Shhh….Don’t tell my kids, but when I was in school, I did NOT like to study! In middle school when we had history exams that covered the entire book, I would actually pray that Jesus would return before I had to study all that info and take the exam! I know…not exactly the most spiritual prayer.
Now I love to study…study the Bible that is. With some great resources at my fingertips and some of the Bible study methods that I learned from the Busy Mamas Bible Study, it has been so fun to dig into His Word!
This month I thought I would share with you some of the Bible study methods that have become so helpful to me. It’s so easy to just read and not truly think about what I am reading, but these methods help me to pay attention and sort out what I learn. Some may be more applicable than others, depending on where you are studying in the Bible or what type of study you are doing.
First of all, I would encourage you to get a notebook or journal to write down what you learn as you read the Bible, or if you are using the Olive Tree App, type your notes right in the app like I do. Then, pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes to His Word. All the study tools and methods in the world are of little good if you don’t have a willing heart to change and grow.
Now, for the different Bible study methods….
Study a book of the Bible.
- Research the background:
- Who is its author?
- When was the book written?
- Who was it written to?
- Why was it written?
- Read the entire book or surrounding chapters to get a better context, looking for themes and repeated phrases.
Do word studies.
- Use Strong’s Concordance to find the definition of a word. I love looking up words in Strong’s. Sometimes the words don’t quite mean what I thought, or the definition opens up a much better understanding.You can use the physical book, or you can use one of the apps I suggested in my last post.
- As an example, read Psalm 20:3: “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.” According to Strong’s, “cease” means to rest or sit still. “Meddling” means obstinate or to disclose oneself. So, it is an honor for a man to just sit still instead of getting into a quarrel, but a fool will be obstinate and disclose himself as….a fool! Hmmm….am I sitting still….or being obstinate and a fool?
- You can also use Strong’s to find other verses with the word you are studying. For example, I can find out that the word “praise” in Psalm 9:1 is used 111 times in Scripture, and I can then see all those other verses.
- If you are using an app or website, you can search for verses that have several specific words by typing “AND” between each word you want in the verse, such as, ”praise AND lord.” Then, each verse with both of those words will show up in your search.
- For example, for a recent word study I did, I read about the various things that the Bible tells me to do with all my heart. Since one is praising God, I began reading and listing verses that talk about praising Him, answering the questions – Why? What? When? How?
- Here is a nice worksheet for word studies.
Do a chapter or passage study.
- Read a verse over and over, emphasizing a different word each time you read it. Think about the verse’s meaning as you stress different words. It really is amazing how that really helps you to focus on each word!
- Mark we, us, and our in the passage. Then read it and replace them with I, me, and my to personalize the verse or passage.
- Record repetitive or key words and then organize your thoughts about them. See “all” in Psalm 103 and “righteous” in Psalm 37
- Record things that God DOES do & DOES NOT do.
- Mark negative words such as no, not, none, neither, nor. Record what the negative is about.
- Make a chart of the past, present and future, such as what God has done, is doing, and what He will do.
- Mark adjectives that describe God. Add the verses to your God Is journal. Maybe turn it into word study.
- Look for comparison words “like” or “as.” What is being compared?
- Find reasons, looking for the clue words for, because, therefore, since, on account of, lest, seeing that, etc.
- Turn a Psalm into a prayer & pray it back to God.
- List the commands – negative and positive. Are you obeying them?
- Look for “if (or though)… then” phrases.
- What is said about or to different people?
- Notice the words referring to God or Jesus, including pronouns; organize your findings. What did you learn about God?
- Look up some of the words in Strong’s Concordance as suggested above. Paraphrase the verse or passage with your new understanding of the words.
- Look for contrasting words, such as love and hate or wise and foolish, etc.
- Use Bible maps to get a better understanding.
- Here is another helpful Bible study worksheet.
Ending your study
- Go over your daily notes and summarize what you’ve learned throughout the study.
- Meditate on all you have learned and think how the study will change your life.
- Ask yourself, “How can I apply what I have learned?”
- Is there a certain verse you now need to memorize or post somewhere?
Although I haven’t had to study for any extremely long history exams lately (Whew!), I do see what a wonderful privilege it is to study – digging into God’s Word so that I can learn and grow.
Do you have a favorite Bible study resource or method? Please share it in the comments below.
For more Bible study ideas, check out Edify Hub’s Pinterest board – Bible Study.