How To Study The Bible Effectively

How To Study The Bible Effectively explains the four processes for studying the Bible. Once you learn these processes, you will find bible study so much more interesting.

How To Study The Bible Effectively

How To Study The Bible Effectively

More and more people want to know how to study the Bible effectively. There are many books written about this subject. Those books however are often very technical. Aside from all the technical stuff, there are four processes that will help you study the Bible effectively.

I want to briefly explain these four processes in layman's terms. However, to learn more about these processes, you can check out: Living By The Book by Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks.


Preparation is a process that nany people seldom explore when it comes to How To Study the Bible Effectively.

"Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and recieve with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

"Laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newbborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:1).

Preparation is the process whereby you prepare yourselves to hear from God. "Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your Word" (Psalm 119:18).

Prayer is an important part of the preparation process. " not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you many have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him..." (Colossians 1:9-10).

Prayer prepares your heart and life to receive with meekness God's life-changing Word.


Observation is the process whereby you ask and answer the question, What do I see?

When you read a passage of Scripture, you ask, What are the facts? In many ways, you become a biblical detective, looking for clues. No details are trivial.

Observation involves understanding crucial terms, understanding grammar and literary structures, understanding literary forms and discerning the setting and feelings within the text of Scripture.

Observation is the process whereby you become a biblical detective looking for clues so that you can understand the meaning of the Scriptures. That leads you to the next process.


Interpretation is the process whereby you ask and answer, What does it mean? This whole process is about finding the meaning of the Scripture passage under investigation or observation.

Observation is the key to interpretation. As you observe, you ask and answer question about the text. Interpretation is putting these answers together so that you understand the meaning of the text of Scripture.

Living By The Book by Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks simplifies this process for all to understand.


Application is the process whereby you ask, How did the meaning apply to the original hearers? and Does the meaning apply to you today?

Application takes the meaning of Scripture and applies that meaning to hearers today. We observe Scripture not only to understand its meaning but also to apply that meaning to hearers today. As King David prayed, "Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all of my heart" (Pslam 119:34).

Effective Bible Study involves preparation, observation, interpretation and application.

Related Resources and Tips

Hermeneutics: Hermeneutics is a set of principles that is used to determine the meaning of the biblical text under investigation. Understanding hermeneutics is paramount in developing a consistency in the interpretation of Scripture.


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