Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bible Study Tips

Communication is key in a relationship; thus Bible study is KEY to having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know so many people who have struggled with having assurance of their salvation. I struggled with this as well during the younger years of my own life. Probably 99% of those that I have talked with struggle because they didn't have a vital relationship with Christ. They didn't talk to Him or read His grace/truth-filled letter to us. They simply received His free gift and, then, never pursued the relationship part.

However, in any relationship, when you stop talking, when there is no communication you start wondering things like "Is He even there?" Does He still love me?" or "Is He dead?." The list goes on.

You have to talk to HIM. Otherwise you will struggle with your relationship.  So I want to help you with some Bible Study ideas. 

I am going to be talking about this subject for bit of time, because I feel it is so important.

The first article I found was from They simply gave some great ideas on Bible study. The point was to do it, whether you have 15 minutes or two hours. 

To read the whole article click on the link.

Take a Long-term View
Think of Bible study as a savings account rather than a debit card. Rather than viewing it as a declining balance you draw on to fill an immediate need, allow it to have a cumulative effect over weeks, months and years. You may not reach understanding of a passage or be able to apply it well after one day’s exposure to it. That’s OK. Keep making deposits into your account, trusting that in God’s perfect timing, He will illuminate the meaning and usefulness of what you’ve studied, compounding its worth. What if the passage you study today is preparing you for a trial 10 years from now? Study faithfully now, trusting that nothing is wasted, whether your study time resolves neatly in 30 minutes or not.

This is so very true! There are Bible lessons I learned as a child that were nice but didn't have real-life meaning to me. Now, I read them with tears in my eyes completely understanding and embracing the lesson. - RITP

Stay Put

Rather than reading passages pulled from different parts of the Bible each day, choose a book and stay there. Topical study guides and devotional guides can leave us with a piecemeal knowledge of Scripture. We may grow very familiar with certain passages, but we might never learn their context. Reading a book of the Bible from start to finish helps us connect the dots in our Bible knowledge and generate a cohesive understanding of the text.

I would encourage this style of Bible study. You can make the Bible say whatever you want, if you read it out of context. This is why it is so important to know the context - RITP

Honor the Context

Before you begin studying a particular book, research its historical and cultural context to prime yourself for proper understanding. Reading a book in light of its original audience and setting is a basic principle of interpretation. Who wrote the book? To whom was it written? When was it written? What historical and cultural factors prompted and informed its writing? Researching these questions guards us from interpreting in light of our own cultural or historical bias. 

Understand Genre

The Bible is comprised of many different literary genres. It contains historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature and more. Each of these genres abides by certain rules. Each uses language and imagery in a certain way. We cannot read the Psalms the same way we read the Gospels, nor can we read prophecy the way we read wisdom literature. When you begin a particular text, learn about its genre and read it according to how that genre “works.”

Use Proven Tools

If your goal is to build foundational knowledge of Scripture, you’ll need good tools to do so. Choose tools that have stood the test of time: read the text repetitively, paraphrase verses in your own words to help you focus on their meaning, look up word meanings, annotate a copy of the text, check cross-references, read accessible commentaries. Each of these tools will help you build comprehension and move you toward sound interpretation and application.

Dwell in the “I Don’t Know”

We tend to minimize our feeling of being lost by rushing to various study helps. We read a passage, we feel the dissonance of not understanding it, and we immediately consult study notes to relieve the dissonance.
But that dissonance is actually what helps us retain understanding when we finally achieve it. Commentary, including sermons or the notes in a study Bible, is best used after you have spent time trying to understand a passage on your own. Push yourself to read for understanding, using tools such as those mentioned above, before you consult study helps. In doing so, you honor the command to love God with your mind, not someone else’s.

On a side note, there are some things that we will never understand, especially about God. He is God, He does not have a human brain or agenda. So sometimes we have to say, I'm not going to understand this completely. I am not going to try to put Him in my human box.  I am simply going to accept that He is God and way above my understanding. - RITP

Study All of It

If “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16), hadn’t we better work to spend time in all of it? Determine to use your study time so that, over time, you gain exposure to all parts of Scripture, not just those that feel the most accessible or familiar. We need the Old Testament to fully understand the New Testament. We need Leviticus as much as we need James. Be careful not to avoid or hurry past sections of the Bible that seem boring or unhelpful. Even genealogies, strange prophetic visions and inventories of building supplies are profitable for our instruction, though it may take some work to discern how.

Remember That the Bible is a Book About God and His Grace

It is tempting to read the Bible as a road map for our lives or as a guide for “abundant living.” But the Bible, strictly speaking, is not a book about us. From Genesis to Revelation, it reveals and celebrates the character and work of God. We do gain self-knowledge, but only as we gain God-knowledge, learning to see our own character in relation to His. Read asking, “What does this passage teach me about God and His redemptive work?” Then see yourself in relation to Him: “Knowing that God is longsuffering causes me to reflect on how impatient I am. How then should I live?” Allow application of a passage to flow from seeing God in a particular light. A key tool to consider here is the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, which shows, passage by passage, how the Bible is a unified message of grace for sinners.


We lack wisdom. Never are we more aware of this than when we embark on becoming students of the Bible. Pray before, during and after your study time. Ask God to give you ears to hear. Like the psalmist, pray, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Ps. 119:18). Acknowledge your limitations, and humbly ask God to grant you wisdom and insight as you study. He will not refuse your request.
Taken from The ESV Women’s Devotional Bible © 2014, p. 1584. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, All rights reserved.

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