PERSONAL BIBLE STUDY
(Methods -- Materials)
Many would like to develop a habit for daily Bible study. There are several obstacles to this.
The Bible is a big book. It is so large that many do not know where to begin.
Life is too busy. I don’t have time to study the Bible.
I can’t remember. When I do study the Bible, I soon forget what I have learned.
I don’t have the books I need. Many think that they need a large library of books like a preacher has to study the Bible.
In this study we will seek to answer the following questions:
How can I study the Bible alone? (methods)
Where do I begin? (Topical study or book)
How can I remember what I learn?
What tools (books) will I need to buy?
What kind of Bible will I need?
Study Bibles will be discussed
Various translations will be studied
1] Early morning
1] During breaks in work
2] "Almost" daily
C. Length of time
1] Best 15 minutes - set a timer
2] Longer = burnout
3] Shorter = lack depth of study
D. In the Car - Travel Time
1] Bible on tape
2] Sermons - listen several times
E. Weekly - Evangelistic Bible Study (EBS)
1] Small group discussion
2] Invite friends and neighbors
3] Meet weekly for an hour of study
4] "Serendipity Bible Study Book"
Daily 15 minutes of "Quiet time" – Here are the simple rules to follow
Daily – (almost) – There will be exceptions
Same time of day – early morning, mid-day, bedtime
Same location – desk, kitchen table
Use a good study Bible
More about study Bibles later
We will also discuss which translations are better
Keep a notebook (binder or spiral)
Keep all things at this location – Not need to hunt paper, or pen
Remove distractions – TV, radio, people
Limit to 15 minutes – not longer (burnout), not shorter (lack depth)
[You can set a timer if you need to. When it goes off – stop!]
Here is the basic plan for your daily study:
Begin with a short prayer.
Study the Bible for 10
We will discuss topics, books, or materials later
Review – make notes – 2 minutes
Develop a prayer list – Pray specifically for those on the list.
Travel time study
Use the cassette tape player in your car (Bible reading, sermons)
Think about the material heard. Make mental notes.
On break for lunch – record your notes
Pray (with your eyes open)
Study Bible – You will want a good (reliable) Bible that is easy for you to read.
Complete Concordance –
Young’s or Strong’s are best.
They are “complete” – every occurrence of every word.
Drawback – Both are based on KJV
Notebook – Make notes. These are yours. You can refer back to them, add to them and find them very helpful on remembering and making application.
Computer program – If you have a computer – by all means – get a Bible program. They are not too expensive. Many tools available. You can keep your notes in the Bible program OR in a Word Processor.
Here are 52 topics about which you can study, learn, grow and pray. This is designed to last a year. You may find that you would like to stay several weeks on one topic. Another idea is to study each topic for a week and the following year use your notes and study the same topic at a new level of intensity. There is a progression in the material. It will require some searching and study.
1. Promises of God at baptism
2. New Testament concept of sainthood
3. How to know that we have eternal life
6. The holiness of God
7. The grace of God
Prayer (Speaking to God)
8. The need to pray
9. What to pray about
10. Suggestions for a quiet time
Bible Study (God speaking to us)
11. The importance of Bible study
12. Learning basic Bible divisions
13. The Old and New Testaments
14. The trinity
15. Jesus: fully God
16. Jesus: fully man
17. Jesus: Lord and Savior
18. Jesus: example and guide
19. The Spirit: Who is He?
20. The Fruit of the Spirit
21. The Gift of the Spirit
22. Marks of being filled with the Spirit
23. Who is he and what does he do?
24. Principles for battling Satan
25. The nature and purpose of the church
27. Your importance to the church
28. Restoration Movement and the church
29. The urgency of evangelism
30. The plan of salvation
31. How to reach and teach the lost
32. Love one another
33. Encourage and build up each other
34. Accept, bear, forgive one another
35. Freedom and relationships to one another
36. The dangers of money
37. The Christian use of money
38. The grace of letting others give
39. Husbands, love your wives
40. Wives, submit to your husbands
41. Children, obey your parents
42. Parents, teach your children
Work and Recreation
43. Motives for work
44. Employer and employee relationships
45. Recreation and leisure
46. Response to civic and religious authority
47. Proper use of the tongue
48. Proper use of the body and mind
49. Dealing with sin
50. Don't fall away
51. Be ready for the second coming
52. Press on toward maturity
1] Power for Today - 20th Century Christian
2] Computer e-mail devotionals available
B. Bible Reading
1] "One-Year Bible"
2] Many plans are available
1] Willard Conchin – fill-in workbooks
2] George DeHoff "Christian Doctrine" series
1] Use Concordance, Bible Dictionary, Vine's
a] Concordance- Strong's or Young's
b] Dictionary- Davis' or Smith's
c] Vine's Expository Dictionary
a] General- Johnson's Notes
b] On a specific book
3] Sermon tapes
4] Book study, Church History, Family, Marriage
E. Write-Your-Own Commentary
1] Decide on a book in the Bible
2] Buy a note book
3] Make notes for each verse
1] Bible on computer
2] With note taking ability
3] Study and make notes
G. Book-By-Book, Verse-By-Verse
1] Begin with simple material - John or Acts
2] Do not start with Romans, Revelation or Hebrews
H. Write Class Materials
1] Sub-divide the topic or book into 13 sections
2] Decide on method of study
3] Target an age group- Adult, Teens, Primary
4] Read, study, and write the material
1] Use a concordance to find all locations of the word
2] Locate all variations of the word
3] Look up the Greek or Hebrew word – for various translations
4] Study the context of each passage
There are really three tools you will need for your daily Bible study.
A good Study Bible. You may have a small, lighter Bible that you bring to worship. What is needed for Bible study is a good “study” Bible. By this term I mean a Bible with some of the features listed below.
An introduction to each book of the Bible
Some easy to read maps
A good concordance (of 60 + pages)
Small Bible dictionary
My recommendation – Thompson Chain Reference
A complete concordance. While most Bibles contain a concordance, they are not complete. For deeper study you will need a complete concordance. The two standard works available are Strong’s and Young’s. Both are good, complete concordances. The drawback is they are based on the King James Version.
A notebook. You can use a 3-ring binder, a spiral notebook or any other type. If you have a computer, you may want to keep your notes in a word processor. Most computer Bible programs have a section for personal notes that will be tied to that verse.
Computer program. If you have a computer, by all means, get a Bible program. All of these offer multiple translations, maps, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew word meanings, and concordance for any translation. All you need are in these programs.