We’re after life-changing Bible study.
#1 The Holy Spirit is the #1 Most Important Thing for Life-Changing Bible Study.
So how do we do Bible Study with the Holy Spirit?
Pause and Think
#2 Want Life-Changing Bible Study? Translations DO Matter.
You also need a translation that is based on really good scholarship.
Paraphrases Don’t Quite Cut It
#3 Context Helps the Word Come to (Your) Life
Sometimes you can pick up the Bible and read something and just get what it means and how it applies to you. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” is a classic example (Ephesians 6:1). But most of the time, you need to understand the context – where it fits – to understand what it means and what it means for your real life. You need literary context: where it fits within that book of the Bible and the rest of Scripture, and especially what genre you are reading.
And you need historical context: where does it fit in history? What was going on back then and what did it mean to the original audience? I discuss this more in my post on interpreting the Bible. Knowing where it fits, especially the historical context, will help you figure out where you fit. What situation back then is similar to what situation now? You can build a bridge from then to now.
A good Study Bible will give you the basics of a book of the Bible: when and where it was written, audience, situation, etc. Another favorite resource is Stuart and Fee’s How to Read the Bible Book by Book (the companion to How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth). It also helps to use a study guide for the particular book you are studying; the good ones have a lot of that background information as well.
If you want to go deeper, resources like commentaries and Bible dictionaries can also help you get some great background information. Here are some of my favorite life-changing Bible Study resources to help you get started.
As you do your Bible study, it helps to have an idea of what questions to ask. I’ve created a free printable study guide that you can use to go through these “context” questions for each book of the Bible you study.
#4 Life-Changing Bible Study Uses Story (like Jesus did!)
How can I use story in my Bible study?
#5 For Life-changing Bible Study, Get Stylin’.
What’s Your Learning Style?
What Does Life-Changing Bible Study in Community Look Like?
Let’s get started.
This post was proofread by Grammarly. Any variances are there on purpose. Promise.