Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
By Evan Nehring
StudyingI have a lifelong Bible study strategy. I ended up at North Central Bible College for five years, traveling a couple of semesters with a music group. One of my most influential courses was Bible Study Methods with Dr. Don Meyer. Exciting title, right? Well, through a combination of helpful textbooks and Dr. Meyer’s personal lifelong commitment to Bible study, my appetite was whet to study God’s Word forever. I have the tools. You can get them too, if you decide to do it.
Colored pencilsOne of the simple things I’ve done is to use colored pencils to highlight unique flavors of different verses.
- Navy blue shading – for verses I recognize as songs
- Red – for my favorites; verses that resonate with me
- Orange – interesting cross-references between passages
- Green – a line beside the column for a memorized passage
- Purple – majestic verses about God
- All colors – for little stick person drawings in the margins
Going deeper with study methodsMy lifelong Bible study plans are based on a book Dr. Don Meyer introduced in Bible Study Methods back in the 1990’s at North Central Bible College. Let me highlight a few of the sixteen methods from the book.
The Synthetic Method. On the first reading through the book of the Bible, watch for and write down the main theme. On the second reading, watch how the theme works in different sections. Look for the key passage of verse that best captures the idea of the book. On the third reading, create your own outline of the book.
The Biographical Method. Choose a man or woman from the Bible and follow their life from beginning to end. A concordance or Bible dictionary can help.
The Historical Method/The Geographical Method. A Bible atlas and Bible dictionary or encyclopedia will help. Here are some outstanding free online bible study resources:
The Literary Method. Books of poetry, art and music. Books of historical record and analysis. How-to books. Self-help books. Biographies. Stories, or fiction. Books of inspiring quotes. Accounts of apocalyptic battles. The Bible has all of these! Read each book for what it is.
The Devotional Method. Journaling and creating lessons can take all of the great study and allow the Holy Spirit to use it to bring life change for you and for others.
Studying God's Word is a lifelong pursuit. It has brought deep meaning to my life. I hope it will for you too! Any guesses on other ways I dig into the Bible? Got some of your own favorites?
This post continues to part two here...
 Howard F. Vos. Effective Bible Study (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1956).
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