Studying the Bible without any system or method will only confuse, overwhelm and weary the serious student. There are many methods of Bible study, using some of the following methods consistently will greatly increase your understanding and will make your time more productive. Be aware that using a single method will make for unbalanced doctrine.
Don't forget to write down and keep in a notebook every study you do, for later review, this is extremely important.
THE BIOGRAPHY METHOD:
Is studying the life of characters; like, Abraham, Isaac, Abimelech, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Joab, Nehemiah, Esther, Xerxes, John, Paul, Peter, Etc.
Learn everything about their role, struggle, battles, success, failures, friends, heritage, age, spouse, ministry, travels, companions, Etc.
THE GEOGRAPHY METHOD:
Is studying by geographical locations; Like, Jericho, Babylon, Egypt, River Jordan, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem, Dead sea, Sea of Galilee, Etc.
Learn everything about their location, importance, history, biblical events, non-biblical events, other names, changes, Etc.
THE OBJECT METHOD:
Is studying objects mentioned in narratives; Like, The Ark of Noah, The Rod of Aaron, The Tabernacle, The Candlestick, Etc.
Learn everything about who made it? How was it made? Why was it made? What materials? Why is it mentioned? Who owned it? What was its purpose? Which books mention it? Etc.
THE CATEGORY METHOD:
Is studying by categories; Like Numbers, Colors, Animals, Plants, Metals, Professions, Ministries Spiritual gifts, Etc.
Learn everything about their number, their place, their division, their importance, their relationships, their type, their use, Etc.
THE INDUSTRY METHOD:
Is studying by industries; Like Agriculture, Husbandry, Fishing, Hunting, Pottery, Music, Dancing, Masonry, Bakery, Etc.
Learn everything about their importance, their place, their connections, their history, their type, their purpose, Etc.
THE CULTURAL METHOD:
Is studying by social customs; Like Marriage, Economy, Dress, Harvest, Communication, Burial, Entertainment, Etc.
Learn their history, their changes, their importance, their traditions, their relationships, their difference to others, Etc.
THE POLITICAL METHOD:
Is studying by Government composition; Like, the Pharaohs, the roman emperors, the judges, the Kings, Etc.
Learn their type, territory, administration, alliances, enemies, differences, composition, length, strengths, weakness, Etc.
THE HISTORICAL METHOD:
Is studying by historical events; Like, The Exodus, The Wanderings, The Judges, The Captivity, The Early Church, The Missionary era, Etc.
Learn how long was this period? What were the highlights? The heroes, the success, and the failures, Etc.
THE THEOLOGICAL METHOD:
Is studying by doctrine; Like Faith, Grace, Holiness, Salvation, Baptism, Tongues, Works, The Incarnation, Etc.
Learn everything about their importance, their texts, their position, their controversies, their champions, their critics, variations, Etc.
THE ANTAGONISTIC METHOD:
Is studying by how others oppose a doctrine: Examining the doctrines that others hold which are contrary to our own beliefs. There is always the possibility that the other person has the correct interpretation or that our doctrinal stance is not totally correct. Studying the opposite doctrines of others with an open mind is perhaps the hardest thing to do.
THE PROPHETICAL METHOD:
Is studying texts by their prophetic nature; Like, Psalm 22, Isaiah 9, Matthew 24, Daniel 9, Revelation 7, Etc.
Learn who spoke it or wrote it? When was it fulfilled? Why was it included? Is there another verse like it? Etc.
THE TYPOLOGY METHOD:
Is studying by Types and Anti-types; Like, Joseph & Jesus, Moses & Jesus, Adam & Jesus, The Ark & The church, Peter & Judas, Etc.
Learn what type is represented, Christ, or the church? Could it be both? How are they similar? How are they different? Etc.
THE CHRISTOLOGY METHOD:
Is studying by relating to Christ; Like, how does this particular scripture relates to Jesus Christ?
Learn weather the text applies to Jesus, is it a direct reference? An indirect reference? What it tells us about him? How is it related to him? Etc.
