Bible study requires preparation and planning. Purchase tools like a study Bible, concordances, dictionaries and atlases in order to get started.
Consider both the local and broader context of each passage you study when conducting your investigation. How does it fit with its book or even with all of Scripture?
Pray for wisdom as you study. He is faithful to answer our prayers!
1. Study by Words
Reading the Bible is one thing; studying it requires something extra special. Whether reading for your own personal benefit or teaching others, tools are needed to help internalize what you learn.
Start off your study right with a SOAP outline! This simple inductive Bible study method divides its focus into three sections: Scripture, Observation and Application – you’re sure to find plenty of free SOAP outlines online!
Verse mapping can also be an invaluable Bible study technique, offering another creative solution. This creative Bible study method involves highlighting and writing notes about specific passages of Scripture as you reflect upon them; making notes may include writing out questions such as who, what, when, why and how. Susan from Women of Noble Character has created an excellent verse mapping sheet you can download here.
Keep the whole theme of a chapter, book or Bible in mind when reading Scripture passages. Look out for common threads throughout and how they culminate with Jesus – for instance Israel’s journey through the wilderness or God’s covenant with his people as examples.
2. Study by Great Topics
Without having an understanding of God’s Word’s overall theme, it would be impossible to fully grasp its message. That would be like trying to drive across the country without learning the fundamentals of safe driving first – you need skills and habits like fastening your seat belt or adjusting mirrors before heading out on any long trip.
The Bible covers many important subjects, such as God’s promises to His people, major events of history (kingdom and kingdom, covenant, temple and priesthood, exodus redemption etc), or its seven pillars of wisdom (fear, instruction, knowledge discretion counsel counsel and reproof). By exploring these important topics more in-depth you can gain a greater understanding of how it applies to your life and can further grow spiritually.
To effectively study biblical topics, it helps to have the following tools at your disposal: a Bible (preferably more than one), Bible dictionary, concordance and books or workbooks on the topic you are studying; you can also cross-reference other Scripture passages pertaining to your study topic in your Bible. Using these tools you can conduct question-and-answer studies, verse analysis studies comprehensive chapter analysis studies topical studies or topical studies using The Navigator Bible Studies Handbook as your resource for more details of these methods of investigation of God’s Word!
3. Study by History
Studying Scripture through its words alone is certainly rewarding, but digging deep into its pages or themes is equally so. Studying topics or subjects such as prayers, Bible promises or even its seven pillars (fear of the Lord, instruction, knowledge, understanding discretionary counsel counsel and warning) can also prove to be rewarding.
Study of specific people mentioned in Scripture can also be done through using a Bible dictionary or concordance and then reading all verses mentioning that person. This type of Bible topic study can be very revealing and help reveal more of God’s plan for humanity.
Your Bible offers numerous books which may provide guidance in book studies. By carefully considering every passage that addresses a particular subject matter in each one, book-study studies can often prove quite revealing and help provide insight into its context.
4. Study by Geography
One effective method for bringing Bible history and culture to life is through historical geography research. This form of study helps clarify passages while offering insight into their author’s meaning and intent.
It’s essential to take the original setting and circumstances of Bible characters or topics into account when studying them. What did their authors and original readers know, believe, and experience given their time and place?
If you are studying King David, it would be useful to know that his life coincided with periods of intense military conflict. Or if you’re reading Proverbs, it would be useful to know that wisdom’s seven pillars include fearing the Lord, instruction, knowledge, understanding, discretion counseling, counsel and reproof.
Studies of biblical history and geography can be made using various texts, atlases, tour books, as well as visiting excellent Bible teachers or professors who emphasize contextualized interpretation of passages in Scripture. A comprehensive knowledge of cultural background helps illuminate why certain writers used particular styles or addressed certain audiences when writing scripture passages.
5. Study by Time
Experience different Bible study techniques until you find one that best suits you, such as one-volume Bible commentaries and digital versions of biblical references. Additionally, helpful tools may include one-volume commentaries and digital Bible references that could prove indispensable in finding what’s needed to do the job right.
Example: Some people use verse mapping. This involves highlighting and circling words while asking yourself questions such as “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?” to help analyze Scripture passages. Another strategy involves taking notes in a notebook then applying them directly to your life – an excellent way of making the Bible come alive!
A book-by-book approach to Bible study is another effective choice, enabling you to focus on an overall theme within each chapter and then see how that relates to other chapters before and after it. Furthermore, reading multiple books simultaneously may help illuminate their overall story more completely.
One effective approach to studying the Bible is focusing on an individual character in Scripture – perhaps Abraham and Sarah, David, Joseph or Paul are characters you identify with – then studying their strengths and weaknesses as well as applying what lessons can be applied directly to your own life.
6. Study by People
Bible study should go beyond simply an academic examination of Scripture – its goal should be to help your group strengthen its relationship with both God and each other. Furthermore, in an age when more people than ever before express feelings of loneliness it’s imperative that your Bible study groups provide tools that foster relationships and build communities.
One of the key ingredients to forming meaningful relationships is asking intelligent questions. Asking probing questions can take any conversation to another level and reveal unseen depths about someone or something not immediately obvious from its surface appearance.
The Bible contains many fantastic topics for study. Indeed, each topic can often be covered by multiple passages within it; this is especially true with topics like faith, adversity and world religions; it is therefore essential that one studies these subjects with patience – clarity may take days or even years but eventually comes.
As you prepare your Bible studies, it is important to keep in mind that the Bible is “living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing to divide soul from spirit, joints from marrow, judging thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). Therefore it can provide your group with an invaluable resource for helping understand relationships, build community (just like playing online slot games on websites depicted over the https://moxiecafe.com does), and grow closer to God.
7. Study by Prayer
Prayer can help connect our hearts to God’s Word while studying, providing an avenue of communication between heart and spirit. Prayer provides a means of seeking guidance and wisdom from Him as well as thanking Him for what He has already done as well as praying for the needs of others.
When selecting material for a Bible study, look for material that draws participants back to Scripture through plans that bring participants back into its pages time after time. Furthermore, be sure the questions posed by your material are Bible-related – the best questions highlight what the text actually means by asking “what this text says”, what its implications are and how it fits within its larger themes (chapter/book/Bible).
Reliable Bible commentaries will assist in making sense of a passage and its themes, while also pointing you toward other passages which address similar topics. At the same time, however, ultimately it’s up to you to internalize all that you learn through God’s Word study – while His Holy Spirit will guide and illuminate it, it’s ultimately your responsibility to apply what you learn through journals or reflection.