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:

  1.  For the Love of God by D.A. Carson
  2. Search the Scriptures by Alan Stibbs
  3. Bible Speaks Today commentary series
  4. The Welwyn Commentary series
  5. According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy
  6. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem