Fill Out Your Mind Map And Summarize Findings
As you go through step 4-6 keep fill out out your mind map. Jot down everything that jumps out to you or that you feel is important.
Once you feel like your study is done try to summarize what you have learned. Find keys thing that you can apply to your personal life.
And thats it! You have completed a topical Bible study!
Word Study By Bible Books
Certain words have special significance in certain Bible books. For example, after studying the Gospel of John as a book and by chapters, youll find it instructive and inspiring to trace the words believe and belief. They occur almost 100 times. By reading the book hurriedly and underlining each passage where the words believe and belief occur, youll understand why Bible scholars contend that the purpose of the Gospel of John is expressed by the author in John 20:31.
Easy Steps To Memorize Key Bible Verses
A big welcome to all of you who have ever said, I cant memorize key Bible verses. I have a terrible memory! Todays post is for YOU, because I was once one of you.)
Have you ever sat down to do your Bible study, and in the middle of an otherwise normal chapter, you find a verse that jumps off the page and screams, This is for you!?
Your heart beats faster. You underline the verse in your Bible. Maybe you even write the date in the margin. And then your excitement suffers a terrible death because that beautiful verse is destined to the deep, dark recesses of your brain, never to be heard from again.
Ive been there. Done that. Lamented the curse of mommy brain and every other reason I could come up with for my poor memory. But *cue cinematic music* Im here to tell you it doesnt have to be that way.
You, my smart friend, CAN memorize key Bible verses. And Ill show you exactly how.
But before we get to that, I want to make sure you understand just how key verses fit into the grand scheme of deeper Bible study.
Key verses help us dig deeper in our Bible study by becoming anchors for the entire text, making it easy to remember a story or important doctrine by referencing just that one verse. For example, my recollection of Josephs story , hangs on just one verse: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives .
Pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me.
Also Check: Scripture About Praying Without Ceasing
Study One Chapter At A Time
Going slowly helps you really take in and absorb the meaning and application of what youre studying. One chapter a day is manageable and helps you dig deep without getting overwhelmed. What are the main points of the chapter? What passage of scripture seems to be pivotal here? Read the chapter in different translations.
Soak Bible Study Method: Scripture
Read the entire chapter surrounding the verse youve decided to study. Its always best to read the surrounding verses for context so that your observations will be based on the text and not personal experiences or biases. Were going to the text seeking a revelation from God, not trying to confirm a hypothesis or a theory.
On a sheet of paper or in a notebook, write the verse you have decided to study. I like to do this using the King James or New King James version. Thats a personal preference but I encourage you to use the word-for-word translation that resonates most with you.
Read Groups Of Scripture Together During Bible Study
The Bible is grouped in relevant sections. The Old Testament is grouped into the law, the prophets, and the writings.
The New Testament is the gospels, Acts, Pauls epistles, the general epistles, Hebrews, and Revelation.
Each group of books has its own divine flavor. The law shows Gods perfect law and our inability to keep it.
The writings contain Gods street wisdom for all the situations we encounter in daily life. The gospels reveal Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The epistles take what is revealed in the gospel and expound upon it.
Reading in groups allows you to gain a fuller understanding of Gods ways and wisdom. If you want to understand the Bible, study groups of scripture together.
Need A Bible Study Roadmap
No matter what, strive to study the Bible in a way thats simple and meaningful for you. Dont be afraid to try a new Bible study methods or look up commentaries for further understanding.
In fact, streamlining my quiet time with Bible study templates was one the best ways I ignited my spiritual growth. With ready-made templates, it took the guess work out of how I would study, and led me to explore Scripture in a variety of powerful ways.
The Quiet Time Toolkit is the perfect spiritual growth resource to help women learn to study the Bible for themselves and learn to pray with confidence.
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Read A Single Book Multiple Times
Sometimes it can be immensely helpful to immerse yourself in a single book for an extended period of time.
I remember hearing pastor Mike Bullmore say that there was a lengthy period when he went through the book of Psalms repeatedly for the health of his soul.
