How to Study the Bible and ...why reading isn't enough.
Get serious about it!
Grab a notebook and highlighters. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible, either
Grab tools that can help you understand what you are reading, such as concordances, Bible dictionaries, Hebrew-Greek keyword study Bibles, parallel Bibles, etc. (You can actually find many resources for these tools for FREE online at sites like biblehub and biblegateway.)
Don’t just read a verse and walk away! Ask questions about the background for that verse. Read the surrounding context (verses before and after). Find out the audience that particular book was written to so that you can understand the purpose of the words on the page.
Learn how to do verse-mapping (one of my favorite Bible Study methods!) and other methods of bible study until you find one or two that work best for you.
Here’s why I like Verse Mapping – it makes God’s Word more personal and helps you connect with how God wants to use that verse in your life. You aren’t just reading or memorizing words. You are interacting with the verse on a whole different level that makes it come alive for you!
Verse Mapping is a method of studying the historical context, transliteration, translation, connotation and theological framework of a verse in the Bible.
Plain and simple? Verse mapping is getting real about studying the Bible. All of it. It’s not just reading. It’s researching everything you can in a verse to learn more about Who God is, and how He wants to speak to you through His Word.
So grab some highlighters and colored pens and get started!
First write your verse on an index card or a clean page in your journal or notebook. Leave plenty of space around it, between the lines and between the words. Then choose some or all of these ideas to work with your verse:
Personalize it. Cross out words like “you,” “we,” “whoever,” “them” and write your name above it.
Highlight parts of the verse that jump out at you.
Read the verse in context – the whole chapter or passage where it appears in your Bible. See how it ties in to the verses before and after it.
Read the verse in at least two other translations. Note on the card words or phrases from other translations that help you understand or apply the verse. If you don’t have other translations laying around the house, a couple of good resources for several translations are BibleGateway.com, BibleHub.com and YouVersion.com.
Find cross references and note anything that brings new meaning. Cross references are verses that have similar words or phrases. Your Bible may have them listed in the center column or as footnotes at the bottom. The online resources listed previously can also help you find cross references.
Circle a word or two and do a word study on it.
Look up the word in your dictionary and see if the definition gives you any insight
Use a topical index and/or concordance in the back of your Bible to find other verses where the word appears
Look up synonyms (same meaning) and antonyms (opposite meaning) in a concordance or online Bible tools site to find other verses.
This should be time that you spend together— with Him revealing more of who He is to your heart. It’s meant to be personal, and wholly unique to who you are.
Think a New Thought Today…
Be blessed and be a blessing!
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