How to Study the Bible Session 4

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How to Study the Bible Session 4

How To Study Your Bible IV

We are still in the “OBSERVATION” process of our Bible study. We learned last week that becoming a better Bible student involves becoming a Bible detective. Becoming a better Bible detective involves becoming a better reader. We have learned to read our bibles thoughtfülly, repeatedly, and patiently.

Tonight we are going to learn to read our bibles selectively, prayerfully,
imaginatively, and meditatively.

Read Selectively

There are six questions that we should be asking of every text or passage that
we are reading. Some of this is review, but if you will learn to ask these six
questions of the text, your personal Bible study will come alive!

1. Who are the people involved? Once you learn who the people are in the passage ask “what is being said about the people,” and “what are the people themselves saying?” Who is the writer writing to?
2. What is happening in the passage? Every biblical author has a point. The passage you are reading has a main idea. What is the writer trying to communicate? What are the people doing? What is happening?
3. Where is everything taking place? Where are the people in this story? Where are they coming from? Where are they going? Where is the writer?
4. When is everything taking place? This is the question of time. When did the events in the text take place? When did they occur in relation to other events in the Scriptures? When was the writer writing?
5. Why is this included in the Bible? Why is a question that digs for meaning? Why is this passage placed where it is? Why does it follow that? Why does it precede that? Why did this person say that? Why did someone say nothing? Why is this account in Matthew, Mark and Luke, but not in John? Asking why leads to other insights.
6. Wherefore or What difference does this make in my life? This question gets into interpretation and application which we will cover later. After reading a passage of Scripture repeatedly and thoughtfully, and asking the previous five questions, you might ask “So what?”

These six questions can unlock the Bible for you. Reporters have been using
them for years in order to get the facts for their stories. Why not begin using them in
your own personal Bible study.

Read Prayerfully

Bible study and prayer are separate disciplines. WRONG! Prayer is a key to effective Bible study. Learn to pray before, during, and after your reading of the Scriptures. Don’t try to imitate the prayers of other believers. Be real. I love to hear children and new believers pray because they are so honest and refreshing. The only thing that moves God is our heart. You can even turn a psalm into a personal prayer. Insert your name into Psalm 23 wherever you see the 1st person pronoun.

Read Imaginatively

We have already mentioned this once but unlocking the Scriptures involves reading imaginatively. We have mentioned reading the Bible as if it is a “love letter.” Read the Bible as if you are coming to it for the 1t time. The Bible is not boring, we make it boring. Read the Bible out loud – dramatically. Use different translations and paraphrases. That helps keep it fresh and alive. Rewrite the in your own words. Read in different settings. Jesus taught in different settings!

Read Meditatively

This is a hard one for most of us. We need to learn how to reflect on what we are reading. Joshua 1:8 reveals that there is a close relationship between meditating on God’s Word and acting on it. When you get to work or school ask “What was the biblical principle or truth I learned this morning?” “Does God’s Word have anything to say about my life today?” Biblical meditation means filling your mind and life with the truth that God has revealed. Again we are getting into application and we will learn more about that later.


Read through Mark 4:35-41 several times. Go through the passage and ask the six questions we learned about in “selective reading” and make some observations. Remember “Who? What? When? Where? Why? Wherefore?” Make some notes.