Be A Doer Of The Word
Don’t just study God’s Word for the sake of studying. Be sure to put the Word into practice in your life.
Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
If God speaks to you personally or through life application principles you find in the text, be sure to apply those nuggets to your day-to-day life.
Other Bible Study Methods
My technique is not the only one out there. There are so many others. In fact, I would encourage you to draw from the various methods to create your own. Your most effective bible study will be the one personalized to you. I wont go into detail but here are a few of the other types of Bible study methods out there.
- Bible Verse Mapping
Look Up Words You Dont Know The Meaning
One of the biggest reasons people stumble with Bible study theyre not sure of the meaning of all the words. Thats ok! Instead of wondering about a word, try using the dictionary feature of Biblegateway.com. This will help you better understand the words or discover what it means in relation to the culture of the time.
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Where To Start Reading The Bible For Beginners
New Christians or people seeking to learn more about Christianity should start in the New Testament.
The New Testament covers the life of Jesus, the history of the early church, and ethical and moral guidelines for Christians.
To get an excellent overview of this information, I recommend the following reading order:
The Gospel of John Having a firm understanding of who Jesus is and why he came is important to your faith as a Christian. The book of John does a marvelous job of explaining who Jesus is and what his ministry is about. The other Gospels detail Jesus ministry, but they focus more on the things Jesus did.
Acts- The book of Acts was written by Luke, who also wrote the Gospel Luke, and records the history of the early church. Starting with Jesus ascension and commission of the disciples, the persecution of the early church, and the spread of the Gospel throughout the known world.
Romans- Every Christian should read the book of Romans. If you want to build your faith and gain a clearer understanding of the Good news of Jesus Christ, this is the best place to start once youve read the two books.
Once youve read through these first three books you should have a firm understanding of who Jesus is, the history of the early church, and a better understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
After youve read these books, you can dive into the Old Testament and read:
Create A Bible Reading Plan
As I was researching for my book, Fall in Love with Gods Word: Practical Strategies for Busy Women, I found the #1 reason why Christian women dont read the Bible as often as we would like is because were TOO BUSY!
We want to read Gods Word. We know its important. We know its something we *should* do.
And yet, it seems like there are always a million things competing for our time and attention.
Thats why I devoted a whole chapter in Fall in Love with Gods Word to creating your own personalized Quiet Time Plan. Basically, rather than hoping to get around to it. , one tip that I found SO helpful personally was to create a plan in advance.
PinIf you want to not only learn how to start reading the Bible for beginners, but actually stick with it, decide in advance:
- WHEN you will read your Bible
- WHERE you will read your Bible
- HOW LONG you will read your Bible
- WHAT you will do during this time
- WHAT MATERIALS you will want/need
Deciding all of these details in advance can really help you make your Bible reading a habit.
Want a short printable workbook to help you find the perfect Bible reading plan for you? You can download this Quiet Time Planning Guide for free.
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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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Tips For Reading And Understanding The Bible
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
The Bible is Gods Word to us. Its His message of love and forgiveness, and shows us how we can have eternal life. It can also answer questions you have as you strive to live a life that pleases Him. Thats why Christians should try to read the Bible daily.
Here are some suggestions:
- First, read one chapter from the Gospel of John each day. This will help you understand the basics of the Gospel.
- Second, read Acts, the exciting story of how Jesus Christs first disciples told others about how He died and rose again.
- Third, read the letters that Christs apostles wrote to His first followersall who were new in their faith. These letters are the book of Romans through the book of III John.
- Fourth, go back and read one of the other three gospels: Matthew, Mark or Luke.
Bible Study Apps For Beginners
There are many free apps and websites you can use to aid in Bible study. Here are a few of the more helpful ones Ive used over the years its by no means an exhaustive list, but perfect for getting started.
She Reads Truth Downloadable in your App store, She Reads Truth is an app I keep on my phone for when I want to quickly look up a Bible verse. They also offer digital Bible reading plans, but I havent used those, although Ive heard good things about them. Theres also a He Reads Truth version.
Bible Gateway Another good app for Bible study on the go, with more than 90 Bible translations available, audio Bibles, verse of the day options, and more.
Blue Letter Bible This is a good Bible study app. I think its best feature is that it breaks down what youre reading, verse by verse. This is really helpful when youre studying the Bible as a beginner, especially.
YouVersion YouVersion is another Bible app filled with a huge database of translations. Its Bible reading plans and devotionals make it a bit more unique than the others. They outline a wide variety of topics from the Bible as well, which can be helpful with topical study.
