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How to study the Bible for beginners
How can I study the Bible as a beginner? Are you confused about where to start reading the Bible from? Then this post is just what you need.
As a beginner you might be wondering where to start reading the Bible from, I know sometimes you just flip through the pages, chapters, and scriptures, and it is as though you are sailing on a journey that has no end.
Well in this post, I will be teaching you a step by step guide to studying the Bible as a beginner.
The first thing I would want you to put into consideration when you have made the decision to read your Bible is to pray.
Why must you pray?
The Bible isn’t like any of the books you have read, if you have the mindset of reading the Bible as though you are reading just any book, then the whole purpose of studying the scriptures is futile.
Studying the scripture with a natural mind as stated in 1 Corinthians 2:14 won’t yield profitable results because the things of God are spiritually discerned.
You must pray by asking for help from the Holy Spirit because he is the one that guides into all truth, so only he can give life and inspiration to that which you intend to read.
He is the spirit of truth, hence he will guide you into all truth.
Basically, you need to pray so that the original intent and the truth hidden in the scriptures you will be reading will be revealed to you.
2. Plan your Bible study
Planning your Bible study entails that you relegate the number of minutes, hours you want to spend reading the Bible.
This is done in order for you to be disciplined.
Once you start reading the Bible, I can assure you that a lot of distractions will come to prevent you from reading the Bible, you will feel the urge to stop, but the time limit you have placed on yourself will be the one to keep you grounded or stuck with the word.
Studying the Bible requires self-determination and discipline, so relegate time for Bible studies
You might be wondering what you will be needing a notebook for, but I assure you that it is needed.
You will be needing a Bible study notebook so as to write out the truth revealed by the holy spirit from the scriptures you have read so you don’t forget all you got from your Bible study.
A written document is better than that stuck in your memory, I am sure you will agree with me that the memory fails sometimes but your notebook won’t and you can always make reference to your notebook.
Meditation is a major key to getting a lot from your Bible study.
I know it isn’t that easy to be still, but for you to get much, you have to meditate on the scriptures you have read.
Meditation is focusing, pondering on that which you have read.
Meditating on God’s word is life-transforming and it reveals a lot of truth about the scriptures, things beyond your natural mind.
Meditation should be carried out in a place of total silence to avoid distractions.
5. Study the Bible by Chapters
This is another Bible study method for beginners and it entails that you study the Bible by chapter.
This is what I would advise you to do as you read the chapter of a book in the Bible.
Apply the SOAP Bible study method I will be explaining below.
The SOAP Bible study method for beginners
1. S- Scripture
The ‘S’ signifies scripture, it means you need to write out in your Bible study notebook scriptures that ministered to you while you did your Bible study.
2. O- Observation
The ‘O’ stands for observation, but in this context, I will want to borrow the word meditation.
This method impels you to engage with the scriptures you wrote down in your Bible study notebook.
Engaging with this scripture involves taking a look at those scriptures and meditating on them again.
One thing you will realize is that, more understanding of that scripture will be unveiled to you.
What to do with the understanding you get is what I will be discussing in the next step.
3. A- Application
The ‘A’ stands for application.
This method encourages you to apply the knowledge gained to your personal life, Are you thinking of how this can be done? Take a deep breath as we proceed to the last step
4. P – Prayer
This steps requires that you talk to God about what truth has been revealed via your Bible study, Ask that you walk in the light of the revelation you received.
After establishing what SOAP means please let’s proceed to our next guide on Bible study for beginners
How to use the Soap method of Bible study?
The SOAP is an acronym that stands for Scripture, observation/meditation, Application, and Prayer.
The soap Bible study method allows you to study the Bible by verse.
With the soap Bible study method you develop a deeper intimacy with God and an inspirational Bible study.
Before I dive into this Bible study method, I will be making a list of what you will be needing for this class
- A Bible
- A writing pad or notebook
- Pen or pencil
Now let’s go into the business of today.
SOAP method of Bible study example
The scripture I will be using for this example is
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”
After meditating on this scripture I got 3 beautiful inspirations which are
- A guarantee that I know God is that I love
- God is love
- What is love itself?
My observation led to me questioning what love is and this led to me searching out the scriptures for the real definition of love.
After searching via my Youversion bible App, I got another scripture that gives a perfect illustration of what love really is in 1Corinthians 13:4, let’s check it out.
Vs 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
Vs 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Vs 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Vs 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Vs 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
with this scripture I have been able to answer the question as to what love is,
I will go ahead and pen down what love really is In my writing pad.
What am I to do with thins information, this leads us to the next acronym on the SOAP method of Bible study which is the ‘A’
While I meditated on the scripture, I realized that if love was a guarantee that I know God, it then means I don’t really know God, cause I doubt that I possess any of the characteristics of love written in the above scripture.
I also realized that Love is God’s nature, and since he is my father, it is possible for me to love the way he does.
This leads us to the next step I will be taking as regards the knowledge I have now.
I took the knowledge to God in prayer asking him to teach me how to love like he does, because the characteristics of love in that verse can’t be done by my effort, he has the nature in him, he can freely give me.
Please practice this and continually implement this in your Bible study.
Download The free SOAP Printables here
6. Choose a book of the Bible to study
I would advice you as a beginner to start your reading of the Bible from the new testament
You can choose a book from the new testament, I would advise you start reading from the small books like James, 1 John, etc.
Relegate the number of days, weeks you want to spend on the book.
7. Choose a tool
You can choose to use a concordance, commentary or Bible dictionary.
This methods make the reading of the Bible easier as you look up for difficult words via the tools available.
There are tools available online for your consumption.
8. Study the Bible according to topic
You can choose to study the Bible based on topics like faith, love and peace, this Bible study method also makes reading easier and makes you knowledgeable in the topic of your choice. I would recommend the Youversion Bible App for this.
Before I end this article, I will like to give a list of some Bible study topics for beginners
- Concept of sin and forgiveness
- The suffering, death and resurrection of Christ
- How meditation deals with fear and anxiety
- Bible verses on Thanksgiving
- How to Biblically command your morning