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HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Bible Study Methods


      Lesson Six:  Bible Study Methods


      To effectively study the Bible, you need to:

      1. Read the Scriptures carefully and prayerfully.
       As you take up the Scriptures to read, pray that the Lord will open your eyes, that you will see and understand what it is that He has for you today. 

       2.Take notes. Write down everything. Create a notebook that is set apart just for your Scripture notes.  This will be a helpful reference in the future. 

      3. Be receptive to the Holy Spirit's teaching. Leave your pre-conceived ideas behind. Let the Scriptures teach YOU, don't try to twist the scriptures to say something that God did not put there. 

       4. Memorize as much of the Scripture as you can. This allows the Holy Spirit to bring verses back to your remembrance at appropriate times, and allows you to compare scripture with scripture in your mind at any time of the day. 

      Three Ways to Study the Bible

      There are three basic ways to study the Scriptures. 

          a. TOPICAL
          b. EXPOSITORY
          c. MEDITATIONAL
      Let's take a quick look at each of these:

      This is just what the name implies.  You choose a topic in the Scriptures to study. Pick one that interests you. Something that you would like to learn more about. 
      Then, using a Concordance, look up all the references to that topic, write them down, and then look them up in the Bible. This  can take some time. But the more time you set aside for serious study, the greater the rewards.

      Read each passage carefully, and answer these questions in your notebook: 
      1.) What does this passage mean? 
      2.) How does it apply to me? 
      3.) What can I learn from it?

      Examples of some Biblical topics are: 
      Prayer, fasting, grace, salvation, tithing, faith, repentance, confession . 
      If you are using Bible Software with a concordance search engine, you can do multi-word topical studies, such as "fear not", "strong drink", "new covenant", "unto the end", "last days". 

      This word literally means "a detailed explanation".   Referring to a study of the Bible it means a detailed study of a verse, a chapter or a book (or books) of the Bible. To do an expository study, pick a verse or several verses to study. ( Start with just a few verses at first, because you will be essentally studying every word of a passage.This can involve a lot of work and time, but is well worth the effort.)

      Read your selection through very carefully several times before you start your study of it. 
      Then, when you are ready, read it through once again slowly. 
      Write in your notebook all the major words that are used in it. 
      Once you have them all listed, look them up in the Concordance. 
      Look up the meanings of the words and write those down. 
      Check for any verb tense information help in the Amplified Bible or the Expanded Translation mentioned in the Study Tools. 
      Check the references to other Scriptures where those words are used.  Read them and make notes on how those Scriptures apply to the ones you are studying.    This can get quite detailed.  Take your time.
      Check a Bible Commentary, a Bible Dictionary and/or a Bible Encyclopedia and see what they say about the Scriptures you are studying. 
      Make notes on all relevant material, listing the references used.
      Then, looking over all the material you have gathered, write down 
      the interpretation (What it Means) 
      and the application (What it Means to Me and how I can apply it to my life). 


      Psa 1:1-3 (KJV) 
      Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, 
      nor standeth in the way of sinners, 
      nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
      {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; 
      and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 
      {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, 
      that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; 
      his leaf also shall not wither; 
      and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

      Meditational Bible Study is one of the highest forms of study. It is commended in Scripture as one of the ways to God's blessing on the life!
      It begins by memorizing. 
      This is what the Scriptures mean when it talks about "hiding God's Word" in your heart.  You hide it in your heart by memorizing it.

      There are many little "tricks" to memorization. 
      One way is to set the section to music and sing it. There is something about the flow of a song lyric that aids memory recall. 

      Another effective method of memorizing Scripture is to write out the passage by hand that you are seeking to memorize word for word. This method enables you to process the passage several times and in several ways as you write the passage. By writing a passage down you have to :

      1) Read it and look at it many times as you write down each word.
      2) To process it through your brain as your hand writes it down.
      3) To read it again many times as you write it down.
      4) You can even read the passage out loud to yourself as you write it down.
      5) You can write it down as many times as it takes to memorize the passage.

      Once you have a section of the Scripture memorized, you meditate on it by filling your mind with it.  You let the words of the memorized portion run through your mind, again and again. 

      Joshua 1:8 KJV
      This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; 
      but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, 
      that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: 
      for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, 
      and then shalt thou have good success.

      As you do this prayerfully, thoughts, ideas, and concepts will be revealed to your mind.  You may even think of other verses that relate to the one you are memorizing, and how the truths of those verses apply to what you are studying.
      Keep a notebook handy and write them down. 

      As you think on the Scripture you have memorized, look for 
      1.) Interpretation - What it means.  and
      2.) Application - How to apply it to your life. 

      Be sure to write down what you are learning. Quite often the more you meditate upon a Scripture or a portion of Scripture the more revelation you receive about it.  Again, take your time.

      One way to use Scriptures you have memorized is to quote them out loud during times of emotional upheaval.  For instance, if you have memorized the 23rd Psalm, during a period of "darkness" you can quote this Scripture.  It affirms your faith, brings light and peace, and will help keep your mind from running away with worry or fear.

      Try it! Pick out a method that intrigues you, or try them all, or make up one of your own. The important thing is to improve your Bible Study skills, and to become more skillful at using God's word for witnessing and your personal Christian Growth.

      God Bless you as you study and meditate on God's Word.

      In bob.....<><


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