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Seven Steps on How to Study the Bible Effectively

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For many generations the American people and many others around the world turned to the Christian Bible to find answers for their lives. Even if they did not consider the stories to be real accounts, the morals behind each account served as a guide of what to do or not do to be faithful to God and succeed in this life. However, in this current generation most people have turned away from the Bible as a positive source of inspiration or personal instruction. It is no wonder that we are experiencing a higher prevalence of corruption in both the private and public sector.

For those who wish to revisit the Bible but don't know how, this hub serves as a basic guide to how to study the Bible effectively.

Effective Bible Study Outlined

  1. Pray and Ask God to Open Your Mind and Heart
  2. Read through the Passage 30 Times
  3. Observe the Passage: Ask basic questions about the passage
  4. Interpret the Passage: Find explanations for anything you don't understand
  5. Apply the Passage: Ask yourself how you should respond
  6. Pray and Ask God to Help You Put the Lesson into Practice
  7. Track Your Progress in a Journal


Step One: Pray and Ask God to Open Your Mind and Heart

The first step to effective Bible Study is to pray and ask God to help you open your mind and heart to what the passage says. The Bible contains spiritual insights that come from the Mind of the Living God. God is infinite and we are finite. This means that God has no limits and we do. In order to understand God's ways we need His Holy Spirit to help us. God is directly interested in you and your life. He wants you to live the best life possible. Accordingly, he wants you to understand the words of the Bible which he gave to us that we might know him and his ways. So, if you want to get the most out of your Bible study, it is imperative to pray and ask God to help you.

Step Two: Read the Chosen Passage 30 Times

The second step to effectively study the Bible is to read through your chosen passage 30 times. Whether you plan to study one chapter at a time or a whole book of the Bible, it is important to read through your chosen passage numerous times in order to get a strong overview of that section. After you have a good overview of the entire passage, you are ready to break it down into bite-size chunks.

Step Three: Observe the Passage

The next step in an Effective Bible Study is to observe the passage by asking basic questions about the verses. Such basic questions include: who? what? when? where?and how?

Step Four: Interpret the Passage

Invariably, when you read and study the Bible, you will come to some personalities or concepts that you will not understand without further research and explanation. In this fourth step, a person who wants to study the Bible effectively will do further research on the related subjects. Some effective tools for further research are Bible commentaries (like the People's Commentary or J. Vernon McGee's verse by verse commentaries), Bible handbooks, and Bible Dictionaries.

Step Five: Apply the Passage

The fifth step to effective Bible Study is to discover all the possible application or action points related to the passage. Any one set of verses may contain multiple application points. A well-executed Bible study will lead the person to list out all the possible action points.

Step Six: Pray and Ask God to Help You Apply the lesson

The sixth step in effective Bible Study is to pray once more to ask God to help you apply the lesson to your life. This means that you need to ask God to clarify which of the discovered application points is most important to put into practice. As discussed above, any one passage might have numerous application points. In this section, you will discover which one or two of those points best addresses your current life situation.

Step Seven: Track Your Progress in a Journal

 The last step of an effective Bible study is to track your progress in a journal. After you have discovered which action point relates to you most, write it down in a journal and from time to time evaluate how you are doing in that area.


ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on July 07, 2014:

Thank you Deborah for sharing these insights. They are very helpful.

Deborah Sexton on July 02, 2014:

Traditional Jewish sages identify four levels of interpretation of the Scriptures, called  (pardes), an acronym formed from:

 - P'shat (literal meaning based on historical intent of author)

- Remez (hint, allusion, analogy, allegory)

- D'rash (application, exposition)

- Sod (looking for the mystery, "deep" meaning)

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