How I Do Bible Study
For years I craved guidance when I read the Bible. While it is good and necessary to have the Holy Spirit when reading to understand the text, there is a lot of context that we as the reader need to research alongside it. Today I will be sharing the method I currently use to deepen my Bible Study. This is by no means the only way to read the Bible, but merely a suggestion.
Trust the Process
Personally, I like my Bible Studies to revolve around a central theme which is spread across a month. I start the process by going to Google and typing in the the search bar the month and "bible study". You can search by website results but I like to search through the image suggestions instead. (Alternatively, you can also search through Pinterest.)
For the month of May I found one centered around being redeemed which interested me. Then I copied the image and went over to OneNote and pasted the image for reference (You can also just use Word or a similar program, I just prefer OneNote.)
Here is the image I found from Google by www.womanofnoblecharacter.com -
Once I have the reference, I look it up that day's bible verse on EnduringWord.com, a free website that helps break down the bible verse by verse. Once you are at the webpage, scroll down until you see the list of Old Testament/New Testament books or select the "Commentary" tab which will scroll down for you.
Selecting the book's name will automatically take you to the first chapter of that book. Once there, you can choose the chapter at the top of the page and then scroll down to the verse(s) you will be in (you can't search by the verse on this platform). I have taken a screenshot of what the website looks like after you've selected a book of the Bible.
The verses (which are distinguishable by their blue text) are sometimes grouped together if they have a similar theme but the commentary below breaks them down for you.
I use the bible plan we searched from earlier as a reference for where to start rather than a strict guideline. I go by sections or by relevant themes and copy the text into OneNote (alternatively, you can also print out these sections). The benefit of going by sections rather than whole books or chapters is so you don't get overwhelmed going deeper into the text. Alternatively, you can simply break down a book over the course of weeks rather than by themes like I do.
Before I begin that day's bible reading, I pull up biblehub.com. I love that this website has a list of all the different translations of a single verse and the greek translation. Having bible verses worded differently can help shine a new perspective to the verse. I should mention that not all translations are created equally so it is important to reference the greek translations to see true translation (see the picture below for reference or simply scroll down the Bible Hub webpage once you've selected the book and chapter/verse of your choice).
I don't always reference the Bible Hub but I do if I sense that I need to dive deeper into the verse or if something from the text stands out to me.
The Importance of Prayer
We must remember that the author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, intended the text to mean a certain way. Prayer before and after is crucial to obtain a discerning mind and a receptive heart. Before reading your bible, pray to God. If you do not know how to, Jesus gives us a modeled prayer in Matthew 6:9-15. After I have read the bible I use the P.R.A.Y. method which stands for-
Praise: Giving thanks to God
Repent: Asking for forgiveness for your sins that day
Ask: Anything you need God to do in your life/lives of others
Yield: Take a moment to listen what God is telling you
This helps solidify, clarify, and bring me peace/joy after my reading.
We as Christians have freedom in on how we tackle the Bible. We can use aids such as videos, classes, commentaries or a variety of different forms as long we understand that it is Jesus who has authority, not what "tickles" our fancy.
If you have any thing you would like to add to my method or have any questions/concerns just comment them down below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care and God bless!