Bible Study Methods: 5 Different Techniques

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

There are many different ways to read and study the Bible. You don’t have to do just one type of study; however, if you are new to reading or studying the Bible you should probably focus on one at a time. As you get more involved in Bible study you may find that as you are doing one type of study another will naturally grow out of it.

Here are 5 Bible study methods you can use.

Read

Before you can feel comfortable with deep and advanced Bible study methods, you should first start reading your Bible regularly. Read it like you would other books—from cover to cover. Don’t just randomly jump into the pages of the Bible without regard for how it all fits together. You will have an almost impossible time understanding of  Hebrews without having a basic knowledge of the Old Testament law. Take time to read the Bible linearly (straight through).

Don’t just randomly jump into the pages of the Bible without regard for how it all fits together.

Another way to read the Bible is to do a chronological reading. This is where you read the Bible based on how the events occur in a historical time-line. As you may know, there are many books that overlap in their histories. Finding a chrono-logical reading program will show you which chapters or verses to read at a time to get a more accurate chronology of biblical events. Whichever method you choose, reading the Bible as a whole book is helpful in understanding more detailed studies. For some great online free Bible study tools visit our resource page here: Resources

Book Studies

When you become interested in a certain book you can study it in-depth. The best way to start a book study is to find an overview of the book to give you a general idea of the outline and contents of the material. If you have a study Bible these book overviews can be found at the beginning of the book in your Bible. I have several book summaries at my own website starting with Genesis.

Book summaries will tell you who the author was and when the book was written. They will also tell you the general themes covered in each book with a quick overview of the stories. From this summary you are ready to study the book in detail. Keep a notebook (either physical or digital) of the things you learn and it will help you the next time you are reading through the book.

Chapter Studies

Many chapters in the Bible have great meaning. Some are critical passages to help unlock truths in other chapters of the book, or other books of the Bible. For example, Paul spends a great deal of time explaining how to live a proper Christian life in 1 Corinthians. Yet the principles of love need to be understood so that you can properly apply the concepts found in the rest of the book. You find that when you study the 13th chapter.

To do a proper chapter study you need to understand the chapter in context. Don’t pull a chapter out of a book and try to interpret it without the context with which it was intended. A good concordance or topical Bible can help you find other verses related to the chapter you are studying.

Biographical Studies

Studying the life of a person in the Bible can be rewarding and enlightening. Many Bible characters will show up in only one book; but there are some who span multiple books or are referenced many times in the Scriptures. Verses containing Moses in the book of Hebrews give more insight into his character than what you get when only reading the Exodus story of his life.

When doing a search for a person in the Bible, remember that sometimes their name may be spelled differently in the New Testament than it was in the Old Testament. This is due to Hebrew and Greek having different versions of the same name. An example is Elijah in the Old Testament being the same name as Elias in the New. Did you know that the name Jacob and James are the same root names? One is Hebrew and the other Greek.

Topical Studies

Another fun study is to find a topic and follow it through the Bible. This can be based on a single word or teaching. Again, a good study Bible or concordance will help here. There are even topical Bibles that do much of the work for you. Sometimes they are called topical Bibles, but they are also known as reference Bibles.

Pick your topic and then find all the verses you can related to it. Make sure you study the verses in context. This may mean reading a verse or two before and after the verse you are studying. Or you may need to spend time understanding whole chapters and books to understand the meaning of a single verse.

Keep Notes

Whichever Bible study method you employ, remember to write down what you learn. You will benefit personally from looking over your notes as you pass through certain books and chapters in your future reading time. These notes can help as you teach others what you are learning. My personal notes are the basis for many Bible studies I do with others or for articles I write.

What are some of your favorite ways to study the Bible?

Take a look at these Bible studies here at WCWTK:



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nelisile Madiba October 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

I need more information on bible studying

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Jack Wellman October 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Nicely done sir. I need all the aid I can given my human nature and I thank God for you my brother and your labor of love in missions and your fine teachings to which I can not get enough. May God continue to richly bless you and your wife’s ministry.

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Robert November 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

David,
This article will be of great help to students of the Bible. I especially liked your advice to read the Bible all the way through from cover to cover. It takes a while, but it’s worth it. I remember the first time I read it through, when I finished, I was amazed at how it well it all fit together and how much better I understood God’s overall plan. Thank you sir, and God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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David Peach November 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Robert, that is so true. When you read the Bible as a whole book it is amazing to see how well it fits together. We so often are taught the Bible and even read the Bible by skipping from one story to another and we don’t get to see the continuity of the whole book.

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Bhaskar November 3, 2012 at 4:19 am

Nicely done sir. I need all the aid I can given my human nature and I thank God for you my brother and your labor of love in missions and your fine teachings to which I can not get enough. May God continue to richly bless your ministry.

Reply

Joan Maynard June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

Studying the bible is like breathing for me. It’s literally is the best thing in my life. I get so much from every bible study lesson.

My gosh, these are some lovely suggestions Mr Peach. I can learn a lot from you sir. I will definitely look out for your articles. Especially the biography study. That really does work. When you do that, it gives you a better understanding of the passage of scripture.

I’ve realized, that I receive more from my bible study session when I study verse by verse. Breaking down each verse and finding cross reference scriptures does also help your understanding.

There is a wider meaning hidden in the original language of the text. I always get so excited, when I study the meaning of a word, in its original sense. There is usually so much more to it’s meaning. I use Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Bible Concordance for this. But a much simpler method of doing it, is to just search for ‘your particular word’ in ‘Greek’ or Hebrew’ in a search engine online.

Another way I study my bible is by always asking questions. Not just asking a question but also finding the answers. For me, when I do this, sometimes a bible study that was intending to be a 1/2 hour turns into 2 hours. You find so much information. And your knowledge base grows immensely.

Of course study is not only about knowing the bible, but applying it your life. But before we can apply the Word of God to our life, we must first understand it right?

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