Bible study might seem intimidating at first, especially if you do not know where to start. For all those who want to learn how to study the Bible, we have prepared a simple guide. Check out five different ways of how to study the Bible for beginners that can help you to better understand the word of God.
Guide on how to study the Bible
When it comes to studying the Bible, the most important thing is to make that first step, to realise that you want to study it and to do something about it. If you have made that step, it might be why you are reading this right now. Do not worry, our five ways of how to study the Bible effectively can help you navigate through all the difficulties and emerge out of this ordeal more enlightened and closer to God than you have ever been. Without further ado, let’s get to it, starting with our first method.
Take it in as a whole
Probably the simplest and most logical way to study Bible is to ‘start from the beginning’. Now, we know that this might not seem that simple, taking into account that it comprises of over 60 books written by over 40 different people.
Samuel Dickey Gordon, a prolific writer on Christianity from the 19th century, wrote in his book ‘Quiet Talks on Prayer’ that one should begin with Genesis. You should read it page after page without trying to understand every little detail until you get to the end. Then, you should move one to Exodus and repeat the exercise. After that, go to Leviticus and so on.
The purpose of such reading, even if you do not get all the minutia on your first (and even on the 100th read-through) is to get the bigger picture. You need to forget that all these books have been written by other people. Instead, you need to think of them as the word of God, the way of communicating with Him and understanding Him, not what someone has written centuries ago. So when you read the Bible as a whole, you can see the bigger picture of Lord’s plan.
Study separate books
If you are actually interested in that minutia, you might want to study each book separately to discover more truths, find out about where it comes from and how it fits into the whole picture. So decide on a book you want to study more closely and consider the following suggestions:
- Find out about the book’s background. Who wrote it? Why did they write it? What were the times like when the book was written?
- Take note of principal characters. What are their names? Why are they important for this particular book? Some books have so many characters that creating a family tree might even be necessary.
- Figure out the outline of the book. What is the book trying to tell us? What is its main message and importance?
- Mark the passages that mean something to you. This will help you understand God’s words better and take them to heart.
Study by chapters and verses
In order to dive even deeper into the words of the Lord, you can study individual verses and chapters. If you want to get the better idea of what they are saying, look up different translations and compare them. If you want to, you can even look some words up yourself in the Bible dictionary.
The way of working with separate verses and chapters is similar to books, as you need to figure out what they are talking about, who they are talking about, what the lesson is that they are trying to teach and so on.
Focus on a specific topic
As you know, Bible is full of different themes, and it might be confusing if you try to fathom all of them at once. Instead, you can pick one topic, such as, for instance, trust, or prayer and focus your attention on that particular theme.
With the help of the Bible concordance, you can find the references to your topic of choice. When you find all the relevant verses, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How is the topic defined in the verses?
- What connects the verses to one another?
- Which of the verses should you memorise?
- What have you been able to learn about your chosen topic and what can it tell you about the Lord?
Select a certain person
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Did you know that the Bible contains 2,930 characters/people? Well, you can learn something valuable for following the story of each and every one of them. Thus, we offer you to pick a person you would like to study, take your trusty concordance (even a name index at the back will do) and look up all the mentions of them in the Bible. Once you do that, you can find the answers to these questions:
- What are the outstanding character traits of this person?
- Did he/she have a great crisis in their life? How did the person deal with it?
- What is his/her experience with God?
- Are there any evident faults in his/her life?
You can simply follow how the person lives their life, serves God, follows His word. In that, you might find faith, peace and inspiration for moving forward.
There is no right or wrong way to study the Bible. After all, it is a very complicated teaching with a history that has lasted for millennia and each person interprets it differently. The most important thing is that you learn more about the Lord and apply His truth to your life. Good luck and God bless you.
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