Weekly Devotional: Different Ways To Study the Bible

Person reading the Bible and flipping page

There are many different methods of studying the Bible. It depends on who you are and how you process information best. For instance, some people only read a verse, reflect on it and then proceed on to the next verse until the chapter is done. Others may need to read the whole chapter and then dissect the meaning of the scripture to get the full context before reading. Each person learns best in different ways, so it can be helpful to try different methods to see which works best for you. Here is why it is important to read the Bible and three common methods for studying it deeply.

In This Article: 

Why Study the Bible?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. — 2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV

Building a relationship with God and getting to know him more personally is a true blessing. Taking the opportunity to understand his Word and take in the wisdom he gives to us in the Bible. Studying the Bible is important since it can help us gain clarity and guidance in our lives. God intended for the Bible to be exactly the way it is. Every word that is written is intended to be there and serves a purpose. Everything in the Bible is necessary. Approaching the Bible through this understanding and mindset gives it great significance.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17, NIV

As Scripture says, we help sharpen one another. Being part of a community that’s focused on helping and guiding one another can be beneficial.

Here are a few ways you can study the Bible:

  • Self-Study: Some people may find that studying by themselves can be relaxing and not as distracting. You can learn a lot about yourself and build a personal relationship with God by focusing solely on him and yourself.
  • Group Study: Others may believe that studying in a group of people is helpful because you can share your thoughts and insights with each other. Studying with others can also be encouraging and uplifting. 
  • Life Groups: If you’re on campus and want to join a Life Group, there are plenty in every dorm and apartment building. So, join a Life Group and take the opportunity to be with your peers and be part of a community. Help fill each other with Godly wisdom and strength.

Studying by Topic

Studying the Bible through different topics is another great way to learn more about God’s Word. This method is especially helpful when you may need something specific, whether it is advice, guidance or encouragement. There are many great resources you can use to find specific verses and stories in the Bible that can reflect on current issues we may face in our own lives.

Bible Journaling

Bible journaling can be a great way to study the Bible and write down the things that you learn. There are so many study Bibles that allow people to take notes right beside the verses. Study Bibles can be a great tool for people to keep track of their thoughts and important points to keep in mind. 

Here are a few important things to remember as you read and study your Bible:

  • The Bible was not written to you but for you. It can be easy to put yourself in the shoes of Scripture, but that is not its purpose.
  • Cross-referencing other Bible verses can also be very helpful in gaining further understanding.
  • We won’t be able to understand and know everything. We are finite people trying to learn about an infinite God. We won’t have the answers to everything, but that’s why faith and trust are vital.

The SOAP Method

The SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) method is common and may help in taking Scripture and applying it to your life and circumstances. This method of studying can be easy to follow since it provides a guideline of what to look for and learn from.1

  • Scripture: Firstly, find a piece of Scripture that you want to study and look into further.
  • Observation: Find the context behind the verse. What was its purpose? Who was the audience? What events led up to the verse? How does that piece of Scripture make you feel? What made it stand out to you?
  • Application: How can you apply the verse and its meaning to your life? Are there practical steps you can follow and practice?
  • Prayer: Close off in prayer and give thanks to the Lord for his great Word and wisdom. 

Grand Canyon University is dedicated to helping all the members of the GCU community learn more about God’s great Word. To learn more, take a look at our Christian identity and mission. To explore more about spiritual life here at GCU, browse through our other weekly devotionals or complete the form at the top of this page. 

1 Love God Greatly. (n.d.). The soap method. Retrieved on March 20, 2024.

Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on March 20, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.