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.
Studying The Bible & Following The Story
Because weve become so used to studying the Bible by theme, story, or passage its really easy to forget that Bible isnt just a compilation of ancient stories. In actuality, its one big story; Gods story. And although it starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation the books and chapters in between arent arranged in order of events. Theyre actually organized by literary style. So if you read the Bible from cover to cover youll have all the pieces of the story, just not in order. Chronological Bible reading plans are written in order of event so you can follow the actual storyline of the Bible. Learn more about reading the Bible in chronological order here. It also includes a link to a free chronological Bible reading plan!
Write Down Your Thoughts And Questions
There is something particularly helpful about writing, especially when youre reading the Bible. It forces you to slow down, to ask questions of the text, and to clarify your thoughts on each verse.
You can either write directly in your Bible , or you can write in a journal. Alternatively, you could use a journal Bible which has space in the margins specifically for writing.
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Bible Study Through Biography
The Bible is a record of Gods revealing Himself to people and through people. The Old Testament as well as the New is rich in such biographical studies. Here are a few:
- Noah: Genesis 5:3210:32
- Deborah: Judges 4; 5
Let us summarize various methods for studying the great Bible biographies:
Where To Start Reading The Bible For The Beginner
If you are asking Where do I start reading the Bible? this post was written for you. There are so many ways we get to this question like maybe we are seeking direction from God, or we want to grow closer to Him, or we have questions about who He is. Well I love sharing my passion for Scripture with others and this is a simple guide to get you started reading the Bible.
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Choose What You Will Study
When I first started to study the Bible, I was clueless on where to start.; Heres a hint: dont start at the beginning.; Instead, I love to start with the Gospels: Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John, which outline and describe the life of Jesus.; Its a great way to explore His life, His sacrifice, and what His free gift of grace means to all mankind.
Another great place to start is using a free Bible reading plan.; These Bible study guides will help you study a topic and are usually short enough for either a beginner or Bible study veteran to use with ease.
If youd like to receive a free monthly Bible reading plan in your inbox each month, join our Proverbs 31 Scripture Sisterhood. Its an email community for women who long to honor God in everyday life and to live on mission for the glory of God.; Join above for instant access to our vault of free Bible reading plans to jump start your quiet time.
Bible Study By Paragraphs
A paragraph is several sentences of thought in writing. When an author changes the subject of emphasis in writing, he usually begins a new paragraph. The beginning of a paragraph in this Bible is indicated by a boldface verse number. Studying the Bible by paragraphs like this is often called analytic Bible study.
Read the paragraph carefully for its main thought or subject.
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Pray Through The Scripture
Once youre done with your Scripture reading, end your time with the Lord in prayer.; While theres no best prayer strategy thats right or wrong, consider:
- Praise God for His flawless character and for the gift of salvation
- Confess your sins and ask forgiveness for your missteps
- Lift up prayer requests for others, family, and self
- Worship the Lord and spend a few minutes exalting Him for being King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Bible Study Methods When Youre Just Starting Out
When youre just beginning to read the Bible, pick one method and stick with it for a bit. Dont get overwhelmed by all the different study methods out there! Try out a few and see what feels most natural for your learning style. I often rotate between methods, depending on a variety of factors, such as how much time I have, whether Im doing the study alone or with others, etc.;
Lets look at some popular Bible study methods for beginners.
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The Tools You Need To Start Studying The Bible
Lets not overcomplicate this.
The only tools you need to start studying the Bible is your Bible.
& your eye glasses if necessary.
You dont need a fancy large study Bible. You dont need an entire set of commentaries. You dont need 50 books to teach you how to read the Bible.
You just need a Bible and a desire to read it.
If you dont have a desire to read the Bible then ask yourself this
What am I making more important than time with the God of the Universe?
Sometimes desire doesnt come until after life changing revelations that come from spending time with our awesome God.
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B Have A Bible Study Reading Plan
Whether on the Internet or in books, there are many ways to read the Bible. Some will help you to read the Bible in one year, two years, or even three years, from the 1st to the 66th book.;
Other reading plans will lead you through the Bible in a different order but with a particular theme in mind.
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Develop An Attitude Of Thanksgiving
This might start sounding like a Thanksgiving sermon, but it really is a powerful principle to understanding the Bible.
As youre reading the Bible, thank God for the truth youre reading and then ask Him to show you more. For example, lets say youre reading Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Instead of thinking about whether the theory of evolution is true or not, thank God and ask Him to reveal more: God, thank You for this truth that You created the heavens and the earth. Thank You for revealing this to me. Show me more. Then you can follow-up with other questions: God, what was it like? What was going through your mind? What did it feel like? Please, show me more!
If you approach the Bible as a scholarly work, you can spend years and still not get deep in your understanding of it. I like to remember that most people throughout history didnt have all the fancy tools that we have to study the Bible in the modern world, yet there are examples of men and women throughout history who went really deep in God.
Our goal is not to focus on endless rabbit trails of myths and endless genealogies , but to love God and others more.
Why Do We Study The Bible
Jesus commands us to love him and know him,
And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37
We are to be hearers and doers of His word:
But the one who looks into the perfect law,;the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts,;he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:25
Gods Word is meant to sustain us in a way that food alone cannot:;
Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
To carry the food analogy farther, we are to CRAVE Gods Word:
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual;milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation 1 Peter 2:2
To be true discipline of Christ:
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,;If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,;32;and you will;know the truth, and the truth;will set you free. John 8:31-32
We are to share this treasure with others:
Let;the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,;singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,;with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
Gods Word is profitable for everything,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,;that;the man of God may be complete,;equipped;for every good work.
