Final Thoughts: What Is The Best Way To Study The Bible
Although there are many different Bible study methods and opinions about how to study as long as you are in Gods Word, youre on the right track.
Im reminded of John 16:13, that the Spirit will guide you into all the Truth. With the Holy Spirit working in you and guiding you, youre well on your way to a deeper understanding of Gods heart for his people. Hell guide you into knowing and understanding the Truth youre longing for.
This is only the beginning of a rich, life-giving journey! Its rewards are priceless and eternal, and well worth the effort.
When We Study The Bible We Seek The Authors Intended Meaning
We honor people when we seek to understand them. We dishonor them when we carelessly put words in their mouths. We express our love for God by seeking to know what his word actually says, not what we wish it to say.
Every text in the Bible has two authorsthe divine Author and the human author. The divine Author ensured that the human authors words were exactly as he intended. Peter wrote, no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit . Our task is to seek the divine Authors meaning by discerning the human authors meaning.
Stage : Pack Your Bags
One of the most important aspects of a trip is what happens before the trip. Preparation and packing can make all the difference.
Choose a Passage: Just as when traveling you need to start out with a destination in mind, when studying the Bible you must first decide what specific passage you will address. Be sure to choose a passage that you can cover well in your designated period of time. For instance, if you are doing a detailed study of a passage from one of Pauls letters, four to seven verses are plenty to tackle in one session. If you have a longer passage you want to study , break it down into smaller segments and study the whole of the chapter over an extended period of time. Trying to study too large a section all at once will lead to frustration. However, if you are studying a section of biblical narrative, your passage can be longer since narratives do not depend on detailed argumentation.
As you attempt to do Bible study over the coming weeks, you will get a sense of how much ground you can cover in a weeks time. Over time you will become more familiar with your tools and processes, allowing you to study more efficiently. But remember, just as you would not want to hurry past important historical sites just to get to the end of a trip, the key in Bible study is not speed but rather an approach that takes you deeper into Gods Word and transforms you in the process.
Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Depression And Sadness
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.
Ready To Learn How To Study The Bible For Yourself
PinPinBy the way, if youre truly interested in learning how to study the Bible for beginners, Id love to invite you to check out my brand new book: Fall in Love with Gods Word: Practical Strategies for Busy Women!
Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Fall in Love with Gods Word has everything you need to learn how to:
- Overcome 7 common obstacles preventing you from spending time in Scripture
- Discover the personalized Bible-reading routine that works for YOU
- Learn 15 easy ways to make studying the bible for beginners more meaningful and enjoyable
- Use Scripture to conquer sin, false beliefs, and negative thought patterns
- Experience fresh spiritual growth and passion for Gods Word.
Please visit Amazon.com or your local bookstore to learn more and grab your copy of Fall in Love with Gods Word today!
Recommended Reading: What Does Sanctification Mean In The Bible
Reasons We Should Study The Bible
1. We quest for meaning beyond ourselves. In the Word, we find our ultimate meaning in a Person, not a concept. Our goal in studying is to come closer and closer to the meaning God intends us to receive, and ultimately closer to him. Scripture is the breath of God carrying the weight of who he is with its message, which means the more we interact with it, the more we personally engage with the Spirit himself. When we refuse to open Gods Word, it is not just a rejection of a material book, it is a rejection of a relationship with God himself.
2. His Word creates life. Paul often begins his letters with some form of grace TO you statement and concludes with some form us grace be WITH you phrase. When we open Gods Word, its truth will be imparted to us in some way, and when we close it, we are left WITH his Word to shape us further. You see, Jesus words are his actionsjust like Christ created life at the beginning of time, his words to us now are living and active to create new life in us . Gods Word promises to accomplish what it sets out to change within us . I am not alive, the Bible is, and when I read it, it makes me come alive.
6. Bible study grounds evangelism. Scripture is beneficial not only for the discipleship of believers but for bringing us to Jesus at salvation .
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.
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Dig Deep Using Verse Mapping
Verse mapping is an interesting Bible study method that I only learned about a couple months ago. If youre a visual learner, verse mapping may be a perfect way for you to get started. The basic idea is taking a single verse of the Bible and breaking it down visually. There are some great examples of this, as well as guided instructions, in the Verse Mapping Bible.
