How To Get The Most Out Of Gods Word
Before studying Psalm 46, I had heard the passage several times before but had never known about the background of Hezekiah in 2 Kings. That was all just from the online commentary resources I linked to above.
I say that to show you that you dont need to be a Bible scholar to study the Bible. All the information is right at your fingertips so dont get overwhelmed!
Also, dont cover too much at a time. I would recommend going through the inductive Bible study steps with only 6 to 8 verses at once. There is where studying is very different than reading. Your priority should be quality, not quantity!
Why You Should Memorize Scripture
Memorizing scripture is another powerful way we can meditate and live out Gods Word in our life.
When I take the time to memorize bible verses, I am able to pray and recite them in times of need.
For example, when I was struggling to resist temptation from sexual sin, I memorized Psalm 51:10 so I was able to pray this verse out loud whenever I felt tempted.
What Is The Soap Method Of Bible Study
SOAP Bible Study Method This method is about reading and then applying it to your everyday life.
Here is how to use and apply the SOAP Bible study method:
S-Scripture Write out the scripture
O- Observation What stands out to you?
A-Application How can I apply what I have read to my personal life?
P-Prayer Pray Gods words words back to him.
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How Do I Study The Bible
This is the method I personally use to study the Bible. You dont have to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, although I would encourage you to read it chronologically at least once. A chronological Bible reading plan provides a good flow of events of the Bible from its beginning to its end based on how scholars deemed the events occurred. A chronological Bible is perfect for Bible study beginners looking for a one year guide to studying the Bible!
Think of the most beautiful place, that you have ever seen, that for me is the Canadian Rockies. I am sure the Garden of Eden was likely 100 times more beautiful. In a chronological Bible reading plan, you start in Genesis where you get to read about living life in paradise and how paradise was eventually lost. The plan later concludes in Revelation with how paradise will once again be restored.
If you , they have a number of Bible reading plans which you can join. Through the app you can also easily keep track of your progress saving you the hassle of a printable Bible reading plan for beginners.
Unlike Most Books Dont Start At The Beginning
The Bible is the Word of God, and every word is holy. However, once you get into the book of Genesis, you will notice a lot of genealogy and it can be a little intimidating as a beginner.
Plus, unlike typical books, you dont have to read the Bible from cover to cover to get started. Honestly, you dont even have to start at the beginning!
Instead, choose a book of the Bible thats easier to understand, such as one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When I first started reading the Bible I enjoyed the book of Luke for the way it described the life of Jesus.
Plus, starting at the Gospels will help you grasp the sacrifice of Jesus, identify with His time on earth and relate to Him in a more personal way.
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These Are Gods Very Words
You may have heard the Bible referred to as The Word of God. This idea comes from within the Bible itself. The authors of the Old Testament referred to the words they recorded as the Word of God. And in the New Testament, Jesus Himself referred to the words recorded in the Old Testament as being the very words of God.
This means that these very words carry Gods authority and speak the truth about Gods character, His actions and His plans for the world.
The Bible reveals that God is a God who speaks with authority. Much of the Bible is a recording of Gods instructions, corrections and blessings that He spoke both audibly and through His Spirit in visions and dreams to His people. It is difficult to pick just one example from the Bible that illustrates this idea because there are so many!
The Bible clearly contains the understanding that Gods spoken word is true and authoritative in creation and the lives of His people. Over and over the words, God said or The Word of God or The voice of the Lord occurs in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, the author of the book of Hebrews explains it like this:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
What Version Of The Bible Is Best For Beginners
If you were to head over to a Christian forum of some kind youre going to get some strong opinions about the question of which bible version is best.
And while I love the passion people have, in this case its a distraction from what matters most. Yes, I believe there are better bible translations. But in reality, the big concern in the church probably isnt what bible translation people are using its more that they dont read their bibles at all. So in most cases the best answer to this question is: read the bible you have.
That said, if youre still shopping or you have a concern that youve purchased a lemon, then here are my thoughts.
As a beginner reading the bible, there are 3 main types of bible translation that you should know about :
As youd expect, a word-for-word translation of the Bible takes the original language and, as far as possible, translates each word into the modern language. Sometimes that can result in less easy to read translations, although they are sometimes more accurate if you are happy to put the time into understanding the meaning of a passage. Modern word-for-word translations are quite good and readily available.
Below is a table setting out a bunch of common versions of the bible and which category they fall into.
KJV and NKJV
*The Passion Translation is barely a paraphrase, and is most probably in a category of its own.
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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.
