Practical Tips for Effective Bible Study
As I matured in my relationship with Christ, I came to realize that studying God’s Word was a necessary practice I needed to prioritize in my daily life. However, when I came to this conclusion I found it really hard to know how or where to start on my Bible studying journey.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few techniques, implemented a few practices, and utilized a few tools that have made Bible Study one of my favorite things to do. It’s my hope that these tips also aid you as you seek God through the study of His Word.
Use a Version You Understand
Studying the Bible will do you no good if you’re unable to understand the version you’re reading from. It’s important you utilize a version of the Bible that is biblically sound, but that also allows you to comprehend and interpret what you are reading. I mean the King James Version is great for memorization, but with all the thou, thee, and thus being thrown around, I am left thoroughly confused by the end of a chapter.
I use two versions while doing my own Bible study. I love the ESV version for reading chapters straight-through. I then switch to the Message Bible for breaking down individual verses.
Use Highlighters, Markers, and Pens
Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible! I love using colored highlighters, markers, and pens to write notes, highlight passages that stand out, and circle or underline words that are notable. This helps me truly dive into what I’m reading versus simply skimming through the text.
Use a Journal or Notebook
As you study the Bible you’ll likely get revelations and have questions. Having a journal or notebook on hand allows you to write down your revelations and your questions as you read. You’re then able to come back later to review your insights and build upon them, or answer the questions you’ve written after you’ve done some research and found the answers.
Consider a Journaling Bible
Journaling Bibles are the best of both worlds. You have a Bible that allows you to read and study combined with the space (lined or unlined) to write notes within your Bible- no additional notebook needed. This option is great if you’re a person who likes to keep everything contained in one place.
Plus, journaling Bibles give you the chance to be creative and expressive with your Bible study. My journaling Bible, in addition to having notetaking space, also has coloring pages and spaces throughout. I can color images and scriptures which allows me to relieve stress while simultaneously meditating on the Word. I also use planner stickers and other decorative items to really personalize my Bible and enhance my study time.
Use a Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Google
Often when I am studying the Bible I like to cross reference words using a dictionary and a thesaurus. It’s amazing how much more understanding you can gain simply by defining some of the words in a verse or by looking up synonyms for a word. Similarly, there are times when I need context on a specific verse or passage. That’s when Google comes in. There are times I spend an hour or two consulting reliable online resources to help me better understand the timeframe a particular event happened, or to explain the meaning of a word in Greek or Hebrew. For me, it’s about doing what I need to get the most out of what I read.
Ultimately, Bible study should be about deepening your understanding of the Word so you can receive revelation and apply the Word to your daily life. However, you cannot apply what you don’t comprehend. So don’t be afraid to use additional tools and resources to help you better process the scriptures so you can apply God’s Word to your life and experience the transformation that comes with application of revelation.
Staff Writer at Christian En Vogue
Diamond Grant is passionate follower of Christ with a deep love for writing. After rededicating her life to Christ during her college years, Diamond became an advocate for women pursuing mental, emotional, and physical health/wellness. When she is not busy being a homeschooling mama to her son or mentoring women on the road to healing, you can find her with a stack of books and a journal nearby ready to take notes.