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You don't have to be told.
You already know that you need to study the Bible.
But, you stare at a blank page when trying to do a bible study and wonder where to even begin.
To make matters worse
You have little time to yourself, with everyone and everything pulling you in all directions.
You feel stuck.
All you want is easy ways to study the bible to use in your short quiet times with God, that truly satisfies your hunger for the Word.
In this post, I'll highlight five clever ways to study the bible, then show you how to use each of them efficiently, for tremendous results!
The beauty of these bible study techniques is they can be layered for more extended study, and also create your very own style. And I will show you just how to do this, right here.
This should be the first method used when studying the bible.
If you've read any of my posts or seen my videos, you know already that I'm all about asking questions in bible reading and for bible study.
The Question method is one of the most useful ways to study the bible and a robust technique to unravel the Word and dive into the truth that lies beyond the surface.
Questions may differ based on the text that I am reading, so don't be boxed in with only 2 or 3 generic questions.
Let me show you how to use this method.
Indeed, this bible study method can have you studying one passage for days, even months. In the end, you may have enough understanding and clarity to the right your very own book on the subject!
The beautiful thing about the 21st century is the many bible translations that we have at our fingertips. It is ridiculously amazing!
Yes, this abundance of choice can become quite overwhelming.
But here's the thing, you can use these translations side by side to get a greater understanding of the Word of God.
Here's an example of 5 different translations side by side:
Pro Tip: Including the Amplified Bible Version is a great idea, because it provides even more meaning between brackets.
1) Download the bible study sheet and note the original text
2) Note any observations and any questions
3) Go to Biblegateway. Look up the text in at least three translations recorded here: a) King James Version b) Amplified Version c) ESVersion d) NIVersion e) and New American Standard Bible f) New King James Version . Here's a genius way of looking up and compiling all the translation on one page.
4) Note Additional Observations
The Literal approach is one of the many ways to study the bible without actually using the bible. Yet, it is quite powerful. I use it a whole lot.
Often times the speaker/author of the text uses symbolic terms when addressing the audience. Take, Matthew 5: 13 -16:
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? …"
Jesus uses the symbolic term "salt" in this passage to suggest a resemblance in characteristics. Therefore, doing a literal study on salt can help us understand what Jesus was trying to express.
Here are the steps to use the literal approach:
1) Highlight and note the words you will be researching from the passage/verse.
In this case, it will be "salt."
2) Note all your questions. For this example, I noted five, but the sky is the limit:
3) Do a small search for these questions in Google and uncovered so much. I limited myself to four:
So if we are "salt" of the earth, then we understand that the literal discoveries suggests a resemblance to us! I particularly liked what I discovered for questions 2, 3 and 4.
One of the best ways to study the bible and dive even further into the Word of God in a short time is with a Bible Dictionary.
This handy tool reduces your research time by half — if not 3 quartz.
It will help you to see the big picture and then dives into every topic with more detail and tons of supporting scriptural references as you follow along.
I use New Unger's Bible Dictionary.
In keeping with the theme, let's say you wanted to understand more about "salt" from Matthew 5: 13 -16. Just reading a few lines of The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, you'll find:
And I have not even scratched the surface!
You can go even further in understanding by reading the verses included in the summary.
Gathering a historical understanding as well as a summarized biblical perspective on every topic can be a great jewel.
Although noted as the fifth of the ways to study the bible, this handy tool can pack a punch! Stacked with every verse and word of the Bible you can learn tons.
To do this,
1) Identify a word from the scriptures to research. We'll continue with Matthew 5: 13 -16
2) With the Exhaustive Concordance look for the word, and review the scriptures identified.
Reading through just a few of the 41 scriptures with the word "salt" here's what you will discover:
Oh, the awesome stuff you can find!
Now we have exhausted our research; we can now sit back and review our finding, then finally be able to read the text "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? …" with clarity and better understanding.
The Bible was not originally written with divisions or chapters or segmentation. It was completely one script. As time went by, divisions and chapters were added. So in order to understand the meaning of a verse or chapter, at times you may have to go back to the verse or chapter above for greater clarity or even a better perspective.
John chapter 8 vs 1 says “ And Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives”
At first read, I took those words as normal. But then I jumped up to John 7:53 which says “and every man went unto his own home” and what a whopper of an understanding I received.
Every man went unto their own home, while Jesus often separated himself unto the Lord in the Mount of Olives! They went unto their daily lives, their family, their work, their assignments; the many care of this life but what did Jesus do - turn - and always separated himself unto God
Then I brought it until myself , “what am I doing with every opportunity that I am given?” Am I separating myself unto God? So going back to the chapter above, and the verse above gives greater enlightenment.
This tip is very powerful because there are lots of scriptures that we tend to rush over, thinking that what we read — is actually what is being expressed — when at times it is not.
An example of this is the miracle of the bread and loaves.
If you look closely, you will realize that the Bible did not say that Jesus fed 5000 souls, it says "5000 men, besides women and children".
So this means if we were to add one woman with every man, that would be 10000 souls. And if we were to add one child per woman and man, then that would mean 15000 souls.
We may not know the exact number that was there when this miracle happened.
But we most definitely know that it was more than 5000.
When we carefully pay attention to the words in the Bible, it's between those areas, that we get some eye-opening moments.
I've given you five ways to study the bible.
The ball is now in your court.
Why waste any more time.
This is our right as Christians to be able to study and rightly divide the Word of truth.
Which one will you use first?
Leave me a comment below. Then come back and share your experience using any of these methods. I would love to chit-chat with you.