7 Creative Bible Study Techniques
Try one of these creative Bible study techniques today.
As shocking it may sound, it is possible to get bored with Bible study.
There, I’ve said it. Many don’t or won’t. But we need to be honest about it.
When we look back over time we can see how Christians have faithfully studied their Bibles. Week in, week out, for months and years, apparently delighting in reading and studying every single book.
However, for our generation, we’ve become accustomed to visual stimulation. It surrounds us every day of our lives, from TV screens, to movie screens, to the Internet, and magazines. So is it any wonder some of us struggle to stay focussed on the printed Word of God?
Yes, we delight in reading about our loving Saviour, and growing in the knowledge of our heavenly Father. It’s our desire to get to know Him that drives us on but ……….
Some days it’s tough, isn’t it? And that’s where these creative Bible study techniques come in so useful.
Creative Bible Study no 1
A change of approach helps bring freshness to our studies. For example, if I said, “let’s do a Word Study” that sounds rather heavy going. But if I say “let’s try Verse Mapping” your interest will be immediately piqued. The principle study is the same but our interaction with it will be different.
To start do the following
- Take a blank A4 sheet of paper
- Using it landscape (ie shortest side to the left) draw a square or circle in the centre. It needs to be big enough to write your chosen verse in full
- Now begin exploring every aspect of the verse: its meaning, context, who’s speaking, who’s it spoken to, etc
- Use different pen ink colours to write out your findings
- Draw borders around each block of information and then draw a line from each to the centre verse block
For more detailed instructions read the post on Verse mapping HERE and you can check out Instagram for examples, use the hashtag #versemapping
Bible Study Technique no 2
Much of today’s Bible journaling has a centuries-old basis. It has developed and become very popular in recent years – you can see lots of examples on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s a creative Bible study technique that has a number of variations:
- At its simplest, it is writing notes in the margin of your Bible, often your comments on the text.
- Micro journaling uses a standard format Bible (ie narrow margins around the text) however the notes are illustrated with symbols, small stickers or other embellishments. The notes are often related to your response to the Word.
- Wide Bible margins allow for more extensive notes and larger illustrations eg a lightbulb or candle could be drawn next to the words of Jesus describing Himself as the Light of the World (John 8 v12). The key phrase is often written in the margin too using a fancy script.
- And at its most complex, the whole page of the Bible is used as the base for the Journaling experience. The illustration often covers all the words except for the ones being illustrated. For example, (if we use the same Bible reference again) John 8 v12 – then the candle or lightbulb illustration complete with a halo of illumination would fill the page. But the one verse or phrase – in this case – Light of the World – would be left clearly seen .
You can read more here in the post What is Bible Journaling?
Creative Bible Study no 3
You might like to explore the Inductive Bible Study method that is taught by Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries. It’s a more formal approach to Bible Study than journaling as it uses a specific process but the annotations are a system of colour and symbols. You can find out more about it HERE.
Bible Study Technique no 4
Closely related to the previous one yet simpler to use, it’s a personal system of colour underlining/highlighting combined with symbols. The colours and symbols reflect your particular choice of topics and themes. To explore this creative Bible study technique more fully read 3 Easy Ways For Using Colour in Your Bible Study
Creative Technique n0 5
In the realm of Bible journaling, you will find references to the use of Tip-ins and Tip-outs. And this meets the desire of adding colour notes to your Bible without having to write on the actual page.
- Tip-ins are notes written on a piece of paper and stuck in along one edge towards the spine side of a page.
- Tip-outs are notes attached to the outer edge of the page and folded in. When they’re opened up they’re beyond the edge of your Bible page.
Using a variety of repositionable Sticky Notes is an ideal way of colourising your notes without defacing the Bible page. However, there are two drawbacks:
- The availability of colours and shapes of sticky notes limits your choice.
- It will increase the bulk of paper between the covers of your Bible, which can put a strain on the spine of it. However, a Bible stuffed full of carefully crafted notes and memorabilia can become such a treasure-house it’s worth the risk, in my humble opinion😊
Bible Study Technique no 6
This one may not happen on the page of your Bible but it will add interest to your regular reading. This study technique is all about creating your own Bible Guidebook. You can build this alongside your reading time. In its simplest form, you create an entry log for every chapter of the Book you are reading. For a more in-depth guide, you could create maps, mini Author Bio, personality bio’s and gather other information together into a notebook or folder, adding to it as you progress through the chapters.
Creative Bible Study Technique n0 7
Choosing different ways to read the Bible will create a varied diet and can spark the desire for further study. Why not try some of these ideas:
- Read the same portion of Scripture in different Bible Versions. You can read more about Bible versions in the Bible Glossary
- You could try listening to the Bible being read. Search YouTube or source audio recordings for variety such as the one you can see HERE
- Try an assortment of Reading Plans. On this website you will find 70 Reading plans varying from a selection of chapters to reading the whole Bible. And the enormous range of plans on the website covers from beginners right through to those more experienced. They also list plans for different age groups too.
Which one will you try?
There are plenty of ideas here to choose from. Deciding which one to try first will be your biggest problem! Perhaps try combining two, such as using a different reading plan with using sticky notes.
But whatever you decide, you can be sure that any time you spend diving into the Word of God will be richly rewarded for as the Bible says:
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;Psalm 19 v7-10 (NKJV)
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
THE HBS BIBLE GLOSSARY – HAVE YOU GOT YOUR COPY YET?
- Have you ever been left riffling through the pages of your Bible when the Sermon’s halfway over because you couldn’t find the passage the Pastor or Minister was talking about?
- Do you give up on Bible studies because you get frustrated by words like inductive, concordance, hermeneutics, propitiation, etc?
- Have you been more than puzzled by the layout of the Bible and wonder where all the information comes from?
You’ll find the answers to these questions + more in this jargon-busting Bible Study Glossary. A FREE gift for you when you sign up for the HBS Buzzletter. Go ahead, grab your copy today and never again wonder what in the world other Christians are talking about (and you’re too embarrassed to ask)😉
Helen, I’m sharing this with others, but also saving as a reference for myself. What an awesome list! I use a personal highlighting and note taking system, but haven’t used the other methods much. Thank you so much for this resource!
I’m so glad you found this post helpful. And thank you for sharing this list with others. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to try out some of the other techniques – be sure to let us know how you get on.