Personal Bible Study Tools
We all know it's good to study the Bible ... but what does that mean? When you're sitting at your table with the book in front of you, how do you start?
In February 2019, Forefront paused it's normal Life Group meetings for a month, to get to grips with four tools which can help us get the most from personal Bible study.
These tools are unaided - that is, they don't rely on anyone else guiding the interpretation of a passage. But they are methodical and careful, helping us to get the best from each passage.
As soon as we started, members came up with helpful extras which can make our studies more rewarding. Laura Dimon created the visual prompts which artistic students might want to colour in. Thanks to Helen Rowe for the worksheets for methods 1 and 2, and Christine Smith for the sheet for method 3.
Method 1 - Life Application
The basic method, which includes an explanation of the method (p1), a worked example so you can see how someone else went about it (p2), some suggested passages to try for yourself; and a passage you can actually start with (p3).
A blank worksheet, to fill in at your computer or to print out.
Method 2 - Chapter Summary
A methodical tool for getting to grips with a whole chapter 10 "Cs" to guide you in your study.
Get the basic method (p1), complete with a worked example (p2) and a suggestion for your own study (pp3,4).
And here's a worksheet, which you might find helpful as you do your study.
Method 3 - Character Quality
How do you work out what the Bible has to say about the character qualities we are to seek in our lives? What advice does the Bible give us as we seek to leave behind bad qualities?
This tool helps you find verses and passages which become witnesses; the method then gives you a structured way to interrogate each witness, to get its angle on the complete story.
Get the basic method (p1), complete with a worked example (p2), and a suggestion for your own first study (p3).
Here is a blank worksheet which can help to guide you through the process as you do your study. (And here's one with the verses already filled in for the "godliness" study used on the Basic Method document.)
Method 4 - Thematic enquiry
How do you prepare to speak on a topic from the Bible? Or check out something you've read or heard which you think might be "a bit off"? What if you have a question about your faith you want to check out for yourself? This method is a great starting point.
Like the "character quality" method, this one guides you to collect verses based on the key words in your enquiry, then ask a small number of questions of each of them. By collecting the answers together, comparing and contrasting different perspectives, you come to a conclusion about the Bible's answer to your queries.
Get the basic method (p1), complete with a worked example and a suggestion for your own first study (p2).
There is a blank worksheet which can help to guide you through the process as you do your study (it's in MS Word if you want to fill it in on-screen, but also as a PDF to print). Here's a version of the worksheet with the verses already filled in for the "how to hate better" study used in the Basic Method.