Five Ways to Study the Bible
Here’s the truth …
Here at Talkative Truth, we place a great deal of emphasis on studying the Bible as well as things we have learned from our own personal studies. Today, I want to share with you five ways that I have found helpful in studying Scripture.
1. Word Study
When I do a word study, I start with picking out a word that I feel God wants me to work on. Let’s take a look at the word “speech.” Using the concordance in the back of your Bible, look up verses that have the word “speech” in them. I like to write down the verses that I find and make myself notes on what God is showing me through these verses.
For example, in Colossians 4:6 we read, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (KJV). What is this verse saying to me? How should I be speaking to others? What changes do I need to make in my own life?
2. Person of the Bible Study
There are so many wonderful examples in the Bible of courageous men and women of God, it’s often hard to pick one! Maybe you have a favorite you would like to know more about, or maybe you want to study a person you know nothing about! The possibilities are endless. Today, let’s look at Lydia. Most Bibles will have a section before their concordance that lists “Proper Names.” Using that index, look up where in the Bible that Lydia can be found. After doing that, you will see that her story is in the book of Acts, chapter 16. When reading her story, ask yourself questions like these: Where did she live? What was she known for? What ministry did she have? What character traits did she possess? What can I learn from her life? You will be amazed to see there is so much more to each individual than what you think you know about him or her!
3. Book Study
One of my favorite books to study is the book of Colossians. A good place to start is to see who the writer is and to whom he is writing. Where was the book written? What time in history was it written? I then like to read the entire book all at once. Now, don't panic, it's only four chapters long! As I read, I ask God to show me specific verses that He wants to draw to my attention. Are there words that seem to keep repeating themselves? Are there commands? Are there promises for me? Who are the people mentioned? By doing this, you begin to see that each verse in the book is packed with information that God has put there for you and for me. I can tell you from my experience that every time I study, I find something new that I hadn't seen before.
4. Verse by Verse Study
I especially like doing a verse by verse study when I am studying the books of Psalms or Proverbs. In doing this, I can really focus on a single section or chapter. In Psalm 23, there are just six verses. If we take the first verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want,” and we read it nine times (one time for every word) and place emphasis a different word each of the nine times, we see nine different possible applications.
To illustrate this further, take the phrase, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” This verse can then be studied the following ways: “THE Lord is my Shepherd. The LORD is my Shepherd. The Lord IS my Shepherd,” and so forth. Each time the emphasis is placed on a new word, leading for greater study and understanding.
5. Read through the Bible Chapter by Chapter
I have one friend who spent an entire year reading through her Bible. She planned ahead and bought a journal that had 365 pages in it. Each day she would record the date, chapter, and anything she was learning. She completed her year and now has a journal of all God taught her, chapter by chapter! You can do this, too! For each chapter, ask yourself: “Who is this about? What actions are taking place? Where is this geographically? When was this happening? Why or why didn’t God allow this? How was this resolved? What can I learn from this?” and so on. It's a wonderful way to get an overview of the entire Bible. You can do this starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation, you can do it chronologically, or you can rotate each day between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The ways to study God's Word are endless.
There have been times in my own life where I have questioned my own ability to understand God's Word. It was then, through reading, that God showed me this verse spoken by Jesus: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26 KJV).
Isn't that amazing? The Holy Spirit will teach me! King David knew this to be true of God, as can be seen in Psalm 25:5 when he said to Him, “Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day” (KJV). David also asked God, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law” (Psalm 119:18 KJV).
Over and over in Scripture we see men and women, just like you and me, crying out to God and asking Him to reveal Himself to them … and He faithfully does. I hope this encourages you to start reading and studying God's Word!