How To Study The Bible: Choose One Of These Methods
Are you ready to start studying the Bible for yourself? Are you looking for different methods to study the Bible and enrich your reading of Scripture? Here are 11 different ways to effectively study Gods Word.
You can choose the one that fits your season of spiritual growth, the passage of the Bible youre interested in, and the time that you have available. Explore different methods and let them spark ideas you can pursue in your study of the Bible.
The different types of Bible Study methods are given a rating of 1 to 3 Clipboard icons depending on the level of difficulty. The amount of time thats required for each is also given a rating of 1 to 3 Clock icons.
The Best Study Bibles
Looking for a Bible that speaks to your needs? There are several different translations and Bibles on the market that speak to your interest or stage in life. It can often be a difficult task to decide on just one, visit this post to learn about the pros and cons of study Bibles. The following are a few options you could consider:
CSB She Reads Truth
Personally, this is the Bible I use in my personal Bible study. The mission behind the She Reads Truth Bible is to get women in the word of God daily. With five different color designs available, it includes, maps, charts, timelines and a Bible reading plan for every book of the Bible. The She Reads Truth Bible comes jam packed with almost 200 devotionals as well as artful verse designs to aid in scripture memorization. A wonderful Bible for beginners!
Archaeology Study Bible
If you are fascinated by Archaeology, then you will love the Archaeology Study Bible. This is a English Standard Version Bible that provides both historical and cultural context that brings scripture to life. You will find, 400 full-color photographs and 200 maps and diagrams, all aimed at helping readers grasp the culture and backgrounds of the biblical story they are trying to grasp.
ESV Journaling Bible
This is a Single column journaling Bible. Designed with extra wide margins allowing you to capture your notes, prayers, or personal reflections in the Bible. It also comes in a variety of snazzy customizable covers.
Use Study Guide/ Tools Or Devotional
How to study the Bible for beginners involves the use of study guide, tools, or devotional. This is to help you glean from the wisdom of bible scholars as they help shed more light on your study.
These tools may include a concordance that could be found at the back of your Bible commentary, Bible dictionary, or even online bible study resources.
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What To Do When You Cant Find An Answer
Revelation and inspiration come in Gods time. Some things have not been revealed yet, but you can ask God to reveal those things to you and you can keep a record of your questions. It may be that in a few years as you circle back and see that question again, that new information has come to light that will answer your question.
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Studying And Interpreting The Bible
A key foundation of Bible study is interpretation. Technically known as hermeneutics, biblical interpretation offers some basic principles to help understand the Bible. The most important principle is context. This means that when studying the Bible one must keep in mind not only the immediate context of the portion under study, but also other forms of context such as the cultural context, the literary context and more. Usually, however, its enough to have a basic understanding of the immediate context of what is being studied. Reading what comes before the passage being studied, what comes after and what the Bible says as a whole about the topic being studied, are all key concepts to keep in mind. More often than not, errors or difficulties of interpretation when studying the Bible come about as a result of not having a proper understanding of context.
Another important aspect of Bible interpretation is not to base an elaborate theological teaching on the basis of an apparently obscure or isolated passage. If a passage or teaching is important, there are often multiple instances throughout the Bible where the topic is discussed more clearly. In such cases, looking at many parallel passages to understand a topic better is more helpful than fixating on a more obscure or difficult passage, when the answer to the issue at hand can usually be resolved by turning to clearer passages.
Write Down Words And Phrases You Dont Understand
Did you know that it is perfectly okay to write and highlight in your Bible? As you read through the Scriptures, pause to highlight, circle, or underline words or phrases you may not understand. Keep a notebook handy and write down those words, and be sure to look them up in a Bible dictionary.
Write down those definitions in your notebook as you read. When we read the Bible, we always want to make sure we have a pen and paper handy, as well as the right Bible study tools we can use as we study. When we read the Bible, we are not reading it like we would a novel, but rather like someone searching for precious rubies and gems!
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
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Why Should We Study The Bible
- Knowing who God is and how He interacts with people.
- Gaining wisdom and direction for your life.
- Understanding Bible passages that have been confusing to you in the past.
- Feeling more peace about your struggles because of biblical stories on those topics.
- Knowing how to share your faith with others.
- Being an example of Christ in the world by the sanctifying knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Being aware of false teachers and teachings that are so prevalent in our world.
- Its the source of truth, telling us if something is right or wrong.
- Providing guidance on every aspect of life from family relationships to raising children.
God for guidance in understanding His Word more fully .
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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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.
Background Of Psalm 46
Some suspect that King Hezekiah wrote this psalm after Gods deliverance from Sennacherib according to .
Why was the book written? The Psalms are the inspired responses of human hearts to Gods Word. It is a collection of prayers and praises. The song praises God for being a refuge for His people and expresses trust in Him.
Date Written: Unknown for this particular psalm but the book as a whole was written during a span of 1400 400 B.C.
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The Bible Teaches You Who God Is
One of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking the Bible is a book about us who we are, what we can do, etc. Really, the Bible is a book about God. Every single scripture reveals to us the essence of who God is.
John 1:1 CSB says,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This scripture shows that knowing the Word is to know God to know Jesus! You cannot serve and live for someone you don’t know and studying the Bible is how you can truly know God!
