Beginners Guide To Bible Study: Simple Steps To Get Started
Home>beginners guide to bible study
When I first started, I wanted to do more than just read the Bible, but I struggled to get a more conceptual understanding.
Unfortunately, most Christian books, websites and lessons online are not practical. They do not address or even acknowledge the practical challenge we face in searching after God.
I know your struggle. How? Because I’ve lived it.
I’ve created some methods that have helped me. They will give you practical application steps and guidelines to get you over this hump.
More importantly, they also remind you that it is not about doing rituals but about knowing Jesus and not relying on your feeling but the Word.
If you want to see the change in your life, go all in, don’t hold back.
First Thing's First: There's no by passing the Word of God
Having you here means that you know its importance and really want to have a guide for bible study. So, why study the bible? As Christian, the Word of God is food for our spiritual man. Jesus refers to it as the "bread of life".
- Studying the Word - feeds us
- Studying the Word - makes us good stewards
- Studying the Word -grounds us
- Studying the Word - grows us
Let us dwell on this for a moment:
1 Peter 2 : 2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby:
As Peter explained, at the beginning stages of our Christianity we are new born babes. Feeding on God’s Word provides the proper sustenance that is needed for us to survive and thrive. When we begin to grow, this same Word will continue to provide sustenance so that we can live.
If Studying Is Key, Then Why Aren't We Doing It?
It's sad to admit but the Bible can be hard to understand, and confusing to study. I know exactly how this feels:
My personal issues:
There were times when understanding the Bible seemed like learning Algebra. Yes, Algebra. It was that bad. For years I read the Bible in a cherry-pick manner and struggled to identify God’s presence.
I would go for weeks, without reading God’s Word simply because the
love was missing. When I forced myself to read it never took long before going back to my normal ways.
As soon as I realized that not having a love for God’s word was one of my weaknesses, I approached God in prayer.
I then began repeating the prayer that he revealed unto me.
And with effort and consistency - the joy of his word ignited like wild fire!
If you can relate, this beginners guide to bible study is for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What's the difference between studying the bible and reading it?
There is a big difference between reading and studying. We read for an overview of the scripture. However, eastern cultures and western cultures are different. Also, modern days are so incomparable to biblical times. For us to interpret the text correctly, we have to take a walk in the shoes, and see it through the eyes of the people who lived it.
Only then can we truly grasp the full meaning of the words in the passage. The best way to do so, is through cross referencing and the use of bible study tools such as study bibles, atlases, Bible dictionaries, concordances. That is known as bible study.
2. What's a good book to help with studying the bible?
3. Is it better to study the bible alone or with people?
To be honest, there is no one-size-fits all. It is all based on your preferences. I prefer to study alone, however, my view of a scripture verse can be so different to another person. That's why small group bible studies are so beneficial. Having several view points on a particular scripture not only broaden your study but also helps you to prepare for questions that you may receive from others when witnessing.
What Does It Mean To Study The Bible?
In brief you can study in three ways:
- Digging deep and unraveling biblical truths found in God's Word
- Scriptural Memorization
- Scriptural Meditation
- Scriptural Application
Doing each separately is wonderful for spiritual nourishment but combining all four is the best way to really get the full impact of studying. For what use will it be to learn how to study the Bible: just unravel God's word, document it on paper and leave it there to gather dust while we go on to another Bible study?
The real reason for Bible study is for you and I to grow right? Growth begins when the Word abides, takes root, and makes changes. This happens when we add memorization and meditation and of course application to the mix!
First Let's Prepare With These Helpful Resources
Get this bible study note book for free. What you'll get:
- The complete printable notebook sheets
- Written instructions
- 2 step by step videos on how to set up, layout and use your notebook. And Note taking techniques.Click here
Beginners Guide: How to Get Started With Bible Study
you can listen or download the audio here
Making bible study possible boils down to 4 achievable steps I call: - “G.A.P.E”
Gather all the resources we need to do Bible study such as
- A study bible
- Exhaustive Bible Concordance
- Bible Support
At this stage we will do a lot of reading. We will exhaust
the guidance books and the Bible, taking down notes and noting down any
questions or areas of concern.
Practice, practice, practice.
Here we shall practice to put aside time for Bible studies
and honor it by being disciplined. Challenges and frustrations will happen. However, keep our heads high and be persistent.
Execute everything we learn.
At this point we will
have overcome the barriers and we can finally enjoy Bible studies. Here, we
will actualize our intentions by actually doing studies.
Step #1: Gather
We are going to be
gathering all our resources that is going to be needed to get this done.
1) Get A Good" Show & Tell" Product or Book
believe in every resource that we gather, it is important to have at least one book, or
product that gives you an overview or guideline how to accomplish whatever you
Rick Warren's book on Bible study methods
( not an affiliate link ..yet) is a perfect book for this task. It goes above
and beyond in helping you to understand how to use Bible study methods.
Most of the books
that I’ve found are not that specific or the cover is very misleading. I’ve
bought books entitled “How to Study the Bible” but inside it just summarizes
each book of the bible.
Rick Warren’s book is
different. It actually does what it says.
