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How To Study The Bible Effectively

Dwell In Lessons Throughout The Day

How To Study The Bible Effectively | Quick Tips for Beginners

This is often the problem I see.

Someone will add read the Bible to their daily to do list and then theyll do it just to check it off.

Dont do that.

1- it becomes something you have to do.2- It limits your time to just those spare 5 minutes.

When you truly dive into Gods Word and He chooses to speak to you, youve got to chose to dwell in the message.

God speaks when He wants you to hear AND do something about it.

Every day is a new chance to become more like Jesus. Its a daily act of choosing the Godly over the worldly.

That requires putting in some work and seeking Gods truth throughout the day not just in the morning.

This is my challenge.

Spend time in Gods Word then try to remember and reflect throughout the day.

Write a phrase on your wrist. Pray every time you are in the car. Talk to a friend about what God is teaching you.

Dont stop spending time with God when you close His Word.

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Read The Bible With A Plan And Purpose

The phrase inductive Bible study has various connotations. In this brief article, it refers to purposefully and systematically studying Gods Word on its own terms, observing what the text says in its context, interpreting Scripture with Scripture, and applying the truth of Gods Word to our lives. I like to explain this process using three Ls: Look , Learn , and Live .

I find it most helpful to study inductively through entire books of the Bible, to see how each verse, paragraph, and chapter builds upon on each other and contributes to the biblical authors flow of thought and theological message. While its possible to work through the inductive Bible study process with a short book like Philemon or 3 John in one day, we need a plan to study longer books over a period of days or weeks. Whether we follow the MCheyne daily Bible reading schedule or choose to study through one book at a time, a plan gives order and direction to our personal study and helps us develop good habits for consistent, purposeful time in Gods Word.

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Lets Go Through My Routine In Steps:

Start off with prayer

I start off in prayer and invite God to open up my heart and teach me through his word.

Read through once without highlighting or taking notes

Next, I dive right in and read through the passage first without highlighting or taking notes. I want to get an overview of what the passage is saying before I try to look for details. As I am reading, I do make a mental note of anything that stands out so I can come back to it later.

Read through a second time and highlight, circle, underline, and make note of any observations

I read through a second time and highlight, circle, underline, and make note of my observations. I write down my questions, the things I find shocking, and the comments I have. If I feel convicted about something, I write that down too so I can pray about it later. Try to have no reservations in this step. You dont have to be perfect, simply write down any observation that comes to mind.

Look into Bible study tools

Next, I consult my Bible study tools. Most days Ill use a commentary but sometimes Ill also use a concordance to look up what words mean in the Hebrew or Greek text. Ill also cross-reference at times, especially if the passage I just read reminds me of anything Ive read before. Commentaries and sermons from theologians are great but I always try to remember to allow the Holy Spirit to lead by Bible study. Ultimately, he knows his word better than anyone else. That being said, I take everything I read with a grain of salt.

Tips For Studying The Bible For Beginners Or Experienced Believers


How to study the Bible for beginners – tips & ideas for beginners and experienced Christians. We are not taught in church how to read the Bible, but studying the Bible is an essential activity of Christianity. It is easy to learn to study the Bible with these 10 practical tips.

I received an email last week from a sweet mom of five boys. She is a new believer, and she is trying to find ways to fit her walk with Jesus around her already busy life.

I responded to that email and told Amanda that I understood a little of her dilemma , and hopefully I could help her to figure it out.

I remember being a new believer. I was introduced to the Bible as a child, but I never read or studied any of it until I came back to the church as an adult. It was not all that long ago that I opened at The Word, knowing I was supposed to read and study it, but not having a clue what read and study really meant.

I was intimidated by the Bible and, if I’m being totally honest, completely overwhelmed by it. I had a King James Bible, and it didn’t make any sense to me at all!

If you are there, my friend, read on. Even if you have been a believer for years and years, if you don’t have a strong Bible study habit, this post is for you, too.

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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.

The Topical Bible Study Method

The Topical Bible Study Method is a quick and easy way to study the Bible by looking up specific topics in the Bible that you want to study further. These topics may include categories like forgiveness, anger, love, joy, etc. Many people choose to do topical Bible studies if they want to know what the Bible specifically teaches about certain topics. They may ask themselves questions like What does the Bible say about _________?

These types of Bible studies can give us a greater understanding of the topics we want to learn about, but it is also important to read Scripture in its full context. For example, if we are doing a topical Bible study on love, we can find lots of Scriptures that talk specifically about love, like 1 Corinthians 16:14,

Do everything in love.

We also need to read the surrounding Bible verses in 1 Corinthians 16 to see what else the author was talking about, to gain a full view and understanding of the passage.

Many people enjoy topical Bible studies by using Scripture reading plans on various topics like hope, peace, or our identity in Christ. You can find free Scripture reading plans by going to the free printables section of the blog.

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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.

Its Ok To Say I Dont Know


The Bible is a heavy-duty book about an all-powerful God with infinite perspective. There will likely be passages that are hard to understand, at least at first. Rest assured God understands, and Hes on this journey with you. If you come across a section of the Bible that leaves you befuddled, take notes. Write down your questions, your concerns, even your fears regarding those verses. Then move onits OK!

While much of the Bible complements itself in piecing together its overarching truths, you dont need to understand every verse right away, as youre reading through. The Bible isnt a novel that requires you to understand everything in chapter one in order to make sense of chapter 2. In fact, its even recommended to set one story or section aside for further study, then continuing to study the rest. Just remember to come back to it later.

