Here are some steps that can assist you as you seek to obtain a better understanding of God’s word.
- Establish a routine time and place to study God’s word. Preferably, this should be a quiet place free from human and technological distractions.
- Select a good study Bible with a manageable translation. The New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), Revised Standard Version (RSV), or English Standard Version (ESV) are examples of Bibles which are easy to read and consistent with the Bible’s original language.
- Pray before and as you read God’s word. Ask God to reveal His word to you as you seek to know His will for your life.
- Select a short passage of the Bible or even a chapter. As you read, make notes of thoughts which prompt your interest.
- Taking those thoughts which stirred your thinking, find other passages of scripture in the Bible which also relate to that subject. Having in your possession a Bible concordance, a Bible dictionary, The Message Bible or Nave’s Topical Bible will assist you in this step.
- Share your study discovery with others who also read the passage which you have examined. Hear their thoughts on your selected scripture. The Bible can be shared in private and in community with other believers.
For advanced students, the following steps can be used in obtaining a rich understanding of God’s word.
- Pray and select a passage in the Bible.
- Ask these questions: What does the passage literally mean? How do you understand the passage? How do you think the original hearers understood the passage?
- Seek to understand how that passage relates to rest of the chapter in which it is located and the other chapters, before and after, it.
- Seek to understand the passage as it relates to the book of the Bible in which it is located.
- Seek to understand the passage in light of the major division it is located. This is either the Old Testament or the New Testament.
- Seek to understand the passage in the light of the life of Jesus Christ and his death and his resurrection.
- Seek to obtain an understanding of how your findings are applicable in your personal life and in the life of the community in which you live.