What’s the secret to studying the Bible? Pastor Rick Warren (author of the book Purpose Driven Life
) says the answer is knowing how to ask the right questions. Warren wrote a helpful how-to guide that explains 12 different ways to study the Christian Bible. If you’ve listened to a sermon and still had questions, or if you’ve tried to read the Bible but didn’t understand the scripture, then this study guide will help. With each method, author and pastor Rick Warren encourages you to pray and meditate on it so that you can develop a personal application that will change your life.While I haven’t tried all twelve methods yet, I found Warren’s step-by-step instructions very easy to follow. Each method has a detailed example and a blank study form to complete during your study. I pray that one of the following methods will work for you:
1. The Devotional Method of Bible Study
– choose a passage of scripture and meditate on it.
2. The Chapter Summary Method of Bible Study
– read a chapter several times and summarize your thoughts about it.
3. The Character Quality Method of Bible Study
– identify a character quality you would like to work out in your own life (either positive or negative!) and study what the Bible says about it. Some qualities include honesty (+), humility (+), pride (-), and lustfulness (-).
4. The Thematic Method of Bible Study
– choose a Bible theme (like obedience or trust), read all of the Bible verses about that theme, and focus on 3 – 5 questions you want to have answered.
5. The Biographical Method of Bible Study
– choose a character (like Abraham, Paul, Ruth, or Martha) and study their strengths, weaknesses, and attitudes. This is one of my favorite methods.
6. The Topical Method of Bible Study
– choose a topic (like all the miracles or all of the prophecies) and study all the verses you can find about that topic.
7. The Word Study Method of Bible Study
– the original Christian Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. This method studies word origins and definitions. If you’ve read different Bible translations and wondered why or how the words changed, then this method will give you a deeper understanding.
8. The Book Background Method of Bible Study
– focus on the geography, history, science, culture, and politics during a specific time period.
9. The Book Survey Method of Bible Study
– review an entire book of the Bible. Use this with #11 Book Synthesis Method.
10. The Chapter Analysis Method of Bible Study
– take an in-depth look at each verse in a specific chapter.
11. The Book Synthesis Method of Bible Study
– after completing a Book Survey, then you can summarize and outline that book.
12. The Verse-by-Verse Analysis Method of Bible Study
– examine one passage of scripture word by word.