D Only Divine Authority Not Human Authorityis Acceptable In Religion
When a practice in not included in what God has authorized,should we participate in it or not? Remember, the Scripturesprovide us to every good work. What about works it does notprovide? Consider the Bible teaching:
The Bible teaching about wisdom
Isaiah 55:8,9 – God’s thoughts and ways are so different fromours – so completely higher than ours – that we cannot possiblyknow what He wants without revelation.
Jeremiah 10:23 – The way of man is not in himself. Man is notwise enough to direct his paths without Divine guidance.
Proverbs 14:12 – Ways that seem right to us, result in death.This is why we must not follow human wisdom in religion.
1 Corinthians 1:21-24 2:5 – Human wisdom leads men to rejectGod’s will. We must follow God’s wisdom, but it is completelyrevealed in the Scriptures.
Do not add to nor take from God’s word . Topractice things not found in the word is to follow human wisdom.This displeases God.
The Bible teaching about worship
John 4:23,24 – Worship God in spirit and truth. God’s word istruth and provides us with all truth .Hence, we must not worship in any way not revealed in God’s word.
Matthew 15:9,13 – Worship is vain when based onhuman doctrines. But every practice not from God must be from man.If God did not originate it, man did. Since the Bible includeseverything God revealed, practices not revealed in the Bible mustbe human in origin and therefore vain.
The Bible teaching about love
The Bible teaching about faith
The Bible teaching about authority
Also Check: What Does God Say About Isolation
Know What Type Of Writing It Is
Different people use different categories for the types of Biblical writings but I am just going to share the broader types to help you get started.
The broad writing styles of the Bible are these:
Are you going to read poetry differently then you would American laws? Would you read a persons memoir differently than a letter from a friend?
Yes, you would! You would be reading it differently expecting different messages and ways of translating. The same is true for Scripture.
For example, Leviticus is a book of law while Psalm and Proverbs are poetry. They are written differently, for different purposes and we must approach Scripture according to those differences.
After choosing a book to set up camp in, determine what kind of writing it is!
Bible Reading Plan For Beginners
If you are ready to commit and dive into the whole Bible then you need a Bible reading plan. Then you dont have to think of where to start reading the Bible, you read it all!
When reading the Bible all the way through there are two main ways to do it.
One way is just from cover to cover. This is often the easiest place to start.
*Sometimes Bible reading plans include the books in a different order to break up some of the longer story sections and make it easier to read!
You can also follow a chronological order of reading. The way the Bible is currently published is not necessarily the order the books were written in.
When looking at context we realize a few books actually repeat stories of others.
This kind of Bible reading plan is often as a way to go deeper after reading it through at least once cover to cover.
Its good to mix things up and read the Bible both ways!
This year Ive read the entire Bible all the way through for the first time. It taught me so much about the bigger picture of the Bible and how Gods plan was happening throughout.
I even took on a challenge that is only for those who are really ready for a big commitment I read it through in 60 days. Check it out here!
If you are looking for a Bible Reading Plan for the entire Bible here it is! This one will go back and forth on the Old Testament and New Testament everyday!
Recommended Reading: Inerrant Vs Infallible
How Should I Live My Life Based On What I Have Read
Finally, apply the passage and its intended meaning to your life. Based on what you have learned, how should you be living your life? Its one thing to read scripture and interpret it well, but its another thing to take what you have learned and let it guide your life. As Christians, we should let the Holy Spirit lead us and transform our lives by the Word. We may read things that encourage us to love God more, things that convict us, things that encourages us to persevere, and things that remind us to love others.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What should I change in my life based on what Ive read?
- Should I be praying about anything?
- Do I need to confess anything?
- Are there any promises I need to take hold of?
- What truths do I need to receive?
I hope this list of questions to ask as you study the Bible was helpful for you. It is important to read and interpret scripture correctly. We want to make sure that we truly understand. We wont be perfect and thats why we need the Holy Spirit to help us. But, as we seek to understand Gods truth, he will teach us. May we approach Bible Study intentionally and learn what God wants to say to us so that we can grow in him.
