Why study the Bible?
- 2 Tim 3:16-17
- 1 Pet 3:15
- Psl 119:9-11
- Psl 1:1-3
- John 8:31-32
- Block out adequate time
- Don't wait till the last minute.
- Get your resources together. (See tools below)
- Be open to God, teachable to what He may say to you.
- Apply what you learn. (James 1:22)
Note: items in ( ) are recommended.
- Bible - in a modern translation (NIV Study Bible)
- Concordance (NIV Exhaustive Concordance)
- Bible Dictionary (New Bible Dictionary)
Additional resources that are helpful:
- Language Dictionary (Vines Expository Dictionary)
- Commentaries (The Expositors Bible Commentary or The NIV Application Commentary)
- Dynamic Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren
Other resources you might consider:
- What The Bible Is All About by Henrietta Mears
- A book on theology (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology by Baker Books, Edited by Elwell)
- Character Guides (Willmington's Complete Guide to Bible Knowledge; in two volumes Old and New Testament People)
- Bible Study program (Logos Bible Software, comes in various package levels and with unlockable books)
Things To Be Aware Of Before Beginning To Study The Bible
7 keys to understanding:
- Look for the author's intended meaning.
- Read the passage in context.
- Identify the genre of the passage you are reading.
- Consider the historical and cultural background of the times.
- Interpret experience in the light of Scripture, not Scripture in the light of experience.
- Try and put the passage in your own words.
- Always seek the full counsel of Scripture.
- Narrative / Historical (ex. Genesis)
- Law (books that have to do with Mosaic law, ex. Leviticus)
- Poetry (ex. Psalms)
- Wisdom (ex. Proverbs)
- Parables (illustrative stories ex. parable of the sower)
- Prophecy (prophetic works written by the prophets, ex. Isaiah)
- Gospels (Stories about Jesus, ex. Matthew)
- Epistles (Letters, ex. Ephesians)
- Apocalyptic (ex. Revelation)
Types of Bible Study:1
- Book or passage
- Topical / Thematic
- Study guide with questions
- Current issues
- Chapter summary
Bible Study - Doing It
- Set aside time and get your resources together.
- Pray for insight.
- Read the passage, several times if necessary.
- Put it in your own words.
- Try and figure out what was going on then (background and culture) and what the author was trying to say to his readers.
- Identify timeless truths that apply to today.
- Ask God to show you personal application, in other words what does He want you to do?
- Consult resources like commentaries and find out what others think.
- Share what you have learned with others and ask them to pray for you and hold you accountable to your application.
Studying the Bible is one of the most profitable things you can do and it will last for eternity! Isaiah 40:7 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." NIV
1 Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God's Word, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan/HarperCollins, 2006).