Great news! There is no right or wrong way to read and study the Bible! Your reading and study plan can be as individual as you are- in fact, I’m certain that’s exactly how God intended it. That said, we’ve all picked up the Bible, stared at it, and thought “Now what?” This page is designed to help you get started on your journey through God’s word.
~How To Read The Bible~
Any of us who has stared blankly at the cover of our Bible knows the key to reading the Bible is not as simple as it first seems. Let’s face it, it’s a big book full of tons of vital, life giving information. Who among us hasn’t asked “Where do I start?” The key to avoiding this frustration is to have a good plan. YouVersion has more than 150 Bible reading plans to chose from! YouVersion helps you stay on track and manage your reading plan either online or through their mobile app. You can also share what you’re reading in the YouVersion community, on Facebook, or Twitter.
I strongly encourage you to read through the entire Bible. Reading the entire Bible will give you context that you can’t achieve any other way. YouVersion has both a Canonical (the order it appears in the Bible) and a Chronological (the order in which it was written) reading plan. Or you might enjoy entering the next Bible in 90 Days Challenge at Mom’s Toolbox.
~How To Study The Bible~
There are many, many wonderful Bible study tools available today. For the purpose of helping you get started quickly I’m going to share the basic 2 systems for study that I most frequently use. To begin all you need is your reading plan, your Bible, a notebook, and a pen.
S.O.A.P.- The SOAP Bible study method is a wonderful daily devotion. I believe Amy of Mom’s Toolbox says it best. What is SOAP? If you plan to use SOAP you might be interested in purchasing a Life Journal or a First Steps Life Journal.
Inductive- The Inductive Bible study method is a sure fire way to grow deeper in God’s word. This study involves researching the textual facts, like context and word definitions, in order to come to a clear and logical conclusion about what the passage says.
The Goal of an inductive study is to answer 3 specific questions (hint: I like to break the study up into 3 different days).
- What does the passage say?
To answer this question I start with a brief prayer. I then read the passage several times. As I read I look for repeated words or phrases, phrases that stand out as important, contrasts and comparisons. I look for language that indicates a cause and effect. I might outline the passage. I write down any questions I have about the passage.
-What does the passage mean?
To answer this question I start with a brief prayer and read the passage several times. I look for words that seem important and I research their meanings. I use study guides such as Strong’s and the dictionary. I write down the key doctrines, the key verses, and a passage summary.
-How does the passage apply to me?
To answer this question I pray at length again to start. I read the passage more slowly this time, along with my notes. I look for exhortations or commands to obey. I look for promises I can claim. I look for what God is speaking to ME through this passage.
Finally, I believe it’s important to stay focused and well rounded when reading and studying the Bible. For this reason I commit to practicing both SOAP devotionals and inductive studies at regular intervals. My goal is to accomplish a SOAP devotional every day and an inductive study every week.