How to Study the Bible

The disciplined practice of Bible study – observation, interpretation and application – results in powerful life change. Pastor Dan Cox reads from Nehemiah 8:1-12.

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Study Notes

Do you…

  • want your life to change?
  • want to know God better?
  • want to be more like Jesus?
  • want to do the will of God?
  • want to walk in the fullness of joy?

Why Study the Bible?

The disciplined practice of Bible study results in powerful life change as the follower of Jesus will know God better, be transformed within and fulfill God’s purposes.


Some Context First…

Understanding the Text

  • Listening to the Word (8:1-6)
  • Understanding the Word (8:7-8)
  • Responding to the Word (8:9-12)

Bible Study is a 3 Step Process of:

  1. Observation
  2. Interpretation
  3. Application

Observation: What does the text say?

  • Read the text thoughtfully
  • Read the text repeatedly
  • Read the text patiently
  • Read the text prayerfully

Interpretation: What does the text mean?

  • What was the author’s intent?
  • How would the original audience have understood it?

Application: What response must I make to the text?

Is there…

  • a doctrine to believe?
  • a command to obey?
  • a sin to avoid?
  • a promise to claim?
  • a prayer to repeat?
  • a condition to meet?
  • an example to follow?

Bible Study Resources

  1. Textbooks
  2. Tools
  3. Study Guides


How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

Living By the Book by Howard Hendricks


  • Concordances
  • Bible Dictionaries
  • Bible Encyclopedias
  • Bible Atlases
  • Commentaries
  • Study Bibles

Study Guides

  • LifeChange series by NavPress
  • LifeGuide series by InterVarsity Press

Applying the Text

  • Commit to a plan for Bible study
  • Gather any needed resources
  • Just do it!