Having a consistent and reliable method to research, study, and unlock the truths contained in scripture is key to really knowing and understanding divine truths. God designed man to be methodical, logical, and rational beings and to glorify him with our minds. There is no better use of our minds than to use our mind and thoughtful abilities to seek Him.
This method of bible study is known as Expository study or Exegesis study. This is where the bible interprets its self and we just draw out the meaning in its original context by what it says. The meaning comes from scripture and not from us into scripture.
After your plan is made; choose a book of the bible to study. For new believers, always start with The Gospel of John then move to Romans. Understand that good thorough studies will take months and maybe years to go through one book. You never want to be in a rush and you want to take your time in every sitting to absorb every thing God has to offer. After your plan is made and the book is chosen, repeat the methodology below.
Prayer is the most important thing in this whole act. We cannot learn the divine truths or know God unless the Holy Spirit teaches us. With out the Holy Spirit, the bible is nothing more than words on paper that sound as fun as a hairy potter novel. The Holy Spirit makes scripture alive and active and teaches our spirit divine truths from God himself that changes our life for eternity. Pray that the Holy Spirit teaches you before each study.
2. Read whole paragraph in its entirety
This gives you a grasp of the context. If your bible is not split up in paragraphs than just read 15 verses at a time.
3. Go back and re-read the paragraph and highlight, underline, and box
Now that you briefly now what is going on in that paragraph, be back to the beginning of it and bring out the details to imprint your mind visually.
- For statements about God and things God does; highlight in blue
- For statements about Man and wrong sinful things man does; highlight in red
- For statements about Man and faithful obedient things man does; highlight in green
- For Person, Places, times, things, history events; highlight in yellow
- As your highlighting, underline important concepts and draw a [box] around important words
4. Pick out key words and concepts from each verse and investigate
Now that you have isolated key concepts and words. Go back to the top and analyze each verse. Pick apart the sentences and investigate each word and concept.
Word look up:
- CARM Theological Dictionary
- Holman Bible Dictionary (also blueletterbible.org)
- Interlinear Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Word search and study (also blueletterbible.org)
- Bible Maps
- David Guizk – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- Matthew Henery – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- John Calvin – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- J. Vernon McGee – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- Reformation Study Bible Commentary – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- Scripture References from The earliest of Church Fathers – Genesis through Revelations commentary
- Third Century Fathers Scripture References – Genesis through Revelations commentary
5. Journal what the meaning and how it applies
As you thoroughly investigate and unlock all the truths in the verses; record what is being said. Write down in your own words what God is saying through the author in those verses.
Then journal how what is said applies to you. Principles and truths that directly effect you and the time and world you live in now.
Rewrite the main and key verse in that paragraph and memorize it.
Once that paragraph and its verses have been investigated and analyzed, move on to the next paragraph and continue this process.