“You need to know the joy of discovery and the pleasure of doing your own digging so that you become spiritually and biblically self-sustaining.” Chuck Swindoll

The goal of Bible study is not information but transformation.

“It is possible to know the Word of God and not know the God of the Word.” Rick Warren

God’s Word is living and meant to be interactive. We must get into it, but how do we do that?

Start with prayer.

Find a place where you can focus.

Grab a pen and something to write on.

Gather your tools:

  • Good study Bible

  • Commentary

  • Other translations

Additional tools:

  • Concordance

  • Bible Dictionary

  • Topical Bible

  • Online resources

3 Steps to study the Bible

Step 1: Observation—What do I see?

  • Read it in different ways

  • Look for key events, places and people

  • Who is the author and audience?

  • Observe repeated phrases and thoughts

  • Note key principles by paragraph

  • Search for contrasts and comparisons

  • Notice any lists

Step 2: Interpretation—What does it mean?

Answering the questions that arise during observation will help you in the process of interpretation.

Five clues (called “the five C’s”) can help you determine the author’s main point(s):

  • Content

  • Context

  • Comparison

1. Cross Reference

2. Use a Concordance

3. Employ Scripture Memory

4. Use a Topical Bible/Chronological Bible

  • Culture

  • Consultation

1. Bible dictionaries

2. Commentaries

3. Topical Bibles

4. Trusted online resources

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Step 3: Application —How do I respond?

Universal Truths by Paragraph

What change is required?

  • How does the truth revealed here affect my relationship with God?

  • How does this truth affect my relationship with others?

  • How does this truth affect me?

  • How does this truth affect my response to the enemy, Satan?

“Do not fool yourselves by just listening to the Word. Instead, put it into practice.” James 1:22

Is there a (n):

  • Example for me to follow?

  • Sin to avoid?

  • Promise to claim?

  • Prayer to repeat?

  • Command to obey?

  • Condition to meet?

  • Verse to memorize?

  • Error to mark and avoid?

  • Challenge to face?

"Paul does not teach or study doctrinal truth without using it immediately to praise God. He never treats truth simply as something to be known or even applied, but as a gateway into the praise of God. He uses truth to see God. Therefore, there should be no study of the truth without worship."  Tim Keller


This is the easiest, most popular site for looking up anything in the Bible. The site contains almost any translation in almost any language you can think of. Search by Passage, Keyword, or Topic. There’s also an app for your mobile device.

The name says it all. If you want to find an online resource for Bible study, you’re likely to find it here. Search the Bible. Read a commentary (or several). Check out what other people are taking notes on. You can even watch some videos of people unpacking various topics and sections of Scripture.

Whether you want a parallel Bible, commentary, Bible atlas, word study dictionary, or a Greek/Hebrew interlinear Bible (with each word clickable!), this is the site for you. There are a lot of acronyms that aren’t obvious which makes it a little cumbersome to navigate, but overall, it is an amazing site.

This is both an online Bible and software. There are reading plans, a mobile app, social integration, and the ability to take notes and synchronize across all of your devices.

Keith is a speaker, storyteller, and author who strives to help people realize that the living Word of God is a reality – not a phrase. He holds to the idea that people can believe the Bible is not only true and applicable, but also fun, engaging, and enjoyable. His website is full of great resources.

Do you have a question about God, Jesus, the Bible, or theology? Do you need help understanding a Bible verse or passage? This site has over 500,000 answers to questions and is theologically sound. A great resource when you have a question or don’t understand a scripture passage.

Study Bible

The purpose of a study Bible is to help you understand Scripture more clearly as you read it; it usually contains notes for biblical interpretation, book introductions to provide context, and maps for visual pictures of locations. It’s important to remember that anything besides the scripture is someone else’s opinion and should be applied accordingly.

The Bible Project is a non-profit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.  The Bible Project creates videos, podcasts, and study guides that explore the Bible’s unified story.


A Bible commentary is a series of notes explaining the meaning of passages of Scripture. Almost all commentaries attempt to explain the passage in terms of some system of theology. In other words, the commentary is an explanation of how the Bible fits together and what it means. Since a Bible commentary is written by human authors, it will reflect the beliefs and perspective of those writers.


A Bible concordance can be a helpful tool for studying the Bible. A concordance contains an alphabetical index of words used in the Bible and the main Bible references where the word occurs. Many Bibles have an abbreviated version in the back.


There are many translations of the Bible, some are translated word for word, some phrase by phrase and many in between. Recommended translations for word for word: ESV. Phrase by phrase: HCSB, NIV (84), NLT.

Types of translations
Worksheet One
Worksheet Two
Worksheet Three