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Look Up The Historical Context
Many Bibles will give you some historical context at the start of each book. What was happening during the time of this book? Who were the major figures at the time? What was society like? What was the original language? Understanding the historical context will go a long way with studying any specific chapters or verses.
Read Scripture Verses In Context
As you learn how to study the Bible for yourself, its important that you dont get in the bad habit of reading individual verses in isolation.
This is a common mistake many people make when first learning how to study the Bible for beginners, but it can completely change the meaning of the text.
Instead, youll want to learn how to study the Bible as a whole.
This means finding as many relevant Scripture verses as you can, reading them within the context of the passage or chapter theyre in, and comparing them to see how they fit together.
Tip: BibleGateway is a website that lets you do this easily if you dont have your physical Bible handy.
Here are a few questions you might ask yourself while youre learning how to study the Bible for beginners:
- Who is writing this passage?
- Who are they writing to?
- What is this passage mostly about?
- What does this passage teach me about Gods/Jesuss character?
- Are there any lessons I can learn from this passage?
- Does this passage have any specific instructions for me to follow?
- Does it provide a good example for me to follow ?
- What positive changes can I make in my life as a result of this passage?
One passage that really illustrates this point is Ephesians 2:8-9.
In the church I grew up in, they understood this passage to mean that, since we are saved by faith alone, works dont matter at all.
Typically, you can find all the information you need to answer your question by looking up only a handful of verses.
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Bible Study By Chapters
In the Bible there are 1,189 chapters in the Old and New Testaments. In a little over three years, a person could make an intensive study of the whole Bible, taking a chapter a day. It is usually a good practice to start your Bible study in the New Testament.
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Study the Bible by Chapters
Seek to find its main subject or subjects.
If you are reading the Gospel of John, for example, you might give each chapter titles like this: ch. 1 Jesus Christ, the Word of God ch. 2 The Wedding at Cana ch. 3 The New Birth ch. 4 The Woman at the Well ch. 5 The Healing of the Man at the Pool of Bethesda ch. 6 The Feeding of the 5,000
Including its main thoughts. For example, for John 1, you might make an outline like this:Jesus Christ, the Word of God:a. Jesus Christ was the eternal Word of God, 19b. Jesus Christ came into the world, 1018c. John witnesses that Christ is to come, 1928d. John says that Jesus is the Lamb of God, 2937e. Jesus Christ calls His first disciples, 3851
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How Can I Study My Bible By Myself
Just use a notebook page or blank journal page. Put the date and book/chapter/verse at the top. Ask yourself some questions about what you are reading. Write out thoughts that come into your mind as you read.
As youre comfortable, try one of the Bible study methods outlined above. Pray that God illuminates his Word for you as you study and helps you understand what youre reading.
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.
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How To Grow With God By Reading The Bible
Reading the Bible is the number one way I recommend people start seeking to hear God speak. If youve met God and are ready to go deeper, hear Him speak & interact with Him on a daily level then Scripture is the best place to start.
Sometimes we want God to speak to us individually and verbally. We want Him to be very clear in the way He approaches us with truth.
Ive found He doesnt often do that. He often wants us to seek to spend time with Him MORE than to seek Him simply to hear something or get something from Him.
Gods already spoken. A lot. He has said many things, He has performed many miracles, He has loved in many ways and His people wrote those down for us.
The Bible is a book full of letters written by imperfect humans inspired by God and used by the Spirit to share truth.
These humans were in different time periods and in different situations yet our God remains the same through it all.
These stories and instructions are extremely important for us!
They teach us things like
- who God is
- how God used imperfect people to impact the world
- how God desires us to live an abundant life
When you read the Bible you will grow in your relationship with God.
Whether you know and understand the Bible well OR you are absolutely clueless and new, keep reading because YES you can begin to understand the Bible and go deeper with God today!
If you want to understand the Bible its simple,you have to read the Bible.
How To Make The Bible Easier To Understand
In order to better understand the Bible, it is important to understand the minds of these authors and the purposes of God throughout history. One of the things that all biblical authors had in common was that they loved the Bible. They loved reading it, referencing it, playing with metaphors from old texts of Scripture, and making connections.
One very easy way to make the Bible easier to understand is to read the Old Testament several times. Getting a grasp of the storyline, central metaphors, critical conflicts, and disputed grievances illuminates the New Testament books with such clear detail that this will become a proven method for you in advancing your biblical studiesâreturning to and rereading the Old Testament narratives, prophetic idiosyncrasies, and wounded genealogies will highlight just how much of the Old Testament themes and concerns are replicated in the New Testament many times over. This makes it so much easier to understand topics like tithing in the Bible.
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