7 Ways to Study the Bible (#5 is so much fun!)

While there are many ways to study the Bible, here is one method to consider as we continue to conform more to the image of Christ, walking in obedience to our King. While this method is great for beginners; it can be geared toward any level of study. As you become more comfortable with Bible study, you will begin to develop your own techniques and discover favorite resources that will make your Bible study very personal and meaningful!

  1. Choose a Book (of the Bible :-): If you’ve never done any study of Scripture, start with a small book, preferably from the New Testament. Something like James, Titus, 1 Peter, or 1 John are all good choices for first-timers. Plan to spend 3-4 weeks studying the book you have chosen.
  2. Pray like Crazy: Probably one of the most common reasons why Christians don’t study the Bible is based on this complaint, “I just don’t understand it!” Before you start each study session, begin by praying and asking God to open your spiritual understanding. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” As you pray, realize that the words you are studying are inspired by God. Psalm 119:130 tells us, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
  3. Read (the entire book of study) in One Setting: While you’re going to spend some time, perhaps several days, studying an entire book, it’s good to get the “whole” of the book in one reading. If possible, do this more than once. As you read, look for themes that may be woven into the chapters. Sometimes you’ll detect a general message in the book. For example, in the book of James, an obvious theme is “Persevering through Trials.” Take notes on the ideas that jump out at you. As you read look also for “life application principles.” An example of a life application principle in the book of James is: “Make sure my faith is more than just a statement – it should result in action.” It’s a good practice to try and pull out these themes and applications on your own as you meditate, even before you begin using other study tools. This gives an opportunity for God’s Word to speak personally to you.
  4. Focus: After doing an entire reading, slow down and read the book verse by verse, breaking down the text, looking for deeper understanding. Hebrews 4:12 begins with, “For the word of God is living and active…” Now let’s see what it looks like under a microscope, as we begin breaking down the text. Using a Bible dictionary (printed dictionary can be found here:http://www.amazon.com/Holman-Illustrated-Dictionary-Charles-Draper/dp/0805428364/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436180267&sr=8-1&keywords=bible+dictionary Online version can be found here:http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/), look up the meaning of the word living in the original language. It is the Greek word ‘Zaõ’ meaning, “not only living, but causing to live, vivifying, quickening.” You start to see a deeper meaning: “God’s Word causes life to come about; it quickens.” Because God’s Word is alive, you can study the same passage several times and continue to discover new, relevant applications throughout your walk of faith. While there is one truth in Scripture, many applications can be drawn. This is the beauty of Bible study!!
  5. Load Up the Toolbox: An exegetical (verse by verse study) means there’s no limit to the wealth of understanding and growth that will come from your time spent in God’s Word. After reading a book as a whole and focusing in on verses, you will want to consider choosing the right tools to aid you in your learning, such as a commentary (print version here:http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Knowledge-Commentary-Exposition-Scriptures/dp/0882078127/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436180471&sr=8-1&keywords=bible+knowledge+commentary online here:http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/), lexicon (http://biblehub.com/lexicon/), or online resource (www.blueletterbible.com). A study Bible (http://www.amazon.com/ESV-Study-Bible-Crossway-Bibles/dp/1433502410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436180631&sr=8-1&keywords=esv+study+bible) will also help you dig deeper as well.
  6. Do What It Says: Don’t just study God’s Word for the sake of studying. Be sure to put the Word into practice in your life. Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
  7. Pace Yourself: Once you’ve finished the first book, choose another one and follow the same steps. You may want to spend much more time digging into the Old Testament and some of the longer books of the Bible.

The starting point of all achievement is desire.” N. Hill

You can do it!
-jordan
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