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Simple Personal Bible Study

Updated on December 21, 2014


As Christians there is an obligation to study the Bible. Many people don't realize it, but Bible study is vital to spiritual maturity. It is not enough just to go to Church on Sunday morning, go to Sunday school and maybe make it out to a weekly Bible study. These are a good start. In order to continue to grow into spiritual maturity one must have a healthy consistent personal Bible study time or some call it a quiet time. Every believer should have 30-60 minutes a day set aside to study the Bible and to spend time with God. This article is just a simple suggestion in technique on how to tackle personal Bible study.

Begin with Prayer

The first step in Bible Study is simply to pray. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is our teacher and He will guide us into all truth. John 16:13a says, " However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth". So the first step is to ask His guidance as we begin to study the scripture.

Step 1: Observation

After you have prayed and invited the Holy Spirit into your study session and chosen a section of scripture that you want to study, the first thing you want to do is simply observe the text. Ask the question? What does the text say? At this point you will not get into what the text means, that will come in a later step. In this step you are just concerned with what the text is saying. Ask questions of the text. Who wrote the text? Why did the writer write the text? What is the text saying? Where was the writer when they wote the text? Where are the recipients of the text located? When was the text written? Take notes of names and locations and things that seem to stick out to you. Get a feel for the context of the writing. Read, Re-read and Re-read the text.

Step 2: Interpretation

After you have thoroughly observed the text you can move on to the next step which is interpretation. It is in this step that you discover exactly what the scripture is saying. Its important to remind you before you move forward to remember the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide you. With interpretation you want to make sure that the Spirit is revealing what the scripture is saying to you, and you're not making anything up. In this step it will be helpful for you to use some Bible study tools such as an Concordance, a Study Bible and a Bible Dictionary. These tools will help you determine what the meaning of words are in the original language.

Step 3: Application

After you complete the interpretation of the text and find out what the text means, you can move on to application. Application is what the text means to you or how you fit into the text. It is in this step that we move into the practical application of the Scripture. As always in studying the Scripture you want to once again remember the Holy Spirit and allow Him to convict you and show you the area of your life in which you need to apply Scripture. The Christian's life should be an example of Scripture. If there is any area of a Christian's life that is not in line with the Scripture, then that Christian needs to repent of disobedience and align themselves in obedience to the Word.

Final Words

This was just a brief suggestion on how to tackle studying the Bible for beginners. As you continue to get further and further into Bible study, you will discover that there are many more in depth methods that can be utilized. Every method that you use should at least cover Observation, Interpretation and Application. The point of Biblical study is not just for information, but its for transformation.


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      Robert E Smith 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Such a practical piece about study. I feel that anyone that honestly knows Christ as Savior will be moved by that quiet still voice to learn more about God. Sitting and reading a few verses, God is faithful to make sure some or all of those verses you select "by accident" will be made alive as the person reads them. And the verses that are "made alive" will begin to speak to the person with memories, convictions of sin, motivations etc. Then at some point in the person's growth, reading and listening for that voice will be a good start point but then the drive to learn something new, something they had not thought of before, something they have never heard preached before, something that God shows him/her personally. So there will be the urges to get study aids, Strong's Concordance, or a Commentary, or a Bible Dictionary, or a Bible Encyclopedia. Depending on the person's gift, the Holy Spirit will guide the curiosity into areas unique to that person. Teachers may wish to make notes in complete and teachable thoughts. Evangelists may see some salvation truth jump out at them and they quick make a note of that when they run across that topic when giving out the gospel. Counselors may stick to basic Bible truths that effect family or that address problems so that a sick brother may be made well.

      But all of these people will have something in common in their study. God will make sure their gift's needs are filled but He will also draw on their hearts to draw them to Him for private intimate time with Him where they can be reminded of God's grace and goodness and blessings and protection and have an opportunity to praise and thank God for being the kind of God He is, a God of love and faithfulness. I loved this simple informative article and with it a person who needs to know how to approach this thing called Bible study will know how to begin. I voted up and awesome. Bob.