Diving way deep into a single book allows you to pick up nuances you would never get on a single pass. It forces you to grapple with the logical arguments of the author and pushes you to a more thorough understanding.
As you read 2 Corinthians again and again, youll start to understand why it mattered so much to Paul when God said, My grace is sufficient for you.
Study By Using The Soap Method
SOAP is an acronym to help you remember, and it stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
First, you choose the scripture you want to study, then write it out in a notebook. Read through it several times. Second, make as many observations as you can about the passage. Think about the who/what/when/where/why of the passage, and write them down. What does it mean? Third, based on your observations, ask yourself what youve learned from those observations and how they can apply to your life. Finally, pause and pray about what youve learned.
If youd like to try this simple way to study the Bible , check out my post about how to use the SOAP Bible study method.
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Find References Throughout Scripture
You can find relevant verses and references a few ways:
All these methods are great, and will work. Method 3 and 4 are much faster and easier. I do find that method 4 of finding topical Bible verses in articles works better than just a regular Bible search or posts from big Bible websites. These articles are usually better quality in that they stay true to the topic.
This is why I have a whole section on my site on topical Bible verses. I wanted a collection of articles that would help Christians study different topics.
Now, that you have your referencesjot them down or print them out. Read through each verse.
I have two things to note in this section. The first one is alway take a special note on the very first verse or passage that mentions your topic. This is called the law of first mention. I like what David Jeremiah has to say about it
The second important thing I want to touch on is large topics. Depending on the topic you pick their might have 100s of verses. If that the case you can go about this a couple of ways. You can just select 10-20 verses and do a smaller topical study. Or you make this topical study one that is done a few sittings.
Bible Topic: Spiritual Warfare
Theme Study: Spiritual Warfare from a Warriors Perspective in Ephesians
How To Study The Bible: The Ultimate Guide
If you want to know how to study the Bible and how to understand the Bible, youll find this post helpful.
When it comes to getting more out of the Bible, how to understand the Bible for all its worth, how to read the Bible and gain a fuller and holistic understanding of Scripture, I think these suggestions can be very helpful. Theyve certainly helped me understand the Bible more effectively.
Here are 21 powerful strategies to help you learn how to study the Bible and understand the Bible more fully.
Remember, these are methods. They dont replace the Holy Spirit or diligent devotion.
With that said, lets dive in.
Here are 21 tips for how to read the Bible more effectively.
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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.
How Diagramming Bible Verses Can Illuminate Scripture
For most of my life, I despised grammar.
I could use it to write properly, but I couldnt explain it or diagram a sentence to save my life.
Then, my sophomore year of college, a wonderful English professor unlocked the world of grammar for me, and neither I nor my Bible study have been the same since. Seriously.
Heres why: Have you ever read a chapter in Romans or Galatians only to get lost in Pauls train of thought? Sometimes Ill try to start all over again at the beginning of the sentence only to discover that the same sentence has been trailing on for nine verses! No wonder I was lost!
Some Bible passages can seem disjointed and confusing, but visually diagramming Bible verses helps clarify the relationship between ideas and illuminate the main point of the passage.
I first tried this technique in my college grammar class, and since then Ive been using
Visual learners rejoice! Over the next few days well look at Bible study methods we can use to engage with Scripture in a way that makes the visual learners heart flutter. Well start with a more linear approach and end with a creative, more artsy method.
First up, grammar-lovers who wish they were back in English 101:
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Soak Bible Study Method: Observation
This is the stage of your Bible study where you get to be a detective . Step 1: Examine the text and make note of what stands out for you. Are there words that are repeated? Is there a word that stands out or seems out of place? Mark the words that stand out to you or that you want to learn more about.
If youd rather, you can watch the YouTube video here:
Step 2: Ask Who, Why, What, Where, When and How questions.
- Is there a narrator? Who is it?
- Who is the text written to?
- Is there any indication of why it was written?
- Are there any places or landmarks mentioned?
- Are there people, places or things mentioned in the verse? What are they?
