Recently it seems as if God has been teaching me how to really study the Bible. Everywhere I turn it seems as if something or someone is encouraging me to or teaching me how to! I wanted to share that knowledge with you and encourage you to study God's Word! I've learned more about God and who He is, and also have grown closer to Him.
I hope you enjoy!
1. Pick a translation. This first step requires a little research, but it's so worth it! You need to pick a translation that is accurate, as well as something you can understand. I personally use the NKJV, but don't just take my word for it! The most accurate Bibles are word-for-word (such as KJV or ESV) translations, rather than thought-for-thought (such as the Message). Because think about it, whoever translated the thought-to-thought Bible you are reading paraphrased the Bible in his own words. Treat those like a commentary, or supplement.
2. Read for context. Reading by topic can be awesome at times, but its not how you're really going to know Jesus. When you're reading a book or letter, you don't just read certain lines and assume you know exactly what the whole thing is about, right? Reading a book of the Bible or the whole Bible through gives you context, more details, and a richer study of the Bible!
3. PRAY. Prayer is SO important in studying the Bible. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word, because it can be tricky at times. Pray and ask Him to give you wisdom and understanding, and to learn more about Him. Remember, the Bible is all about Him, not us. Yes, He gives us so much encouragement and also guidelines, but it's ultimately given to us so that we can learn more about Him and who He is.
4. Research the background of the book. This is so important to understanding what you're reading! Good things to know before beginning to study a book is who the author is, who the audience is (who it was written to), when it was written, how it relates to the timeline of the Bible (the Bible isn't in chronological order all of the time!), and what was going on in the world at the time. It helps with understanding the context!
5. Use commentaries. Sometimes you won't understand everything you read, and that's okay. The Bible has a lot of history, and we aren't all historians! But some are. Using commentaries needs to be taken seriously, though. It's man's words, not God's. It shouldn't be read in place of the Bible. It is subject to error! Please research the author before you read the commentary and make sure it lines up with what you know about God. It would be great to ask an older, mature Christian that you trust if they think it is good. My favorite commentator is David Guzik on the Blue Letter Bible app, which I definitely recommend!
6. Highlight, take notes, and journal. As you can see from the pictures from my Bible below, I love to highlight and take notes! I think it really helps me to understand what I'm reading, and I love seeing the margins of my Bible fill up as I study a book. It's also fun! Sometimes, as you can see, I take a lot of notes. Other times I illustrate a verse that stands out to me. Journaling is also an awesome thing to do. I honestly don't journal very often (I need to begin!). A great thing to do is write down what stood out to you and then ask "What does this passage teach me about Jesus?" and "How can I apply what I've learned to my life?" There are many note taking techniques you can look up!
7. Give yourself grace. Like I've mentioned, you may not understand everything. Give yourself grace when you don't. Give yourself grace if you miss a day on a reading plan. Make it a priority but don't beat yourself up when you mess up. Give yourself grace when your Bible study time doesn't look picture perfect. It's all about more Jesus. Give yourself grace when you feel like you just can't keep reading. I love what Kristin Schmucker says: eat until you're full. If you get what you need out of one verse- awesome! If not, keep reading.
8. Have accountability. This is big especially if you have trouble keeping committed to reading the Bible. Join a Bible study (or start one!), ask a friend if she/he would like to be Bible reading buddies, or message me on insta! I'd love to be your accountability partner, even if we aren't reading the same thing.
Before I go, here are two resources I recommend:
How to Study the Bible by Kristin Schmucker
#littleBibleplan by Jenny from littlefaithblog.com and @Christiangirls (you can find it on her blog!)
I hope this helped y'all! Comment below your thoughts.
For more on Bible journaling, check out this post!
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Hey y'all! I'm Makyna the owner behind Simply Loving Jesus. I love Jesus with all of my heart and created this blog to spread His love! Read more...