10 Do’s and Don’ts of Bible Study

Now that we’ve determined there’s this beautiful little thing called “study,” I must share my best Bible-study tips. Through these simple tips, the God of this amazing Book has radically transformed my moments in the Word. These are the things which have caused me to say, “I love to study the Bible.”

// one

DON’T read randomly. How can you possibly know the Word deeply if you breeze through a verse here or a chapter there, not even expecting to return to those same passages for weeks or months?
DO study intentionally. Enter a context and live there awhile. A book {or two} at a time works wonders. Tie up that package with a loose bow before moving on to the next. And come back often.

// two

DON’T rush. If you read and don’t even realize it, you’re doing it wrong. The goal is not quantity, but quality. A reading plan or checklist is usually a detriment to truly thoughtful study. Hide all clocks.
DO read the same passage repeatedly. When you think you’ve found all the gems, keep searching. Months of deliberation will always accomplish much more than years of haste.

// three

DON’T just read. There’s so much more to it than that. Like thinking, illustrating, charting, cross-referencing, retelling, summarizing, and asking questions. Lots of questions. In fact . . .
DO ask a million questions. About everything. And I mean everything. A dumb question has never existed, and the key to the most thrilling discoveries is . . . questions.

// four

DON’T assume. “This passage means such-and-such.” Says who? When it comes down to it, can you really trust anyone’s viewpoint but God’s?
DO start with a clean slate. Empty your mind, as much as possible, of all opinions and interpretations, yours or anyone else’s, when looking at the Word. Allow the Word to interpret itself.

// five

DON’T search for something profound. You’re anxious to find something that blows your mind. You want the conclusion of the matter now. Steps one, two, and three of application within mere minutes. Many heresies have evolved from hurried, presumptive study.
DO state the obvious. The simplest observations often lead to that which is most profound, and true, and glorious.

// six

DON’T skip over the “unimportant.” Greetings and farewells. Names, places, laws, and measurements. These are often overlooked. And these, too, are the very Word of God.
DO pause at every word. Every wordWhat does it mean? Where else is it used? Who is speaking it? How does it impact the intent of the passage? Oh, if only we could feasibly ask dozens of questions for every single word. Another impossible goal for which to strive all the more.

// seven

DON’T get stuck in a rut. Same time of day. Same place. Same reading plan. Same method. The usual routine. Yeah, routine kills.
DO what works. Change things up. Go against the flow. Beauty is often found in the thing no one else is doing. Choose the kind of Bible-saturated lifestyle that no one else has. Because what they have, though perhaps quite beneficial to them, will probably inhibit you.

// eight

DON’T consult other sources. Books about the Bible are great. Except, the Author of the Bible itself is actually infallible. But somehow our minds mix this up, and we think that when we’ve read books about the Bible, we’ve read the Bible.
DO grab some friends to help. Friends who will walk and talk with you. And that’s why friends help in ways that commentaries can’t.

// nine

DON’T keep it to yourself. Something that incredible, and you shut the Book and move on with life? Who does that?
DO make it a lifestyle.
Why can’t the Word be first, leaving everything else to fit around it, instead of vice versa? Why can’t your moments be filled with Bible thoughts, Bible talk, and Bible songs, like it’s normal . . . and essential?

// ten

DON’T just study the Word. Because if it doesn’t get past your brain, it’s pretty worthless.
DO what it says. 

And maybe now you’ll have a better idea of what it says.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]


23 thoughts on “10 Do’s and Don’ts of Bible Study

  1. Love this! Have you read Jen Wilken’s book “Women of the Word: Reading God’s Word with both Our Hearts and Minds”? It is a great resource for how to study the Bible!
    Blessings!
    Sarah (www.sarahefrazer.com)

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  2. Love the “don’ts” and dos”. (Is that dos or does? Never sure. Anyhow, it’s supposed to be the plural of do.) God’s Word ~ the most powerful written force available. You’ve offered good encouragement and words to chew on here. And, Lydia ~ love the biblical ending as well. “Do what it says.” Yes indeed. Love that. Visiting today via #raralinkup.

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  3. Great encouragement here! I love studying the Bible in all sorts of ways – sometimes reading the same thing over and over, memorization, going through a specific book or topic, etc. While I don’t do the read through the Bible in a year thing much, I have done it because I think it is good to get the “whole picture” every now and then. A couple of years ago, I did decide to read through the Bible with my kids. It was a goal I had before my kids would leave the nest, and my oldest will be a senior in the fall. So, I’m glad I did it! It ended up taking longer than a year, though.

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  4. Great tips on studying the bible, Lydia. I love that you said, “Choose the kind of Bible-saturated lifestyle that no one else has. Because what they have, though perhaps quite beneficial to them, will probably inhibit you.” God created all of us differently and because of that we all learn differently. We really do need to find what works best for us.

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  5. These are great thoughts, and I love them. I especially love that last one. So many people know SO much about the Bible, but put nothing into action. It drives me crazy. There has to be a balance between heart, knowledge, and action. Faith, and action or knowledge, and action go hand in hand. Love it 🙂

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  6. Thanks for linking up at Inspire Me Monday, Lydia :). You have some great tips–studying at different times of day is something I haven’t tried, becuase I like to start my day in the Word. But I can see the value of a different perspective and refresher at other times of the day, too! I’ve also ALWAYS started my Bible study time with prayer–asking the Holy Spirit to teach me.

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  7. These are great tips, Lydia! They are all good, but I especially like this one. “DON’T rush. If you read and don’t even realize it, you’re doing it wrong. The goal is not quantity, but quality.” It’s too easy to just rush through a passage, but if we don’t even know what we read after finishing it, then we really haven’t read it. I don’t think it hurts to read commentaries after we’ve read and studied. They definitely are NOT the Word of God,because they are only words from other people. but sometimes hearing what others have found can help us, just like when we discuss it with others who study the Word. Anyway, great post! Thanks so much for sharing at #LMMLinkup. Blessings to you!

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