Friday, September 21, 2012

Bible Study 101

Bible Study 101

Originally Submitted to Logos Bible Software:  (

Bible study has to start somewhere. At some point the mature Christian will want to develop an appreciation for Greek, Hebrew, exegesis, and theology. But the young Christian needs a place to begin his or her study of Scripture (i.e. Bible Study). I was first introduced to the method presented here as a very young believer while reading a Moody Press book published many years ago.

Though the method is best suited for those who are just beginning the journey of faith, I do find myself returning to it occasionally, especially when I am feeling dry and unmotivated. As a Bible Study method, it does not demand a great deal of intellectual activity. It does demand a willingness to listen to God.

The very simplest of tools are needed.

1. A Bible (Use a favorite translation)
2. A Pen or two (different colors)
3. A Notebook (I use spiral bound steno pads)

Though the method can be applied to any book, chapter, pericope, or paragraph, young Christians might be encouraged to begin with one of the gospels. Many suggest the Gospel of John where the author asserts, “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life.” (John 20:31 NLT) On the other hand, I will have young Christians begin with the gospel of Mark. It is short, written so that the life of Jesus would not be forgotten by the early church or by the church of any other era. I also suggest that young Christians begin with single paragraphs or (more likely) pericopes. Occasionally, it is the sentence or a phrase that will speak to the Christian just beginning their own Bible Study.

Regardless of the size of the passage being studied, the new Bible student will need to use his spiritual SPECTS as he or she reads the scripture:

S – Sins to avoid
P – Promises to remember
E – Examples to follow
C – Commands to obey
T – Truths to believe
S – Special verses that hit home

As each section is read, the student is asked to note in their notebook which of the six parts of their SPECTS they find God showing them. If the student feels comfortable, he might want to put a small letter in the margin of their Bible as a visual reminder of what God showed them early in their Bible Study.

The final step in the Bible Study process is to share what has been learned. It might be with a friend, a mentor, a Sunday School teacher, or a pastor, but what God is teaching me only becomes mine when I have shared it with another. The depth of understanding and application will grow with maturity, but the method presented here encourages even the most recent believer to get into the word of God and apply it to their life. What more could I ask for as the believer opens the Bible for the first time?

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