I’m so glad you can join me today at the table. Can we talk about different ways to study the Bible? It doesn’t always have to be one way, you know. You can choose one method for one topic or book before trying a different method, or, settle in with one method until you’re comfortable enough to move on. There are 6 Bible Study methods that will enhance your Bible understanding and knowledge. All of these methods will help you grow in faith and understanding.
Are you ready to check’em out with me? This list is a brief overview of the various methods rather than in-depth excerpts.
Okay, let’s get to it!
Brief Excerpts of Various Study Methods
1. The Expositional Method
This simply means to study the Bible books verse by verse using the Observation, Interpretation and Application approach that is used in the Inductive Bible Study Method. This method requires more thinking about how verses are related to each other as it gives a greater understanding of the text. Bible commentaries are often helpful to enhance understanding.
2. The Survey Method
This method is to study each Bible book as a whole and in general terms rather than in deep detail. For instance, you’ll take note of the author, the audience, where he’s writing from (geographically), writing style, theme and important topics in the book. This is like a panoramic approach to the book. Bible resources such as Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries and other tools are helpful with this method.
3. The Topical Method
A study that focuses on a specific topic that explores the whole Bible on that subject. Bible resources such as a Bible concordance and topical Bible guide would be helpful. The caution with this method is not to take verses out of context when studying a topic.
4. The Biographical Method
This sounds interesting and means studying individuals who are mentioned in the Bible, ie, David or Paul. Resources helpful in drawing a character sketch would be a concordance, topical Bible guide and possibly other study books that have been written about the men and women mentioned in the Bible.
5. The Word Study Method
This is a study of unfamiliar terms for those who are new to the Christian faith. Terms like redemption, propitiation, justification, etc. These are words that God wants us to understand so we have a full understanding of their meaning in relation to our walk with the LORD. Tools used for this study method would be a concordance, especially a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. As well, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words would also be helpful.
6. The Devotional Method
This is referred to as “having devotions” and is a less technical study of all these methods. This method is primarily for personal inspiration and encouragement and includes Bible reading, prayer, and perhaps reading a devotional book that contains brief messages.
That’s a Wrap
I have been using the Inductive Bible Method (Expositional) for years and I have to say that of these six Bible Study Methods, I’m interested in the Biographical Method. Hmmm. That sounds like it would make a great study someday. Whom should I focus on? One of the lesser-known women? A woman of renown? Hmmm.
Remember that Bible reading is vital above all methods. As believers, we need to know what the Bible says and the only way to do that is to read it.
Bible reading plans are a great way to engage in a daily reading habit, along with writing out whole books of the Bible. I host a Bible study group over on Facebook called Deeper in God Bible Studies where we not only study the Bible, we also write out whole books of the Bible. The women who have been participating in the challenges are so fired up as God is speaking to them as they write out His words. Writing out the Word is beneficial in so many ways!
Read this: Why We Should Handwrite the Bible
Read this: Inductive Bible Study Method – Study Deep!
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One thing to remember is the importance of USING the Bible, that is, your activity with it, is more than a specific study method.
Use your Bible, live it out. Grow in the LORD.
Are you studying the Word for yourself?
What method do you prefer to study or do you switch them around for a variety of learning styles? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through Women’s Tabletop Friendship.