Also, God will answer your prayers for clarity and understanding about your Bible study, even if it takes some time or growth first. Patience pays off in studying the Bible. Clarity may come in a day, in a year, or through an experience. Gods timing is perfect, and He knows the best way you will learn each principle of the Bible.

Consider the prophet and statesman Daniel, while studying a specific prophecy became anxious, troubled, and confusedbut he didnt give up. Instead, he was consistent and persistent in praying and God gave him the understanding he was searching for.

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The Soap Bible Study Method

The SOAP Bible study method is very similar to the inductive Bible study method. It uses the acronym SOAP to help us better understand the steps involved in this study process. The acronym stands for:




The S stands for Scripture, and this is where you choose your Bible passage you want to study. You can choose an entire chapter in the Bible, or read through only a few verses if you want to. Once you have chosen your Scripture, you can read the passage and write down the key Bible verses you are going to study.

The O is for observation, which is very similar to the inductive Bible study method. Write down some of the key observations that you notice from the passage, and be sure to look up any words or phrases that you dont understand.

The A stands for application. Once again, we want to make sure that we apply Scripture to our lives and our situations. How does the Bible passage we are studying encourage us to live in ways that are glorifying to God? In what ways does that Scripture inspire us to follow God with all of our hearts? That is the beauty of applying Gods word to our lives, and how Scripture can truly come alive!

This is where you can praise God for the power and beauty of his Word. Through prayer, you can ask God to continue work in your hearts and in your life.

Look Through Bible Commentaries

Another exercise that can be incredibly helpful as youre learning how to study the Bible for beginners is reading through various Bible commentaries on the key verses youre reading.

Basically, Bible commentaries are big books where really smart theologians explain a lot of background on the text and what it means in the original language. This is where you can find some of the words in the original Greek or Hebrew, along with expanded word definitions that help you really capture what the full extent of what the author was trying to convey.

You can , borrow them from your library, or just do your research online on Bible Hub while youre looking up various verse translations. Just scroll down and youll find a bunch you can read and compare.

This is SO helpful when youre first learning how to study the Bible for beginners, because theyre easily accessible and free!

For example, one of the most helpful commentaries I looked up was on Exodus 20:3, which says You shall have no other gods before me.

At first reading, the text looks pretty straightforward. God is telling Moses that the Israelites should put God first on their list of priorities. But this isnt actually what the text means at all.

Instead, if you , particularly the second half of Ellicotts Commentary for English Readers, youll see that God wasnt asking to be our FIRST god. Hes asking to be our ONLY God. Thats a pretty big difference!

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Bible Study By Paragraphs

A paragraph is several sentences of thought in writing. When an author changes the subject of emphasis in writing, he usually begins a new paragraph. The beginning of a paragraph in this Bible is indicated by a boldface verse number. Studying the Bible by paragraphs like this is often called analytic Bible study.

Read the paragraph carefully for its main thought or subject.

Search Blogs And Online Articles

How to Study the Bible For Yourself

Another one of my favorite Bible study methods for beginners is to simply see what other writers, pastors, and bloggers have to say on the topic.

Now, you do have to be very careful when studying the Word in this way.

While you can learn a ton reading online articles, keep in mind that not everything you read online is Biblically sound, even if its written by a Christian author. And its very easy to get false information from a source that looks reputable, especially if youre just learning how to understand the Bible for the first time.

Some bloggers do have formal Bible training and actually care about getting the messages of Jesus Christ right. But unfortunately, many others simply want to spout off opinions or write something encouraging without first checking to make sure their message is Scripturally sound.

And again, were all just humans. Even when we do our best, were not infallible.

So, while you can certainly learn a lot this way, you DO need to make sure you also learn how to study the bible for yourself.

Read what they say, examine it against Scripture, and see if it makes sense. Read multiple, reputable sources. Dont simply take one persons word for what the Bible means. They could be wrong.

Also, whenever Im trying to figure out how to understand the Bible on a particular topic, I always save this step for last, because I want my beliefs to be formed by Scripture first not how other people interpret it.

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Facts About The Bible

  • The Bible is split into two sections: the Old Testament & the New Testament.
  • There are 66 books total. 39 in the Old. 27 in the New.
  • The original language of the Old Testament was Hebrew and the New Testament Greek!
  • The Bible was written by about 40 different people of different times & backgrounds.
  • These people were used by the Holy Spirit to write all these words to use to lead us to God and through this life!

Okay I want to share a little more about the first fact because that was the biggest mind altering subject I dove into when I started reading the Bible.

God is the same throughout the entire Bible. You may be thinking Then why was He so violent in the Old Testament?

That is a deep question I am not going to answer today BUT we can still get more understanding of the differences.

In general, the Old Testament is more stories & the New Testament is more direct teachings.

The Old Testament can be more difficult to apply to your everyday life because it isnt as direct and when looking at context we realize many of those Old Testament laws dont apply to us after the cross.

BUT it is still important to study!

You know why?

Because you learn more about WHO God is throughout the entire Bible. You cant pick and choose what to focus on.

I dont recommend ONLY spending time studying the New Testament.

I am not saying to ONLY study the Old Testament either.

I believe you need to find a balance because God will use both sections to teach and lead you.

Like when

Thank you!


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