How To Study The Bible: Background
When you start to study a chapter of the Bible, do some background study of the book. If you have a study Bible like this one , you can look in the notes at the beginning of the book or you can go to my favorite online commentary: Dr. Constables Expository Bible Study Notes
Find out who wrote the book, its purpose, its context in history, the date it was written and any other pertinent background information.
Here is how we would apply background study to Psalm 46:1-11:
Psinductive Bible Study Method
The 5Ps method of Bible study was developed by Priscilla Shirer for her personal use. Here are the five steps.
Position yourself to hear from God. Find a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Pore over the passage and paraphrase the major points. The aim is to spend quality time in it. Immerse yourself into the passage and really meditate on it. Then, paraphrase the main principles. You can paraphrase each verse if you are working through a chapter.
Pull out the spiritual principles. Think about what God is trying to teach you through these verses? A command to follow, promise to hold to your heart, and attribute of God he is trying to reveal?
Pose the question. This is where it gets personal. Are you following the command? Keeping the promise? Do I believe what God has revealed about himself?
Plan obedience and pin down a date. Develop a concrete strategy on how you will put those words into practice. Write it down if you need to.
The Bible Contains The Story Of Our Savior
Of course, as humans we cannot live good enough lives on our own to achieve Gods holy standards in the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule. That comes through our faith in Jesus Christ and His Spirit living in us. The Bible is our source for understanding this truth.
One of the most convincing arguments for the authority and accuracy of Scripture is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the life of Jesus. Like a golden thread running from Genesis to Malachi, we find more than three hundred references to the Messiah. They are all fulfilled in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Abraham Lincoln said, I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. How true! The more we study the Bible, the better we will understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us. How thrilling to open its pages and find the love of God so clearly demonstrated through the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
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The Bible Contributes To A More Vital Witness For Christ
The greatest spiritual harvest of all time is taking place today. More people are hearing the gospel, receiving Christ as their Savior, and committing themselves to helping fulfill the Great Commission than at any other time in history. How is this revolution taking place? Through the distribution and teaching of Gods Word by faithful Christians who want to share their joy and victory in Christ with others.
Spending time daily with God in His Word gives us the power and excitement to spread His message of love and forgiveness. Studying the Bible helps us see how God loves the unlovable and seeks the lonely and hurting. Applying Gods commands helps us maintain a godly life that demonstrates the Lords presence in our lives to others.
Note Big Theological Concepts
I also note big ideas that stand out to me theologically.
For example, many Jewish people walked around Samaria because of their disdain for Samaritans, so when the Bible says that Jesus had to walk through Samaria, it doesnt mean geographically maybe its because he knew he had to meet the Samaritan woman to give her this new beginning.
So what that teaches me is that God will out of His way, into the darkest places, to meet people and offer them rebirth.
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Reap Inductive Bible Study Method
I found this method on The Navy Bee. The four steps are pretty close to the SOAP method.
R Read Read the passage and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in answering questions like: Whats happening in this scripture portion? What things are repeated? How is God present in this passage? What does it reveal about man?
E Examine Reflect on the passage. Answer questions like: Who was the intended audience and how would they receive this passage? What can I learn about Gods character? What false beliefs do I have about myself and how God sees me?
A Apply Evaluate how you can apply the text to your life. What do you need to repent of? What new beliefs do you need to adopt? What practical steps can you take to apply these beliefs to your life?
P Pray Use what you found in the application step to pray. As God to help you make the lessons a reality in your life.
Tips On How To Study The Bible For Beginners
While Im a huge supporter of memorizing Scripture, the goal of studying the Bible should be understanding it, not just memorizing sentences that make sense but dont have noticeable differences to your life. When you understand what something means, instead of having someone tell you its meaning, its much more powerful! Thats why you need to know what youre looking for when reading the bible. This leads us to the first tip:
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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.
The Bible Is Gods Personal Love Letter To His Children
The story is told of a young woman who heard about a popular novel. Intrigued, she began to read it but found it difficult to understand. She would read for a while, then put it down, then pick it up again whenever one of her friends told her how much she was enjoying it. But no matter how she tried to immerse herself in the book, it just did not hold her interest.
Then one day she met the author. Eventually, she fell in love with him. Now she could hardly wait to read his novel. This time, she found it to be the most captivating and exciting book she had ever read.
Before I became a Christian, I had difficulty reading the Bible. In fact, I found it boring. Then I experienced the love of its Author, the Lord Jesus Christ, and my attitude changed. I began to realize that the Bible is Gods personal love letter to His children. I became excited about what He had to say to me. Do you find the Bible the most interesting book in your library? Or are you tempted to read anything but the Bible? The best way to catch the excitement about reading Gods Word is to experience and share the love of its Author.
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Where To Start Studying The Bible
If you are looking for a beginner Bible reading plan, I would suggest starting here. Start with short books of the Bible or books that mimic a story format if you are looking for a beginners guide to reading the Bible and not sure where to start.
If you are not sure where to start studying the Bible, personally I would encourage you to start with John. John gives a wonderful account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After completing John, I would encourage you to read the other gospels as well. From here you can read short books in the Bible or story themed books, if you struggle with what to read next and want to develop a habit of daily Bible reading.
