Welcome to Bible Study Guides!
The Bible is a unique book full of inspiration, wisdom and practical answers. But it doesn’t claim to be an easy book. It can be intimidating and overwhelming on first glance. These Bible Study Guides are designed to help. Our authors search the Scriptures with you in mind, considering what practical answers you need to deal with the real challenges in your life today. We want these lessons to be relevant, engaging and life-changing making your life better now, and giving you a real, solid hope for your future.
These lessons are a work in progress, and we have dozens more in the works. Let us know any suggestions you have for future lessons or for improving these lessons. And let us know any way we can serve you better. Your input is important to us you are important to God and to us! May God bless your study of His precious Bible!
Helpful Tips for Reading the Bible
Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to learn about God—and what God
wants from us. When we read the Bible, we read about a specific people and
their relationship to God, but we also can learn about our own relationship
Set aside time…
to read the Bible on a regular basis. Be realistic. For some people, this may be a few minutes once a day. For
others, it may be a longer time a few times a week. Try to make it about the same time each day, whether in
the morning, at lunchtime, or just before going to bed.
Find a quiet place…
so that you can be alone with your thoughts without being disrupted. If you find it helpful, you might want to
have a notebook nearby to jot down questions and thoughts you have as you read and reflect on the biblical
Begin by praying…
You may want to spend a few minutes in prayer before you begin reading. Ask for an open mind and for
Here are some suggestions for you to use as a model as you find your preferences for spending time with
1. Select a passage.
Some people find it helpful to follow a specific Bible reading plan to guide their reading. Many Bibles have
reading plans included at the back. American Bible Society provides a Daily Bible Reading plan or a one-year
reading plan included here that you might want to consider.
Other people want to read through the Bible on their own. Still others move from one passage to another
based on preference, lectionary readings, or Sunday school lessons.
Any of the above ways to select a passage is fine. The important thing is not to spend too much—if any—of
your reading time in selecting the passage!
2. Read the passage through once.
Read the passage once without stopping in order to gain an overall sense of the passage. Listen to your
initial reactions to the text … both positive and negative.
3. Read the passage a second time.
As you read, pause from time to time and answer questions about the background (or context) of the
passage. You might choose to pause between verses or small groups of verses, between significant events
or announcements in the passage, or between any natural break you see as you read. Below are some types
of questions about the context of a passage that you might find helpful as you read. In what book of the Bible is this passage found? Is this book a prophetic book? A historical book? A book of
poetry? A Gospel? A letter?
What happens immediately before and after the passage? What is the literary context of this passage?
Who are the main characters in this passage? Do they speak or do others speak for them? What are the
relationships between these characters? What is the relationship between God and the characters in this
Where did these things take place? What are the key places mentioned or assumed in the passage? What
has happened before this passage? What is happening during this passage. In other words, what is the
specific historical context of the passage?
What are key words or phrases that are repeated in the passage? What is the significance of these words?
Are there are cause-and-effect relationships established in this passage? Are any comparisons made or
similarities pointed out? Are there any contrasts made between people, things, or ideas?
What is the intent or purpose of the passage?
As you ask yourself these questions, answer them in your own words. Be careful to listen to the text. Try to
avoid listening to what you want the text to say to you. If you are using a notebook, take a few minutes to
write down your answers to these questions. Be prepared to be comforted by the text, but also be aware
that you may also be confronted, even challenged.
4. Read the passage a third time.
Now reflect on your answers to these questions:
What did I learn about God from this passage?
What did I learn about human nature?
What did I learn about my own relationship with God? How does this passage apply to me?
Is there anything I need to change in my life based on my reading of this passage? How can I be stronger in
What can I do to show God’s love to people in my life?
If there is one verse or part of a verse you would like to remember, you might want to write it down on an
index card or scrap of paper and carry it with you throughout the day.
5. Finally, thank God for the time you had to read from Scripture.
Also ask God to help you make the changes you identified.
What’s available @ Bible Study Guides
Exploring the Bible
- Foundations of Our Faith
- The Holy Spirit
- Who Jesus Is
- How to Study the Bible
- Exploring John’s Gospel