Studying the Bible is you going through the Scriptures in detail to discover the meaning and how it can apply to your life. Set aside a quiet place and time once a week to study. (This is more in depth than just reading the Bible.) Don’t get bent out of shape because you don’t understand everything. As you grow and mature, you will understand more.
1. Acknowledge the Holy Spirit
One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is He is a Teacher. Before you start studying, acknowledge Him in this role by praying, “Holy Spirit - Help me to understand God’s Word today. Teach it to me in a way that I can understand what the Father God and the Lord Jesus is saying to me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
2. Use Study Tools
Here are few tools you may find useful when you’re studying. Don’t feel you need to get all of them. Start with one and expand once you’re able to.
Study Bibles (Recommended - “The Word: The Bible from 26 Translations” by Curtis Vaughan)
Bible Dictionary (Recommended - W.E. Vines Concise Dictionary) - This will help you to understanding the meaning of the words used in Scripture.
Exhaustive Concordance (Recommended - Strong’s Concordance) - This lists every reference where every Biblical word is found.
Commentaries (Recommended - Wycliffee Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary by Wiersbe, or The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord and Zuck) - These are good for historical context. However, be careful, some of the authors write from an unbiblical slant, so “eat the fish and spit out the bones.” (Most of your study should not be derived from commentaries.)
Books on the subject you are studying.
Internet searches (Recommended - www.bible.com, www.bible.org, www.crosswalk.com)
Pen, notepad, highlighter
3. Determine the Method
The method you choose will be dependent upon what you are studying.
Expositional Method - Studying individual books verse by verse.
Survey Method - Studying Books of the Bible as a whole to become acquainted with general information rather than verse-by-verse. Helps you to get a general sense of what’s happening.
Topical Method - Studying certain subjects/topics (i.e. healing, marriage, prosperity)
Biographical Method - Developing a character sketch of individual people in the Bible. (i.e. Moses, Joseph, Jesus) In doing this, you are studying a particular person’s life through the Scriptures.
Word Study Method - Studying the meaning of words and how certain words are used in the Scripture. (Your Bible Dictionary and Exhaustive Concordance will come in handy for this.)
Devotional Method - Devotions generally have a Scripture and a brief inspirational message included. (This method should be used for encouragement and not as your main method for studying since it is written by authors and not a deep study into God’s Word.)
4. Use Various Processes
Observe - Slow down and really look at what the Scripture is saying. Ask yourself questions as you are studying. Who is writing? What is happening? When - Are there time-sensitive words like “after,” “until,” “then” being used? Where is this happening? Are there any clues about why things are being said or done? Are there any instructions or explanation about how things are done or should be done? (Every verse will not answer all the questions.)
Interpret - Ask what does the passage mean? Each verse of Scripture has only one intended meaning even though there may be many applications. Your goal is to discover the meaning of the text that God or the Holy Spirit has intended. Use the Bible itself as the primary source of information about the Bible.
Apply - Answer the question, “How does this passage apply to me?” Ask yourself, “What truths am I to embrace? What confirmation have I received that I am on the right track? What changes should I make in my belief or in my life?”
2 Timothy 2:15 (study)
John 14:26, 1 John 2:27 (Holy Spirit)
List links to the Study Tools