What are some good Bible study methods?
Many methods can be used to study the Bible. For example, two general ways people study the Bible are by book or by topic. In a book study, a reader will focus on understanding each verse throughout a Bible book in order to learn more about the original setting of the text and how it applies today. In a topical study, a reader looks at a variety of Bible passages on a particular topic, seeking to understand what Scripture as a whole teaches on a topic. Both are important in better learning Scripture's principles for Christian living.
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Many other additional methods can also be used. For example, one way to study Scripture is biographically. A reader can study everything the Bible teaches about Abraham, Ruth, or the apostle Paul. Depending on the particular person of study, there may only be a few verses or several books of the Bible to investigate. Looking at the Bible from a biographical perspective can help highlight the way God has worked in a person's life that provides insight for better applying Scripture today.
Still another way to study the Bible is chronologically. The customary arrangement of the Bible is not in strict chronological order. However, today, scholars and publishers have made available Bibles that are arranged chronologically. This method of Bible study helps in understanding how God has worked throughout history, offering better understanding of the biblical text as well as helpful insights for today.
Some also enjoy studying the Bible by author. For example, Luke and Acts were both written by Luke. Paul was the author of several New Testament books. Moses authored the first five books of the Old Testament. By studying Scripture written by a particular human author, you can learn much regarding both the text and the life of the human writer.
There are certainly other ways to study the Bible; these are only a few of the main examples. The goal with any study of the Bible, however, is to understand what it meant in its original setting and then to find ways to apply it to your life today. Readers must be careful to, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
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