Here are 5 Bible study methods you can use:
Before you can feel comfortable with deep and advanced Bible study methods, you should first start reading your Bible regularly. Read it like you would other books—from cover to cover. Don’t just randomly jump into the pages of the Bible without regard for how it all fits together. You will have an almost impossible time understanding of Hebrews without having a basic knowledge of the Old Testament law. Take time to read the Bible linearly (straight through).
Don’t just randomly jump into the pages of the Bible without regard for how it all fits together.
Another way to read the Bible is to do a chronological reading. This is where you read the Bible based on how the events occur in a historical time-line. As you may know, there are many books that overlap in their histories. Finding a chrono-logical reading program will show you which chapters or verses to read at a time to get a more accurate chronology of biblical events. Whichever method you choose, reading the Bible as a whole book is helpful in understanding more detailed studies.
When you become interested in a certain book you can study it in-depth. The best way to start a book study is to find an overview of the book to give you a general idea of the outline and contents of the material. If you have a study Bible these book overviews can be found at the beginning of the book in your Bible. I have several book summaries at my own website starting with Genesis.
Book summaries will tell you who the author was and when the book was written. They will also tell you the general themes covered in each book with a quick overview of the stories. From this summary you are ready to study the book in detail. Keep a notebook (either physical or digital) of the things you learn and it will help you the next time you are reading through the book.
Many chapters in the Bible have great meaning. Some are critical passages to help unlock truths in other chapters of the book, or other books of the Bible. For example, Paul spends a great deal of time explaining how to live a proper Christian life in 1 Corinthians. Yet the principles of love need to be understood so that you can properly apply the concepts found in the rest of the book. You find that when you study the 13th chapter.
To do a proper chapter study you need to understand the chapter in context. Don’t pull a chapter out of a book and try to interpret it without the context with which it was intended. A good concordance or topical Bible can help you find other verses related to the chapter you are studying.
Studying the life of a person in the Bible can be rewarding and enlightening. Many Bible characters will show up in only one book; but there are some who span multiple books or are referenced many times in the Scriptures. Verses containing Moses in the book of Hebrews give more insight into his character than what you get when only reading the Exodus story of his life.
When doing a search for a person in the Bible, remember that sometimes their name may be spelled differently in the New Testament than it was in the Old Testament. This is due to Hebrew and Greek having different versions of the same name. An example is Elijah in the Old Testament being the same name as Elias in the New. Did you know that the name Jacob and James are the same root names? One is Hebrew and the other Greek.
Another fun study is to find a topic and follow it through the Bible. This can be based on a single word or teaching. Again, a good study Bible or concordance will help here. There are even topical Bibles that do much of the work for you. Sometimes they are called topical Bibles, but they are also known as reference Bibles.
Pick your topic and then find all the verses you can related to it. Make sure you study the verses in context. This may mean reading a verse or two before and after the verse you are studying. Or you may need to spend time understanding whole chapters and books to understand the meaning of a single verse.
Whichever Bible study method you employ, remember to write down what you learn. You will benefit personally from looking over your notes as you pass through certain books and chapters in your future reading time. These notes can help as you teach others what you are learning. My personal notes are the basis for many Bible studies I do with others or for articles I write.
By David Peach