Are you ready to dig into the Bread of Life? You look a little nervous. Maybe you just don’t know where to start. Let me give you some tips to help you get started studying your Bible.
- Choose a translation. Find a translation that you can easily read and understand. Every English Bible is a translation from Hebrew and Greek. Each translation lies on a spectrum from very literal word-for-word to thought-for-thought to paraphrases. Knowing where your chosen Bible is on this spectrum will help you better understand what you’re reading. Does your preferred translation aim towards translating each word or conveying the meaning from the original languages? ChristianBook.com has a nice illustration showing where various translations fall in the spectrum.
- Start simple. You don’t need a published Bible study book to study the Bible, even as a beginner. Try reading one book of the Bible and using the SOAP method as you go through it. The SOAP method is: scripture, observation, application, and prayer. Write out a verse or passage that catches your attention from your reading each day. Then, write any observations you have about the verse. Next, write one way that you can apply what you just read. Finally, write a prayer based on what you learned and your application. Two great resources to help you when you don’t understand what you’re reading are: YouVersion (community-based notes) and Logos (commentaries and dictionaries).
- Find accountability. Remember that studying the Bible is about building a relationship, not keeping a particular schedule or checklist. Staying consistent with your reading is easier when you have support. Find a group that you can read with. This might be a group at your church or try an online group like Good Morning Girls.
Now you’re ready. Let’s dig into the Bread of Life!