How to study the Bible for beginners — in 5 easy steps
Maybe you are a new believer or never learned how to study the Bible effectively. Or perhaps you want to help others learn how to study the Bible.
In this video, Susan Freese talks about a simple approach on how to study the Bible for beginners. In five easy steps, you can approach Bible Study with the goal of heart change, not just head knowledge.
Let’s study Scripture with humility and the desire to know and follow Jesus. We want to grow in both truth and love. So we exalt Jesus, not ourselves, with our new knowledge. Because when we open up the Bible, we can expect to meet with God. Experiencing God will deepen our sense of need for His grace and deepen our love of Jesus.
How to study the Bible for beginners can simply start with these steps . . .
Start with prayer—for example pray, “Lord, open my mind so I can understand Your Word…and my heart so I may be transformed by it.” (Ps. 119:18, Luke 24:45)
Read repeatedly, diligently (identify context), carefully (notice details), humbly (Isa.55:9). Try different approaches to find what you enjoy:
- Start with two to three chapters a day, or until God speaks to you.
- Read an entire book of the Bible in one or two sittings to grasp the context, then reread it slowly to mine treasures.
- Read the same few chapters every day for seven days.
Try to understand what the Holy Spirit was saying when He inspired a particular passage of Scripture. Find out what it means and how it applies. For example:
- Look for what you learn about God and God’s nature. (Person, Character, Promises)
- Look for what you learn about people and our need/nature. (Examples, Actions, Warnings)
- Look for how the passage fits into the overarching God story and/or points to Jesus.
Three questions to ask:
- What does it say (facts)? Look up difficult words; write the definition in the margin.
- What does it mean to the original recipients?
- What does it mean to me in the context of the book and the whole Bible (God’s Story)?
Knowing new information will not transform our lives, but the application of biblical truth with God’s help will. Ask yourself, “what does God want me to know, value or do? The Holy Spirit will help you with your next steps. Questions to consider:
- Is there a promise to claim? Is the promise conditional or unconditional?
- Is there an action to take (say, do, think, go)?
- Is there a caution or warning to heed?
- Is there an error to avoid?
- Is there a sin to confess?
Pray back (aloud or in a journal) the Scripture, the truths you learned, and your application. Praying Scripture is powerful because you know you are praying according to God’s will. After all, it is God’s Word. Write down what you learn, so you will retain it, reference it for future study, and can pass on to generations.
After you finish, SHARE.
Share with others what God teaches you with a humble attitude. Ask others to share what they are learning. Consider meeting in a triad (3 people) to read 2-3 chapters a day individually and regroup weekly to share the stories of what you read/learned. That is how God designed our lives: to be changed and to bring change to others.
Here is a great article discussing a few of the key benefits of participating in a group Bible study. When you begin your journey or study the Bible regularly, having accountability from a group can make all the difference.
As you begin, it's helpful to have a guide so we created one for you.
Download our free How to Study the Bible for Beginners tool, which will help guide you as you approach Bible study on a daily basis.
How to Study the
Bible for Beginners
So what questions do you have about studying your Bible? Or maybe you have a different approach to how to study the Bible for beginners — we would love to hear it. Feel free to add to the comments below.