How do I study the Bible?

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Start Here

How do I study the Bible.

Wondering how to get started studying the Bible? There’s no one right way. You can jump in anywhere. But here are a few suggestions to get you moving.

Step 1: Read a good book on Bible study.

If you’re brand new to Bible study, one of the best basic books is now free online:

Basics of Bible Interpretation by Bob Smith

Though the language and examples are sometimes dated, this book stands the test of time. If anything, it is more relevant today than ever, as the art of expository bible teaching has become an endangered species in our instant society.

Other recommendations:

Knowing Scripture, by RC Sproul is designed to help people master the basic rules of biblical interpretation. Available for free on Knowing Scripture, by RC Sproul.

Living by the Book (Book and Workbook) by Howard G Hendricks & William Hendricks – also available as an ebook and a video series. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. The writing is clear and engaging and you will learn a lot. Available for free on by the Book by Howard G. Hendricks.

The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study by Oletta Ward – a classic resource for small groups to work through together; teachers guide is also available. Available for free on The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study by Oletta Ward.

Step 2: Study something

I suggest 1Corinthians 1-4. These chapters are often misunderstood because individual paragraphs are often taken out of context and not understood in light of the argument Paul develops through all 4 chapters.

1Corinthians: Pride & Prejudice in the church, chapters 1-4

Step 3: Work on skills.

Start improving your skills by working through Bible Study 101.

Bible Study 101: Learn to Study the Bible

I suggest starting with these:

5 C’s of Bible Study

How to do an Analytical Outline

5W’s and H

How to use context

A simple overview of biblical history

Step 4 Gather some tools

Start building a Bible study library, here are the basic tools you need to get started.

Invest in study software: My favorite: E-Sword

Bible Study Tools #1: Different translations

Bible Study Tools #2: Good maps

Bible Study Tools #3: Concordances

Bible Study Tools #4: Lexicons & Dictionaries

Bible Study Tools #5: Multi-volume Encyclopedias

Bible Study Tools #6: Commentaries

Online Study Bible: STEP Bible

STEP stands for ‘Scripture Tools for Every Person’ and is designed to give users across the world, particularly those in disadvantaged countries, free access to trustworthy Bible expertise. Created by Bible scholars at Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK, it is curated by a non-denominational body of scholars and other volunteers who are passionate about sharing accurate information on the Bible.

Step 6 Practice

In his 2008 book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell proposed the idea that it requires 10,000 hours of concentrated practice in order to gain world-class skill in something. While you don’t need “world-class” skill at Bible study, it’s true that the more you study, the better you’ll get. The Bible is coherent and does not contradict itself. Each passage you learn and understand adds to your foundation, making it easier to understand the next passage.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash