Bible Study vs. Reading
It's important to read the bible. Every year at the beginning of the year I start re-reading my bible. I read my bible completely through every year. You can find the 52 week bible reading plan here. That's reading the bible.
Studying the bible is very different. Even though I do daily readings, I also take time each day to do a bible study. When I study the bible, I am diving deeper into God's word. I take notes, I memorize, I research, I learn the history surrounding the story. When I study the bible I am not only reading God's word, but learning it.
Where to start
Before anything else, start by reading your bible everyday. You can't study something you've never read. Once you get into the habit of reading, start a simple bible study. My all time favorite website is She Reads Truth. They have daily bible studies along with some incredible resources. If you've never done a bible study, start there.
The bible studies on SRT are simple and there are so many resources that you can really follow along and dive into the books with others in the community.
Once you get a better idea for how bible studies work, you can continue with SRT but also add in your own elements. Here's an example of how I do my daily bible study:
- I start with a prayer to ask for guidance and understanding while I study.
- First I read the passage. (I get the daily reading from SRT and read it in my NKJV Bible*)
- Then I read it a second time, to really understand it. (I read it a second time in the NIV Bible*)
- I write my initial thoughts and reactions in a journal or I type it out.
- I read the She Reads Truth post about the passage. (They are usually only a couple paragraphs)
- I answer any questions asked in the blog post (Or questions asked in the comments)
- I read the study notes in my bible relating to the passage (I use the NKJV Holman Study Bible)
- I write out my thoughts. Favorite quotes, how it relates to something happening in my life, etc.
Depending on how long the passage is or how much I have to say about it, this process takes me anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour. I take time each night (about an hour before bed) to do my bible studies.
*I read both the New International Version Bible and the New King James Version Bible. The NIV is in simple everyday language that can make it easier to understand the text. The NKJV is a little tougher to read but it much closer of a translation to the original writing. Reading both lets me understand the text and appreciate the language of the word.
Where to Find Resources
> She Reads Truth - duh
> Bible by YouVersion - they have awesome study guides as well, great resource
> Pinterest - there are some great resources and articles you can find about bible studies, just start searching
A Study Bible - to provide historical context and break down the language of the bible
Your church - ask the people in your local church what books or sites they recommend for additional resources
- Keep your bible out, seeing it every morning or evening will remind you to read it! I keep it on the table where I drink coffee every morning and tea every night. I also keep the Bible app on the first page of my phone to be a daily reminder.
- She Reads Truth has some beautiful phone backgrounds in their app, I use them regularly to inspire me everytime I look at my phone. Seriously, the backgrounds are stunning. Go check them out.
- Have the right tools. Buy pens that won't leak through onto other pages, get bookmarks to hold your spot. Make your bible a project that you work on every single day.
- When you're feeling lost or confused, there's a story in the Bible to guide you through, just search pinterest for the right passage when you need it. This book is a guide to life, use it as one.
I recently made a video all about bible studies and the resources I use, along with my color coding methods and journaling tips.
I also have an older video about creating a bible study if you want to watch that.
You can keep a journal in anyway you like. For a long time I used an old planner to journal. I have a video on the setup below.
Make your bible! I write all over mine, I even made a video showing what I did.