Summary: Many people are not studying the Bible because they don’t know how! This outline offers some guidelines. This is essentially the same as How To Study The Bile but goes into a little more depth.

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How To Study The Bible



"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

There are many who do not study God’s word because they don’t know how. This lesson offers a few brief guidelines.

I. If You Do Not Study

A. You cannot act in faith.

1. Faith comes through the hearing of God’s word (Romans 10:17).

2. Therefore, to speak or act without scriptural authorization is sin (Romans 14:23).

3. All that we do must be done “in the name of” (i.e., by the authority of) Jesus (Colossians 3:17).

B. Willful sins of ignorance will not be forgiven (2 Peter 3:5-6).

1. It is through the word of God that sin is made known (Romans 3:20; John 15:22) and expounded (Romans 7:13).

2. The Scriptures declare that all men are without excuse for their sin (Romans 1:20). Therefore, to reject, suppress or forget the knowledge of God does not made sin void (Leviticus 5:17; Ezekiel 3:19; Romans 1:21-32; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

C. You will die in ignorance (Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 5:23; Ephesians 4:18-19).

II. Prerequisites To Study

A. Must have a love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

B. Must expect to understand the Bible (Ephesians 3:4; 5:17; Matthew 15:10).

C. Must be prepared to search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11; Proverbs 2:1-6).

III. Types Of Study

[It is recommended that you choose a particular book and study it in the following order]

A. A birds eye view.

1. Choose a book and read it through.

2. Look out for verses that reveal the author’s purpose for writing the book.

3. Look out for verses that reveal the theme of the book.

4. Mark natural divisions within the book.

5. Make a note of things that interest you and things you do not understand.

B. Chapter by chapter study.

1. Read a chapter and write a summary of it in your own words.

2. Make a note of the natural divisions within each chapter.

3. Make a note of things that interest you and things you do not understand.

C. Paragraph by paragraph study.

1. Read through a paragraph and write a brief summary of it in your own words.

2. Make a note of things that interest you and of things you do not understand.

D. Verse by verse study.

1. Read through each verse and then rewrite it in your own words.

2. Divide the verse into individual segments and comment on each.

3. Make a note of things of interest and make a note of words you do not understand.

E. Word study.

1. Choose a particular word from list you made in your previous study.

2. Look up the meaning of it in a Greek dictionary (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).

3. Look up the Strong’s number of this word in Strong’s Dictionary and then, using a Greek concordance, see how the word is translated and used throughout the Scriptures.

4. Then see how your understanding of the word gives a greater understanding to the verses in which it appears.

F. Biography.

1. Choose a particular Bible character (Jesus, Paul, etc).

2. Find out all you can about that person: when they born, where they were born, their nationality, who their parents were, etc.

G. Topical study.

1. Choose and particular topic that interests you (e.g., baptism) but be sure it is not a difficult subject.

2. Read through the New Testament and make a note of all the places where this subject is mentioned.

3. Write a summary of your findings.

IV. The Tools Of The Trade

A. A good Bible.

1. It is essential to choose a Bible that is a good translation (KJV, NKJV, ASV) and not a paraphrase Bible (GNB, TLB, NAB).

2. Of these good translations, choose one that you find readable or easy to understand.

3. Choose a Bible that has easy to see chapter divisions, and chapter and paragraph headings.

4. Avoid bibles with notes and comments as these can be a mixed blessing: on the one hand they may help to expound on the meaning of a text but, on the other hand, such comments usually represent and reflect that person’s denominational biased.

B. Concordance.

1. A concordance is very useful to help you find the occurrence of a word throughout the Scriptures. But don’t rely too much on them because there may be other verses that discuss a particular subject but using different words!

2. When looking up a word (e.g., baptism) be sure to look up all noun and verb forms, as well as similar words (e.g., washings).

C. Dictionary.

1. A Greek dictionary is essential. Illustrated below:

a. An English dictionary defines the word baptism as ‘Immersion, sprinkle, and pour.’

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