5 Simple Steps For Studying Scripture
Sometimes we read scripture and just skim the surface, encouraged by an uplifting verse or convicted by truth. Other times it’s important to dig in and study, remembering that it’s a book full of true, historical information that God has placed into His Word for our refinement.
Whether you are reading the Bible for devotion, prayer, or academic learning, it is helpful to know how to study a Scripture passage. Understanding Scripture in its context is a critical component of discipleship, and there are some helpful tips and tools to help you along the way. Adapted in part from Get Started on the HowTo.Bible’s website, here are steps to help you begin.
5 Steps to Studying Scripture
- After praying for enlightenment, it’s time to read through the passage you’ve chosen to study. Read it several times, even opening up different versions. Search a site like Bible Gateway for different versions, like the Good News Translation. Passages will make the most sense if you read a couple chapters--one small verse or paragraph taken out of context might become confusing.
- Ask yourself “who are the characters?” or “is the location important?” Often, some of this information can be found in the first chapter or in the prelude to the book. The author may identify themselves, address their audience, or state their purpose.
- ZOOM OUT and ask yourself:
- What comes before and after the passage? This helps us read the passage in context. Is your passage a continuation of what came before? Is it setting up something that comes later?
- What’s this book covering? In general, what does this author seem to be concerned about? It might be helpful to search online for a trusted commentary, like the ones found on the EasyEnglish.Bible site.
- What’s the message for the intended audience? Consider who is listening to the message, who the book was written to and why. And considering what you’ve learned about the book so far, who might this be addressed to on a larger scale?
- What’s the application for YOU, today? The last step is to take all that you’ve learned and contemplate what these passages might mean to you.
As you go forward, continue to consider the passage and live with it in mind. Let the words and observations take root inside you, noticing what situations come to your thoughts, or any specific insight or call to action.
What Bible study techniques do you utilize? Leave a comment below and share your best tips!
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