How To Study The Bible: The Ultimate Guide
If you want to know how to study the Bible and how to understand the Bible, youll find this post helpful.
When it comes to getting more out of the Bible, how to understand the Bible for all its worth, how to read the Bible and gain a fuller and holistic understanding of Scripture, I think these suggestions can be very helpful. Theyve certainly helped me understand the Bible more effectively.
Here are 21 powerful strategies to help you learn how to study the Bible and understand the Bible more fully.
Remember, these are methods. They dont replace the Holy Spirit or diligent devotion.
With that said, lets dive in.
Here are 21 tips for how to read the Bible more effectively.
How I Study The Bible
It has taken me a while to figure out a Bible study method I really love. My method is still ever-changing. However, I will share it with you in case you wanted to take it and modify it to suit your Bible study needs.
As I mentioned earlier, I use the ESV Journaling Bible from the Daily Grace Co. in Bible Study. I love its wide margins that I can write notes, doodles, and observations in. Yes, I draw in my Bible!
How To Personally Deepen Bible Study
Here are a few practical ways that you can deepen your experience of studying the Bible.
The lectio divina is an ancient four-step process of reading the Bible that helps you to liturgically walk through your Scripture reading each day. The four steps are as follows:
The Apostle Paul writes: âThese are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of Godââ.
The Apostle John writes: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you.â
The Apostle John writes: âThis is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears usâ .
King David writes: âCease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earthâ .
Use this exercise to give your spirit rails on which to run as you establish a daily habit of deepening your Bible study time.
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Keys To A Thriving Quiet Time Routine
I used to stumble out of bed, throw open my Bible to a random verse, and call it a day. Yet a thriving Bible study isnt based on reading a quick Scripture passage just to check Bible study off your to do list.
Instead, to have a deep Bible study and fill the voids in your soul with the words of God, you need a quiet time routine to make it happen.; And I promise, once you find your rhythm and a routine that works for you, youll meet God with excitement each day.
What Is The Purpose Of Bible Study
As you begin studying the Bible, like any habit or discipline in your life, youre probably best served if you have a clear purpose for taking the time and putting in the effort.The simplest definition for What is the Purpose of Bible study? is:To know God through The Word, as He inspired it into the Bible.Interestingly enough there is a full Bible study in that sentence alone.
- What is it to know God?
- What is it to understand an invisible God?
- What is The Word?
- What does it mean that God inspired the Bible?
- Does that mean that the Bible is without error? Man wrote it, right?
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Pray For Gods Guidance Of Your Bible Study
God is the ultimate Author of the Bible. He tells us that He inspired men to write it for our benefit:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work .
Who could better help us gain these benefits than the Author Himself? God tells us He wants to hear from us in prayer, and He wants us to grow in the knowledge, understanding and wisdom that come from studying His Holy Bible .
Pray for understanding. Ask for Gods help to search the Scriptures daily to find the answers you need, as the Bereans did . This requires a commitment to regular prayer and Bible study.
E God May Teach In General Or Specific Terms
Our practices must fit the definition or fall within themeaning of the instructions God has given. However, peoplesometimes misunderstand Scripture because they fail todistinguish specific language from general language.
A statement of the principle
Specific authority: Godhas told us not topractice things that do not fit the meaning of His instructions.So when He wants us to do a thing in a particular way, Heinstructs us by choosing words that are specific or narrow in their meaning. If we then do thingsdifferently, outside the limits of the meaning of the terms Heuses, we displease Him.
General authority: When God wants to leave men free tochoose from several alternative ways of doing a thing, Heinstructs us with words that are more general or broad in their meaning. We still mustdo only what fits the instruction, but we are free to choose anyof the various alternatives that fit. Any such choice would beacceptable because we would still be doing what God said.
Applications of the Principle
Noah and the ark – Gen. 6:14
God told Noah to make an ark of gopher wood. Metal, pine,walnut, etc., do not fit the definition of gopher wood. Theyconstitute different kinds of materials. God did not expresslysay not to use them, but He excluded them by saying “gopherwood” and remaining silent about metal, pine, etc.
Going to preach the gospel – Mark 16:15
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What To Expect From Yourself
And heres another thing. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone elses Bible, marked-up with notes and bleeding with highlighter, and thought WOW! I want THAT!, I could buy myself a fancy commentary set or ten! To be sure, I love how encouraging it is to see other peoples Bible study photos and videos. But inspiration can turn to envy really quickly when we start comparing ourselves to others.