And we know that Gods Word is powerful!
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Where Do I Start
So if you are ready to jump into a Bible book study, where do you start? Right now, I am working through Marks Gospel. Its a relatively short book at 16 chapters. Plus, there is a lot of action! But there are shorter books, like Philippians, Colossians, and 1 John.
A goal might be to read and study all 66 books of the Bible. That would be awesome. But if youre interested in getting a full sweep of the entire Bible,;you might consider studying particular books. For example, the book of Genesis is important to the entire biblical story. Many Christians have found great comfort in reading the Psalms. The story of Jesus life is beautifully displayed in the Gospel of John. Studying some of these major books helps put the entire Bible into context.
Condemnation Is A Lie From Hell
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:31 NKJV
Let me clarify. There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. When God convicts us of falling short of our calling, it motivates us to press in further. It reminds us of what we were created to be. God draws and invites us back to Him when we are messing up or distracted.;
Condemnation is from the Enemy. To condemn something is to declare it not fit for use. Condemnation attacks your identity and calls you to question who God has said you are.;
When you feel shame and like you should avoid God because you arent good enough or think Hes mad at you, those are lies and not God.;
Gods goal is always to draw us closer.
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How To Start Reading The Bible: Come With A Humble Heart
Before we talk about the nitty-gritty details of where to start and how much to read every day and all that jazz, lets talk about how you should read the Bible.
In other words, the sort of attitude you should have when you open the pages of Scripture.
The primary attitude you should when you read the Bible is one of humility. The Bible is no ordinary book. It is not a novel. Its not even a great work of antiquity.
No, its far more than that. The Bible is the word of God. It is Gods very words to you. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
Did you catch that?
All Scripture is breathed out by God. In other words, its from the living, holy, all-powerful, righteous God. The words of the Bible are not ordinary, human words. They are the words of God.
Because the Bible is Gods word, you should approach it with humility. With a heart that says:
God, I want to learn from you. I put aside all my notions of what my life should be like and I submit to your word. I humbly listen to you and will seek to obey whatever you tell me in this book.
When we read the Bible with humility, God does great and amazing things. He speaks to us, transforms us, makes us more like him, and helps us grow in godliness. When we read with humility, God meets with us.
A Few Other Things You Should Know
I study one book at a time, instead of skipping around. This helps me to fully grasp the meaning of the book overall and how each chapter relates its message. I am currently studying the New Testament and have been doing so for about a year. I go in the canonical order and finish one book before going to another.
Also, I only study one chapter per day. Going slowly helps me to really take in and absorb the meaning and application of what I am studying.
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Determine The Bible Study Method Youll Use
If you search for Bible study methods, youll be surprised at how many ways there are to study the Bible. ; No matter which you choose, make sure its a method that at least invites you to read Scripture and think through it.
Theres a proven correlation between remembering what you read and writing it out, so make sure regular Scripture writing is a part of your favorite Bible study routine.
Choose Where To Begin Studying The Word
The first step to learning how to study the Bible for beginners is to choose the topic or passage you want to study.
The key is to choose a topic youre really interested in or curious about, rather than just picking a segment of the Bible at random. Learning the Bible is easier and more interesting when youre motivated to learn more.
After all, you want to enjoy learning how to study the bible for yourself. The last thing you want is to find yourself struggling to read the Bible for a topic you dont even care about!
Not sure where to start your Bible study for beginners? Here are a few ideas:
- Doctrinal disagreements with friends/loved ones
- Various religious opinions/beliefs you encounter online
- How Christians should respond to various life situations and events
- Issues you struggle with, such as pride, selfishness, vanity or poor self-esteem
- Things you aspire to, such as love, gentleness, compassion or patience
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What Kind Of Bible Should A Beginner Get
The best Bible to get is one youll actually read! You can use a regular reading Bible, but a quality study Bible is an even better option. It will say Study Bible and will include many extra notes and comments inside about what youre reading.
Choose one that:
- Works well for your reading style and comprehension level
- Suits your budget;
- Is well made
The ESV Study Bible is a solid choice. You can get it in an inexpensive hardcover or in a higher quality leather cover .
Try to get the best quality you can afford, so you can enjoy it for many years to come. Bible study tends to give your Bible a real workout as you flip between pages, from passage to passage. Better quality Bibles are more apt to withstand more serious use. Theyll have better quality paper, and a binding that wont fall apart after the first year.
Eight Steps For Studying The Bible
The Bible is the most powerful book ever published. In its pages you can meet the living God whose words brought the cosmos into being. He is eager to reveal himself and has inspired the writing of this book by different authors in a variety of cultural settings. Parts of it are very old stories and may seem strange to you. Yet, as you read the stories of God interacting with individuals and groups, listen for him speaking to you and your community.
The Bible is really a library or collection of books, rather than one book with many chapters. If you are new to the Bible, consider;starting with one of the Gospels . These are eyewitness descriptions of Jesus of Nazareth and are the climax of the Scripture. Locate them using the table of contents.
What follows is a way for individuals and small groups to delve deeply into the Bible, discover a passages;core message, and learn to hear from and experience Jesus in his Word. Focus on;just one;chapter or half a chapter at a time. You may want to linger in a passage, taking a few days to study it deeply.
What follows is a way for you to delve deeply into the Bible, discover a passages;core message, and learn to hear from and experience Jesus in his Word.;
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