Bible Study 201 Chandler says that “digging into specific books of the Bible is a great way to tackle the Scriptures.” “Bible Study 201” is all about that. Here are the highlights:
Bible Study 101 Chandler’s main piece of Bible study advice: “Don’t read the Bible like another book.” To keep you from doing so, here are the highlights from Chandler’s “Bible Study 101”: • Develop a consistent time and place to study the Bible. • Find a reading plan that works for you: a plan that will give you a clear direction and purpose. “Reading plans force the issue,” Chandler says. “They make you read things you wouldn’t usually read.” • Have a journal handy when studying. “The Bible is our way of submitting our lives to the Lord,” remarks Chandler. “Journaling reinforces areas of your life that you are working to improve.” • Before you start your study, pray that God will reveal things to you. Chandler says that during Bible study, texts often “jump off the page” to him after he has prayed. • Have a highlighter and pen handy to keep track of what is being revealed to you.
• Use a 20-20-20 plan: 20 minutes reading Scripture, 20 minutes journaling, and then 20 minutes praying or sharing about those thoughts. • Pick a key verse out of the day’s reading to spend more time studying. • Don’t make your applications general. They need to be accompanied by specific and direct steps that you can put into practice today—to be obedient to the revelation of Christ. • Try doing your reading plan with a spouse or roommate. Instead of spending the last 20 minutes praying, spend it discussing. Marvel at the differences the two of you find in the same texts and the way discussing it strengthens your marriage or relationship.
• Understand the book culturally from the Bible’s point of view. Start by searching the rest of the Bible for any other mention of the place or person you are about to study. If you're studying Philippians (like Chandler did with his church), Acts is a good reference point: Acts discusses Lydia, the jailer mentioned, and the girl who is demon-possessed. • Use tools, like commentaries. Commentaries and Bible dictionaries help you understand the cultural context based on other historical sources they consult. • Outline the book chapter by chapter. • Read the biblical book looking for major themes and points that the author emphasizes. Searching for repetition is a good way to discover emphasis. • Conduct word studies. Word studies become “very important” to understanding context and culture, Chandler says. “You really get to a place where you can say, ‘Oh, this is what he’s talking about.’ ” • Come back to context. “It is very important to look at the context (again), lest you look foolish,” Chandler says. Context also allows you to effectively pick the proper passages of Scripture when ministering to others. • Application. Although Bible study is not synonymous with application, it must be the final thing we do, and the item for which we are accountable.
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Published on Mar 1, 2009
Bible Study Magazine (www.BibleStudyMagazine.com) delivers tools and methods for Bible study, as well as insights from respected Bible teach...