Top Tips for Bible Study

Do you want to study the Bible? Fantastic! There isn’t a more helpful occupation; the Bible is God’s message to us, and it is through this that God speaks to us.

But it is such a big and complex book. How do you start? How do you know if you are understanding it correctly? The Bible is a book we are to use to govern our lives, so it's vital we understand it correctly!

If these are the kind of questions you are asking then we hope these simple tips will be of help.



1. Start with a good Bible translation!

As anyone who has browsed the shelves of a Christian bookshop will know, there are many different translations of the Bible. Some are designed to be close to the original text, and others try to simplify the text (to varying degrees) in order to make the passage more readable. Our recommendation would be to try to stick as close to the original text as possible whilst still being able to understand it. There is a danger that if the translators try to simplify the text then there might be details in the text that are missed, or that are simply misunderstood by the translators. The Bible is an incredibly rich book, which shouldn’t surprise us because God wrote it, and to miss out on some of that richness would be a loss. If the first translations are proving a struggle, then an alternative approach could be to read a direct translation and an easier translation together and compare the two. In terms of direct translations, we wouldn’t want to be too prescriptive as no one translation is perfect, however the ESV, NKJV, NASB, Darby translation and the KJV (if you don’t mind the old language) are all good options. It is helpful if you can compare these translations with each other, as different translators sometimes translate different words slightly differently.

2. Get a good balance between use of both electronic and paper copies of the Bible.

The internet and use of mobile phones can provide opportunities for Bible study that past generations could only dream of. It gives the ability to have the Bible with you 24/7 without having to carry a large book around with you. It also gives Bible students the ability to alternate between different translations, look up meanings of words and access other helpful resources. However, with that access also comes danger, particularly the danger of bringing distracted by messages and aid on your phone. We would recommend trying to use a hard copy of the Bible for dedicated study times when you can study the Bible without distraction, and use the phone for when use of a physical Bible isn’t convenient.


3. Use the help of a reliable Bible commentary.

Some parts off the Bible are easier to understand than others and we would recommend to read a reliable Bible commentary alongside the passage in order to get the most out of the study time. When we think of Bible commentaries we may call to mind large complicated tones that take a long time to read but this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. There are sure authors we would recommend that are very reliable and yet at the same time brief and simple in their langurs and explanations. Particularly we would February the writings of Frank Hole, Leslie Grant and Hamilton Smith. Their writings can be accessed online and work well using a smart phone. Another advantage of the Internet is that you do not need a large physical library in order to study the Bible. Websites such as provide trustworthy Bible commentaries on line, free of charge.

4. Understand the Bible in it's context

There are some books of the Bible that can seem a bit baffling at first you understand the book in the context of where it fits in the Bible, in the timeline of history and in the timeline of God’s dealings with mankind. To overcome these hurdles it is good to get the answers to the following questions before studying a book of the Bible:

Thankfully there are handy guides that give a brief summary to the answers to all these questions and these can be found in the following links:

5. Join a Bible study group

This is one of our most important tips! We highly recommend that you don’t just study the Bible alone all the time! A Bible study group with fellow Christians who understand the Bible and how it fits together can be highly beneficial and give you the opportunity to ask questions and get help on areas that are more complicated. If you don’t have one and want to find a local group of Christians then please get in touch with us at [email protected] we will do our best to find you help in your local area.

6. Do an online Bible course

Even with the good tips outlined above, it can be difficult to get going with Bible study without some kind of support, and we find that it is helpful to have a guide to walk you through the key subjects of the Bible. It is for this reason that the online Enjoy Your Bible courses have been set up. Not to just give you the answers directly, but to direct you to where these answers can be found in the Bible. Many have found these courses very useful, and we recommend these courses as a good place to start for effective Bible study. We offer the following free courses:

Learn More

Basic Bible Course

This course is the place to get started. You will discover truths about God, His plan and how we can know God through Jesus.

Price: Free

Level: Beginner

View course details

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