The Bible Gives The Most Reasonable Explanation Of Creation And The Origin Of Mankind
The Bible has the perfect explanation for the beginnings of all creationan intelligent, powerful God who created everything with order and purpose . Only a Being with supernatural power and unlimited ability could have fashioned something as intricate as a DNA molecule and as colossal as the Milky Way Galaxy. In fact, astronomers now believe that there are 100 billion galaxies. The Bible assures us that our great God and Savior created it all.
Staking Our Lives On The Word Of God
Can you imagine living alone in darkness for six months? During his first Antarctic expedition, Admiral Byrd flew to the South Pole all by himself. He built a small hut to shelter himself from the brutal six-month-long winter night. Blasts of arctic wind and biting, blowing snow buried his small hut every night. Each day, Admiral Byrd shoveled his way to the surface of the snow. When he broke through, the light was so dim he could see only a dozen yards. If he left his hut, he used the stovepipe sticking out of the snow as a reference point to find his way back.
Do you ever feel like you are wandering through darkness in your life? All of us feel that way at times. Circumstances can overwhelm us. Ailing parents, loss of a job, high mortgages, too many bills, family crises, sickness, and other problems can make us wonder how we will ever find our way. The world tells us that we have no reference point to help us solve our difficulties. Definite standards and rules are obsolete and intolerable. The future is unknowable and unchangeable, so we should live it up now.
But as Christians, we do have a reference pointthe Bible. When we stake our lives on its teachings and principles, God gives us guidance on how to live. When we love, trust, and obey Him and His Word, we will enjoy the abundant life He has promised every believer.
Dig Into Context Before Diving Into Details
You may have heard the phrase context is key and it is!
I am going to dive deeper into this topic in the seven day Where to Start Reading the Bible Course but for now context is simply understanding facts around the book of the Bible.
Its asking these questions so you can understand each book and unique verses.
- Who wrote this book?
- Why did he write it?
- What was his main points?
- What was going on in history?
These questions give us context so when we read the verses we understand the author which leads to us better grasping their truth.
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Bible Study How-Tos, Christian Podcasts, Podcast, Resources, season 2
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Example: How To Start Bible Study
One example is John 4:1-2: Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John .
If I was relaying the basic story, I would have just said Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard he was baptizing and making more disciples than John. The fact that the author adds though Jesus himself didnt baptize them means that theres something important there.
I did some Googling/research and it turns out that thats actually a really important note! It seems like Jesus didnt perform water baptisms so that no Christian could lord their status over another, because we are all of equal status in Christ . By paying attention to what stands out, Im able to notice little details that I wouldnt if I just looked at the big picture.
Also Check: Scripture On Defending Yourself
The Importance Of Reading The Bible
Why do you read the Bible? Or maybe I should ask the question, why do you not read the Bible? As someone who teaches the Bible in both the context of the university and the church, it is clear that many Christians do not take reading their Bibles seriously. In this blog post, I want to briefly discuss a few reasons why you should be engaged in the spiritual discipline of Bible reading on a regular basis, how you can build the habit of regular Bible reading into your life and some ways to approach the Bible
A Appreciate The Importance Of Study
People must be motivated before they will study a subject.Christians have all the reasons they could possibly need to studythe Bible. Consider a few. As you do, note the emphasis onregular, frequent study.
#1: Study so you can obey God and grow in His service.
Joshua 1:8 – Success in pleasing God requires obedience. Toobey, we must meditate on God’s word day and night. Frequent,regular study is required.
1 Peter 2:2 – Can a baby grow without nourishment? No, andneither can Christians grow without Bible study. Do we long forthe word like a baby longs for milk if we neglect to attendassemblies or to study at home?
#2: Study so you can avoid error and false teaching.
Hosea 4:6 – God’s people were destroyed for lack of knowledge.Many Christians and congregations have been led astray by errorand false teaching. To avoid this we must put teachers to thetest . How do we do this unless we know God’s word?
Acts 17:11 – The Bereans distinguished truth from errorbecause they studied the word. To imitate their example, we muststudy “daily.”
#3: Study so you can teach others.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 – Parents should teach their childrendiligently through the day. This requires us to first have God’sword in our own hearts. How can we teach what we do not know?
#4: Study to express love for God and His word.
John 14:15 – If we love God, we keep His commands . But obedience requires knowledge. So one who loves God muststudy His word.
Also Check: Do Not Dwell On The Past Bible Verse