Two weeks ago, I shared why Bible studying is important, with emphasis on understanding context of scripture. There were a few resources listed for study Bibles I’d recommend and some additional free resources you can use. I also had a few articles and videos warning against translations like The Passion, The Message and The Mirror Bible. If you would like to view any of those, please check out | Why We Need To Read The Bible In Context
As I was putting this post together, I came up with the Four R’s of Bible Studying and thought breaking it into a separate short post would be beneficial, which you can view here ~ Bible Study Tips | The Four R’s Of Bible Studying
Today, I want to continue my post series on easy ways to break Bible studying down. We are going to focus on the importance of reading a chapter at a time.
Studying One Chapter At A Time
Honestly, one chapter at a time is one of the best ways that has worked for me. I have been able to retain a lot more. Also, you can study multiple books at a time this way. We just need to begin at the beginning of each book.
For example, Proverbs has 31 chapters. That means you could read through Proverbs entirely in January, March, May, July, August, October, and December. That’s reading Proverbs 7 times out of the year!
I think when we look at the entirety of the Bible we become overwhelmed, and that’s the issue. We all aren’t meant to consume the Bible in one day or even one month. It’s possible for those who want to consume the Bible in one month, and repeat. But it’s not a requirement for everyone. The goal is what I refer to as the Four R’s of Bible Studying (Read. Retain. Reference. Repeat.)
How To Break Down A Chapter Of The Bible
- Who? What? When? Where? Why?– What is the chapter about? Who is the chapter written for? When was the time period? Where was the location for the writer and the circumstances for the audience? Some of these answers should be known before starting a book of the Bible. Once we have the answers, we have a better idea of what was going on before starting. These key pieces of knowledge give us a better perspective on the writer, the circumstances, and the audience.
- References– This helps the more we become familiar with scripture. As we read through the chapter, we need to ask ourselves –
- What other scriptures does this me remind of?
- Has anyone else in the Bible experienced something similar? (Example: Prophets from God having issues with the people.)
- Did Jesus teach on the topic discussed in the Gospels? What did He say about the topic?
- If in the OT, do we see a type and shadow of the Savior? (Example: Exodus points to Christ freeing us from the bondage of sin by being our atonement sacrifice.)
- Have other prophets, apostles, etc. talked about the same topic? What did they say?
- How is the Lord weaving the same message through the Bible together?
- How does the chapter relate to the previous chapters or books in the Bible?
- If Christ is speaking, what is He claiming that makes people mad? How does He proclaim He is God without saying directly He is God?
- Life Application- The Bible is the living Word, breathed out by God. Life may be modern but the lessons of God apply to everyone, no matter what year.
- Are people rebelling against the Lord? Is sin being committed? What does the Bible say about sin? How does that relate to our relationship with God?
- What attributes of God are being discussed? How do these attributes show us the holiness of the Lord? Why are these attributes important to the Christian?
- What example does Christ give us through His own life? How can we apply His example to our own life and situations/people we deal with?
- How are godly men and women to act (toward God, family, the church body, enemies, etc.)? Why is this important?
- What warning is the writer giving?
- What encouragement is the writer giving?
- Do we see righteousness, godly living, repentance, holiness, prayer, other topics of the Christian life discussed? What is their importance, in relation to the chapter? What do other verses of the Bible say about the topic?
- Do we see Christ as the High Priest in the chapter? Do we understand the importance of Christ becoming the High Priest and why it is was so desperately needed?
- If people rejected God in the chapter, what would have happened if they had not?
All of this can gained through reading one chapter. No, not every question or topic will be covered in each chapter. But the point is we can learn a lot in one chapter, especially when connecting it to other parts of the Bible. We need to be able to understand and look for attributes of God, what God promises to His followers and those who reject Him, how Christ is in every book of the Bible, how we are to live as a Christian, and be able to recognize when people reject God, we understand the consequences of what happens. God is a Father and He does discipline those He loves. God loves us and He provides all the answers we will ever need in His word.
Little note: when I speak of Life Application, please do not mistake me saying this for encouraging you to put yourself in the shoes of David or Esther. We are not David. We are not Esther. We do not fight physical giants. We are not a queen of the Jewish people. But like David and Esther, we have a sinful human nature. We have a holy God.
Monthly Scripture To Ponder/Memorize From Psalm 85 – (NKJ) Psalm 85:12, “Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase.“
Community Prayer –November ‘ 20