How to Grow Bible Study Method
Five helpful questions to ask when we study the Bible:
1. What does the text say?
- Make careful observations of the text
- Notice details
2. What does the text mean?
- Identify the genre of writing
- Understand the historical, cultural, and literary background
- Unpack the passage’s syntax
- Outline the passage
- Understand what the words mean in context
- Pay attention to the context
- Locate the text in redemptive history
- Understand the text in light of the whole Bible
- Discern how the passage points us to Christ (eg. direct reference, type, predictive, preparatory, reflective—God’s nature / human nature, resultant)
- Use tools: study Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries / lexicons, concordances, etc.
3. What concerns caused the text to be written?
- Grasp the main message of a biblical passage
4. What do I share in common with the original audience or human author of the text?
- Understanding ourselves in light of Scripture
- Distill the timeless principles from the text
- Understand what the text teaches about God’s character and purposes, mankind, Christ, our response to Christ, our obedience, the church, the world, etc.
5. How should I now respond to the truths of the text?
- What, specifically, does God require of me?
- Where, i.e. in what specific situations, do I need to apply the truths of the text?
- How does the text encourage me to obey God?
- How does God enable me to respond to the truths of the text?
- How can I spur others on to respond to the truths of the text?
Recommended books to help us read and study the Bible:
- For the Love of God by D.A. Carson
- Search the Scriptures by Alan Stibbs
- Bible Speaks Today commentary series
- The Welwyn Commentary series
- According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem