A few months ago, I shared some Bible study tips in one of my newsletters. I asked my subscribers if they wanted more posts on the topic, and I got positive feedback. So here is the first of my posts on how to study the Bible.
Bible Study Tips:
- Pray before Reading
- Read Slowly and Prayerfully
- Read Cross References & Related Passages
- Journal a Verse or a Takeaway
- Memorize Scripture
- Word Studies
1. Pray before Reading
Before beginning your time in God’s Word, pray. As you pray, ask God to make His Word come alive to you. Ask Him to show you how to study the Bible. Ask for His Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as you are reading. A verse I like praying is Psalm 119:18 “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” There are other good verses to pray before studying God’s Word. Find some and memorize them, but that’s another point in this post.
2. Read Slowly and Prayerfully
As you are reading, read slowly, focusing on what you are reading and thinking about what it means to you personally. Also, as you read, pray about what you are reading. Ask God to reveal to you how each verse applies to you. Every verse in the Bible is there for a reason, so ask God to show you what that reason is.
3. Read Cross References & Related Passages
The next of my Bible study tips is to use cross references and related Bible passages. When figuring out what a verse or passage means, compare it with related passages in the Bible. Some Bibles have cross references, where it tells in the margin where to find related verses. Comparing one Bible verse with another is a good way to figure out if you are taking a verse out of context. Or if you are struggling to understand what a verse means, reading passages on the same topic is a good way to find out what it means.
4. Journal a Verse or a Takeaway
Make it a priority to not end your Bible study time until you have journaled at least one Bible verse you read that stood out to you or a takeaway from something you read. This is a habit I am still working on, but it has helped me to look specifically for something that applies to me, particularly something applicable to that day.
If you know you won’t stop until you find a verse, you will be actively searching for something meaningful to you, instead of passively reading a chapter and then going on about your day without another thought of what you read.
5. Memorize Scripture
I mentioned earlier about memorizing verses to pray before beginning your Bible study. If you consistently memorize God’s Word, when you are studying the Bible, He will bring to mind verses you have memorized that relate to what you are studying.
And as you memorize, meditate on the verses you are memorizing. You can use your memorization time as Bible study time!
6. Word Studies
Another of the Bible study tips is to study key words in the passage you read. There are a lot of good concordances and other resources for looking up a particular word in the original Hebrew or Greek. And no, you don’t have to be a Hebrew or Greek scholar to do word studies. Otherwise, I couldn’t do them! At some point, I plan to do a roundup with some good word study resources, but for now, I’ll just share one: Strong’s Concordance. It has every word in the Bible in it, so you can look up whatever word you want!
The last of my Bible study tips is to use commentaries. Now, commentaries are written by fallible man, so their ideas can not be put on the same level as God’s Word. But by reading what great Bible scholars have studied, we can find helpful information for figuring out difficult passages. A couple commentaries I enjoy are Barnes’ Commentary and Clarke’s Commentary.
I hope this post was an encouragement to you, whether you already study the Bible or whether you don’t much but would like to do more. What are some of your favorite Bible study tips? Share them with me in the comments! I would love to hear your suggestions for how to study the Bible.
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If you’re interested in Bible studies, then check out the Bible studies available in my freebies archive!