3 Things to Do Before Studying the Bible Book by Book
Studying a book of the Bible from beginning to end is wonderful because you get a chance to fully understand a particular author’s message and purpose for writing. But before you get started, here are three things I suggest you do first.
The Bible consists of 66 books that together tell God’s story of redemption.
Reading Scripture one book at a time allows us to dig deep into one inspired author’s message at a time. We end up studying the Bible verse by verse without leaving out any portion of Scripture. In many ways, this is really ideal.
However, before you get stared, consider these three:
1. Check your motivation.
Let’s remember that we are reading Scripture to better know God, not just to check it off our list. I say this again and again but the truth remains: If you are studying the Bible solely out of a sense of obligation, you’ll likely lose steam before long. When you study to meet with Jesus and grow in your faith, you’ll experience the life-changing power of God’s Word.
So before you begin studying through each book of the Bible, decide that a daily Bible time is going to be a part of your lifestyle. It’s going to be your daily soul food to keep living for Jesus.
2. Learn Bible study methods.
You’ll get the most out of your book study when you read with solid Bible study skills. I suggest you learn how to study the Bible inductively, that is with the “Observation, Interpretation, Application” Bible study method.
First, you’ll make observations in the text by asking good questions, paying attention to the context and flow of thought. It’s during this stage that you come across new discoveries, story details, and actionable commands.
Secondly, you interpret the information you read based on the observations you made. You may also pull in outside sources at this time. While some passages are very straightforward, others need some interpretation to determine what God wants to tell us through the text or story.
Thirdly, you will always apply what you are reading. Again, the Bible isn’t merely a textbook but rather the living Word of God. Don’t walk away from Scripture unchanged. Allow the Bible to speak into your life and change the way you think and live.
I’ll tell you more about how to learn these Bible study methods step by step below.
3. Do an overview study of the Bible to see the full story and context.
I highly recommend understanding the Bible’s storyline as a whole. When you do so, you’ll be able to truly understand any book of the Bible in the context of the whole storyline. You’ll understand why it was written, to whom, and at what time. It will greatly help your understanding of the text and keep you from misinterpreting Scripture.
There are a few ways to go about this, depending on how in-depth you want to go.
- Check out the article, Tracing the Bible’s Storyline through 66 Books, for a very quick overview.
- Consider the popular 8-week Bible study, Seamless.
- Read through the Bible chronologically in one year. Many reading plans are available on the YouVersion app and elsewhere.
- Let me take you on a journey through the Bible, studying select passages with increasing depth and independence.
The Scripture Confident through the Bible series truly gives you a strong Bible study foundation. Not only will you study through the Bible’s story in depth and without reading every verse, you’ll also learn the necessary Bible study skills to study any passage of Scripture with confidence.
- Learn inductive Bible study step by step.
- Understand the Bible’s overall story.
- Grow closer to God as you discover His love for you in every book of the Bible.
The Scripture Confident through the Bible series is designed to be completed in one year. You can decide to do it faster or slower, of course, but think of it like a foundational Bible study intensive for the everyday believer.
No matter what your Bible time looks like right now, you’ll soon study Scripture with joy and excitement, making your own discoveries, and connecting with God through His Word.
I highly encourage you to consider this Bible study series and begin your way towards studying the Bible with independence and confidence. Find out more here.