Soap Bible Study Method And Other Acronyms
There are so many of these amazing acronyms to help you with your Bible study. The one Ive seen most often is SOAP , but ;there are dozens of others that you can try. I dont personally use one of these methods right now, so Im not the right person to guide you through them, but this guide is a thorough walk-through of 11 of these methods.
How To Start Bible Study: My Experience
Ill be honest with you: I havet always loved, or even liked, Bible study. Back before I knew how to start studying the Bible, I couldnt tell Numbers from, well, a math textbook. I did my first Bible study online when; I was 17, and I distinctly remember the teacher telling us to flip to Acts 2. Acts in which book? I thought, confused as everyone in the video dutifully opened their Bibles to the same page. It was like she told me to open to verse 2 and I was expected to find it.
Thats right I was so new to the Bible; that thought an Act was the word for a verse. Now, 10 years later, and I have a degree in Religion with a focus on Biblical studies, and have written a few Bible studies myself. God sure does choose the strangest people.
This to say: if youre new to all of this, Ive been there.
Whether youre a new believer, a lifelong Christian whos just starting to explore the Bible, or just looking because youre curious, reading the Bible by yourself for the first time can be intimidating. I know how hard it is to find resources that explain what you need to know without overwhelming; you. Or, worse, making you feel like youll never, ever get it. But you can, and; you will. Today, I want to show you a few different Bible study methods; that can help you learn how to start studying the Bible. But first, lets lay down some basics.
Desire The Benefits Of Starting And Leading A Bible Study
Starting and leading a Bible study can be one of the greatest adventures youve ever tried. And its good for you.
- Leading a Bible study presses you to grow and learn for yourself. You always learn more when you prepare to help someone else grow in their faith.
- Leading a Bible Study also teaches you how to depend on Jesus Christ more. And, whatever leads you to depend on Him is a good thing for you. We are to live by faith in Him and let Him live His life through us.
So, give your insecurities to Jesus. He is the one who makes you able to do everything in the Christian life, and that includes starting a Bible study. You are simply to obey Him and trust His Spirit to work through you. Being scared is a good thing; you will rely on Him more. It is okay to say, Lord,Icantdothisonmyown,butyoucaninmeandthroughme.Iwilltrustyouwiththis. Step out in faith.
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Level Five & Six: The Letters & A Prophetic Book
The next section contains epistles, or letters, written by early church leaders to various congregations or individuals. They struggled with and celebrated the same things we do today.
The final section of the New Testament is also prophecy. Its primarily about Jesus second coming, and how to live in the interval between His two appearances.
What Kind Of Bible Should A Beginner Get
The best Bible to get is one youll actually read! You can use a regular reading Bible, but a quality study Bible is an even better option. It will say Study Bible and will include many extra notes and comments inside about what youre reading.
Choose one that:
- Works well for your reading style and comprehension level
- Suits your budget;
- Is well made
The ESV Study Bible is a solid choice. You can get it in an inexpensive hardcover or in a higher quality leather cover .
Try to get the best quality you can afford, so you can enjoy it for many years to come. Bible study tends to give your Bible a real workout as you flip between pages, from passage to passage. Better quality Bibles are more apt to withstand more serious use. Theyll have better quality paper, and a binding that wont fall apart after the first year.
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Know What Type Of Writing It Is
Different people use different categories for the types of Biblical writings but I am just going to share the broader types to help you get started.
The broad writing styles of the Bible are these:
Are you going to read poetry differently then you would American laws? Would you read a persons memoir differently than a letter from a friend?
Yes, you would! You would be reading it differently expecting different messages and ways of translating. The same is true for Scripture.
For example, Leviticus is a book of law while Psalm and Proverbs are poetry. They are written differently, for different purposes and we must approach Scripture according to those differences.
After choosing a book to set up camp in, determine what kind of writing it is!
How To Start A Bible Study
It is possible that your local Christian bookstore has some bible study workbooks you can use for your youth group. Furthermore, you can look for these books online or check with your church to see if they have any extra lessons that they can provide you with. On the other hand, if you want to save some money, you can learn to write your own lessons.
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How Do You Start A Youth Bible Study Group
Some of the activities you will have to perform as the bible study group leader are to plan out where and when the weekly meetings will take place, find lessons, create a safe and friendly environment for discussion, and invite guests to pray for your group.
So, how do you start a youth bible study group? Well, being in charge of a youth group bible study lessons can seem hard. However, you will be able to find here some small group bible study ideas that will make how to start a bible study less difficult.
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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How Much Of The Bible Should You Read A Day
There really isnt a right or wrong answer to this question. It really depends on what your goals are.
Do you want to read through the Bible in a year?
Do you want to read it in chronological order?
Are you trying to make reading the bible a daily habit?
Are you studying a specific topic?
Is there a specific book of the Bible you want to focus on?
No matter what your goals are there are plenty of Bible reading plans available online for you to choose from. Most bibles have a yearly reading plan already in them.;
If you dont want to follow a reading plan, I would suggest you read a chapter a day.;
Apps To Help You Read The Bible
The best app Ive run across is the Bible app. Its the most popular app and for good reason. Not only does it give you multiple options for reading through the Bible in a year, 90 days, 30 days, etc. but it also gives you special devotions. It offers quite a few versions of the Bible and so much more.
Bible.is is my favorite app for listening to the Bible. You can listen to the Bible dramatized which Ive found makes the stories come alive. This app is also great for listening to the Bible with your whole family.
Audible is another great app option for reading the Bible that you can listen to while youre doing other tasks. Daily Bible Verse is an app I have enjoyed as well.
