I remember that season like it was yesterday. I had just begun my relationship with the Lord. There was a woman in my church who took me under her wing and taught me how to study God’s Word for myself. Those days were so precious to me. I grew so much in my knowledge and understanding of my Heavenly Father. Since that time, I’ve always felt like it’s important for Christian women to know how to use different Bible study methods and how to apply them. These methods are so helpful and effective for taking us deeper in Bible study and, as a result, our knowledge of God. When considering the different methods of Bible study, you may have a few questions.
- What are some good ways to read and study the Bible?
- What is the best bible study method for beginners?
Let’s address these questions and some others as we look at different ways to study the Bible.
Bible Study Methods for Beginners
One idea is to use a Bible reading plan. My personal Bible study method includes having a schedule of reading through the Bible, while also using the Inductive method for studying a certain passage or book more deeply.
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If you are a new believer, or if you have never read through the entire Bible, I would encourage you to consider a reading plan to take you through the full counsel of God’s Word. Reading through the full Bible is an important foundation every believer should lay for themselves.
Bible Reading Plans
Here are a few Bible reading plans to check out.
- One-year plan – Here is a 1 Year Bible Reading Plan. You’ll read through the entire Bible in a year by reading from the Old Testament, New Testament and a selection from Psalms and Proverbs each day.
- Two-year plan – Blue Letter Bible has a 2 Year Bible Reading Plan pdf. Print this out and keep it in the front of your Bible.
- Chronological Plan – Use this chronological reading plan which takes into account the order in which the recorded events actually occurred. This is a great plan to follow if you want to add historical context to your Bible reading.
Where to Start When Studying the Bible
If you are struggling to know where to start studying the Bible, I would suggest starting with the book of John. This book not only gives us great insight into the life, ministry, and death of Jesus but also gives us comprehensive teaching of His deity with the Father.
Use this study guide to help you do your own inductive study of John chapter 1. Not only is this a great Bible study for new believers, but it also walks you through the inductive process.
4 Methods of Studying the Bible
Here are a few different methods of Bible study. If you are looking for something new or you are just beginning to study God’s Word for yourself, here are a few Bible study methods you should try.
Studying the Bible Book by Book
A great way to study God’s word is going book by book and chapter by chapter. Simply choose a book of the Bible, then do an in-depth study of each chapter.
Easy-peasy. Studying the Bible by chapter and book is also a great Bible study method for youth.
Topical Bible Study Method
A topical study is when you study the different passages in the Bible about a specific topic. For instance, you could do a topical study on marriage. Do a google search or use a Bible study tool such as Blue Letter Bible to find the different passages of scripture about marriage.
Get the Free Monthly Reading Plan
My one bit of advice for doing topical studies is to make sure you look at each verse in its context. I would even suggest reading the whole chapter in which the specific verse is found. When seeking to interpret a verse, we must understand it within its context.
For example, I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what the Bible says about judging others because so many of the verses on this subject are taken out of the context in which they are written.
The topical method of Bible study is great as long as it’s done correctly!
SOAP Method of Bible Study
The SOAP method of Bible study is another great one! SOAP stands for “scripture”, “observation”, “application”, and “prayer”. I like to also add an additional ‘P’ to represent “praise”. So, it becomes Praise SOAP. This is a great method to use to meditate on just one or two passages of scripture. Its also a great way to make a meaningful connection with the Lord without needing a lot of time.
Here’s how to do it:
- S – Choose one or two verses as your ‘scripture’. Write it out.
- O – Then, re-write the passage in your own words – ‘observation’.
- A – Then, ask how the Lord would have you ‘apply’ that concept or principle to your life.
- P – ‘Pray’ the verse for yourself or another. Finally, find a way to thank or ‘praise’ God for the truth in the verse.
Inductive Bible Study Method
Last, but definitely not least, we come to the Inductive Method of Bible Study. This method is by far my favorite. This is the method I was taught as a new believer and have stuck with over the course of growing in my relationship with the Lord. There are three main aspects to this method:
I think I love this method so much because learning the process of it has helped me to study the Bible for myself. Anytime I open up a book of the Bible, my mind automatically defaults to observing, interpreting, and applying.
If you would like to try an inductive study, check out this inductive Bible study guide of Philippians. I also recommend having a Bible that you use just for inductive study. You will want one that is double-spaced with wide margins so you have room for marking and making notes.
How to Go Deeper in Bible Study
God wants to be known by us. Therefore, I believe He is pleased with the efforts we make to study His Word deeply. Here are some helpful tips for going deeper in your knowledge of God’s Word.
Have a plan for Bible Study
Whether it’s using a specific bible study method, reading plan, or a women’s daily devotion, it’s important for us to have some kind of strategy for digging deeply into God’s word and applying it to our lives. Having a plan and strategy helps us to stay focused.
When seeking to understand and study God’s Word, one of the best things you can do to remain faithful and consistent is to find another person or a group to keep you accountable.
There have been seasons when I’ve needed to ask a friend to text me a few times a week asking me what God is teaching me in His Word that week.
Also, there have been times when I was part of a group that was studying God’s Word together. This gave me accountability, knowing that I would be having weekly discussions with these other women.
Ask the Holy Spirit to Lead You
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.” – John 16:13-15
25 “These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. – John 14:25-26
We have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us. He is able to lead us into all truth. I think we so often miss or overlook so much when we study God’s Word because we forget to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us.
As we study the Bible, we need to acknowledge the Spirit and His role in illuminating our minds to see, discern, and understand God’s truth. He is our teacher and counselor.
Overview of Effective Bible Study Methods
Here is a quick overview of the different methods we discussed.
4 Methods of Bible Study
- Book by Book, Chapter by Chapter
- Topical Method of Bible Study
- SOAP Method of Bible Study
- Inductive Bible Study Method
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