Learn How to Study the Bible
I am passionate about equipping and encouraging women to discover God’s truths for themselves. Below, you will find teaching videos from previous How To: Workshops to help you as you learn to study. For more in-depth explanation, check out my book.
Feasting on Truth:
Savor the Life-giving Word of God
In this book, you will:
- Recognize and overcome obstacles that hinder you when it comes to Bible study
- Release the bonds of a “perfect quiet time” to find deeper, richer time in the Word
- Build confidence as you learn how to study the Bible firsthand
The word feast is rooted in abundance. That is what awaits us in the pages of Scripture: a table laid out before us, not only for our essential nourishment, but for our enjoyment.
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Video 1 – How To: Study the Bible
This video covers: The Why, The Method, The Key, and the Four Basic Questions to ask during Bible Study.
Video 2 – How To: What Does This Say?
This video covers the first question in Bible Study: What does this say? It’s important to set the right lens with context and summary before we can move on to understanding what a passage means.
Start with Context:
It’s important to remember that while the Bible was written for us and is applicable to our lives today (Hebrews 4:12), we were not the original audience. It is a book not written in modern America, but in the ancient Middle East. If we do not first answer some key questions to understand the context, we cannot properly understand the passage and its intent. This will help set the lens through which we will study. When I begin studying a book of the Bible, there are a few questions I typically ask. This helps me to understand the context.
- Who wrote the book?
- What do you know about the author and his background?
- When was it written?
- To whom was it written?
- Which genre is this book?
- What is going on in history during this time?
Four Simple Questions:
I realized that one of my downfalls when attempting to read and study the Bible for myself was that I didn’t know which questions to ask. Many of the methods I tried were either too open or too rigid. Asking four simple questions provided just the right amount of structure and flexibility that I needed. I want to release you from thinking this has to look a certain way – it doesn’t. Basically: Are you showing up? Are you changing? Are you connected? Does that make you want to keep showing up? If you answer yes to all of these, then you’re on the right track! Here is a brief overview of each question:
1. What does this say?
Before we can interpret scripture, we need to know what’s going on in the passage. Some methods would call this “Observation” or the “Aim of the Passage”.
- Write a 1-2 sentence summary of what the passage is about – no interpretation, just the facts.
- Answer the questions: Who? What? Where? When?
- Are there any repeated words or phrases?
- Are there any transitional words (therefore, so, but, and, etc.)?
2. What does this say about God?
This to me has been the most transformative question to ask during Bible study. This book is not about us; it’s about God. His character and name are written on every page. Before we can understand our response, we must know Who He is.
- What characteristics of God do I see in this passage?
- What names of God? (His names speak to His character)
- I include Jesus in this as well: What does this passage tell us about Jesus?
- Each chapter, complete the sentence “Because God ________ , I can ________.”
3. What does this mean?
PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this. Using context, the summary and other observations you have made, begin to be a detective. Remember the lens through which you are looking. Yes, this takes work, but it’s worth doing!
- Read the passage in multiple translations. What differences do you see?
- Use Scripture to interpret Scripture: What other passages in Scripture are related to this one? (These are called cross references)
- Look up words in the English dictionary.
- Read a trusted commentary or study Bible.
- Research the original language (remember, the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek).
- Use different color pens to keep track of your thoughts, different commentaries, original language, etc.
4. What should I do in response?
Our Bible Study should change us. John 17:17 says “Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth.” Sanctify is a big churchy word that means to purify or to make holy. It’s the act of separating ourselves from the actions of our flesh and dedicating more of our lives and actions to God. God’s Word has a purpose in our lives (Isaiah 55:10-11) and we shouldn’t stop at knowing its meaning. Instead, we should respond:
- Is there an action you need to take?
- A conversation you need to have?
- A moment of worship?
- Something you should let go?
- A Word you need to carry with you and meditate on?
- Write out a prayer.