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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.
Get A Bible You Enjoy Reading
Bible reading isnt very fun when you dont understand what youre reading. Its incredibly helpful to have a Bible that can help you understand whats happening .
If youre looking for a helpful resource, the NIV Student Bible will provide a lot of insight. Built specifically for students of the Bible, it gives you just the right amount of help without overwhelming your time in the Word. And it has its own three-track reading program!
Another great resource is The Books of the Bible. Broken into four-volumes and by many of the genres mentioned earlier, this Bible is free from chapter and verse numbers that provides a seamless reading experience. When done with a partner or group, this approach to reading the Bible can be very enlightening and meaningful.
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What Is The Bible
Before diving into the books order and structure, lets pause for a moment to consider the heart and message of the Bible.
While the word Bible comes from the Greek word biblia, meaning book, it may be helpful to know that the Bible isnt an ordinary book that reads smoothly from cover to cover. Its actually a library, or collection, of books written in several languages over 1600 years by about 40 different authors. Its books are shelved or ordered by type and topic rather than chronologically.
All the different parts of the Bible come together to form one narrative. Its a true story with a courageous main character, great adversity and conflict that ultimately climaxes in triumph.
Listen to this description of the grand Biblical story by Sally Lloyd-Jones:
Pick A Book Of The Bible And Work Your Way Through It
If youre anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or youll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps.;
If you read one chapter of John a day, youll read John in its entirety in 21 days.;
After reading John, move on to the other gospels Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
Work your way through one book at a time, and youll never find yourself fumbling for where to read again.;
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What To Expect From Yourself
And heres another thing. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone elses Bible, marked-up with notes and bleeding with highlighter, and thought WOW! I want THAT!, I could buy myself a fancy commentary set or ten! To be sure, I love how encouraging it is to see other peoples Bible study photos and videos. But inspiration can turn to envy really quickly when we start comparing ourselves to others.
It can be damaging to hold yourself to the standard of someone elses Bible study. This is especially true when youre just learning how to start Bible study! Remember: this isnt about having a perfect Bible or being a perfect person.;God meets us where we are. We dont have to climb the mountain or go to the temple to talk to God. We are blessed to serve a God who came to us. One who put on skin and sandals to walk in our shoes, feel our pain, know our hearts. We serve a God who stoops to meet us.
In the same way, you dont need to mark up every inch of your Bible to spend time with God. You dont need to read Hebrew or speak Greek. You can still gain important messages and lessons from the Word without tearing it apart. Focus on what you can do sustainably. If you can only spend five minutes a day, every day reading the Bible, that would be better than doing a huge two-hour study once a week. See what fits you, your life and your learning ;style. Do what you can.
Basic Tools To Use When You Start Studying
Youll want to keep these basic Bible study tools and resources on hand:
- Post-it notes
- Journal or notebook
If youre a creative person or love to make things beautiful, you might also want to use:
- Any other decorative elements
Whatever helps you get to studying is what tools will be the best fit for you.
You might also want to keep a simple beginner Bible study plan with your supplies. For example, will you begin with the gospel of John, as we discussed earlier? Or maybe our Gods Love scripture writing plan? Keeping a printed reading plan or devising a set schedule will help you stay motivated and on track.;
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How To Start A Prayer Journal
;;;Prayer can be such a battleground.; Do you know why?; Satan knows that as Christians we so desperately need to connect with the Lord and draw strength from Him.; So, the devil fights us on this.; Oh, it may not look like a fight.; It may come across as a simple thought such as Im too busy, or I dont know what to pray about, or Ill do it later when I have more time.; Sound like the voice of experience?; It is.; But recently the Lord has been giving me greater victory in this area.; Its certainly not my strength but His.; And He wants to do the same for you!; One of the tools He has been using to help me is a prayer journal.; And today Im going to tell you how you can start a prayer journal for yourself.;;;
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Whats So Important About Reading The Bible
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of the Creator God .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said, and you might wonder how?
While God is not one to be boxed in and limited by our understanding of His ways, one channel that God speaks to us is through His word, which is described by the writer of Hebrews as alive .
It is common to hear Christians say, God said , and you might wonder: How?
In the book of 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul tells his disciple, Timothy, that all Scripture is God-breathed. One translation translates it more simply as inspired by God .
The purpose of the Bible? To prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
No one enters into a new relationship without communication; as a child of God, our relationship with God is no different.
God desires to speak to us and He often does it through what He has already revealed in the Bible, the word of God .
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Should You Read The Bible Every Day
Yes! I would always encourage you spend even just a few minutes each day in Gods Word. Reading the Bible every day can greatly impact your day for the better. God speaks to us through His Word.
It gives us strength, helps us remember or find our purpose, gives us encouragement, etc. Think about that one person that always makes you feel better. When you feel awful, you go to them and feel so much better. Thats what reading the Bible does on a daily basis. Reading it every day fuels you to take on whatever might come our way.
Reading the Bible doesnt have to be challenging and once you get started reading the Bible youll find its not nearly as intimidating as you may have once thought.
How Long Does It Take to Read a Chapter a Day?
It takes around 10 minutes to read a chapter of the Bible per day. If youre a slower reader, it could take up to 15-20 minutes. Some chapters are longer than others but, this is the average based on most chapters.
How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible in One Year?
If you read about 3-4 chapters a day, youll be able to read the entire Bible in a year. For the average person, this is about 30-40 minutes of reading a day. For some, it might be quicker or a bit slower, depending. Overall, it takes 70 hours and 40 minutes to read the entire Bible, for the average person.