FAITH

Bible Study Tips | 5 Ws and 1 H

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I enjoy collecting and using tips (or life hacks) for everything from making a healthy breakfast to getting a good night’s sleep – and everything in between, including Bible study. That said, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite Bible study tips with your today – using the journalistic WH questions.

WHO

Who should study the Bible?

Short answer: Everyone.

Longer answer: Anyone who wants to know the thoughts of God about life, sin, salvation, relationships, speaking, anger, and a host of other issues. Perhaps even more importantly, anyone who wants to know the Author of those thoughts personally and intimately. We get to know Him through His Word.

With whom should you study the Bible?

Short answer: Anyone who is willing.

Longer answer: There are really two types of people with whom you should study the Word – those who know more than you, and those who know less or the same as you. The first group will challenge you to dig in and get more from the Word in your personal study. The second group you will be able to encourage and help along the path to knowing the Lord more intimately as you study the Word together.

WHEN

When is a good time to study the Bible?

Short answer: Anytime.

Longer answer: The best time to study (not read, or meditate on, or skim – but really study), is when you have at least 30 – 45 uninterrupted minutes for digging in deep. It is frustrating to really be getting into a passage or character, only to have to stop because the kids need to be fed, the baby is crying, or the dog just threw up. So, try to find a time before everyone else is up, after everyone else is in bed, or during afternoon naps, when you can carve out an uninterrupted block of time. Have your tools all ready to go, so you can jump right in.

When is a bad time to study the Bible?

Short answer: Never.

Longer answer: Realistically, you want to try to set aside a portion of time, as mentioned above, when you won’t be interrupted. But if all you have is 10 -minutes here and 15-minutes there, use those minutes to jump in, marking where you stop each time, so you can get right back to it easily.

Bible study tips

WHERE

Where is the best place to study the Bible?

Short answer: Anywhere you are comfortable.

Longer answer: Choose a place where – again – you are not likely to be interrupted. If that means shutting the bedroom door after dinner while hubby does baths, then get him on board and do it. If it means at your kitchen table after everyone is in bed, the chores are all done, and you’re about done in – make that table a holy place where you meet the God of the Universe.

Where are unhelpful places to study the Bible?

Short answer: Any place can become your holy place.

Longer answer: Anywhere if media is blaring, sights and sounds are distracting, and you are not able to focus on the Word is a poor choice. Maybe your sunroom is great for you, but the family room is not because the TV is distracting even when it’s off! Choose your spot and make it your special place.

WHAT

What should you study in the Bible?

Short answer: Everything!

Longer answer: Everything! Seriously, make a plan that has you in the New Testament (gospels and epistles), the Old Testament (history and prophets), and the Wisdom literature (psalms and proverbs). Start small and build your study muscles as you grow your habits and abilities. But aim, over a lifetime, to study everything!

What tools should you have to study the Bible?

Short answer: Whatever helps.

Longer answer:  I recently posted about print tools that you might want to consider owning and I’ve covered online tools in a previous post. In addition to those tools, I think a notebook, some coloring pencils, a plan, and a pen are all you need. I am currently putting together a plan for studying the Bible that I’ll be sharing in the future. For starters, check out the posts I mentioned above.

WHY

Why should you study the Bible?

Short answer: To get to know your Savior and Lord.

Longer answer: To get to know the contents of the love-letter we call the Bible written from the heart of Creator of all and the Savior of your soul. This love-letter was written with you in mind and it reveals the mind of the Lord to those who take the time to study it.

Why should you not study the Bible?

Short answer: To earn a spot in heaven.

Longer answer: Because you think that by studying the Bible you will somehow earn ‘brownie points’ with God that will outweigh all the sinful things you’ve done. You should never study the Word thinking you’ll earn God’s love – He loves you beyond comprehending right now. You should also never study the Word thinking you’ll compensate for your sin – there is no way to pay the penalty for your sin which is why Jesus had to die in your place and mine.

HOW

How should you study the Bible?

Short answer: Carefully and systematically.

Longer answer: With a plan in hand. You can get any study book (for example, Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods or The Navigator’s Bible Study Handbook) to guide you into learning to study the Word without the aid of printed fill-in-the-blank studies.

What questions do you have about studying the Word? I hope this has answered some of them for you. Now, grab your favorite Bible and dig in!

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