It can be damaging to hold yourself to the standard of someone elses Bible study. This is especially true when youre just learning how to start Bible study! Remember: this isnt about having a perfect Bible or being a perfect person.;God meets us where we are. We dont have to climb the mountain or go to the temple to talk to God. We are blessed to serve a God who came to us. One who put on skin and sandals to walk in our shoes, feel our pain, know our hearts. We serve a God who stoops to meet us.
In the same way, you dont need to mark up every inch of your Bible to spend time with God. You dont need to read Hebrew or speak Greek. You can still gain important messages and lessons from the Word without tearing it apart. Focus on what you can do sustainably. If you can only spend five minutes a day, every day reading the Bible, that would be better than doing a huge two-hour study once a week. See what fits you, your life and your learning ;style. Do what you can.
Mark Up Your Bible As You Study
Gods word is sacred but the paper its printed on is not. Dont be afraid to highlight, underline, circle, and draw lines between verses.
Use certain colors to highlight repeated words or themes. Come up with a series of symbols or shapes to put beside verses that connect them together. Underline passages that really hit you hard.
When it comes to studying the Bible, few things help like this kind of intense engagement.
Free Bible Study Guides
A printable Bible Study Guide is a great tool to use as an individual or; when teaching others about Jesus Christ and His teachings. These printables are perfect for Sunday School classes, youth groups, family worship times at home or church meetings. They can also makes a great gift idea! You can print one out for someone else or print them all out to give away as gifts. The printable bible study guides Pdf will be free of charge. If there is a topic you would like to see us cover, drop them in the comments below.;
How To Study The Bible For Yourself
PinAre you confident you understand how to study the Bible for yourself?
If not, this Bible study guide is for you!
Heres why:;I truly believe, as a Christian woman, you should know how to understand the Bible for yourself.;
BUT I also know that not all of us have hours of free time each day to set aside for studying the Word, for browsing the latest study Bible app, or for researching all the various Bible study methods for beginners to find just the right one.
Thats why, today, Im showing you how to study the Bible for beginners so you can truly enjoy studying the Word, without feeling overwhelmed or confused.
You see, growing up the granddaughter of a pastor, I *thought* I knew how to study the Bible for beginners.
After all, I was at church all the time.
I attended Sunday School, youth group, and vacation Bible school. I even spent a lot of time reading Scripture, reading Christian books, and attending Bible studies for beginners.
And yet, it wasnt until I was in my twenties that I realized that much of what I had been taught to believe simply wasnt correct.
You see, while I had known how to read the Bible for years,;I realized I wasnt truly studying the Word for myself. I was simply reading Scripture through the lens of what my pastors, Sunday School teachers, and youth leaders told me it meant.
But, unfortunately, they got it wrong.
And it wasnt until I became and adult and started studying the Word for myself that I realized it.
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B Study With An Open Mind & A Love Fortruth
We must strive to learn truth and obey it regardless of theconsequences. Seek it even if it disagrees with what we havebelieved in the past and requires us to change.
Acts 17:11 – The Bereans were also noble because they receivedthe word with readiness of mind – minds open to truth.
Matthew 5:6 – Hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Matthew 13:14,15 – Some misunderstand truth because they closetheir hearts, eyes, and ears. They enjoy practices or haveprejudices contrary to what God teaches. They have motives forrejecting Bible teaching, so they satisfy their own minds that itis not true.
If we do not have a burning desire for truth, God will notforce us to accept the truth. He will let us be lost .
A Study Ofmethods Principles And Guidelines For Proper Bible Studyincludes Discussion Of The Authority And Inspiration Ofscripture The Importance Of Knowledge And Understanding Thedifferences Between The Old And New Testaments The Importance Offollowing Divine Authority In Religion Instead Of Human Authorityor Man
After baptism, people should be taught to observe all thingsJesus has commanded . Learning God’s will isjust as essential after baptism as before. Conversion should bethe beginning of a lifelong effort of study. However, in order tobenefit from Bible study, we must know how to study the Bibleproperly.
The purpose of this lesson is to present basic Bibleprinciples and methods of proper study. We will consider properattitudes in study, Bible inspiration, a comparison of the oldand new laws, and the danger of following human laws andauthority instead of Scripture. Finally, we will give somesuggestions about proper use of such helps as translations,concordance, and cross-references.
A Consider Other Passages On The Same Subject
Truth on a subject is determined by “adding up”all pertinent passages.
Acts 3:22,23 – Hearken to all things Jesus spoke. Bible studyis not like a cafeteria where you take what you want and leavethe rest.
Matthew 4:4,7 – Live by every word from God’s mouth. Forexample, Jesus showed that the devil has misused one passage byconsidering another passage.
