Read & Research Bible Study Method

Posted by on 02/26/2016 in: ,

laptop with tablet and smart phone on tableMy early attempts at Bible study were sporadic and didn’t go that smoothly. I soon learned that I needed a more formalized approach to my Bible study. Here are a few tips & resources that I’ve found that will help you keep your Bible Study on track.

Prepare yourself through Prayer
“All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hardheartedness.” – John Piper, Martin Luther Lessons from His Life and Labor p. 33

There is no substitute for prayer when reading and studying the Bible.  Prayer takes the attention off of what we can do and puts the attention instead on what God can do in and through us.  Bible study is a spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1) in which we present our best to God.  We have to remember that this is not just a book we’re reading.  We need prepare our hearts and minds for Bible study.

Read the Scripture for yourself
Read and re-read the passage you’re studying.  Get familiar with the flow of the passage.  If there are terms that you don’t know, look them up in a simple dictionary.

Ask yourself these Questions

  1. Observe – What does the text say?
  2. Interpret – What does the text mean?
  3. Apply – How does it apply to me today?

Asking these questions will keep you focused on the study at hand.  These questions are also helpful when preparing, guiding, and leading discussions for small group and Sunday school Bible studies.

Read and Research

1.Bible Study Notes
There are multiple Bibles that have study notes written by scholars and trusted authors that will assist you in better understanding the Bible.  I recommend choosing one that corresponds to your preferred translation (KJV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, etc.)

2. Bible Concordances
Concordances are great tools that give you a list of verses that contain that root word in the Bible.  However, be careful that you do not JUST use a concordance in your preparation.  Concordances are a great place to BEGIN, but are never the END of your Bible Study.

With that “don’t try this at home” disclaimer, I do suggest using a digital Bible with Strong’s numbers integrated into the text for your Bible study.


3. Bible Dictionaries
Dictionaries give you more explanation and meaning for specific words.  They also help us to keep our Bible Study on track.

4. Bible Commentaries
After you’ve studied the Bible for yourself, it is often helpful to read trusted Bible scholars to see how they explain the text you are reading.


I would also suggest checking It’s a great site with recommendations for commentaries on each book of the Bible.

Other Resources
Lastly, here are some useful resources to further your Bible Study methods:

Using these simple methods and tools will deepen your Bible Study and further prepare you to present God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).

What are your favorite Bible Study titles and tools?

Be sure to check out this week’s highlighted offers on titles that will help your Bible Study this year.


  • Ronnie says:

    Thank you for this list. I am always trying to improve my Bible study time, and this is a great, to the point, list of ways to improve.

  • reynaldo gomez l. says:

    thanks for help me to think moore deep in Gods Word and in my first chance i will get a dictionary study.

  • Madelon says:

    I have many Bible apps, but Olive Tree is truly the best to me. Your updates are excellent and when I’ve had a question someone always reply. Thank you!

  • John J Havholm says:

    Wonderful, free resources to help enlighten and bring the promises of Christ to us in a living way! Thank you Olivetree! This will help bring more to Christ, and to go out into all the land, preaching and teaching, as the Lord Gives us HIS unending enduring, agape love every moment of everyday!

  • Rev. Dr. John J Havholm says:

    As a Minister of the Gospel, and Ordained since 1990, this wonderful application on the computer, allows me faster research, and great help with historical, critical, thinking. Even if not for a homily, it certainly bolsters my example among other believers and those who are lost and in need of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for helping all ministries spread the Word of God, so He can come in glory more sooner than better. Amen.
    Deo Gratias et Pax Vobis!

  • Andrew Osakue says:

    Thanks Monty. This has been highly enlightening. It will help further my bible study as I intend to share it with the Sunday teachers team which I lead. Be blessed.

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