How To Study The Bible

Articles, Bible Study

To aid you in your study of the Bible, a suggested program, or schedule, follows.  You may wish to adjust it for your circumstances or personal likes.  However, the most important point of this is to get on a regular schedule of Bible study.  Be systematic about it, not haphazard.

If you randomly open your Bible on Tuesday and read a few pages, then on Thursday randomly open it again to read more, you will benefit some, but not much.  In fact, this may lead to confusion and bewilderment.  So, follow a program for maximum impact.

Starting Out

Read the gospel of Mark; one chapter per day.  Immediately after reading the chapter, write down a phrase that sums up its contents—maybe even one word.  Pick out key verses, words, or phrases used in the chapter and write them down.  Write two or three paragraphs about the events or lessons and make application to your life or the world around you.

Also, choose a verse to memorize, preferably one that captures the meaning of the chapter.  By doing these things you will impress your mind with the lessons and events, as well as what the chapter, and eventually the book, is all about.

You may be tempted to read more than one chapter per day.  If you do, that is fine, but it is best if you will stop after each chapter and write down the things noted above.  You may run out of time or forget what a chapter said.  If you will pause and meditate on what you just read, without having too much to consider, you will benefit more.

MONTH 1: MARK

Day

Chapter

Short Summation

Key verses, words, phrases

Memory verse

1

1

Beginning of the Gospel

1:15, 17
Repent, Believe
Fishers of men

1:15

2

2

Opposition

2:7, 10, 16, 17
Your sins are forgiven

2:17

3

3

Rejection, Reception

3:2-4, 9, 21, 35
Is it lawful?
Will of God

3:35

And so on.

 

 

 

Memorization

For memory work, write the verse down on a 3 x 5 card.  Carry it in your purse, briefcase, Bible, school books, organizer, back pocket, or wherever.  It is convenient and will aid in memory just by writing out the verse.

To actually memorize the verse, learn only two or three words at a time, maybe even just the first word of the verse.  As you get a few words down perfectly, add the next two or three words.  Repeat this until the entire verse is memorized and then go over it daily.

NOTE: When I memorize passages, I learn two to five words at a time by repeating them over and over. I do not look at the verse after the first time or two. I pace back and forth saying the phrase again and again. If you were to watch me do this you would think I’m nuts (and maybe I am a little). After I get that phrase down, I add another two to five words and repeat these until I have them down. Then I go back and repeat the two sections together. For instance, I might learn, “James, a bondservant of God” then add “and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Jas. 1:1). With both memorized it would then be “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” As I build little by little, I eventually get the verse, paragraph, chapter, and book completely memorized. (I memorized the book of James this way).

This may seem daunting, but if you do it little by little in a systematic way, it is not all that difficult.

One thing that you will notice in memorizing large sections of Scripture is that your understanding deepens greatly.

Moving Ahead

After you finish Mark, go on to Acts then to Philippians, Ephesians, or Colossians.  Mark gives the life of Christ and preparation for the kingdom.  Acts records the fulfillment of the great commission in the establishment and growth of the church.  The epistles show the practical struggles and wonderful triumphs of first century Christians.

Further, it is suggested you make an appointment to study.  If you have an organizer, block out a specific time of the day you will devote to reading and meditation.  Write it down on the refrigerator calendar or put it in a PDA.  However you choose to make the appointment, just make it; by such you mentally commit and are more likely to get it done.

Keep all your writing (summaries, key verses, etc.) together in a folder or binder.  Every few months look through it and see how much you have accomplished.  It will encourage you to know you are making progress and learning more about God’s Word.

Conclusion

Finally, be patient and give it time.  “By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19).  The more you study God’s word, the more you will understand it.  You will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7-9).  However, as with any crop, you will reap later than you sow and more!  So, stick to it; it will be worth it.

About the author 

Steven

Steven Deaton: Christian, husband, father. Seeking to help others know and live by God's word.

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