Studying God's Word
Note, this is part of a series on Word intake.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
A Method of Study
There are many possible ways of studying the Bible. The method given
below has proved to work well in regards to group study.
This works well for a Bible study, for everyone
to do this on their own, and them come
together to share what they have learned. It is
good to do this with small books of the Bible (e.g.
Titus, 1&2 Peter, 1&2 Timothy, Jude, etc.), covering about ten
verses per week.
For the purposes of being able to communicate clearly,
we will use as an example, a group that is going to study
the book of 2Timothy, that meets once a week, for about one hour.
Read the entire letter through as many times as possible each week.
The repetitive reading of the Scripture helps to keep in context the
entire letter, as you look at smaller individual sections each week.
Some have found it helpful during this repetitive reading, to read
from a variety of translations. For example, someone reading from the
King James Version may also want to read from the New King James Version,
New American Standard Version, etc.
Along with our repetitive reading, in preparation for the first meeting
we would want to paraphrase Chapter 1.
Write the Scripture in your own words.
We are asking "Lord, what are you trying to say here?"
The goal here is to "seek the plain sense of Scripture"
For Chapter 1, everyone should try to have a minimum of one cross-reference
per verse, which justifies why you have paraphrased something a certain way. This searching for cross-references encourages each person to compare
Scripture with Scripture and try to avoid one's own private interpretation.
After each person has paraphrased the chapter and found cross-references,
he should seek to find some time to get alone with God to pray and meditate
upon this portion of Scripture asking "Lord, what does this have to do with me?"
Ask God if there are any:
- Sins to confess or avoid
- Promises to keep
- Examples to follow
- Commands to heed
- Knowledge to understand Him better
The goal of this time would be a time to ask God for specific
practical applications or responses to this passage of Scripture.
For more details on this see the article on
- GROUP STUDY
During the weekly meetings, after prayer, people can individually
read their paraphrases, the others listening intently. The goal here
is to see if anyone has added anything to the Scriptures or if
anyone has taken away from the Scriptures. Again, we just
want to seek the "plain sense of the Scripture".
Secondly, the group should consider each verse of that Chapter
individually, giving each person the opportunity to share their
Thirdly, each person should be encouraged to share the practical
application that God has shown them during their meditation on this passage.
- FOLLOW UP
After having heard other people's paraphrases, and cross-references,
and practical applications, it may be helpful to go back and
consider that passage one more time, to see if there is
something we can learn after having an
the "iron sharpening iron" experience.
Acts 17:11 says (in reference to the Bereans):
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
they received the word with all readiness of mind, and
searched the scriptures daily,
whether those things were so.”
We should strive to be Bereans!
A printable PDF version of this file is available.