Are you looking for a fresh new way to dig into your Bible? I’d like to give you some tips, new ideas, and resources for Studying the Bible. There’s not a one-size-fits-all method. So whether you’ve been studying the Bible forever or are just getting started, read on!
Reasons To Read the Bible
I’m betting that if you made reading your Bible a goal, then you already know why it’s important.
But here it is in a nutshell:
In this one book, you will find the encouragement, grace, love, and purpose you crave in your life. You will discover what’s right and wrong. It will show you how to be courageous and will direct you through life’s challenges. You will read about people who messed up big time and how God still used them in mighty ways.
God wants to show you His heart, and He crafted the words to do so. He makes His book readily available to us today.
So– What’s keeping you from studying the Bible?
Struggling to Read the Bible
My excuse: I find that if I can’t– DON’T do it first thing in the morning, (an early appointment, I forget, some emergency comes up…) I tend to just go on with my day. I treat it as if it’s a morning appointment that I can miss.
Three other common culprits:
•Our phone, tablet, or computer: Social media, sports scores, downloaded books, and music, etc. The distractions are endless!
•Our busy life. We all live in a world that can keep us busy if we let it. Maybe we treasure time in other areas over the Bible?
•It’s too hard- I don’t understand it- It’s confusing- I don’t know where to start.
Related post ♥ How To Make Time for God with a Busy Schedule
Where should I start if I want to read the Bible?
•Commit to giving it a try. I heard a statement that said whatever we aspire to do, it’s 20% desire and 80% devotion (or something to that effect). In other words, besides the desire, we need an eagerness, faithfulness, and enthusiasm for studying the Bible.
•Start by writing out a good goal. (This really does help!)
•Put it on your daily to-do list/calendar.
•Experiment with different times of the day.
•Make it your #1 priority.
•Get curious! There are so many Bible characters, lessons, interesting places and customs to discover! But you will have to read with a curious mind. If something piques your interest or doesn’t make sense, dig deeper. I’ve got plenty of ideas to help.
How To Start Studying the Bible
There are endless opportunities for getting into the Word. Let’s finally get into the good stuff and look at some of what’s available.
The easiest way is to start with what’s available at your church or those of friends. But if they’ve already started a study, the topics don’t float your boat, or the times don’t work, there are other options.
There are two well-known Bible Studies that I’m familiar with in your local communities. There are in-person and online options. Simply enter your zip code and find a class near you.
•Bible Study Fellowship
Also known as “BSF.” (https://www.bsfinternational.org/)
BSF is where I got my start. Classes are all over the world; matched to your area. It’s known for its in-depth study of the Bible. There is a daily home lesson, a weekly discussion group and lecture, and notes to go deeper. Classes start in the fall, but you can join anytime. There are groups for men, women, young adults, and children of all ages.
There are also day and evening classes and online options.
•Community Bible Study
I have never participated in this study, but it comes highly recommended. Its format is similar to BSF. It has men’s, women’s, couple’s, co-ed groups, and great children’s programs too! One friend gave this description: “I love it… great studies and a great supportive small group!”
Reading the Bible Online
Maybe an in-person study doesn’t work for you. (Which is why I started this blog in the first place.) Online options make it very easy to find something that works for you.
I have many hard copies of the Bible, and I use them all for different reasons ♥ But there are still times I like to go online to look up verses and read commentaries, find maps, etc.
There are many online Bible options to choose from! My top three go-to sites are:
Bible Gateway: “Bible Gateway is a searchable online Bible in more than 200 versions and 70 languages that you can freely read, research, and reference anywhere. With a library of audio Bibles, a mobile app, devotionals, email newsletters, and other free resources, Bible Gateway equips you not only to read the Bible, but to understand it”. https://www.biblegateway.com/
Bible Hub: Similar to the above, but I love that they have parallel versions of the verses on their search page. If I don’t quite understand the context, I can quickly scan other versions. They also have plans, devotionals, dictionaries, etc. https://biblehub.com/
Blue Letter Bible: This site has all the above, but also has a tab next to each verse that allows you to see the verse mapped out in its original Hebrew and Greek forms. This is where I go when I really want to dig into the original meaning of the text. https://www.blueletterbible.org/
All of these online Bible sites also have free Bible Study apps as well. You can download them on your phone and have the Bible at your fingertips no matter where you are.
