When it comes to reading the Bible, you don’t have to be a scholar to enjoy God’s Word.
This powerful Book can ease a hurting heart, encourage a weary spirit and restore broken relationships. More importantly, it can help a lost soul find redemption through a personal relationship with Jesus.
Yet the modern Christian often stays content to have a surface relationship with God, never maturing in their faith. In fact, according to a recent study by American Bible Study, only 1/3 of Christians claim to read their Bible at least once a week.
Interestingly, the reason many believers stay stagnant in their faith isn’t because they don’t want to read the Bible. They simply don’t know how.
Is that you?
Like any relationship, growing closer to God takes communication and commitment. However, you’re not left alone to fumble your way through the Bible. The practical study methods below can help you dive deeper into God’s Word and understand how the whole Bible fits together.
3 Popular Ways to Study the Bible
Whether you’re a Bible study novice or are a seasoned reader of the Word, these ways to study the Bible will help you clarify Scripture and gain greater meaning during your quiet time. Plus, when you record your findings, you will have a cherished memento of what God taught you during your Bible study.
Topical Bible Study
This study method is for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of a certain topic of the Bible. It allows you to research all of the verses on a given topic and compare them for greater clarity as you study.
You will need a Topical Bible (I personally love the Zondervan NIV Nave’s Topical Bible), or a device to research verses on Biblegateway.com or blueletterbible.org. Then, decide on a topic you wish to study, such as prayer. Search your Topical Bible or online site for verses that include your subject.
Next, record the verses you find in a journal. Once the verses are written, look for a common theme and common words that God uses throughout the verses. It’s amazing to see how God connects similar words and phrases throughout Scripture!
As you research the subject, also consider making note of the actions of God, His commands for us, and His attributes noted in these verses. Don’t forget to write how you plan to apply these verses to your life moving forward.
Verse mapping is another of the popular ways to study the Bible. It’s ideal for those who want to dissect a Bible verse to clarify meaning and gain greater understanding. Following these simple steps will increase your biblical knowledge in no time!
- Write out the complete verse (usually in the middle of the page) and note the translation you used.
- Re-read the verse, but this time select a word (or more) that you want to study. You goal is to clarify the meaning of the word and/or gain greater insight into the passage.
- Look up those words in a dictionary and record the definition, as well as synonyms and antonyms.
- Next, look up and record the verses before and after the original verse to help you understand what was happening around it. (Example, if you looked up John 3:16 originally, write out John 3: 15 and 17.)
- Using another translation of the Bible (or Biblegateway.com if you don’t have one), record the verse from the new translation. Look for similarities and differences between the two translations.
- Finally, write down how you can apply this verse to your life or how it impacted you during your study.
Write the Word
Writing down passages of Scripture is a great way to help you remember and meditate on God’s character and attributes.
To begin, simply write out the entire passage of Scripture you read. Once the passage is written, make note of God’s commands, promises and character that were revealed in the passage. Then, look for repeated words and phrases and how you can apply it to your life. This might be one of my favorite ways to study the Bible!
Getting started is easier than you think!
Friend, growing in faith doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Simply choose a book of the Bible to start reading (I recommend starting in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.) and dive in with one of these ways to study the Bible.
To make your quiet time even easier, this Family Bible Study Toolkit offers printable templates for each of the study methods above. It also includes a prayer request journal, sermon notes, Bible journaling templates and much more!
Just print the template of the study method you wish to use, and start reading your passage. Record your findings on the decorative pages and then keep the completed pages together in one place or in a Bible Study notebook. Simple and convenient!
Best of all, with over 40+ printable Bible study printables, it includes templates the whole family can use during their Bible study, including designs for women, men and kids. Now your whole family can read the Bible and record their findings together.
Learn more about the ease and convenience of the Family Bible Study Toolkit here
This week, I challenge you to commit to trying one of these popular Bible study methods. You’ll love the impact it makes on your spiritual life as you gain insights into the heart and character of God. Happy studying!