THE COMPLEMENT METHOD:
Is studying by complements; Like, Works & grace, free will & predestination, God of War & God of Peace, Saved & being saved, ETC.
Learn about apparent opposites, yet paradoxically complementary subjects and texts, How they both can be true? How is the tension kept? Etc.
THE COMPARISON METHOD:
Is studying by comparison; Like, Israel and the church, Saul and David, Peter and Paul, the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon, Etc.
Learn their similarities, their differences, why are they linked? What purpose? What are their relationships? How are the comparable? Etc.
THE CONTRAST METHOD:
Is studying by contrasting subjects; Like, Love Vs Hate, Peace Vs War, Law Vs Grace, Rich Vs Poor, Death Vs Life, Etc.
Learn about their major differences, their minor differences, their similarities, why one is good? Why one is bad? Is there a middle ground? Etc.
THE SERIES METHOD:
Is studying by a series or group; Like, Miracles or parables, the apostles, prayers of the OT, the missionary journeys, enemies, 7 churches of revelation. The 4 Angels, Etc.
Learn their similarities, their differences, why? What were their purposes? Why and how are they related? How are they individual? Etc.
THE CHRONOLOGY METHOD:
Is studying using time measurements; Like, When was this character born? When did he or she died, how long was this event? How long was this era. Etc.
Learn about the different chronologies, was it 30 BC or 27 BC? Which is more accurate? Why was this event important? How does it correlate? Etc.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD:
Is studying using the physical sciences, Like, The architecture of the Temple, the composition of the Holy Ointment, The wisdom of the Levitical laws, taxonomy of Unclean animals, Etc.
Learn the architecture involved, The chemical composition, Medical application? Their measurements, their materials, their arrangements. Any unusual knowledge? Etc.
THE LITERARY METHOD:
Is studying by the literary composition; Like, Genesis, The Psalms, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Chronicles, Ezra, Etc.
Learn the different types of literature in the Bible, Song and verse, or prose, similes, hyperbole, puns, riddles, Etc.
THE GRAMMATIC METHOD:
Is studying by looking at the grammar of the text; Like, Is this a question, Was this an exclamation, Why is this adjective used, Etc.
Learn the differences, if it is a question what is the answer? Why are these adjectives used? Is the verb active? Is this an exclamation? Etc
THE INQUISITIVE METHOD:
Is studying by asking your own questions; Like, What happened? Who did what? Who was affected? Why was this done? When was this done? How was it done? Etc.
Why was Jesus crucified? Why was Pilate responsible, when did the flood came, when did the Exodus occurred, Etc.
THE MEANING METHOD:
Is studying the meaning of names of people & places; Like, Abraham = father of many nations, Isaac = Laughter, Bethel = house of God, Bethlehem = house of Bread, Etc.
Learn what is their meaning, Why did God changed names? Why was that place named thus? How is that name proper or fitting? Etc.
THE EMOTIONAL METHOD:
Is studying by feelings & emotions mentioned or displayed; Like, the fear of Adam, The anger of Moses, Jesus anger, the jealousy of God, Etc.
Learn why was there fear joy, or anger? How would you feel in this situation? Are there any misunderstandings? What was the result? Etc.
THE RELATIONAL METHOD:
Is studying by finding relations in the scriptures: Like Solomon and Shulamite from the root word Shalom. Ahithophel reasons for betraying David. Why did Solomon killed Joab? Etc
Learn that there are sometimes hidden relations and motives in the scriptures. Sometimes by reading more closely the scriptures we can find reasons for why something was done. Etc.
THE APPLICATION METHOD:
Is studying by texts that talk about areas of everyday life; Like, child rearing, employment, the duties of an employer, husband duties, treating others, Usury laws, Etc.
Learn how to apply it to your life, Am I guilty of this? Is this an example I should follow? Do I need work in this area? How does it apply in the modern world? Etc.
THE DEVOTIONAL METHOD:
Is studying for personal growth and devotion; This is simply reading with the heart instead of the brain. It is letting the message of the Bible penetrate the soul instead of the mind. In reality this is not a study method but a reading method.