Short books in the Bible include: Jonah, Nahum, Haggai, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Titus, Obadiah, Jude, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John.
Story Themed books include: Esther, Ruth, Job, Jonah, Hosea, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
A Disclaimer: The Perfectionism/procrastination Trap
Before you get started, keep in mind that there is no ONE right way to do Bible study. Therefore, dont feel defeated if you have a busy day and dont get through the steps I have listed below.
God is most concerned about your relationship with Him and just wants to spend time with you. He understands that you are busy and is fully aware of what season of life you are in. Even if your time with God is a hot mess, He will honor your efforts and desire to know Him better.
I came to know Christ at a young age and soon after praying to receive Christ, I attended a discipleship class for kids. The focus was to learn the importance of spending time with God. We got our summer Bible study books that walked us through little devotionals for each day. An older couple taught the class and during the first meeting they told us to pick when we would do our Bible study time and come ready to share next week what we each picked.
She meant was that we should pick the time of day we were going to do our Bible study but I misunderstood and thought she meant to pick which day of the week we would do our Bible study.
I spent all week trying to decide the perfect day to do my quiet time. After much scrutiny, I decided Thursday would be the perfect day!
When I shared this with the Bible study leaders the next class time, their eyes got a little big and they smiled as they explained that I was supposed to pick what time of day and not just which day of the week.
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Set Aside Time To Study
Dedicate a specific time of day to read and study your Bible daily.
Its better to have a short 15 minute study time each day than to have a 2-hour study once a week.
How much time you dedicate should be based on your schedule.
For new Christians, I recommend trying to set aside 10 15 minutes a day.
Watch Videos And Sermons On How To Study The Bible
Youtube makes it easy to find videos on how to study the Bible. Here is a video by Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. She has a 5-day video series where she explains how to study the Bible using the principles in her book. In this video series she dives into how to study the book of James.
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Read Good Christian Literature
Books are one of the ways by which knowledge is transferred across the globe. There is probably no subject of the bible that has not been discussed in a book. On some subjects, there are hundreds of thousands of resources coming out from publishers yearly.
As you read good Christian literature, by books or on the internet, either on the subject of How to study the bible for beginners, faith confessions, prayers, or whatsoever, youll catch a glimpse of how these authors interpret the bible. This can serve as clues for you during your study time.
Inductive Bible Study Observation Questions
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How To Study The Bible For Beginners: The Ultimate Guide
If you are new to studying the Bible, you may be wondering how to study the Bible for beginners. If you are looking for tips and ideas on how to study the Bible, , youre in the right place!
The Bible is one of the most widely read books of all timeand can also be one of the most difficult books to understand at times. But it doesnt have to be this way. Studying the Bible does not have to be a chore, a drag, or a dry academic activity. On the contrary, studying the Bible can be one of the most fulfilling, enlightening, and powerful daily practices that you will ever implement in your life.
Why? Because when we seek God through prayer and intently study the truth of Scripture, we will experience the incomprehensible love, grace, and truth of our Lord. As God beautifully declares in Jeremiah 29:13,
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So what is the best way to study the Bible, especially if you are a beginner? Lets take a look at some of the ways you can study the Bible to gain a better understanding of the depth of our Saviors love!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy here. Thanks!
The Spiritual Battle For Your Marriage
God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy Gods beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemys lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that theyre not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.
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The Bible Gives Us Moral Moorings For Our Lives
Many years ago while I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, two gifted young evangelists spoke at our chapel program. Both believed and preached that the Bible was inspired in every word. Some time later, one of those men rejected the authority and integrity of Gods Word. As a result, he lost his moral standard on which to base his life and ministry. He divorced his wife, left the ministry, and eventually became an outspoken antagonist of the Christian faith.
The other young evangelist continued to believe that the Bible is Gods Word and is without error. When he could not understand something in the Bible, he trusted that what God said was true. God honored his faith. That man is Billy Graham. God has used him to touch the lives of many millions of people around the world.
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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How To Study The Bible For Beginners
JaimeBible StudyOctober 29, 2021
Grow closer to God and deepen your faith as you learn how to study the Bible for beginners. Well show you how to get started in this handy guide to studying the Bible!
If youve wondered how to start studying the Bible when youre a beginner or new believer just starting out, then you should know: Ive been there, too, despite having grown up sitting on a church pew.
Sure, I knew a few feel-good Bible stories, and had memorized a handful of popular bible verses over my childhood, but it wasnt until I was an adult that I began to really dive into Gods Word. Did you know, its possible to know Bible stories, yet totally miss the Bible story? Many of us who grew up in church experience this, not just newcomers. If this sounds like you, youre not alone. Keep reading, because Im going to break down how to study the Bible for beginners.
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When we pastored, I saw this same dilemma among the precious people there. Whether youd grown up in church all your life or were totally new to Christ, over time you came to the realization that you needed to enrich your understanding of the Bible and get rooted in your faith.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to items I think may be helpful to you.
How Often Should You Read The Bible
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
In Joshua 1:8 God tells Joshua to meditate on the Law day and night. This will help Joshua obey Gods commands.
While reading and meditating on Gods word are two different spiritual disciplines, it is hard to do one without the other.
As a Christian, you should be reading your Bible daily.
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