Bible study can be done by looking at it paragraph by paragraph or verse by verse. Here are some practical steps to do both. Information adapted form this article.
- Read the paragraph carefully for its main thought or subject.
2. Rewrite the Text- In order to find the relation of the important words and sentences in this paragraph, it is often helpful to rewrite the text.
3. Make an Outline– from the text you’ve now rewritten so that you can see the relationship of the various parts of the paragraph.
4. Use a Concordance– It is helpful also to look up in the concordance important words that occur in the paragraph. By comparing other passages of the Bible that teach about that topic, you’ll be kept from making any mistakes concerning the true nature, conditions, and results of prayer according to the will of God.
In studying many passages of the Bible, each verse may have only one simple meaning. But many verses in both the Old and New Testaments are rich with many great Bible truths that will demand more detailed study. There are many ways for you to study a single Bible verse:
Study it by the verbs/nouns in the verse.
For example, if you were studying John 3:16 you would find the following verbs: “loved … gave … should not perish … have …”
You could make a comparative list like this:
God loved … Humankind believes
God gave … Humankind shall not perish
… Humankind has everlasting life.
Or simply take the nouns in this wonderful verse: “God … world … only begotten Son … whoever … everlasting life.”
Study a verse through the personalities revealed.
For example, once again taking John 3:16, these very simple but significant points are brought to light: “God … only begotten Son … whoever … Him.
Study a verse by looking for the great ideas revealed in it.
Let us look again at John 3:16 as our example. The following ideas are found in it:
“God”—the greatest Person
“so loved”—the greatest devotion
“the world”—the greatest number
“He gave”—the greatest act
“His only begotten Son”—the greatest gift
“that whoever believes”—the greatest condition
“should not perish”—the greatest mercy
“have everlasting life”—the greatest result
Sometimes a combination of these various ideas applied to a verse will bring the richest results.
“Therefore”—This verse depends on 4:25. Our justification is based on and is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection.
“by faith”—method of our justification (see also 3:24; 4:9).
“have”—not future, but present tense—we have this now.
“peace with God”—We were enemies, but now there is peace between us and God because of what Christ has done. “through our Lord Jesus Christ”—the way to peace with God is only through Jesus Christ.