The BEST Bible Study Method Ever
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with studying the Bible.
I would open up my Bible and be at a complete loss…no idea what that verse was saying amidst all of the goobly-gliff words…no idea what that passage meant…and feeling so disconnected from God.
I knew why being in the Bible was so important, but it was just so hard.
I wanted to study the Bible.
I wanted to dig deep into the Word.
I wanted to discover the truth for myself.
I wanted to connect with God on a whole new level.
BUT I HAD NO IDEA HOW THE HECK TO DO THAT.
But, alas, after years of researching, talking to pastors, reading books, and making Google my BFF, I have found the ONE BIBLE STUDY METHOD TO RULE THEM ALLLLLLL 🔥. (Shameless Lord of the Rings Joke — I couldn’t resist)
So, dear friend, if you’re struggling with studying the Bible, I have a few things to say to you:
It’s okay. We all had to learn, and it takes practice, patience, and experimentation to find what works for you.
Don’t beat yourself up, but also don’t stay there. The Bible is SO important, and it is SO important for you to know the Truth for yourself (without having to rely on others to tell you).
This method that I’m going to be teaching you WILL work. It’s tried-and-true, and it’s the one method that pretty much all of the biblical scholars use. But don’t let that scare you because it’s super simple, and ANYONE (yes, you too) can do it.
So, no matter where you are in your relationship with God, whether you’re a complete newbie or a seasoned veteran, whether you have a QT routine down or still struggling to spend time with God, I guarantee that this method will work for you if you take the time to practice it and try it for yourself.
THE O.I.A. METHOD
There are three steps in this process, and they MUST go in this specific order: observation, interpretation, and application.
The reason why they have to go in this order is pretty simple: you cannot understand what something means before identifying what it says, nor can you apply it to your life if you have no clue what it means.
Know what it says → understand what it means → live it out.
(noun) an act or instance of noticing or perceiving; an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.
Observation answers the question What does this say? and investigates the grammar, language, and order of the text. This is crucial in your Bible Study process and lays the foundation for your interpretation and application. You cannot accurately interpret a scripture if you don’t know what it’s actually saying.
The most important step in this process is getting the CONTEXT. Getting this information helps keep us from misinterpreting scripture and taking verses out of context (two no-bueno things when it comes to Bible study!).
CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.
To get all of the context, you should know the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, why.
Pssssttttttt again…but if you’re looking for a lite version to get you started, I have a FREE email course that walks you through the basics of all things Bible Study. Click here to join in on the fun!
(noun) the act of giving or providing the meaning of; explain; explicate; elucidate:
Interpretation answers the question What does this mean? and makes sure that what you’re taking from the verses actually follows the author’s and God’s intended meaning of the text.
Like I said earlier, you should ALWAYS observe the text first, THEN interpret it. If you did the observation part well, the interpretation should come easy.
A good rule of thumb is that the more you observe the text, the more accurate your interpretation will be.
Basically, you’re bundling up all of your observations, taking into account your context, and forming a conclusion.
Think of it as a science experiment:
Look at the passage, and ask a question (observation).
Do your background research (context).
Construct a hypothesis (your interpretation).
Test your hypothesis (make sure your interpretation is correct by checking it with other verses).
Analyze the data and draw a conclusion (your final interpretation).
Share your results (our next point!).
(noun) the act of putting to a special use or purpose
Finally, we come to the last part of our Bible Study process: application.
We started with knowing what the Word says, then discovering what it means, and now we’re asking, “How do I live this out? How will this change me?”
Look for PRACTICAL ways to apply it to your life TODAY or this week.
You don’t want to have a fancy application that you never actually do, right? So make it simple, practical, and do-able!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s pretty much it. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezey. Trust me, if I can do it, you definitely can too.
Oh, yeah, and if you’re interested in really making this Bible Study thing a reality in your life, here are some more resources: