There’s a difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible.
If we just read the Bible, we may never really understand it. Or know how to correctly apply it. We’ll find ourselves just reading about . . . rather than getting to know the One who wrote it.
Which is a tragedy.
Reading the Bible is good. But if all we ever do is just read it, it’s like only ever looking at the surface of the ocean. We’ll miss the beauty, wonder, and majesty that comes from diving beneath the surface and going deeper.
God doesn’t want us just to read His Word. He wants us to study it. So, He can teach us through it. And reveal the wisdom and insights He knows we need.
Which is pretty amazing.
But we can’t study the Bible if we don’t know how. Which is why we put together some awesome Bible study tips and tricks that can help anyone learn how to really dig into the Scriptures.
So, we can get to know the God who loves us so!
- Bible Study Tips for Beginners
- Simple Bible Study Tips
- Helpful Bible Study Tips
- 16) Write it out.
- 17) Be teachable.
- 18) Look into different Bible Study methods.
- 19) Choose a topic you want to learn more about.
- 20) Get to know a character in the Bible.
- 21) Remember everything you read is a part of one big story.
- 22) Read devotionals.
- 23) Read commentaries.
- 24) Read different versions.
- 25) Consider the context.
- 26) Ask questions.
- 27) Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help.
- 28) Share what you’re learning.
- 29) Avoid rules.
- 30) Don’t get discouraged.
- How to Study the Bible Deeply
Bible Study Tips for Beginners
These tips on how to study the bible for beginners can truthfully be used by anyone to enhance their Bible study time. But they are especially helpful for those who are just starting out.
These good Bible study tips can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, the Bible is a big book. But you know the One who wrote it! He wants to help you. And He is right by your side the entire time.
1) Begin with prayer.
Always begin with prayer.
The Holy Spirit is the One who opens our eyes to Scripture, so we need to connect with Him. Ask Him to reveal the truths He wants to show you today and to stop anything from getting in the way.
2) Keep in mind you can start anywhere.
It doesn’t matter where you begin to study. Although for a new believer, it may be a good idea to start in the New Testament. (The book of James is a small book that has a lot of applications in it so it’s a great place to start. But you can choose another book if you’d like.)
The point isn’t about where you start . . . but that you start!
3) Have a plan.
Have a plan for what you’re going to study. Otherwise, it can be easy to get distracted and off track.
There are plenty of good Bible study plans out there you can follow. Or you can choose a place to start on your own.
But decide ahead of time, so when it’s time to pull out your Bible you know exactly where you need to go.
4) Show up. And be consistent.
In our busy world today, it can be hard to find the time to study our Bibles. But this is so important for our faith walk and getting to know God.
This is why we have to make it a priority.
By making Bible study a scheduled part of our daily routine we’ll get into the habit of consistently being in God’s Word so we can learn and grow.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”-Hebrews 4:12 ESV
5) Start small and then build.
If you decide to study a large portion of Scripture every day right away, you may end up finding yourself overwhelmed, frustrated, and tempted to give up.
You don’t learn to lift a hundred pounds by trying to lift it right away. You start small. With only 2- or 3-pound weights. And then you work your way up.
You don’t need to start with an hour-long Bible study. Start out with studying just 1 or 2 verses for 10-15 minutes.
As you get into the habit, gain experience, and grow stronger you can start studying bigger portions of Scripture.
Keeping it simple will help you create a lifelong habit.
So, don’t overthink it. Just start doing it!
6) Read. Interpret. Apply.
To make Bible study easy, just follow three simple steps: Read it. Interpret It. Apply it.
- 1) Read it.
Don’t rush through the passage. Read through it slowly several times.
- 2) Interpret it.
Ask questions about the text. Think about the who, what, where, why, and how of it all.
Consider the original intention the author had in writing this passage. Ask, “What does it mean?”
- 3) Apply it.
And finally, think about how to apply the passage to your life. Ask, “What does this verse mean to me?”
7) Write in your Bible.
Yep, you read that correctly.
Go ahead and write in your Bible. Highlight, underline, and circle things. Draw and doodle as you meditate on the verse you are studying. Write out any insights, questions, or thoughts you have in the margins. (Believe me, God doesn’t mind!)
This will help you retain what you’re learning. And when you read the passage later, these things will serve as great reminders.
8) Learn from others.
Read books on studying the Bible. Watch YouTube videos or sermons about it. Join a Bible study group at your church or online. Read online articles and blogs.
Just be careful that you’re learning from godly teachers who are students of God’s Word. There are a lot of false teachers out there so beware.
Do your research on the people you are learning from. Find out what they believe. As they speak, think about what they’re saying. And then ask yourself, “Does this line up with Scripture?”
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”-Acts 17:11 ESV
Simple Bible Study Tips
These simple Bible study tips will help you learn how to study the Bible for yourself.
While it does still take some time and effort. These tricks help to simplify the process, so it becomes easier to get into the habit of studying your Bible.
9) Try listening to the Bible.
Another great way to study the Bible is to listen to it. After all, the Bible was written with the intention of being read out loud for other people to hear.
We tend to scan things quickly when we read so listening to the Scriptures can help us to slow down and pay attention.
10) Be okay with going slow.
Pause and listen as you read.
Give God time to speak to you through His Word.
While reading through the Bible in a year is great, sometimes you need to slow down and meditate on just one verse or passage.
By slowing down we learn to pay attention to the little things. The important details we may otherwise miss.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”-Joshua 1:8 NIV
11) Look for a good study Bible.
You need to look for and invest in a good study Bible.
Study Bibles are designed to help you study God’s Word. They often include book introductions with historical and background information. Along with themes and other things to look for as you read.
They also have commentaries at the bottom of the page to help you understand what you’re reading.
While you should always try to understand a verse on your own first . . . a good study Bible can help you come to a better comprehension of God’s Word.
12) Create a comfortable space.
Make your Bible study area comfortable so you want to be there. Make sure you have good lighting and cozy seating.
Do what you can to make it a pleasant environment so you can study without any distractions.
13) Keep everything in one place.
Keep all your Bible study materials in one place. All your Bible study tools (see tip below) plus items like pens, highlighters, colored pencils, etc.
This way you can stay focused and on task as you study the Bible.
14) Get the Bible Study tools you need.
There are a few tools that will be very helpful in your studies: a concordance, Bible dictionary, a few different translations of the Bible, and commentaries on the book you’re studying.
Having these things can help you dive even deeper into the Scriptures.
And luckily for us, technology has made these things easier than ever to acquire. There are many websites and apps that include all these tools for free. (See the following tip!)
15) Check out some FREE online tools.
Check out some of these websites that offter free online tools to help you go further in your studies:
And many of these sites also offer convenient apps!
Helpful Bible Study Tips
These helpful Bible study tips will help you learn how to study the Bible verse by verse. To really dig into it.
And let it transform your life.
16) Write it out.
Get a good journal so you can write out your thoughts as you study.
Start by writing down the verse. Then as you study, write down what you’re learning from it. And in the end, write out a prayer to God thanking Him for what He has shown you.
Writing things down helps us to remember. And by keeping a journal, you can look back on what God has been teaching you throughout the years.
17) Be teachable.
Be a student of God’s Word.
Come to your time of study with an open mind. Rather than looking to try and get the Bible to confirm your own preconceived opinions and ideas. Be curious about what God has to say.
This can be really hard to do because sometimes God says things that are hard for us to accept.
But He is God . . . and we are not. He really does know what is best.
If He is asking us to accept a hard truth (like how we should pray for those who persecute us – Matthew 5:44), then He knows it is for our ultimate good.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”-Romans 12:2 ESV
18) Look into different Bible Study methods.
We’re not all the same. So, it makes sense that we would learn in different ways.
This is why there are many different types of Bible Study methods out there. There’s the SOAP method, the Inductive Bible Study method, and the HEAR method.
Just to name a few.
Check out some of the different Bible study methods and try out a few so you can figure out the one that works best for you.
19) Choose a topic you want to learn more about.
By choosing a topic you want to learn more about you’ll feel excited about digging into your Bible. And God will be able to show you what He thinks about it.
It’s a win-win.
Perhaps you struggle with fear or worry. Or you want to know what God says about finances or loving others.
A concordance is a great tool for finding Bible verses on a particular topic. But you can also just Google – “Bible verses about _________” so you can find some verses to study on that particular topic.
20) Get to know a character in the Bible.
Another helpful tip for studying the Bible is to focus on a specific character. Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by King David. Or you’d love to learn more about Queen Esther.
By taking the time to dig into the stories of their lives, we learn that the people in the Bible were real people.
