How to Study the Bible
One of the best ways to study the Bible is by using the inductive method which makes observations on a particular verse then draws conclusions based on those observations. This method typically consists of three components: observation, interpretation and application.
Benefits of Studying the Bible
- We see Jesus.
- We find eternal life (John 5:39-40).
- We become Jesus’ disciples.
- We come to a knowledge of the truth.
- We are set free from bondage (John 8:31-32).
- We experience the blessing of God (Revelation 1:3).
Pray for Illumination
Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you into His truth (John 16:13-14). To really understand the Bible, you’ll need God’s help. The Bible isn’t a regular book, but a spiritual one. You will need divine aid to fully grasp what you read (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Ask God to Speak to You
You will want to hear from God as you read the Bible. The Bible is a spiritual book with many writers but only one author, God. This is what makes it so exciting to study. It’s God’s love letter to us. Read it expecting God to speak to you, apply His Word to your life, and give you direction (Hebrews 3:7, Acts 13:1-3).
I like the King James version. It is written in a poetical style which makes it easy to memorize. However, much of its language is archaic and it uses words we are not familiar with. It’s not inaccurate, it just may take getting used to reading it. Many of the words in the King James Bible are simply not used today.
If using the KJV compare it with newer translations and/or use a dictionary. For instance, in Hebrews 2:18 the KJV uses the word succour which is not a familiar word to most today. The NKJV and NASB uses aid and the NIV uses help. If you look up succour in Webster’s dictionary it is defined as help or come to the aid of.
Some easier to read translations are the New International Version, the New Living Bible, the New American Standard, and the New King James. I actually prefer the NASB or NKJV to the NIV.
Understand the Context
It’s important to know the historical context of each book of the Bible you study. This will help you understand the reason it was written and what was going on at that time in history. After discovering the context, you can move on to its relevance to you.
Use Bible Study Tools
There are many great Bible study tools and guides. For example, Halley’s Bible Handbook gives a brief synopsis of each chapter, historical background, and relevant archaeological finds. As you advance in your study, you can move on to Bible commentaries and reference books.
As you study write down anything that stands out to you. If there is something you don’t quite understand, write down your question and the passage so you can come back to it later. Sometimes things will seem to jump off the page as if God was speaking to you directly. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. Underline or highlight important verses. You can also make notes in the margin beside the verse.
Join a Bible Study
God has gifted the body of Christ with many great teachers of His Word. Find a good Bible-teaching church that can help deepen your understanding of the Bible. If possible, find a church that offers small study groups that allows discussions on verses, passages and topics.
Be Willing to Obey
If you want to receive fresh revelation from God, you must be willing to put into practice the things He shows you. Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” (John 7:17). Also, “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away” (Matthew 25:29).