“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” — Psalm 119:105, NIV
The Bible really is an amazing book. It is made up of two testaments, 66 books and was written by about 40 authors. However, the Bible is much more than just a book. It is the Word of God. As believers, learning how to effectively study the Bible can be extremely beneficial as we read God’s Word.
Here are a few Bible study methods and tips:
Spend Time in God’s Word
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” — Psalms 1:1-2
In order to effectively study the Bible, we have to spend time in it. We will not be able to learn and grasp much from God’s Word if we are not reading it regularly. Spending time in the Bible will increase our familiarity with it. It will also allow us to see themes that are present in different books of the Bible and find applications in passages.
Look for Context in Passages
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” — 2 Timothy 2:15
Perhaps, some of us have seen Bible verses taken completely out of context on social media posts or on cute decor. When we study the Bible, we should look at the context. Reading the Bible is about more than pulling out a singular verse here and there without any thought. We must pay attention to the whole picture in order to grasp the meaning of a verse or passage.
We can study the context of a passage to better understand what is happening. Who wrote the book? Why is it being written? What is the main point or theme of the passage? Looking for these small context clues can be extremely helpful and give a new perspective on passages.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” — Proverbs 11:14, NIV
When it comes to studying the Bible, seeking guidance can be a huge benefit. Other people may have more knowledge or insight that we did not catch onto in our own studies. Going to someone with wisdom, such as a pastor or professor, can help us to have deeper and more mature understanding of what we are studying.
Study With Other People
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17
For some of us, it may be hard to stick to the habit of studying the Bible if we read it by ourselves. However, if we study with someone else or in a group, we can have accountability when it comes to reading the Bible. We also may gain different interpretations or perceptions of the scripture that we did not find when reading it for ourselves.
Explore Resource and Tools for Studying the Bible
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” — Philippians 4:8, NIV
Today, there are lots of study tools that can help us study the Bible. There are online resources, Bible translations, commentaries, videos and so much more that can help us dive into God’s Word. Using the resources and tools for studying the Bible can deepen our understanding of the Bible and even help us to grow closer to God as we learn more about him. We just have to be aware of where we are getting these resources and careful to make sure that they are reliable.
Keep Notes on Your Learning Process
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” — John 13:17, NIV
Keeping notes while studying the Bible can be helpful. It gives us a tool to look back on as we continue reading. They can also remind us of the context and big picture of different areas in the Bible, so we can form connections.
Perhaps, for some people the notes are used less for turning back to and reflection but more for meditating on the scripture. The notes may never be read after they are written, but the act of putting pen to paper can help us get our minds thinking and our hearts meditating on what we have read.
Pray About What You Read
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” — Jeremiah 33:3, NIV
Prayer and studying the Bible go hand-in-hand. When we try on our own to grasp the concepts in the Bible, we will often hit a roadblock. However, when we ask God for wisdom and seek his strength, he is faithful to help us and honor our desire to grow closer to him.
Approved by the local outreach ministry coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Dec. 19, 2022.
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.