My Favorite Bible-Study Method {in 7 Easy Steps}

If you were going to read just one more article about Bible-study methods . . .

This one. You should read this one.

This Bible-study method changed my life.

And maybe, just maybe, this Bible-study method is the one for you.

my favorite Bible-study method

1. Hide All Commentaries
At least until your personal study is complete.
It’s all about discovering the Bible for yourself.

2. Choose a Passage
Preferably an entire book of the Bible.
If it’s more than 10 chapters, divide it into chunks of 5-7 chapters.

3. Find Bible-Study Partners
Friends who are just as eager to know what the Bible says.
Friends who will take off the lenses, dig deeply,
ask “dumb questions,” and allow you to ask yours.
There are plenty of Christians who would love to do this.
Even just one will do.

4. Study the Passage for a Length of Time
I suggest 12-16 weeks per book or chunk of chapters.
Forget the “Read-Through-the-Bible-in-a-Year” plans.
Better to know a small portion than to skim the whole.
{If your pastor is teaching through a particular book, choose that one.}

5. Read the Entire Passage Weekly
Spend one or two days of “quiet time” here.
Read the entirety of the passage, and read it slowly.
Use colored pencils to track words/themes.
Make note of anything that comes to mind, no matter how trivial.
Tag with question marks.
Track what you want to discuss with someone.
Do this every week.

6. Meet with Your Bible-Study Partner(s) Weekly
Take turns sharing what you’ve been discovering in your personal study time.
Generally follow this flow:

Weeks 1-4: Questions & Observations
You may not ever find the answer. Just ask the question.
And sometimes the most profound reveals itself in the most simplistic.
So state the obvious.

Weeks 5-8: Observations & Connections
Light bulbs are everywhere at this point.
Tell your friend about them.

Weeks 9-12: Connections & Interpretations
And now. Now that you’ve had two months to consider the meaning of the passage . . .
What does the passage mean?
Can you explain it?
Just try.
I dare you.

Weeks 13-16: Interpretations & Applications
Finally, and only finally, we take steps toward application.
What about this passage strikes you and convicts you personally?
How do you want to see God use it in your life?

7. Repeat
When you’ve completed all 66 books, start over.

Why do I like this method?
Because it continually opens my eyes to the Word in a way nothing else does.
Because anyone can do it.
Because it’s manageable, effective, powerful, and loads of fun.

To date, I’ve studied 12 books using this method.
54 to go.

Looking to join me in the journey?
Comment below.

If you decide to try out my favorite Bible-study method, I’d love to hear about it!
And I’d love to hear your own Bible-study goals and tips!

What steps are you taking to know the Word and to see it at work in your life?

 [image credit: deviantart.com & journeyoftheword.com]


41 thoughts on “My Favorite Bible-Study Method {in 7 Easy Steps}

  1. These sound like some very good suggestions as they encourage you to take some time in each passage rather than just skimming over. I probably would spend a little less time than 12-16 weeks unless I just found myself immersed in it not wanting to stop. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #WordOfGodSpeak.

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    1. Yes, I’ve considered that. The difficulty for me is that I’m so incredibly lost in passages that I haven’t studied in-depth. So, I feel that my time (even those 15 minutes) is better spent studying passages in-depth.
      But, I agree, it is important to be reviewing the whole of Scripture on a regular basis. Thanks for the reminder!

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      1. I have found that in the long run it helps me tie ‘the whole’ together. BUT we should not get so hung up on ‘having to do this & that and not this and that’ that we paralyze ourselves….and that is a very good point you make in this blog post. Blessings!

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  2. Sounds great – I love taking something and just ruminating on it for awhile, keeping an eye out for unexpected connections between the passage and my own life. I do tend to check in with commentaries from time to time when I hit a question I think they could help clarify (usually involving context). Thanks for linking!

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  3. Such great ideas an I love the fact that it requires you to take time with each book over a period of time – no rush quick to check off the list and love to something different tomorrow – (which sometimes I tend to do)… but my most favorite tip you had – Just ask the questions – you may not get the answer, but start by asking the questions. Thanks for sharing today at #SharingHisBeauty

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  4. Good evening from your next door neighbor over at Anita’s! Thank you for sharing what’s working for you as you study God’s Word, Lydia. How our desire to connect with the Lover of our souls must please Him!

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  5. I’m not sure I could spend that much time on one section, but I do like the idea of not just skimming. And the Bible partner is invaluable! Some thought provoking suggestions – thanks! Stopping by from Inspire Me Monday

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    1. I know the feeling. It seems like you could never spend that much time in one section. But now that I’ve tried it (with the smallest of books!), I always feel like I could spend much more than 16 weeks! It’s amazing! And then you feel like you’ve lived in the book and know it so well!

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  6. I love these tips. I’ve already implemented some, just finished James now onto Ephesians. I like the idea of color coding. I have a journal that I usually watch a sermon on and write notes in. I also like the idea of repetition for the week. I’m awful at memorization but maybe this will help. Thank you for the tips!

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  7. Great tips. I always try to stay in one or two bible studies that help me stay focused and in tune with the word and with others. I am definitely all about community and asking questions so I want to point out that this was a great point. I like reading over and over again because since it is the Living word, I find something different each and every time depending on the season I’m in. Thank you for linking up to Open Mic Monday for the soul at Cisneros Cafe. Have a blessed rest of your week, Lydia.

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  8. Your steps are excellent. If you are planning on teaching – it might be good to have a commentary handy, or Halley’s Handbook. For personal study and group study put the commentary aside until later. Thank you for sharing here at Tell me a Story.

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  9. Great Bible study method!! I love how it incorporates personal study time, just you and God, then times of reflection and study with Bible study partners, and I especially like focusing on a series of passages for a period of time, to really get the meat out of it.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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  10. These are great methods! I write Bible studies that ask questions from the text. When we are finished answering the questions we have studied from front to back an entire book!! At conformingtothetruth we are currently Reading 17 New Testament books in 17 Weeks. We are spending one week reading through a book. I love your ideas. Looks like we have similar ideas of study! God Bless. Glad I stopped by from Sitting Among Friends!

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  11. Hide all commentaries …I like that! I have recently found that sometimes God will reveal something to me that I then have fun researching. But, listening to Him just tell it to me first is pretty cool. Great advice! Happy Wednesday! #RaRaLinkUp Megs

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  12. Love this! I remember giving up all bible-reading plans and just reading the bible. Just taking my time and going through it. Occasionally I would check a commentary or bible notebook, but it is freeing to go at my own pace and learn new things each time. I’ll be pinning this. Thanks for sharing, Lydia!

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  13. This is a great method! Accountability is so important. Often we can’t fight The Enemy alone. I believe Christian companions are one of God’s gifts to us to help us lead Christian lives a little easier!

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  14. Thanks for the advice! This is something I would like to complete, at least once. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

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  15. I like your idea about picking a book that your preacher is going through a series on. Our pastor is preaching on Revelations, and I can certainly use help while studying that book 🙂 Thanks for sharing your post at Together on Tuesdays!

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