Daily Bible Reading for Sunday, February 18th:



Notes on How to Study the Bible

1. Read 2. Study 3. Repeat

I am teaching Bible class this morning and answering the question, “How do I study the Bible?” Since this is a site that centers on Bible study, I thought I would post the outline and notes as reference for future posts.

The blessings associated with reading the scripture do not come from a casual glance. Like anything, it takes some hard work and dedication to gain an appreciation and understanding of the Bible. We could say Ignorance breeds contempt in reference to anything, but it probably holds true with the Bible more than anything.

We Required to Study

Romans 10:17 says that our faith come from hearing the word of God. Basically, if we are not digging into God’s word, then we are not growing our faith!

Some Scripture that proves the need to study:

  • 2 Timothy 2:2 – We have to be able to teach the word
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study makes us approved people of God
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 – The Bible is God’s final word for how to live
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 – We should be able to respond with God’s word
  • Acts 17:11 – The Bereans were called noble for studying the scriptures
  • Revelation 1:3 – Blessings are given to those that study and act on the scriptures

Personal Organization

Personal Bible study is a habit. If it were a bad habit, everyone would do it! In order to establish a habit, the rule of thumb is that it needs to be repeated for 21 days. It probably takes far fewer days to break the habit, so we have do as much planning and setup as we can to insure our success. We can treat our Bible study just like a meeting at work and schedule it on our calendar. This is the fist and biggest step to making the commitment.

Here are the basic steps to help you get organized:

  • Decide on a time – set an appointment
  • Decide on a place – A nice comfortable place free of distraction that will help you get into the flow of study
  • Decide on a time frame – an easy beginning of say 15 minutes will eventually turn into more as you grow!
  • Decide on a structure – Important. What are you going to use your time doing? Have a plan going in as to what you will accomplish during your study time
  • Choose a Bible reading plan or Bible study. – Rather than randomly flipping open your Bible and reading, you need a plan, like the one in the header of this site, or another of your choosing. You might also decide to follow a topical Bible study guide similar to what we might use in Sunday School
  • Pray – James 1:5 reminds us to ask God for the wisdom we lack. Be sure to invite him into your Bible study
  • Consider adding worship to your study – Some simple praise and song during this time would add to the benefit of study
  • Consider a Journal – I began using this site to journal my thoughts as I do my daily reading and it has really paid dividends to my understanding and retention of what I read. While writing something publically might not be your thing, a personal journal will give you the same benefit.
  • Commit – This has to be a firm appointment with God, it cannot be a hit or miss activity or it will never stick.
  • Be flexible with yourself – If you find after all of the above steps that what you are doing isn’t clicking, start over at #1 and rethink where you are in your maturity and adjust the plan accordingly. The ultimate goal is to take where you are and grow from there.

Tools

While you can (and should) just start with just your Bible, you’ll need a few items to help you along the way as you get more and more serious about your study:

  • Bible – A word for word translation is best for Bible study, especially as you mature. KJV, NKJV and ESV are my main choices for this. The ASV and NASB are also good for this purpose too.
  • A Concordance – I mean a really good one like Cruden’s Complete Concordance
  • A Dictionary – I honestly recommend Webster’s American Dictionary from 1828! It gives reference to how words are used in the Bible, especially when used with the King James Version
  • Strong’s Numbers – This helps you get down to the original words in the Hebrew and Greek to better understand what the passage is telling you.
  • Commentary – While not required by any means it can help to get an explanation of how other Bible scholars understand a passage. Always remember to compare what they say strictly to the Bible using your other tools!

This is a lot for one sitting! Over time we’ll use this as a building block for more on how to study God’s word.

About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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