Studying the Bible can be daunting. I have tried so many methods and changed my required “quiet time” so many times. I have heard so many different opinions on what is right and best, but none of them made sense to me like this one! Take a peek at these tips that changed my Bible Study and then comment below and tell me what works for you!
Every year our mission in Papua, Indonesia has a conference. Pastor Matt and a team from his church come every year to minister to the missionaries here. He does a fabulous job of reaching our hearts with the Word of God. This year, he surprised me with one of his messages. He said that people were not designed to learn things on their own. Most people learn by engaging with others. We do learn on our own from time to time, but the majority will come by interacting with and being challenged by others.
This had a couple of implications for me. Related to my Bible Study, it released me to seek others to study with. It also reminded me that even though I want my children to be independent in our homeschool, they need me, and each other, as part of their learning process.
Below are some tips that give the best results for learning the Word of God.
Bible Study Tip #1: Write the Word
I use this method most when I am alone. At a women’s Bible study group we were encouraged to write a book of the Bible. To be honest, I was horrified at first! As I started on this journey I noticed a couple of different things happening.
- I had more focus on the passage than when I was just reading.
- I was catching more meanings than ever before.
- I had a sense of accomplishment that encouraged me to continue on.
- It slowed me down enough to really meditate on the passages.
This personal study method was so effective for me that I created a Scripture Writing Challenge! You can start this challenge for free. Write the Book of John and get to know Jesus in a more intimate way!
Bible Study Tip #2: Ask Questions
There are 2 different kinds of questions that you must ask after reading or writing a Bible passage. This is a great one to brainstorm with a group.
- What questions would the original hearer of this passage ask?
- What are the questions we would ask as a modern reader?
Bible Study Tip #3: Outline
There are two different types of outlines you can do for each Bible passage. Outlining can be done alone and then discussed to see what pieces others felt were important, or discuss and develop it in a small group.
- Textual Outline – This outline is done straight from the text. What are the main points that are written and the supporting points?
- Teaching Outline – This type of outline is used to bring out the lesson in the passage. What are the main points that the author desires for us to get out of the passage? How do we know and what are the points that support them?
Bible Study Tip #4: Summary Sentence
Write one summary sentence that contains the main idea of the entire passage. It doesn’t have to be complicated! This can be used as a memory tool for the passage. It is also fun to do this with a group.
Bible Study Tip #5: Life Application
Application of a Bible Passage is what takes the passage from head knowledge to heart knowledge. It allows you to see how the passage applies to you in the stage of life that you are in. These are great to discuss with a small group. You can take things that several people say to add to your phrase.
To do this, you will want to come up with a key phrase for each verse or section.
For example: Look at Ephesians 4. Verse 1 says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” The key phrase that I might choose for this verse could be, “Don’t lie but speak only truth.”
You could call this your Life Application for the first verse.