Now that we have discussed the difference between reading and studying the Bible and understand why we should study the Bible, let’s dive into some effective Bible study methods.
How To Study The Bible Effectively: Inductive Bible Study Methods
One of the most effective ways to grow in your understanding of Gods Word is through inductive Bible study.
The inductive method makes observations on a passage of Scripture and then helps the reader to interpret the passage before drawing conclusions on the passage. Here are the three basic steps:
- Observation: What does Scripture say?
- Interpretation: What does Scripture mean?
- Application: How does Scripture apply to my life?
Here is a video that explains the whole process and samples of how to apply these steps can be seen below using Psalm 46.
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Inductive Bible Study Example Interpretation Of Psalm 46
Check cross references to see what other passages tell you about this passage: I questioned who the river symbolized. When I looked at the cross reference for verse 5, it told me to look at Isaiah 12:6 which refers to God working among the people of Jerusalem. Therefore, I can conclude that the river is God and she is Jerusalem.
Check a commentary for more information on the passage: In checking Dr. Constables commentary, I learned some really interesting background information. It mentioned that Warren Weisbe thought that the author of this Psalm was King Hezekiah and he was referencing Gods deliverance from Sennacherib:
In 2 Kings 18-19, you can see a progression on both sides: Sennacheribs demands become increasingly less direct, moving from military threats to just correspondence. You can also see how Hezekiahs responses become increasingly based upon trust as he moves from acquiescing to the threats and paying the tribute, to refusal and seeking the counsel of Isaiah, and ultimately to a complete trust in Gods saving ability as expressed in his magnificent prayer. The reference to this battle gives greater illustrate Hezekiahs gradual growth of trust in God and to justify its earlier evaluation, He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him .
I also found in the commentary that a better translation for be still is actually cease striving
Write Out Verses From The Bible
Writing out a verse or several verses makes you slow down and think about the Scripture. It can give you a different perspective on the verse than just reading it alone.
Write it in your own handwriting. It can be on a lined sheet of paper. You can also get creative and write it in a different pattern. You can get colorful if you want to. You can doodle a little bit and draw small pictures if it helps you process the verse.
As you write the verse, ask yourself:
Read the passage out loud several times. Try reading it slowly. Try reading it quickly to get a sense of the structure. Read it again as many times as youd like.
I didnt include journaling as a separate way to study the Bible because that can apply to any of these different ways to study the Bible. But, a journal would be a great place to keep these.
Take the journal or paper you wrote the Scripture on and look at it throughout the day. You can take a photo with your phone and set a reminder during your lunch break to look at it. Think about the verse and how you can apply it to your life.
To take it a step further, you can paraphrase or summarize the verse or passage in your own words. This makes you process and ask what the verse means even further.
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Accept The Supreme Authority Of The Bible
You can only be guided by the map you trust. If you dont trust your recipe, you cannot apply it to your kitchen. For the Bible to be relevantly applied, its supreme authority must be accepted. You must see the bible as the only true word of God.
To accept the supreme authority of the Bible also includes respecting Gods word over your feelings and emotion. Until the word of God can override how you feel, youll not be able to apply the wisdom you learned from the Bible.
Sometimes, youll be advised against the standard of Gods word what would make you apply the word of God in such situations, would be how much you respect and accept the wisdom in it above the wisdom of men.
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:
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The Value Of Bible Study
There are multiple values inherent in a study of the sacred Scriptures. Meditate upon the following.
The Bible is the only source of valid knowledge as to the origin of the human family. The baseless theory of evolution is so riddled with such a vast variety of factual inaccuracies that it assaults the analytical ability of any thinking person . Darwinism stands in bold contrast to the sublime Genesis record of human commencement.
The Scriptures provide the only explanation for mans purpose upon the planet. David Hume, the Scottish skeptical philosopher, wrote:
Where am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence and to what condition shall I return? . . . I am confounded with all these questions, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty .
Aside from the illumination of the Bible, mans future would be but a dark, terrifying enigma. When Pierre Curie was killed in a tragic accident, his wife, the renowned Madame Marie Curie, who had abandoned her earlier faith, exclaimed: Pierre is sleeping his last sleep beneath the earth it is the end of everything, everything, everything . When the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the body, the Lord informed them that their problem, in part at least, was their ignorance of the Scriptures . It is only through the gospel of Christ that life and immortality have been fully revealed .
Which Version Of The Bible Is Best For Bible Study
Bible study versions fall into two different types. There are formal equivalencies and informal equivalencies . Formal equivalences do the best job they can to keep word order close to the original Greek or Hebrew. Informal equivalencies put a higher priority on what sounds more natural.
So, while formal equivalencies sound a tad awkward at times, they are better for Bible study for the formal equivalencies because they hold closer to the original language. I highly recommend the ESV because it holds closely to the original version but is very natural sounding.
Here is a great ESV option: ESV Study Bible
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Choose A Personality To Study
Another option is to choose a particular person to study, such as Paul, and spend time researching about that person. For example, if I was studying Paul, Id make notes about what his name meant, where he was born, where he was from, what do we know about his childhood, what major events happened in his life, etc.