I just finished reading through the New Testament, which got me to thinking about Bible study. Bible study isn’t boring and knowing theology isn’t just for preachers. Granted pastors should go deeper and spend more time in study do to the fact that they are teaching a church, however study is for the believer. In this post I am going to share a few ways I study and a few things you can do to make your Bible study more meaningful.
Most of us have a Bible APP that gives us a verse of the day and that’s fine but we all know we need more than just one verse a day. The same kind of thing is true for studying the Bible. If you’re going to study verses, read the chapter. If you’re going to study a chapter, read the book. Context is key and honestly, I think we get more out of Scripture when we at times purposefully set aside an hour or two (the same amount of time as a movie) and read a book of the Bible in one sitting.
Most of us don’t know Hebrew and Greek but there are tools out there like the Strong’s Concordance that can give us the meaning of the original language. It’s not necessary to look up every word of a verse that you’re studying but there will be times when your interest is peaked and you’ll want to dive a little deeper into the meaning.
I probably should have started with this but pray before you read and ask Holy Spirit to teach you. That’s His role in our lives, so we need to ask Him for that help.
Always take notes on what you’re learning or thoughts you have while you’re reading. One thought can develop at a later time and become a great study.
Phones can be helpful when it comes to finding a verse but have a real, leather bound Bible you use to study out of. It cuts down on distraction, ( which reminds me, put your phone on silent). When we sit down to study we need to give that time and God the respect of our attention being on Him.
Use different translations. I recommend using a good “word-for-word” translation (NASB, ESV, NKJV, MEV) and a “thought-for-thought” or Paraphrase as well (NIV, NLT and The Message). When you study you should have at minimum two translations to look at. I also recommend the Amplified Classic Edition Bible and The Passion Translation. If you like to use a study Bible I would recommend the Spirit Filled Life Bible and the Life Application Study Bible.
Take your time when you study, you won’t always finish a study in one sitting. Allow time to meditate on what you are getting out of your study. Talk to friends about what you’re studying and see what they get as well.
You can take a look at the recommended reading page for Bible Study tools and other books. As you study the Bible, include a study of the history of the places you are reading about to get a more complete understanding of what is going on. Make a general study of church history and theology to help you better understand the text.
One last thing, have a spot that is designated for study, make it comfortable, have your stuff all in one place so you can get immersed in going through the Word, running references, looking up words and getting to know the people in the book. It may take a few times to really get into study but one day you’ll look up and realize you’ve been sitting there for three hours and only think it has been fifteen minutes.