John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 14:33 – God’s word is truth. He isnot the author of confusion. Truth does not contradict itself.
Never “interpret” a passage in a way thatcontradicts other passages. Conclusions should harmonize with allthat God has spoken.
The pattern of worship is not entirely revealed in one passage.We must study many passages and take the whole pattern.
Likewise, the steps to salvation are not all revealed in anyone passage. Denominations err by taking passages that teach weare saved by faith, ignoring passages about baptism, andconcluding we are saved by “faith only” without baptism.
So some members of the Lord’s church emphasize the command tobe baptized, then apparently ignore verses that require afaithful life, attendance, etc.
A Basic Framework For In
Bible study can be compared to taking an extended road trip. If you travel by automobile across the country, you need to develop driving skills and habits that will bring you safely to your destination. Some of these skills you probably do automatically, such;as fastening your seat belt or adjusting your mirrors. Others, such as making sure your vehicle is in good shape, may require more planning and thought. While you drive, you also use certain skills, such as glancing in your rearview mirror and following road signs.
We also need to adopt good habits and skills in Bible study. I suggest the following patterns as part of your Bible study regimen. Some may require effort on your part; others may be easy to implement.
- Begin with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding of Gods Word and the power to apply its principles to your everyday life.
- Keep a Bible study notebook at your desk or on your laptop and use it!
- Read the text slowly and carefully, then reread and take notes.
- End your time in prayer, thanking God for what you have learned.
- Obey the commands and follow the instructions you learn from Gods Word. Strive to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer through the power of the Holy Spirit. No matter how much you know about Gods Word, if you do not apply what you learn, you will be wasting your time.
To make this study plan easier, just remember four key words: Say, Mean, Apply, Fit.
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Why Are There So Many Bible Translations Out There And Which Should I Use
Does that question sound familiar? Yes? Well, Ill break it down for you. There are three major types of bible translations and each serve a different purpose for us as readers. These include the word for word, thought for thought , and paraphrased Bible versions.
- Word for word follows the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts most accurately. These are direct translations. Examples of these include the King James Version, English Standard Version, and the New Revised Standard Version.
- Thought for Thought versions convey scripture in its most understandable wording. Ancient cultural slang, sayings, and expressions are replaced with modern ones that can be easily understood by todays reader. These include the New International Version and the New Living Translation.
- Paraphrased versions are the least accurate to the original text. Authors are given a great amount of freedom in interpretation, so some passages may stray slightly from its original meaning. However, they are very easy to read in modern language. A popular paraphrased Bible translation is The Message translation.
The Bible Contributes To A More Vital Witness For Christ
The greatest spiritual harvest of all time is taking place today. More people are hearing the gospel, receiving Christ as their Savior, and committing themselves to helping fulfill the Great Commission than at any other time in history. How is this revolution taking place? Through the distribution and teaching of Gods Word by faithful Christians who want to share their joy and victory in Christ with others.
Spending time daily with God in His Word gives us the power and excitement to spread His message of love and forgiveness. Studying the Bible helps us see how God loves the unlovable and seeks the lonely and hurting. Applying Gods commands helps us maintain a godly life that demonstrates the Lords presence in our lives to others.
Bible Study By Verses
In studying the historical passages of the Bible, such as most of the Old Testament or parts of the Gospels, each verse may have only one simple meaning.
But many verses in both the Old and New Testaments are rich with many great Bible truths that will demand more detailed study. There are many ways for you to study a single Bible verse.
You Will Read Biblical Text That Seems Confusing And Thats Ok
What happens when you come across a Bible verse you dont know what to do with?
Youre not the only one. And it only makes things muddier when people quote single Bible verses as commands or stand-alone thoughtsor when they print a single verse onto signs or bumper stickers. Sometimes the underlying meanings can get twisted around or even misused when words from Scripture are removed from their context.;
This is why we study the Bible as a whole book. It was not written to be chopped into chunks and used to suit peoples own agendas.;
But even as you read, youll probably encounter a verse or ten that sounds bizarre or radical. Thats why its crucial to consider:;
- ContextWhat is happening at the time of the writing, who is writing it, what is the purpose of it, what was the culture like at that time, what style of writing it is, etc.
- TranslationDifferent versions of the Bible may use different words or descriptions, or varying sentence structures.
- Underlying principlesMany passages of Scripture contain metaphors, stories, symbolism, or heavy reference to the culture of the timethough the overall principle can be made clear through study.
During your study it can also be helpful to consult biblical commentaries, history books, or other materials to help describe what the setting was like when that part of the Bible was written.;
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