10 Effective Ways To Study The Bible Like A Pastor
BIBLE TEXT: JOSHUA 1:8, EZRA 7:10, 2 TIMOTHY 3:16, JOHN 5:39
Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Ezra 7:10 – For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. KJV
John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
For some people, studying the Bible effectively can be a Herculean task. Some study the bible but cannot retain anything they have read. Others see it as a really boring thing to do. But do you know you can effectively study the bible like a pastor? Do you even know that the word of God is sweeter than honeycomb? Do you know the bible can be an exciting book to study? Do you know there are effective ways you can study the bible that will make you want to study more? These are the questions we want to address in this article. Follow me as we ride on!
10 Effective Ways To Study The Bible Like A Pastor
There are numerous ways and methods we can use in studying the Bible in order to get the full message intended for us to learn. For the purpose of this article, we will be discussing ten (10) of those ways.
- Start your study of the Bible with prayer: The very first thing to do before effectively studying the Bible is to begin with prayer. It is always a good thing to start with a sincere prayer, asking God through the Holy Spirit to interpret the word to your heart.
Furthermore, you ask Him to grant you an understanding of the word you are about to study, and also for specific guidance to your life. This shows that you are humble, and you need God’s help as the source of all understanding. From this stage, you can now choose which method you want to employ in studying the Bible.
- Adopt the renowned Billy Graham’s method of Bible study: According to John Pollock’s biography, Billy Graham, we read about the pattern of studying the Bible of late evangelist Billy Graham.
- Read five Psalms daily: It is beneficial and significant to regularly include the Psalms in our Bible study. Although the Psalms were written to be sung and chanted, we frequently just read them out loud to ourselves for comfort. We should spend conscious time on this important part of the Bible.
- Read one chapter from the book of Proverbs daily: Do you seek knowledge and direction? Then the book of Proverbs is the ideal book to read one chapter at a time, one day at a time because there are 31 of them (and there are 31 days in a month!). Reading the Proverb of the Day at mealtimes allows many people to develop this habit. It is beneficial to include this additional reading time into a daily routine that you already follow. Reading aloud is a fantastic approach to help you hear the Bible as well as read it, as doing so makes it easier for you to remember and recall.
- Consistently read the Gospels: As much as you can, try to read one or two chapters of the Gospel every day or week. According to reports, when Billy Graham was asked how one should start reading the Bible, he responded as follows:
“I advise starting at the middle, with one of the Gospels that tell us about Jesus Christ, rather than the beginning (like we do with other works) (I often suggest John). The Old Testament leads to Him in the future, while the New Testament teaches us about Him. He is the focal point of the Bible. Later on, you can learn more about the Bible.”
- Always Refer Back to the Apostles’ Acts: The story of how a small group of Christ followers set out to carry out Jesus’ commission to preach the gospel to the ends of the globe is told in the book of Acts. If you need inspiration on sharing the good news of Jesus with others, reading through the book of Acts can be the motivation you need.
- Study the Bible by Chapters: Both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible contain 1,189 chapters. One can finish studying the whole Bible intensively if he studies one chapter per day. Alternatively, you can decide to study more chapters if you intend to finish earlier. As you study, you should carefully read through the chapter you have chosen, find its main subject and give it a title, and finally use a concordance to look up the key words.
- Study by paragraphs: A paragraph is a collection of sentences that expresses a thought. In the Bible, the first sentence of a paragraph is denoted by a verse number in bold. This type of paragraph-by-paragraph Bible study is known as analytical Bible study.
Find the primary idea or subject of the paragraph by carefully reading it.
- Study by Verse: The majority of the Old Testament and portions of the Gospels are historical portions of the Bible, and each verse may have just one clear interpretation.
However, there are other verses in both the Old and New Testaments that are packed with important Bible teachings and necessitate more study. You can study a single Bible verse in a variety of ways. Some of these ways are:
- Study the passage based on the verbs inside.
- Study a verse based on the characters presented.
- Look for the profound truths that a passage reveals as you study it.
The richest interpretations of a verse occasionally emerge from the use of several of these different concepts.
- Study by Books: Once you’ve started studying the Bible by chapters, paragraphs, or verses, you will be prepared to study it by books. You can either use the inductive method or the synthetic method.
Such research will take longer than the previously described ways, but it will be very gratifying.
To understand the perspective and overall emphasis of the book, read it cover to cover. Then read the book several more times; noting the solutions you discover as you go along by asking yourself a pertinent question each time.
- Character study: The Bible is a collection of accounts of God making Himself known to and through humans. Such biographical essays can be found in abundance in both the Old and New Testaments.
Major figures including Abraham, Joseph, Deborah, Moses, Samson, Ruth, David, Solomon, Esther, John the Baptist, Paul, and Peter are just a few of the many options. You may learn from countless other characters in the Bible, too.
You examine how God interacts with people and how they react to God in a character study. You may watch how God works in someone’s life and take something away from it.
Both a person’s positive and negative life experiences can teach you anything. Was there anything difficult the person had to deal with? What were the main flaws in him or her? Did they triumph over them? How? These and many more questions are what character study of the Bible provides answers to.
- Use cross references: Cross-referencing is finding other passages in the Bible that pertain to the same or related concepts. You may use this method to analyze any verse or portion of Scripture you’re interested in, but it doesn’t take as much time as some of the techniques we’ve looked at so far.
For instance, there are four different versions of the Gospel, or Good News, of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Many of the same events are described by the authors of the Gospels. To better grasp the passage you’re studying, each reference may highlight a different point or put it in a slightly different way.
You can find the word, phrase, or concept in the Bible by using these cross-references.
The Bible frequently explains itself. There are numerous comparable sections in the book of Colossians, for instance, if you read a verse in Ephesians. There are numerous allusions to the book of Genesis in the book of Revelation.
The center column is frequently used for these cross-references. Some Bibles provide section titles and may identify related passages. Cross references will be found adjacent to the Scripture text in reference Bibles, certain reading Bibles, and nearly all study bibles.
- Use modern translations and Bible commentaries in your study: Using commentaries can improve your understanding and renew your enthusiasm/interest for God’s Word.
Another excellent method to add some variation and fresh perspective to your daily Bible study is by using modern translations. Why not try a paraphrase like the Message or the Voice or a contemporary translation like the CSB after reading a book of the Bible in one version? There are also Bible apps that have multiple versions, these enable a better understanding of the scripture as you study.
- Write down what you learn: The best way not to forget what you have studied is by keeping a journal of what you have learnt as you study the Bible. In that way, you get to write down key verses, favourite characters, unforgettable incidents, etc.
Studying the Bible is not as difficult as people make it seem. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you; including studying the Bible and understanding it.