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How to Study the Bible

One of my great desires is to encourage people to read and study the Bible for themselves. Often we are exhorted to read the Bible, but only very rarely told how to do it, which can lead many people to a sense of failure, or even guilt.

Over the years I have seen this situation change dramatically for so many people once they are taught Inductive Bible Study. Instead of coming to the text trying to prove a particular point, we need to read the text with a open mind, allowing it to challenge our thinking, and to draw the message out of the text. Normally when we read the Bible, we try and find what God is saying to us personally today. This is a good aim, but we forget that the Bible was not originally written to us, so often it will seem unintelligible or irrelevant to today. This is what so frequently puts people off reading and studying the Bible. The key is to learn to ask the right questions about the passage of Scripture, and through these, determine the meaning of the text to the original readers before attempting to apply it into our lives today.

From this page are a number of links

Method

This shows how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions

Observation Questions

This gives a list of the questions that should be asked to enable observation of what the text actually says.

Interpretation Questions

This gives a list of the questions that should be asked to enable effective interpretation of the text by determining what it meant to the author and the original readers.

Structure of books

This page describes the structural techniques used by the authors to communicate their message. Books of the Bible can be based on a variety of structural elements. It also describes the laws of composition used by the author.

Historical background

Determining the historical setting of a book is an essential part of interpretion.

Figures of speech

This page lists and describes the variety of different figures of speech found in the Bible.

Personal Application

Some practical help in the process of finding relevant life-changing application from Scripture

Text layout

It is often helpful to have your own print-out of the text of the passage or book you are studying. This page describes the process of laying out the text according to its grammatical structure, which you can then use to make your own notes.