Developing an external memory
When studying the Bible, one of the most important tools is an external memory. This is a way to learn the Bible’s words by using your muscles. By writing them out, you create a visual element and muscle memory. Typing Bible verses out won’t be as effective as writing them out by hand with a pen. You must make the pen move and make sure that you understand the words as you read them.
Using a concordance
A concordance is an invaluable tool when studying the Bible. It is like an index at the back of the book that allows you to look up Bible verses and find their meanings. Some Bibles come with a concordance at the back, but these are generally limited and may be of little use. You can also find online concordances such as Torrey’s Topical Textbook Online Resource. A good concordance will list every occurrence of a word in the Bible.
Using a lexicon
Many Bible studies include a lesson on how to use a Bible lexicon and word studies. James Smith’s Introduction to Biblical Studies, chapter five, gives an introduction to using a Bible lexicon. This chapter focuses more on the science of word studies than on the usage of a Bible dictionary. It is not necessary to be an expert in Greek or Hebrew to study the Bible effectively.
Using a study group
There are many ways to use a Bible study group. The Bible study leader should know what to teach the group, without imposing their own views. He or she should guide the group’s investigation and provide positive feedback. This method is best for groups that are more mature. Members read a Bible book together and attempt to uncover the structure of the text. The leader then summarizes what has been learned.
Reading the Old Testament
If you have never read the Old Testament, you’re not going to gain a basic understanding of what it contains. Even if you read the New Testament regularly and the Epistles on a regular basis, you won’t develop the critical thinking skills required to connect biblical passages. And even if you do read the Old Testament, you’ll probably never become a mature Christian, since it takes approximately 30 hours to read the entire Bible.
Using topical study
One way to effectively study the Bible is by creating lists of topics within a chapter. Topical Bibles can be useful for this purpose, as they contain plenty of Scripture references. To use topical study effectively, you should look up the word or topic and make note of all of the relevant verses. If you are studying the spiritual gift of tongues, for example, you wouldn’t want to read passages about general speech. You only want to read relevant verses.