I bought Rick
Warren’s book on Amazon so you can do so as well, if you are so inclined. Or better yet, why not get the cheaper, ready-to-read
But you should have
at least one major product.
2) Get a Study Bible
Not just a bible, but a Study bible. Trust me, there is a difference. Apart from the bible helps that is found in this bible, some study bibles includes information in the footer and introduction of each chapter, which is supportive when reading.
3) Get an Exhaustive Bible Concordance
This goes without saying: you will most definitely need this exhaustive bible concordance. It is packed to the hilt with scriptural reference for any and every word that is found in the bible, and that can really come in handy when doing persona bible studies. I have never regretted purchasing my Strong Bible Concordance. You won't either.
Having these three tools is a very good starting point but I would suggest two others:
4) Bible Dictionary
As in any dictionary, it give you a wider understanding of the meaning of the words used in the bible. Some bible dictionary takes you on a historical journey to unravel the cultural settings and the real depth of the terms used. For example when I looked up 'purification' in a bible dictionary one day I realized that it not only means ' to make clean' but it had a whole custom and ritual that came with the manner of purification! Man, I never looked at the scripture in Esther the same again!
5) Topical Bible
found out recently the power of a topical Bible. Imagine I have been doing
without this topical Bible for years, and recently found out that I have been
missing out! I got one right away! It is basically gives a list of scriptures on
different topics in the bible whether
the keyword is included or not. For example under “abomination” a list of
scripture plus all other scriptures that may be related to abomination. I think
that is powerful. You get everything.
I soon realized that my
Nave Topical Bible [Kindle] is somewhat limited in the amount of scriptures that are
beside each word. I am now in search to find an Exhaustive ( KJV) Topical Bible ...( *singing* off to see the wizard, the wonderful
wizard of Oz).
Other Tools and Resources
Step 2: Absorb
What is meant by Absorbing?
In short: this is learning as much as you can.
- reading the bible
- understanding the background and overall theme of the bible
- reading articles, watching videos,
- soak in the information in the product/ book that you've purchased
- getting understanding of the bible tools that you listed above
On Positively Driven
Christians, I have a section that talks about Bible for beginners. my intention for that area is to
help you to get a basic overall understanding of this bible.
It's important that
you also start doing some Bible reading for now. It should not be too specific:
just general bible reading. While you are doing Bible reading you’ll realize
that certain questions is going to pop into your head: Why this? How? When? What? Where?
can start noting these questions along with any areas that you would like
Step #3: Practicing
Practice, practice, practice.
We can never get good unless we put the peddle to floor and we practice. First two things that we will be practicing is
1) Time & Discipline
Believe it or not: this is the key to staying on track, Time and Discipline.
We all have desires to accomplish lots of things, but most are left undone, because of not block away time in our schedule, and be disciplined to stick to the time. Ouch! I am guilty too. It happens to me!
That's why in this area, we should begin practicing scheduling time, and disciplining ourselves to be there ( at that place) to do Bible Study, whether we feel up to it or not.
If we rely too much on our emotions ( whether we want to do it or not) we would never get anything done. I know there might be
emergencies. You may not feel like
it at time, but if we focus on our feelings we probably would just do one bible
study every 3 – 6 months!
2) Practicing bible study methods
We spoke about gathering
a book on bible study methods. In that book Rick W arren explained several Bible
study methods. If you have that book, you can begin practicing these methods. If
you prefer, there are lots of methods that you can practice from my website,
Positively Driven Christian.com.
Be prepared, while
you practice, to not get everything all at once.
You may feel
frustrated and at time even a little overwhelmed. Expect it.
Start with easier methods, and work your way up. Some methods you may find easier to adapt than others and you may naturally gravitate to those.
From experience, I understand that feeling. I have 3 methods that I absolutely adore that I often use, which can be a good and bad thing. So I am working on "evolving" to include other methods. ( say a silent prayer for me :) )
So embrace your preferences, but also try to at least understand the application of every method; these can come in handy down the line.
Step #4: Execution
We are now doing to start attempting complete personal bible studies.
Start preparing for
bible studies, setting your time, showing up, opening your note book and
spending the time with the Lord for the complete time that you’ve set.
- set the time
- use your bible study tool kit to make preparations
- stick to that time
- say a prayer
- use a bible study method
- open your note book
- take notes as you go along
By this time you will have a few bible study methods in your pocket
to choose from but expect that you will still have a few rough times.
You may start and stop, but eventually as time progress, you will soon
find that you begin enjoying your moments in the
bible. You might begin to get a few laughs here and there as you read,
begin to reveal secret things to you.
As you familiarize
yourself with the tools, it will become easier, so give it time, it will get
*singing* Ooo child, thing’s
are gonna get easier…ooo child thing’s will get brighter ( I just had too, that
song was just perfect for right here)
What questions do you have about bible study, that you would like content to be created for? Leave your comment below. Your ideas will help me to help you.
Don't forget we make Bible
study simply enjoyable then
join me in "Setting Your Bible Study Time" using 3 ways I call A.I.M. See you there!
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