Bible study is an important part of the Christian walk. There are a number of different Bible study methods that can help you learn more about the Bible, what you believe, and help you have a closer walk with Jesus.
Bible Study Methods for the Proverbs 31 Woman
Reading our Bible every day is one thing. However, learning how to really dig into the Word and study it is an entirely different thing. We are told in the passage of Proverbs 31 that the virtuous woman fears God.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”
Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman has more to do with your relationship with Christ than it has to do with what she spends her time doing. And the best way to have a strong relationship with Christ is to spend regular time in prayer and Bible study.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a woman who lives out grace in her life. She’s a woman who keeps her eyes focused on Jesus. And she starts her day with God even when all she can muster is one short prayer. She knows she needs to make God a priority in her life.
Many people are unaware that there are Bible study methods to help them get more out of their Bible reading every day. It’s so much more than just reading what’s on the surface.
If you are searching for a way to get more out of your studying, you can try some of these methods I’m sharing below for digging deeper into God’s Word.
What is the Best Way to Study the Bible?
There are many different and popular Bible study methods, but basically it all comes down to the most important aspect which is understanding the Bible itself.
In fact, the most important thing to remember is that the Bible is a gift given to us by God so that we might understand His purpose for our life. If we pray and open our hearts to what the spirit is telling us, Scripture should never be confusing. If it is, simply pray and let God show you His leading in that scripture for you.
related: Does the Bible Interpret Itself?
One of the best ways to study the Bible is to simply read a passage in context without any special leading or extra studying. Read the scripture as it is and see what you get from it. It’s important to read the text before and after a passage that you are studying so that you can be clear on the context surrounding the passage.
Once you’ve done this, ask yourself if what you think it means lines up with the rest of the Bible and the basic ideas of what it teaches.
If you’re left confused, try to do a bit of research on the verse and the circumstances surrounding it. Sometimes, just reading a verse or two can leave us missing one of the most important aspects of the lesson. And there are passages of Scripture that are definitely harder to understand without deeper study and prayer. The Bible calls this the “meat” or “solid food” and the easier parts of the Bible are called the “milk.”
“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.
“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” NIV.
Although reading a verse or two is never a bad thing, it’s much more effective when studying if study topically. We often can understand the situation the verse was stated in much more clearly when studying by topic than if we just read one or two verses.
It’s important to note that all Bible study methods should be bathed in prayer. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us, Scripture can seem empty and meaningless, or even boring. Regardless of which method you choose to use when studying the Bible, you need to pray!
Praying before, during, and after your studying and reading of the scriptures will help you to understand God’s Word and you’ll be less confused.
Remember: #1 Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. #2 People will often twist Scripture to fit their own passions and desires. You must seek the Word of God and turn your ear away from false teachers.
1 Corinthians 2:14
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Ask God to open your eyes, ears, and heart so that you can properly discern His Word.
Why is is important to study the Bible?
It’s important that every believer is able to testify to others what God has done in her life. It’s also very important that you are able to share with others what you believe. And you need to understand why you believe what you believe.
It isn’t enough to simply rely on your pastor or other spiritual teacher to explain doctrines to you. You need to be able to explain them for yourself.
“These were more noble that hose in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were true.” Acts 17:11
The Bible tells us that the Bereans searched the scriptures daily. They wanted to make sure that everything they were being taught lined up with the Word of God! False teachers do exist. And men are fallible, they make mistakes. Understand the Word for yourself!
What is a Topical Bible Study?
One of the best and most effective ways to study the Bible is by topic. Doing a topical Bible study means that you study everything there is to know about one particular subject such as salvation.
So, you would look up every verse regarding salvation and then study them in context with one another. It’s always a good idea to read the text before and after a passage to fully understand the context in which it has been written.
How to Use a Concordance
A concordance is such a great tool to use when you’re trying to search for a specific word throughout the Bible. For example, say you’re studying the word divorce.
You can look your chosen word up in the concordance and it will list all the verses where this specific word is mentioned. When studying topically, this is very helpful since it can be difficult to know exactly every spot in the Bible a certain subject might be mentioned.
Note: You may want to purchase a concordance that matches the version of the Bible you’re studying in if that’s important to you.
The Best Concordance to Use when Studying the Bible
My favorite concordance is the The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It’s so helpful in helping me study deeper and fully understanding a topic.
About the Concordance:
Only one concordance includes the best of Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. The Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic dictionaries now have three times more word study information than any other edition. Plus additional cross-references from leading dictionaries make this the ultimate reference tool for pastors, teachers, and all students of the Bible.
- The only Strong’s that includes Vine’s Complete Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
- Words of Christ in red
- Complete topical index of the Bible
- Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic dictionaries now have three times more word study information than any other edition
- Additional cross-references and word study helps from leading dictionaries
SOAP Bible Study Method
There are a few Bible study methods you can use and each person will have their favorite method. The SOAP method stands for scripture, observation, application, and prayer.
- The first step is to write down the verse.
- The second step is to look at the details of the verse such as the audience of the verse, aspects that stand out, etc.
- The third step is applying the verse to your life and slowing down to find out what God is trying to speak to you through the verse.
- The last step is to pray over what you read, how to apply it to your life, and what you feel you gleaned from it. Discuss it with God.
WRITE Bible Study Method
This method is very similar to the SOAP method. However, it focuses largely on the words you’re writing in your scripture.
In other words, when writing the scripture, this method really pushes you to focus on each word you’re writing down in the verse.
Once you write each verse, read over it slowly a few times and really soak in the words, their meaning, their circumstances, etc.
Then follow the same basic steps as the SOAP method.
Study the Word Method
This method is where you buy your own journal and choose a few verses a day to write in that journal. Writing out verses has been proven to be an effective way to help you retain and memorize Bible verses.
Writing them down may help you reflect and understand the words better as well. Some people choose to write out only one verse and others choose multiple verses.
Whatever you choose, write out the verse on your page for the day then write the words, thoughts, feelings, etc. that pop up from the verse or verses you wrote for the day. The idea is that you listen to the still small voice and consider what God is speaking directly to your heart.
As with every method, begin and end your study time with prayer. If you’re unsure where to start or how to start with this type of method or the prior methods, you can use my Study the Word Study Sheets here.
Verse mapping is a bit more of a literal digging into the Bible when studying. This means that a verse is broken down into the basic “on the surface” meaning.
It’s then looked at contextually, historically, the base words used in Greek or Hebrew that may adjust the overall meaning, etc.
The verse is basically mapped out in every way possible in order that it can be seen from all angles and understood in a deeper manner – kind of like a mind map.
Sometimes, just starting out by reading the Bible is all you need to begin. You will find that as you grow and mature in your bible studying, that there be your own method you prefer. You may even take an existing method and adjust it to better fit your studying habits.
Above all else, pray and ask that God speak to you each time you study so that you can grow.