Free Bible Studies
•BSF Online– you can pick your day of the week, time, and age group. You receive a digital study guide for the week, discuss the lesson and receive access to an online lecture.
•I had the opportunity to be on a launch team for a free Bible Study from Living by Design Ministries. (https://livingbydesign.org/ ) All her fantastic Bible Studies are free and available immediately! “All you need is 15” per day and an email address” to get started! There are no extra fees for workbooks, etc. Everything comes to your email.
Megan loves encouraging women to abide in God’s Word and offers great tips and resources to help you dig deep into God’s truth! She has Bible Study Guides, Bible Study Worksheets, and more on her website.
All of Teresa’s online Bible studies are FREE! All you need is an open heart, a Bible, a notebook, an internet connection, and 15-minutes per day. Her mission is to give you resources, accountability, and encouragement to live an abundant and vibrant life in fellowship with God.
Pin me for later!
Resources for Studying the Bible
There are many ways to switch up your Bible Study routine and venture off into new territory. I’ve loved doing this in the past. Fresh ways to study can give you new perspectives!
SOAP Method of Bible Study-(If you’re new to Bible Study, I suggest starting with the book of John. It’s known as “God’s love letter to the World” and John wrote it to new Christians and searching non-Christians.)
The SOAP method follows these four steps:
Scripture verse(s)- write out or read your verses. You can find these in Bible Reading Plans or verse of the day on any Bible app.
Observe what jumps out at you, what’s interesting, unusual, etc.
Apply what you’ve read in a practical way to your life. For example, if the phrase “build your house on the rock” stood out; think about how you can apply that teaching to your own life.
Pray- for clarification from the Holy Spirit, in thanksgiving to what you’ve learned, and to have the lesson rooted in your heart.
Topical Bible Study
Pick a topic that interests you and do some research. Keep your own notes, write out what you learned, how you can apply it to your life, etc.
Context is important, so you want to read what comes before and after the verses you pick.
Topic examples: marriage, parenting, dealing with fear/anxiety, women or men of faith, God’s will, Jesus returns, trust, hope, prayer, angels, etc.
You can look in your Bible’s concordance for verses related to your topic or search “Bible Verses about __________.”
Bible Reading Plans
•I have to start with my own, right? My 12 Month Bible Reading Plans are free with a subscription to my weekly newsletter (short and sweet, and you can unsubscribe anytime!) It includes the monthly verses, a companion journaling page, and a coloring page for each month.
•Here is a gorgeous collection of free, printable monthly Bible reading plans from LeeAnn Fox at Kingdom Bloggers! You can download and print them along with study sheets to take notes or grab your own notebook.
(FYI: I do not receive a commission for any purchases you make. I am including them in this post because I know these women from my Christian blogging community and feel their products have great value and benefits!)
The Chosen TV Series
There are so many options to study the Bible, and I can’t leave without offering you an amazing and free option to watch the Bible come to life. Honestly, I have to watch these episodes over and over to glean every nugget of wisdom, and they send me straight to my Bible to follow up on what I have seen. There are 3 seasons available at present, and do not require a subscription, fee, or even an email address! The Chosen app offers the series in many languages and the ability to cast it to your TV. Or you can go to their website and click “watch.” https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you, but instead, gave you some tools to help you devote yourself anew to studying the Bible!
Do you have any other resources you love and can recommend? I’d love to add to this list and post it as a resource page on my blog! Drop them in the comments ♥
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.