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How To: Bible Study

I have been wanting to do this post for AGES but I kept putting it off because I know half my audience aren't christian or religious. However I really felt to do it. Maybe my page-views won't be very high with this post but I want this blog to be authentic and reflect who I am. Not only that but it's not important how many people read this. If just one person appreciates it, that is enough.

Today I thought I would share how I usually do my Bible Study. Of course there is not one way to study the bible, however this has been the most effective way for me. I've been using this technique for about 2 years and it's quite a popular method of Bible Study. The method I use is the S.O.A.P method. In this post I will be going through it step by step. Let's get started!

For this method of Bible Study, all you need is a few things. The first thing you need is a Bible. Whether it be online or a physical bible, is completely up to you. I alternate between my actual Bible and the app on my Tablet. It's nice to have a physical Bible as it gets you used to finding certain chapters and sometimes it feels more like a study, however online is also super convenient as you can find different versions and make comparisons.
The apps/websites I use are:

  • The Bible App 

The second thing you will need is a notebook. You can use plain paper if that is all you have, however I think it is important to keep a study notebook. Keeping all your study in one place is not only super convenient, you can see the way God has worked in your life. I was looking back at my own Bible Study book from 2017 and it was so cool to see the way God has moved in my life, but also how much more God speaks to me now in comparison to back then. I started this method almost a year before I got baptized and you can definitely see the growth.

Then of course you need a pen and also a highlighter. You don't necessarily need a highlighter, however I have found it helps to remember scriptures.

So first thing is first, what does S.O.A.P stand for? S.O.A.P is an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. I will be going into detail for each section. It is a really clever way of studying the bible, whilst being able to apply it to your own life.

The first thing I like to do when doing Bible Study is write the date. This just allows you to track your growth when you look back at notes. I then either Title the page whatever the topic may be or clearly write the book I am studying. Following this, the first Step is 'S'.

'S' as I said stands for SCRIPTURE. This is where you will read the chapter(s) you are trying to study and pinpoint the verses that stand out to you. Whether it be a scripture that is speaking to you in some way or just a scripture you like. If I am reading a particular chapter, I will write the verses that stand out in anyway. It may not always be several, it could just be one verse. If I am studying a topic, such as 'Love Thy Neighbour', I will write down any scriptures throughout the bible that apply to that topic, that I may find interesting. I like to highlight them, if it's a scripture I feel I need to learn in that season. After you have written down all your scriptures you can move onto the next stage.

The next stage is 'O' which means OBSERVATION. This is where your actual study will go. What does the scripture mean? What is it really trying to say? What symbolism can you find? Is God speaking to you through that word? What are the key words that jump out to you? This section will often be the biggest as it is the studying section. The great thing is that God's word is full of secret messages and it never gets boring. You could read the same scriptures 100 times and get different revelation. This is your space to just write anything and everything down. You can really go into detail about how you feel about the scriptures you wrote earlier, and completely dissect them. Once you have spent some time analysing the word, you can move onto step three.

The third step is 'A' which is APPLICATION. This is where you take God's word and figure out ways it can be applied to your life, or even the lives of others around you. For example, if you were studying Luke 10:25-37 (The Good Samaritan Parable) and one of your observations was that the Samaritan went out of his way to help someone who probably wouldn't help him, within your application you could give yourself the challenge to do the same. Or you could challenge yourself to encourage your friends to help people they wouldn't usually. Your application should be how you are going to make those scriptures or observations relevant in your life. In some cases it may not be how to make them relevant but how they are already relevant. Once you have done this, you can move onto the final step.

The final step 'P' is PRAYER. This could just be a thank you to God for giving you understanding of his word. It doesn't have to be specifically related to the study. You could ask God for a better understanding of what you studied, or you could ask God for help with the application. For example, about a year ago I did a study on Stress and Worrying. In my application I wrote about wanting to go into a mock exam with confidence and my prayer section was me asking God for guidance and strength to be faithful and to worry less. You can make it super personal or quite general but you want it to link to your study in some way. It's really cool having your prayer written down because you can see how God has worked in your life. It could be on a certain issue you prayed about or even a person you prayed for who was struggling with that issue. It's so amazing to see how good God has been and observe the growth. It's honestly incredible how much God has done in so many areas I prayed about and for literally just months ago.

So this is how I do my Bible Study. I don't have a regular schedule but I'm trying to sort one out by the new year. Eventually I will get to everyday but I think it's wise to work my may there rather than throw myself into daily study and be disappointed if I fail.

I hope this was helpful for some of you or even just interesting to read about. Do you use a different method of studying? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Have a great day x

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