Take Notes As You Go Along
1. Do not just skip over words, phrases, or passages thatmay be unclear instead, note these for your bible study sessions
2. As you read, ask questions: Is this something that Godsexpects of me? Can this help me to understand more about who God is his laws, thepast, present or future? Always end withthis main question Is there more I would like to know about this? Does anymore questions come to mind?. Write these down as well, for your next biblestudy session.
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The Best Order To Read The Bible For The First Time
Now I am not going to make a blanket statement and say you HAVE to read this book first and then give you an order.
I am going to give you a few different book ideas since its your first time reading the Bible.
If you dont want options and are just ready to be told where to start reading the Bible, Ive made a seven day video course just for you. Join right here!
Go check your email now!
Before that lets dive into a few facts about the Bible so you can understand the book a little better.
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
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Beginner Bible Study Books For Adults
We all know its important to study Gods word. But sometimes its hard to know where to start. Whats more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?
Women of the Word has helped countless women with a clear and concise plan they can use every time they open their Bible. This book will equip you to engage Gods word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is a wonderful resource on learning how to study the Bible and one that I refer to regularly.
This post on the best books on how to study the Bible dives into some additional resources you may find helpful.
The Beginners Guide: How To Read The Bible For Beginners
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where do you even start?
Reading the Bible on your own can be intimidating. Where does one even begin?
Do you start at the beginning and read straight through to the end? Should you jump around and read whatever strikes your fancy?
Is there a version of the Bible thats better than another version?
Speaking of versions, how many versions are there and what is the difference?
But reading and studying the Bible is an important part of every believers life and is one of the core spiritual disciplines.
Today Ill address the most common questions that beginners have about the Bible and how to read it.
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Where Should I Start In Bible Study
You can start anywhere in the Bible but I would recommend starting with a shorter book like 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians or 1 and 2 Timothy. James is one of my favorite books so thats also a great place to begin. You might also like to try the Gospels first : Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
I chose an Old Testament passage as a sample for our inductive Bible study to show you how easy it is to get background information from commentaries.
How To Start Bible Study: What To Expect From Bible Reading
I heard this great anecdote from a video a few months ago. We often come to the Bible hoping or even expecting to get that amazing, awe-inspiring feeling of connection with God. But that moment is like going out to your favorite restaurant on your birthday its exciting, memorable, and you look forward to it all year. By comparison, most of the time, our everyday meals are simple, unmemorable, or even boring. Our everyday meals may not stand out, but our bodies notice if we skipped them.
By the same vein, we may not have an incredible moment of connection with God every time that we open our Bibles. But we still benefit from the everyday moments of Bible study that may feel less memorable. Every time you open your Bible, youre opening yourself up to a deeper connection with God. Youre nourishing your mind and soul. Youre strengthening your faith, even if it doesnt feel like it. Just because you dont feel much, dont give up.
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Dont Be Afraid To Ask Questions
The only way youll understand Gods Word is if you ask questions.
You probably wouldnt be reading this if you are a theology expert so I am going to assume you arent really sure about the Bible.
Its complicated, weird and difficult to understand. It seems archaic and irrelevant. Its intimidating.
Dont fear not knowing and understanding. Its the best place to start.
Youve got to ask questions. If you really want to understand the Bible you do what you do in class and ask questions.
Then look for answers.
Gods Word has a lot to offer and it requires you to dig in and dig deep.
Promise me youll ask questions!
How To Get Started Reading The Bible
If youre new to reading the Bible, knowing where to start can seem a little overwhelming. However, I want to share a few tips that can make reading the Bible easier for beginners.
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Recommended Beginner Bible Study Books
Two books Ive read and recommend for learning more about studying the Bible are:
We all know its important to study Gods Word. But sometimes its hard to know where to start. Whats more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible? This book will equip you to engage Gods Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.
In a simple, step-by-step fashion, this book explains how to glean truth from Scripture. It is practical, readable, and applicable. By following its easy-to-apply principles, youll soon find yourself drawing great nourishment from the Wordand enjoying the process!
The Living Flame Of Gods Word
As you seek to understand the Bible better, ask God to teach you and have a teachable spirit. God wants to communicate with you. The Bible is meant to be studied and understood by normal, ordinary people.
Gods Word is an open door and an invitation to know the mind and heart of God. Keep bringing your heart and mind before the living flame of Gods Word!
They said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?
|If you found this article to be helpful, here are others that I think youll enjoy:21 Valuable benefits of Studying the Bible. The Bible promises these blessings for those who read and study it. I hope youll find encouragement and motivation to dig deeper into Gods Word.In the Bible Explained for Beginners, I share a simple diagram that gives a helpful overview of the Bible.If you want to read more about how to read the Bible in its context, heres an article I think will be helpful: How the Bible is Arranged: The Main Structure and Its Meaning.|
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