- Are there references to time in the verse?
- What type of literature is it?
- Whats happening in the text? What action is mentioned or taking place?
- What new things did you learn about God the Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
Step 3: Use a dictionary to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words. A Bible dictionary is useful in this step but you can use a regular dictionary as well.
Step 4: Use a Bible Concordance to research the words you highlighted in step 1.
Step 5: Read the verse youre studying in alternate translations. Make note of any new understanding you receive.Refer to the Bible Study Resources section of the Bible Study Tips for Beginners post for additional details on Bibles dictionaries, concordances, and alternate translations.
See Proverbs 4:23 for an example of a personal paraphrase.
How To Study The Bible During Your Devotions
Some people hear the phrase Bible study and get the impression of a lofty, intellectual pursuit. However, the truth of the matter is that all study should have one main goal: to know God better.
We study the Bible to know God better, to have a closer relationship with Him, and to become more like Him.
And why do we have quiet time or do devotions? The same reason.
So dont overlook your regular devotional time as a beautiful way to study the Bible, too. You can use an acronym study method, the inductive Bible study approach, verse mapping, Bible journaling, or more in your quiet time.
When Im in the mood to have a guided study instead of applying a Bible study method on my now, my absolute favorite is to use an Engaging Gods Word study. In fact, Im using one right now with my teens!
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Every Part Of The Bible Is Relevant And Always Will Be
Some people think that reading a Bible verse or two is enough. Or, that just opening the Bible and starting to read it is a good way to study. It may be better than nothing, right? But its not the best way to study the Bible.
Reading a few verses out of the context around them can distort the interpretation. The true meaning of that Scripture may then be difficult, at best, to grasp. We called this taking verses out of context. We need to be able to understand where the author is coming from to get the full scope of each verse.
You wouldnt pick up a copy of Robinson Crusoe, read a few sentences, and pretend to understand the context. This is one reason I love studying the Bible through from cover to cover. Its an amazing experience! Readers see the plan of salvation unfold from In the beginning in Genesis to The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. in Revelation.
What if I showed you a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and asked you to tell me what picture it makes. That one piece is never going to give you the total picture. Its the same with Gods Word. The Bible is complex and it needs to be read and understood as a whole. Reading only one or two verses of a chapter will most likely not give you the full context of that passage.
Bible Study For Beginners: Reading The Gospels
A great place to start your Bible study is in the Gospels. All of Scripture is ultimately about Jesus, so what better place to start than getting to know Him better?
While all four Gospels are about Jesus, they each have a different approach. Its most commonly suggested to beginners that they start with the Gospel of John.
Once youve read John, the other three are great to through .
As you read them, underline verses that stand out or make notes in a journal. Dont be afraid to ask someone you trust to talk about them or get a study Bible with notes that will help you understand things better.
But honestly, dont be afraid to just readeven if it doesnt all make sense. Youve got to start somewhere!
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How Should We Pray Before We Study The Bible
First, thank Him that we even have His Word. Its such a huge privilege to be able to hold a copy of the Bible in our hands or have a Bible app on our cellphones. Its not that way everywhere in the world.
I think we sometimes forget that fact. We take for granted the many copies we have laying around our homes and the freedom we have. Were even able to read His Word from an app on our phone or listen to the audible version while commuting to work. Lets thank Him for His Word.
Second, pray for wisdom that we can read and comprehend what He wants us to know in our Bible study. Some parts of the Bible are difficult to understand and we need wisdom. We also have to be careful about taking passages out of context. At the same time, we need to understand how to compare Scripture with Scripture. We need His wisdom!
Make prayer a daily habit before Bible study. There might be times when you really need guidanceweve all been there, youre not alone. Pray that God will provide the guidance you need through His Word.
I cant tell you how many times Ive needed guidance for a situation and God has led me to the exact passage I need that day! Maybe youre a busy mom with a bunch of precious kiddosyou need refreshment and quiet time with God today. If thats where you are, pray for that refreshment and quiet time.