Ways & How

how to study the bible

how to study the bible

Of all the spiritual activities that can help us grow spiritually, none is more important, invaluable, or indispensable than studying the Bible. The Book of John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Thus Christians all over the world and throughout the ages believe that the Bible, the Holy Scripture of the Christian faith, is the revelation of God’s nature, His character, His person. Studying it is getting to know God, knowing His history with mankind, His purpose for everything, and His plan for eternity. Therefore, any new believer of the Christian faith must know how to study the Bible if he is to deepen his knowledge of God and mature in his faith. Study of the Word, along with prayer, witnessing, and worship are fundamental practices that every Christian must regularly observe. But what do you need to do in order to study the Bible?

  1. Start with prayer, an open heart, and an open mind. The Bible is the revealed Word of God. No human mind can grasp what it means or contains except the mind of God.

    t Jesus said that “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you,” (John 14:26).

    The Holy Spirit continues to minister to believers in this way until today. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding, humbly submitting your own inability to do so. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), and His Spirit will open your mind to the things of God so long as you remain humble before Him. You must also open your heart and mind to whatever He wants to teach you.

    You must not come before God with your preconceived ideas and expect the Bible to back you up. It is surprising the many ways the Bible has been used and twisted to say things that were not actually meant by its passages. Study the Bible to know God, not to puff up your knowledge.

  2. Use tools to enhance your understanding of Scripture. The Bible was originally written in languages that are foreign to most of us and for cultures completely alien to our own. It is tempting to stamp our own cultural biases and the perspectives of modern times onto the teachings of Scripture. But approaching the Bible in that manner is putting the intent of the original writers out of context. There are many resources available to help you understand the meaning of specific words, passages, and entire chapters or books, such as Bible dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, and expositions.

    The Internet also has many wonderful resources for Bible study. But be careful: before studying and believing Bible interpretations on websites, make sure you read and agree with the site’s statement of faith, because there are many false teachings on the Internet. Be especially wary of sites that do not properly identify themselves, have unknown or obscure authorship, and stand alone, meaning they are not affiliated with a recognized Christian organizations. Better stick with well-known sites, as deception can creep in so insidiously, especially as in the last days the enemy will “deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

  3. Find a mentor. When you are first starting out to study the Bible, undoubtedly, you will have more questions than answers. Don’t let it discourage you. Find someone from church who is mature in the faith to help you learn more. Churches usually have Bible study groups that you can join. If not, your pastor will likely be more than happy to lead you in Bible study or connect you with someone who will.

  4. There will come a time when even your best intentions will not sustain you, and you will be tempted to give up; when this happens, just keep reading. Even if nothing seems to make sense, just keep reading. The Bible isn’t a simple textbook for dummies where each chapter has a lesson that progressively builds on information and knowledge learned from the previous one. No, the Bible contains the mind of God, and though it is only an infinitesimal part of Him, it is still too much for human mind to grasp.

    Many Bible scholars who have been well-trained in the study and interpretation of the Bible and spend their whole lives unraveling its mysteries found that the more they know, the more they realize how little they actually know. So don’t be surprised if you find that some of the things you study actually prompt more questions than provide answers. That is precisely what is so fascinating about studying the Bible. It is a wealth of precious truths and teachings just waiting to be mined, and its treasures are there for you to discover.

    Joshua 1:8 has this to say for all who diligently study the Bible: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

That leads us to one more essential thing to remember about learning how to study the Bible. All your study will be in vain if you do not apply what you understand and learn. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). You will not be able to maximize your learning of any of its precepts unless your humility extends to actually going out and living what you learn. In most cases, God will not impart deeper wisdom unless you learn what He has taught you previously. The study of the Bible was not intended to stop at head knowledge. It is supposed to produce in us godly character so that the Lord and Savior we follow and obey will be glorified.


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