When it comes to studying the Bible, many people focus on what we know as “theological” study. This kind of study looks at how the Bible is a revelation from God and applies its teachings to our lives today. It involves reading the text in its original language and context, understanding its meaning in light of historical events, and learning how to apply it to our lives. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for engaging with the Bible as both a theological document and God’s Word.
1. Pray for wisdom
Before diving into any kind of Bible study, praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit is important. Ask Him to open your eyes to see truths in the passage that you’ve never seen before, and to give you insight into how to apply them in your life. Prayer can also help us to align ourselves with God’s will and make sure that our motives for studying are focused on Him and not on ourselves or others.
2. Set aside time for reflection
The theological study takes time and effort but can bring great spiritual rewards if done properly. Set aside an uninterrupted block of time each day or week that you can devote solely to the study of the Scriptures, without distractions or other commitments that will take you away from your study. Take notes as you read so that you can refer back to them later as needed, and prayerfully reflect on what you have read before continuing your study.
3. Know your audience
It is important to remember who originally spoke or wrote when we read Scripture so that we don’t misinterpret or misapply it based on our own biases or preconceived notions about certain issues or people in Scripture. We must remember that Scripture often speaks directly to particular groups at particular times in history; therefore, what was true then may not be true now without proper interpretation.
4. Use multiple resources
While there are many commentaries available today that provide helpful insights into various passages, they should always be used alongside primary sources such as the actual text itself, so that you can draw your own conclusions about what is being said, rather than relying solely on someone else’s interpretation. In addition, resources such as dictionaries, maps, timelines, concordances (which show where words appear throughout the books of Scripture), etc. can also be incredibly helpful when trying to gain a better understanding of certain passages or themes throughout Scripture.
5. Do not oversimplify
It is very easy when doing theological Bible study to oversimplify complex concepts by focusing on one aspect rather than looking at them holistically as part of a larger narrative/picture/framework provided by God through His Word. Be careful not to lose sight of the big picture by becoming too fixated on individual parts, as this will hinder your ability to grow deeper in knowledge and wisdom regarding particular topics discussed in Scripture.
6. Seek understanding through fellowship
Studying the Bible doesn’t have to be done alone! Get together with other believers who share your desire for growth and form accountability groups where everyone reads different passages each week and then meets regularly (virtually if necessary) to discuss what they’ve learned and ask questions about anything they may not yet understand clearly enough. This provides an invaluable opportunity for fellowship and also ensures that everyone stays committed, as no one wants their group members to hold them accountable if they fail in their commitment!
7. Share what you have learned with others
Finally, once we’ve spent time studying the Bible, it’s important that we share what we’ve learned with others. After all, theology isn’t just something for intellectual debate; it has practical applications that are meant to be lived out every day. So take time each week (or even daily) to talk about how God’s truth is positively impacting our lives, to encourage each other in difficult times, and to pray together, asking God for wisdom in moments when things aren’t clear enough. This will ensure that His Word remains alive in us long after we have finished reading it!