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Steps to study
Home Up Objectives How to study Applied Literacy



A part of appropriate study of scripture involves a process that is conducive to helping the student use his time wisely. Many methods have been suggested over the years.  Some methods lend themselves well to personal study, whereas others are not as easy to learn.  The method of study should change according to the kind of purpose and goal the student wants to achieve in the study.  Here are some overall ways to guide in studying the Bible.


  1. Pray for wisdom.

        Acknowledge who God is compared to who you are.

        Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.

        Pray to remain humble in the process.


  1. Decide what purpose you are approaching the Bible by asking questions like the following: (Hint: This will determine the speed of your reading, what details you will attend to and help you pick the proper strategy for your study)

        Am I reading for recreation or leisure?

        Am I reading for information?

        Am I reading to get to know God better (devotional reading)?

        Am I reading to find an answer for a concern?

        Am I reading to discover a particular doctrine?

        Am I reading to prepare to teach?

        Am I preparing to present a devotional or sermon?

        Am I reading for personal growth?


  1. Determine what kind of literature you are studying. (Hint: This will help you choose the most appropriate way to study the passage you are reading or studying.)

        Am I reading in the Old or New Testament?

        Am I reading narrative Old Testament history ?

        Am I reading poetry?

        Am I reading law?

        Am I reading a gospel account?

        Am I reading an epistle (letter)?

        Am I reading prophetic or apocalyptic literature?     

        Am I reading wisdom literature?


  1. Scan the passage to look at its layout. (Hint: By scanning the passage, can pick up clues on the context of the passage.)                                                           

        Is the passage like a story?

        Is the passage a teaching type passage?

        Is the passage presenting law?

        Is it a speech or sermon (dialogue)?


  1. Read the passage thoroughly while noting the structure of the passage.

        What did the author intend for the reader to understand in the time he wrote it?


  1. Look for facts (Knowledge)

        Look for main characters (if the passage is a story)

        Identify words you donít recognize.

        Is there any figurative language in the passage?

        What is the main subject?

        What are the supporting ideas?

        Identify specific actions in the passage?

        What is the sequence of events?

        What are some of the unfamiliar practices, items or terms mentioned?

*Generally deals with lists of things


  1. Summarize in your own words what the passage is saying (Comprehension).

        How do the facts fit in the passage?


  1. Explain how the passage can relate to you in various situations (Application)

        "What Would Jesus Do"  is one way to check application.


  1. Identify and explain the parts of the passageópick it apart (Analysis)


  1. Bring other passages into the study that seem to relate (Synthesis)


  1. Evaluate how the teachings presented in the passage is consistent to the scope of other teachings. (Evaluation)


*The six steps: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation are adapted from The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives by Benjamin S. Bloom

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