. Learn the bible at church.
Become a member of a biblical church and learn the bible in the context of other believers. Binging on bible videos would confuse anyone. You need others to tell you when you’ve drifted passed the buoys: trusted friends who can tell you when you’re way off.
3. Don’t surf YouTube channels for bible info.
When you have the first two in place, then YouTube has the possibility of being a useful tool. But even then, don’t surf. It is best to know what your are looking for before you search. Go to channels recommended by a trustworthy source.
4. Don’t believe anything you hear.
This a good rule for all media. You can watch it, just don’t believe a single word — Not until you have confirmed it in the paper pages of your own bible (Acts 17:11).
5. Share the love
If you happen to find a biblical resource on YouTube, you should share it with others. Channels you can trust are hard to come by, so help a brother out.
YouTube can be an amazing tool if we use it wisely. Otherwise it can be the source of great confusion. Remember, YouTube is a tool, not a teacher. Nothing should ever replace the Holy Spirit and a real bible.
Now, go to my channel and subscribe. Just kidding — kind of.