And that God really did do some amazing things through them. So, He can do the same with us.
21) Remember everything you read is a part of one big story.
The Bible is not a bunch of random stories. All the books of the Bible are a part of one, bigger story.
It’s a grand story about God. About the people He created and loved. About how they ran away. And about how He sent His Son to bring them home and offer them grace.
As you study Scripture, keep in mind where that passage lines up in the bigger picture of the grandest story ever told.
22) Read devotionals.
God often uses other Christians to speak to us. By reading devotionals we can gain wisdom from the insights of other godly, Christians.
We really are stronger together.
While we should be studying the Bible on our own as well, learning from others is a great way to grow stronger in our faith. And reading devotionals can be a great supplement to our own study time.
23) Read commentaries.
Commentaries were written by people who’ve spent many hours studying Scripture. And the insights we gain from their perspectives can be very valuable.
A great practice is to study a passage of Scripture and write down your own thoughts. Then read a commentary to see what other people think about the same passage.
24) Read different versions.
There are many different versions of the Bible. Some are more literal translations. While others are written in a more modern context.
When we read different versions, we can look at the same verse from different angles.
For example, I love to study in the ESV Bible. It’s a more literal translation that helps me understand the original meaning of the verse.
But I love the way the NLT reads. Because it’s a more modern translation, it’s easier for me to understand, and memorize. It really helps me connect with Scripture.
A great idea is to use an app like the You Version Bible App to check out different translations and find a few of your favorites.
25) Consider the context.
Work to understand the context of the verse. Consider what this verse would have meant to the original audience.
- What was the author’s original intention in writing this verse?
- What did he want them to know?
- What is the historical, cultural, and geographical background?
- What is the genre of the passage? Is it poetry, history, narrative, etc.?
26) Ask questions.
As you study God’s Word more and more, you’re bound to have a lot of questions. And God isn’t afraid of them.
Write them down. And then look for the answers.
You can find answers in Scripture, commentaries, or even by contacting a trusted Christian friend or your pastor.
Another option is to use Google to find answers to your questions. Just be careful that you are looking at godly sites for answers. (Gotquestions.org is a reputable site that offers many Biblical answers to a variety of questions.)
27) Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help.
Sometimes even after looking for the answer, we still have nagging questions, concerns, or even doubts.
Sometimes we run into things that we don’t understand or that create problems for us theologically.
In those moments, we need the wisdom and advice of others who are farther along in their faith journey to help us understand what a passage means.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help from a trusted Christian friend, mentor, leader, elder, or pastor to help you.
Believe me, they’d be more than happy to!
28) Share what you’re learning.
Don’t keep what you’re learning to yourself. Share it with others.
Just as iron sharpens iron, we can sharpen each other’s faith as we share what we’re learning from God. (Proverbs 27:17)
I’ve heard it said that we learn in rows . . . but we grow in circles.
This means we learn by sitting in rows at church under godly teaching. But we grow when we sit in a circle of other believers sharing what God is teaching us.
When we share what we’re learning we help others grow in their faith. We gain wisdom and insight from each other. And we can hold each other accountable to live out what we’re learning.
29) Avoid rules.
Remember the whole point of studying the Bible is to grow in our knowledge of the One who loves us more than we could imagine.
It’s about spending time in His presence. Interacting with Him and learning from Him.
It’s about a love relationship.
Not just marking an item off your to-do list.
So, avoid rules . . . like feeling that you must read or study a certain portion of Scripture or spend a certain amount of time each day studying.
Instead, simply seek to spend time in the presence of the God who adores you as you study His Word.
30) Don’t get discouraged.
Don’t get discouraged. Just like with everything in life, we get better with practice and time.
Lots and lots of time.
You’re not going to be perfect at this. And that is okay.
The point is to keep showing up. To keep opening your Bible and praying that God would open your eyes, heart, and mind to what He wants to show you.
Think of it like a date night with Jesus. This is a chance to hang out with the God who passionately loves you.
How to Study the Bible Deeply
Now, you know how to study the Bible deeply. You have the tools and tricks you need. Take the ones that work for you. And leave the rest.
Remember, there isn’t one right way to study the Bible. The point is simply to start studying it.
To get into God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit use it to transform your life.
One word, one verse, one chapter, and one book at a time.
If you find this helpful, then please share it so it can help others!
And be sure to check out these other awesome Bible Study Resources: