The Bible is an unusual book. You can read it for pleasure, but you need to have an understanding.
Reading vs studying
Bible consists of 66 books written by different authors in various periods and that makes it difficult to understand some parts without background information. So just reading the Bible doesn’t provide you with the necessary knowledge.
There are several approaches to studying the Bible:
- By books – one book is studied from a different aspect: historical, cultural and ethnical.
- By people – a prominent person is usually chosen. We are interested in personal character traits, events, results, etc.
- By topics – a keyword is chosen to study in all examples.
In this study, I tend to combine these approaches. Sometimes I choose a book or a passage and study it in detail. Or I can take a topic to go deeper in it. Every time this journey is different and exciting.
Tools you may need to study the Scripture
- The Bible (printed version).
Some people like journaling or drawing. There are Journaling Bibles for that on the Internet, too. This one, for instance. I like the feeling of holding the Bible in my hands. Perhaps, it is the same as a printed book for readers.
- The Bible app with an available choice of translations:
- YouVersion Bible with my favorite translations – New International Version, King James Version, Amplified Bible;
- Olive Tree Bible – easy to use;
- Notebook, but I prefer printables for their convenience. You can print them out in any size you choose. I am ready to share with you my personal printable, if you subcribe to Bible Study Challenge.
- Using cross reference and commentaries.
Steps for studying the Bible
Set up the time
In our busy schedules, we don’t have much time left for communication with God. The only known way to fix it is to set the time. Choose mornings or evenings. Maybe you have time during the day.
Create the atmosphere
Minimize your distractions: mobiles, social networks, e-mails, etc. I use Christian music to create the mood and to concentrate.
Study the passage.
Read the passage and write down the main thought, including key verse and general topic: love, forgiveness, trust, etc.
Study the cross reference.
Cross reference can reveal different aspects on the same topic or it can lead to related topics, but from another angle. If you find relevant information, write it down.
Write down the insights.
While reading through the main passage and all the cross reference, you may want to write down your thoughts and decisions.
Think about the implementation.
How can you apply this lessons to your life? Note that down.
If you don’t have something specific on your heart to write down, just tick the circle for prayer after you are done.