How do I study the Bible?


2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling (correctly interpret) the word of truth.

How do we rightly handle the word of truth?

I. The Preparation

  • Recognize the role of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

  • Spend time in Prayer/Worship beforehand

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

-pray, worship, spend some time in silence, asking God to speak. Remove your distractions, and focus

II. The Study

  1. Observation – What is Scripture saying? who what when where why how
    1. Write down key words, phrases, places, audience, author
    2. Are there any major questions/problems you have from reading this text?
  2. Explanation – What does it mean (author’s original message)? *context is key (read before, after, research the situation, type of genre, culture)
    1. Out of the facts, a scriptural truth(biblical principle) will emerge
    2. How does it all relate? Write out the MPT – “Main Point of the Text”
  3. Application – How does the text apply to me (how should I respond after reading this truth)?
    1. “One interpretation, many applications”
    2. Knowledge is not enough

James 1:22-24 
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

III. Some Study Principles (ideas to keep in mind):

  • Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture (The Word does not contradict itself, take the whole counsel of Scripture)
  • Read the Bible as a book that points to Jesus (John 5:39-40, Luke 24:27)
  • Meditate on Scripture (think, write, speak, act, share, memorize)
  • Read the Bible in community (study groups!)

Supporting Scripture:

  • 2 Timothy 3:12-17
  • 2 Peter 1:3-9

Questions to discuss:

  • What is a question that you think the Bible couldn’t answer?
  • Would you be willing to prayerfully look with me at what the Bible may say about this question?
  • Has God ever spoken to you through a Bible verse? What was the situation?
  • Has the Bible ever kept you from making a mistake or thinking the wrong thing? Will you share that situation with me?

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