Better Bible Study Tip #20: Use a Variety of Methods

Most of us are creatures of habit. It’s easy to find a routine that we like, and then stick to it. But when it comes to Bible study, it can be really helpful to mix up our routine every now and then.

There’s lots of different Bible study methods we could use. One of the most basic is the verse-by-verse study, where we slowly move through a paragraph, examining each phrase, paying close attention to each conjunction so see how each phrase relates to others, and figuring out what each sentence means in part of the larger unit.

Similar to the verse-by-verse study is a chapter-by-chapter, or “big picture” study. Instead of closely examining each individual phrase, we could read through an entire book, paying attention to the overall flow of the book, structure, and repeated themes.

There’s also topical studies, where we pick out a particular topic and pay attention to everything written on that topic throughout the whole Bible. For example, if we wanted to study baptism, we might start by flipping through the Old Testament, paying attention to every time that God saved people through water. Then we might look up all the examples of baptism and compare them to each other. Then we might look up everything that is written about the significance and meaning of baptism.

There’s also character studies, where we focus on a single character, and look up every passage where he or she appears, with the goal of building a profile about what that person was like. What kind of situations did they face? How did they respond? How did they grow? What led to their downfall? etc.

There’s other study methods out there as well. Take some time and ask some of your Christian friends what study methods they use. You might try their approach. Mixing up our study methods challenges our thinking. Try it. You might learn something new.