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How To Study the Bible

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

By Nakia Trader

A person studying the Bible

This question is one of the most commonly searched topics of interest for Christians. Christians often desire to read the Word of God but have no idea how they ought to study the Bible. Below is an acronym using the word SOAP that will offer some guidance in this area.

(S) Scripture - Select somewhere between three and ten verses of Scripture and read them through three times.

(O) Observation - Write down some observations about the verses. For example, look for repeated words, determine the central point of the passage, look up the meaning of words you don’t know, check the meanings of any names in a Bible dictionary.

(A) Application - This is a vital step. Ask yourself how what you've read or observed can be applied to your life? Meditate on the message the verses have for you. Ask yourself what God is trying to convey to you through His Word.

(P) Prayer - You can’t pray enough! Ask for leading from the Spirit to live what God has revealed to you.

I have always found it useful to keep a notebook to write down my thoughts about verses, names, locations, cross-references, etc., so that I can refer back to it later. I have personally found many different techniques useful when studying the Bible, such as, writing Scriptures on notebook paper, using highlighters to emphasize certain verses, using index cards to memorize and recall verses and more. The important techniques to utilize are the ones that work best for your personal life. Allow SOAP to become a guideline in helping you learn to study the Bible.

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