THE OUTLINE METHOD:
Is studying by creating an outline format; Like, [Genesis] 1) creation A) first day i) creation of light ii) separation of light from darkness
B) Second day i) Creation of the firmament ii) division of waters
Then explain your divisions, why is that a subdivision? What criteria did you use? Etc.
THE VERSICULAR METHOD:
Is studying a verse in depth; Like, John 11:35 "Jesus wept", Genesis 1:1,”in the beginning”, John 3:16, “God so loved the world”, Etc.
Why did Jesus wept?, Was Jesus pain real?, Can a man weep?, Can God weep? Why would he cry if he was going to resurrect Lazarus? Is there a reason to cry? Etc.
THE LEXICAL METHOD:
Is studying words by their root and syntax; Like, Power= Dunamis, Love=Agape, Peace = Eirene, Baptism=Baptizo, Etc.
Power in Greek is Dunamis from where we get the word dynamite, where else was this word used? was it used differently? How many times? What are their other possible meanings? Etc.
THE PARAGRAPH METHOD:
Is studying by self-contained sections; Like, The Parables, The Magnificat, The Sermon on the Mount, The Lord's Prayer, Etc.
Learn how is this arranged, what is the main message? How is it applicable? How is it related to others? Etc.
THE CHAPTER METHOD:
Is studying by complete chapters; Like, 1 Corinthians 13, Hebrews 11, Proverbs 31, Isaiah 12, Psalm 23, Genesis 1, Etc.
Learn if this chapter is self-contained or does it spill from the prior chapter or does it continue in the next chapter? What is the main message? Is there a similar chapter? Etc.
THE WHOLE BOOK METHOD:
Is studying by analyzing a whole book; Like, Haggai, Philemon, Jude, 3 John, Habakkuk, Galatians, Ephesians, Etc.
Learn about its main message or theme? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Under what circumstances? Why is it in the Bible? Etc.
THE DIVISIONAL METHOD:
Is studying by dividing a book; first divide it into its main components and then into its smaller parts. You can divide Matthew by the Birth of Jesus, his ministry, his trial and others.
Learn about each separate division, are there more subdivisions? Why was it included here? What is its message? Why is it important? Etc
THE SECTION METHOD:
Is studying according to sections; Like, The Law, The Prophets, The Psalms, The Gospels, The Epistles, Etc.
Learn What are its books, how are they related? Why are they different? When were they written? How are they a whole? Etc.
THE PARALLEL METHOD:
Is studying by book comparisons; Like comparing Daniel to Revelation, Kings to Chronicles, II Peter to Jude, Matthew to Luke, Etc.
Learn how are they the same, how are they different? Do they use the same style? Same words? Do they appear to contradict? Etc.
THE INTERRELATED METHOD:
Is studying the relations in the Bible; Like How and Where does Genesis fit into the other books? How and where were sacrifices performed? How are the prophecies distributed? Etc.
Learn why are certain laws repeated in certain books, why are they arranged in the current manner? Why not first Job and then Genesis? Etc.
THE TRANSLATION METHOD:
Is studying by comparing translations; reading the same bible text in many other translations and then comparing the differences, the similarities, the omissions, Etc.
Learn about the translators, were they competent? What text did they use for their translation? Were there any guidelines? Why was this translation created? Etc.
THE COMMENTARY METHOD:
Is studying by reading what every commentary has to say on a certain passage. There are an infinite number of commentaries, some good and some bad. And then you have to also take into consideration that these commentaries come from all over the theological camp.
THE SCHOLAR METHOD:
Is studying by researching what every scholar has written or spoken concerning a certain passage. There will be short and long explanations of a section depending on the scholar, some scholars ignored some certain parts of the bible or only glossed over them while others wrote whole books on those same parts.
THE EXHAUSTIVE METHOD:
Is studying a section from every angle possible. This means using every method possible to study a section and take notes of every area that it relates to. This is the longest way to study a passage of the Bible, it can take quite a long time to use every single method on a section of the Bible.