Top 3 Bible Study Guide Books Every Beginner Needs

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When I first started, I wanted to do more than just read my Bible, but I struggled to get a more applicable understanding. I soon realized that most Christian books are not practical. They provide "done-for-you advice" or theoretical knowledge. For persons who want to study the Bible themselves, well, we were left out in the cold. 

For years I suffered in frustration! 

But, you don't have to.

I've compiled three bible study guide books that will help you immediately.

These bible study guide books are different. They give you practical, applicable steps, and guidelines to consider. You can use them today, apply the method, and you'll be wielding your bible study sword by sun-down. 

1st Bible Study Guide Book: "Bible Study Methods" by Rick Warren

If you need the structure and guidance that bible study methods offer, we've got a winner! This is one of the bible study guide books I'd recommend as a  MUST read.

The Book is inexpensive: costing only $15.00 paper back / $9.99 Kindle; and worth every dime, in my opinion. It has just about everything we could ask for.

This is the ideal book for anyone desiring to deepen their study of God's Word and widen their capability to apply it to their own lives. Although it's not a book that you should read through at one go, I read this book from dusk to dawn could not put it down! 

Just as the name suggests, a list of methods you can use to study Bible characters, chapters, words, and subjects. It guides you to other tools most of which are available online. If you will get this book and use it to dig into the Bible you will find more profound meaning. There is more under the hood of the Bible than you can imagine!

Here's what to expect

1. Rick Warren gives you a preview of 12 ways to read and study your Bible and then go into each more in-depth. He makes it easy to follow no matter the stage of life you find yourself in and help you create a momentum of Bible study in your life. It covers the Devotional Method, Chapter Summary Method, Character Quality Method, Thematic Method, Biographical Method, topical Method, the Word Study Method, Book Background Method, Book Survey Method, Chapter Analysis Method, Book Synthesis Method, and Verse By Verse Analysis Method. 

  • Each method has a resource list, recommended tasks, and idea on how different study resources is used. 
  • There are wonderfully detailed bible study forms that can be used for every method.

2. There's still flexibility in the use of each method. With lots of bible study tools online, you might not need to use the specified tools, but you will get a similar outcome. Biblehub.com- a free online platform - has similar aids as well as the Strong's numbers. So you won't have to break the bank. 

3. There will be at least 2 or 3 that will work well for you and your schedule. You can read each method's description in 2 or 3 paragraphs to know which to try first. 

  • If you were to do them in order 1 through 12. They actually build on each other for the most part. 

My favorite Area: The area I love the most is the helpful appendices. Oh, the golden nugget you find! I have been missing out on a whole lot!

However, there's a few drawbacks:

  1. The Book can be overwhelming for someone with limited time. Instead, I would suggest reading each method one by one and then taking it out for a spin. See whether you enjoyed it, then move on to another. It takes longer to complete the Book but it would be less overwhelming.
  2. The cost to purchase reference books can add up, although they will deeply enrich your Wonderful resource for understanding how. The information that you carry away has immeasurable value.
  3. There are complaints about the binding. The spine can crack, and pages fall out before you finish reading the Book. A kindle version might be best.
  4. I wish the forms could be torn from the Book so they can be copied for continual use. 

Conclusion:

If you feel overwhelmed when reading this Book. Don't be. Just try one method. I think you will find it quite rewarding. 

All-in-all, this is one of the bible study guide books that I love, but that's me. You will have to give it a test drive yourself and then give me your thoughts. 

What do you have to lose?

2nd Bible Study Guide Book: "Living by the Book": William Hendricks

I've purchased several bible study guide books over the years. Some, I throw back into the water because they are duds. But this Book is a keeper! And for $12.79, I call that a steal of a deal!

One might say that Bible study Methods is a book for beginners and Living by the Book is for seasoned students. But don't let this deter you.

It should be read by any person that wants to improve their relationship with God. This includes the novice Bible reader and those that are very well-read in the scriptures, preachers included! 

For me, this is one of the bible study guide books that's worth it!

Here's what to expect:

1.  This Book provides excellent detail on bible reading principles with practice scenarios throughout. If you need help learning to study your Bible, with little to no Biblical training, you will get a lot out of the beginning chapters.

2. The Book is divided into three areas required for thorough bible study: 1) observation 2) interpretation and 3) application. He teaches you to approach bible study as if you were Sherlock Holmes. He demonstrates how focusing on the details can bring out dozens, if not hundreds, of points one small passage can contain.

3. It tells you how to interpret, and provides five keys: content, context, comparison, culture, and consultation, to assist in the process to ensure that we do not misinterpret the scripture.

4. In the application step, Mr. Hendricks offers sounds steps and solid advice, helping us understand our background and community and providing ways to apply biblical truth to change lives

5. Although the Book is not as practical as Rick Warren's, Hendricks does an excellent job explaining each section and then providing guidance and examples on finding the answers. First, he would demonstrate then pause for you to try what he has taught for yourself. I thought that was cool!

There are some drawbacks:

  1. One major shortcoming is that the Book may intimidate beginners or casual readers, but the Bible's serious student will discover a worthwhile addition to their study toolkit. 
  2. It is not a workbook. I thought to myself, "It would have been even better if this had a workbook". Then I went a-searching and realized there is a separate companion workbook. Oh Happy Day!

But hey, it still over-delivers!

Conclusion:

Living by the Book will be a new tool that you can continually go back to when studying. While reading, I came to realize how much I lost in the art of observation.

You will read the Bible differently after reading this Book.

 3rd Bible Study Guide Book: "How to Study Your Bible" by Kay Arthur

It is a fantastic resource for understanding how to study the Bible using the inductive bible study method. It is very detailed and readable. The information that you carry away has immeasurable value. I think this will be a book that I refer to often, mainly just to keep the procedure crisp in my thoughts as I study. 

Here's what to expect:

  1. You can also purchase the accompanying workbook, and like Living by the Book, it follows the basic guidelines of Observe, Interpret, and Apply, with Lots of charts, worksheet and tips. Kay Arthur adds her ease and style to the mix. The author uses a lot of perspectives to illustrate ways to study the Bible.
  2. At an affordable price of 12.92 [ paper] / 9.99 Kindle; this book allowed me to explore the inductive study techniques and offer practical advice. Also includes a review of much deeper concepts, such as Greek verb tense, mood, and voice.
  3. This book requires a real engagement with the Word. It gives ideas for how to mark various words with specific symbols, colors, icons that can be intimidating at first, but following chapter by chapter you will study deeper than ever before.  It provides the questions one can ask for deeper study of the Word.

My Favourite Area: Her supplementary guide called "Discover the bible for Yourself" is a unique workbook. In it, Kay condenses the inductive bible study principles found in this bible study guide book then she journeys with you through each book – beginning with Genesis, helping you study each book of the Bible yourself, with ease.

There are some drawbacks:

  1. It is somewhat similar to William Hendrick's bible study approach of Observation, Interpretation and Application.
  2. It is meant for people who have knowledge of the Bible already and can leave a new Christian feeling overwhelmed and confused. 
  3. Where are the pictures?! It has a textbook feel to it, that I did not enjoy. I am a visual and practical kinda girl, so although the content was top-notch, having to read through sheets of pages continuously was not motivation.

Last Thing About Bible Study Guide Books

All three bible study guide books are excellent books for learning all the valuable tools for studying, interpreting and applying the truths in God's Word to transform your life, at any stage.

Make a choice.

Get the book.

You have nothing to lose, and plenty to gain!

Either way, keep up the awesome work in pursuit of a personal relationship with God.

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