I have tried so many ways to study the bible. Reading it piece by piece. Circle verbs and rectangle places. Different acronyms for different things to do while reading. I couldn’t do it anymore. They felt forced. I wasn’t getting out of it what others seemed to be getting and that just frustrated me. So I closed my bible and put it to the side.
After a lot of prayer and a need for time with Jesus, I knew that I had to figure this out. I was listening to one of my favorites, Jen Wilkin, teach on bible studying and she said something that seemed so deep but so easy. “We have to stop reading the bible like it’s a ping pong game. You need to read each book like a book. Read them from beginning to end.” Why was this so different? Why had I never done this before? You don’t see people quote a whole book, you see verses plucked out. I started to figured out how to study the bible that works best for me. I’m somewhat of a book nerd. I love learning and I do not believe that the bible is anything short of a book of true stories. So I started studying just like it would be any other textbook I’ve studied.
Y’ALL! Life. Changing.
I don’t really have a reasoning for which book I start studying. That’s ALL Jesus. But when I start I start at chapter 1, verse 1 and go through it. It helps when I take into consideration who wrote it, who was the intended receiver, and when it was written. Doing this I’ve learned and retained more biblical information in the last year than ever before. There’s really no secret to the madness. No specific color means anything. I just switch colors because the thought changes and I want to be able to differentiate what I’m learning about. To be honest with myself and not figure out word meanings through context but to dig into real meanings and definitions is also insanely helpful. My bible is currently filled with way more definitions than I ever thought I would write in it……and I love it!
If I honestly had to say which “instructions” for studying are the most helpful for me it would be those from Risen Motherhood. You can find those HERE! There’s even pretty printouts for instructions and advice.
I posted this picture on Instagram last week and a few people asked me about my process and the tools that I use. Then I asked if anyone would be interested a blog post and here we are.
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I am not sharing any of this because I know what I’m doing. I’m learning and I know that sometimes it’s beneficial to see how someone else learns. Some of my instagram friends asked and I hope that it’s a helpful post.
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible // Single column was a must-have for me. I’m so happy with this choice. It’s pretty cheap and easy to carry. Fits in my purse and I love the cover.
Bible Highlighters // These don’t bleed through thin bible pages. I have tried regular highlighters also and sometimes they are fine but these seem to work better. Also when you order bible highlighters, some are more of a wax and less marker. It’s all about preference.
Muji Pens // These are my favorites. Thin and colorful.
InkJoy Pens // I like that I can color coordinate what I write with what I highlight and these don’t bleed through.
The Moody Bible Commentary // This was a recommended commentary and I got it as a Christmas gift in 2016. It’s a really great resource. It’s huge though so don’t think this is something that will easily fit into your arms to bring somewhere.
Bible Hub // This is the primary online source that I use. There’s an APP too!
Blue Letter Bible // If you’re looking for information while you study this is a wonderful resource. It’s a website with plenty of information. LOTS of information!
Dictionary & Thesaurus Online // No one wants to carry an actual dictionary and thesaurus around but it’s pretty easy to find definitions and synonyms with a quick internet search.
There’s a ton of other resources that I can list to potentially help you. If you’d like to check out some wonderful women creating great resources, here’s just a few!
- Well Watered Woman Journals
- Cultivate What Matters Write the Word Journal
- Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal
- The Daily Grace Co Studies & Journals