How to Study the Bible: Best Bible Study Tools

ArynChristian Nonfiction2 Comments

How to Study the Bible: Open Bible on wood background

If you haven’t already done it a few times, knowing how to study the Bible can be overwhelming. 

But studying the Bible does not have to be a big deal. God paved the way for us and is looking forward to spending time with you. There is no reason to be intimidated. 

Here are a few Bible study tools and tips that will help you relax and understand what you are reading. Unwrap mysteries and treasures of the scriptures. Know that it doesn’t have to look the same every day, and it doesn’t have to look like you’re studying for seminar

Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.

How to Study the Bible: Open Bible on wood background

How to Study the Bible 

The most important thing to remember in how to study the Bible is not to give up. It’s okay if you don’t manage it every day. Or don’t read as much as so-and-so does.

If you don’t know that you are saved, here are the 3 steps to salvation.

But, once you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit, God himself in your heart to help you and guide you and remind you of the important truths of the Bible. 

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—

John 14:16, NIV

And this one is so awesome because it says that God gives us both the desire to obey, and then helps us do it!! We don’t have to worry about making it happen.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 NIV

Because of the Holy Spirit, we are able to open the Bible read, and understand many things. He helps us, teaches us, and reminds us of what we’ve learned.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26 NIV

Keeping a Bible study notebook handy to jot down questions, new understanding, promises, etc. is a great idea when you are studying the Bible. Because, often, we will wonder about something, and then forget all about it. If we write it down, we are way more likely to remember the promise or the understanding, and equally more likely to dive into whatever questions we have. That way, when satan whispers, does God really say that? we can be prepared with an accurate answer instead of falling for his lies.

Finding a partner can have huge benefits when you’re studying the Bible. For accountability, encouragement, and for discussing what you’re reading. This could be your spouse, your friend, or your kids. Or it could be an online community, like the one below.

Simple Bible Study Tips for Less Stress 

Here are a few simple Bible study tips for reducing any stress you may feel. 

  • Reading a verse or two and thinking about them is studying the Bible. 
  • Reading a chapter or 3 at a time is studying the Bible. 
  • Reading the Bible in different translations, and at different speeds (verse at a time, whole Bible in 90 days, etc) all have a time and a place. 
  • Freestyle, following a reading plan or using a Bible study guide are all good ways to study your Bible. 
  • It does not have to be perfect. If you miss a day, or a week or… it’s okay. Start again. 
  • It helps if you have a consistent time and place, but a life happens and so do appointments and interruptions. So be willing to try something different sometimes. Audio Bibles and children’s Bible stories are often just as helpful, if not more so! 
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to write in your Bible. Notes, underlines and highlights are helpful for your own sake and can be priceless gifts for your kids or grandchildren. 
Woman studying her Bible. Bible study methods 7 Ways in 7 Days.

Best Bible Study Tools 

Besides the obvious and necessary Bible study tools (a Bible and something to write on) there are several optional tools for studying the Bible that can be very helpful. 

There are many short, powerful devotions out there, if you don’t have much time. And then, there are Bible study reading plans an other great tools for studying the Bible.

But remember. Some seasons of life, you can do more than one at a time, and others, one kind of Bible study is all you can do.

Bible Study Reading Plans

There are many Bible reading plans available. Everything from a chapter a day to the whole Bible in 90 days, and standard or chronological order, topical and beyond. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Natalie over at Bible Verses for You has an awesome 18 Month Bible reading plan, that is set up in a different order than you may be used to, but the 15 minutes a day reading plan has you going through books of the Bible in practical, applicable order, and there are some really cool bonuses. (use code ‘savehalf‘ for 50% off)

Sarah over at The Holy Mess has a great free 30 day reading plan on Faith over Fear. She has even added free youtube videos to accompany the reading plan, and help apply these scriptures practically.

Bloggers For The Kingdom has a couple of great 12 Month topical reading plans available, too!

There’s also a new site, with quite a few great Bible Study Printables including reading plans, journals, and coloring pages

Do not fear bible reading plan

Top Interactive Bible Study Books 

I’m a big fan of interactive Bible study books. They add incredible dimension to your study of the Bible. Some books put you in the position of being a passenger/observer on someone else’s study (which can be fun and helpful, especially with Mark Batterson, or Max Lucado‘s books).

But with interactive Bible studies, you have a workbook, with daily homework, and discussion questions, and points to ponder, etc. You ‘join the team’ so to speak, and start investigating and applying things. You engage a few more senses. So let me share a few of my favorites!

Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby is one of the earliest of this type of Bible study tools. With Experiencing God, you’ll study the Bible, and Moses in particular, and do more than just know God, or about God. You’ll begin to see where God is at work around you and start to join in. It may have been originally written a while back, but it’s just as good, applicable, useful, and readable today as it was then!

One of my newest favorites is LEGION: Behind the Seen with the God Who Rescues Me. This 6 week deep dive walks you through the intricacies of God’s rescue plan, and just how far he’s willing to go for one lost soul. This author has a way of bringing you along, studying the Bible together, that is remarkable.

A less intense study, but no less powerful, this Galatians study walks you through Paul’s letter to the Galatians. A bit more reading, and fewer questions, but you will understand much more than you did before!

Beth Moore Bible study books have long been my favorites, as I started doing them as a teen. They are designed for group study but can be done alone. Many of them have online access to the weekly videos, which helps, because she often goes over key portions of the topic at hand, in the videos.

This study on King David, Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed, is co-written by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur, and is one of the best studies I’ve ever done.

This 18 week study of the book of Genesis looks pretty awesome. Considering that Genesis spans thousands of years, I think that’s reasonable!

Written for teen girls especially, this Royal Bible study on the life of Queen Esther is great. I learned a few things, and I can’t tell you how many times I have studied Esther.

If you want to get your money management methods into better, God-honoring balance, these Christian stewardship books will guide you, using Biblical wisdom, logic, and simple, practical steps.

Bible Journals To Enhance Your Study of the Bible

Bible Journals, and Bible Journaling are a good way to process what you’re reading in your study of the Bible. When you come to a verse or phrase that is particularly meaningful to you in this current stage of life, or for a loved one going through something, stop and journal. Writing about it, drawing a picture, or coloring in some word art as you meditate on and pray, is powerful.

These free Bible journaling printables and accompanying 5 day e-course are wonderful, if you’re just beginning with Bible journals.

Here’s a great “Intro to Bible Journaling” kit, with cool printables that you can use under Bible pages, to trace Bible quotes and designs directly into your Bible, pages for writing out what you’re learning as you’r reading, etc. plus a 30 day reading plan on trusting the Lord.

Journibles are simple notebooks for handwriting the scriptures, a book at a time, with room for notetaking, art, etc. This one for the book of Romans is a nice place to start, as it covers the history of the early church.

Teresa over at Ladies Drawing Nigh has a really neat Chronological Bible Study journal, and has generously offered a 50% off code for you: Read12 This is a 12-month reading plan to put the events of the Bible in order, and comes with journaling pages, memory verse cards, and more

Bible Study Community: Studying the Bible Together

We know that community is important. And whether or not you have access to a good, safe, local Christian community, I want you to know about this awesome online community called Sojo Academy

Sojo Academy is a great community for Christian women all over the world. With professional-caliber monthly Bible studies and reading plans that are both practical and beneficial for building your biblical literacy. 

There are also many live workshops and other bonuses along the way, 5hat make this a great community to be involved in. *They’ve even created a free sample for you to try!

The Facebook group is an active community that discusses what we’re reading and studying, offers tips and ideas, asks {and answers} questions regularly, and prays for each other. 

Bible Study Apps That Make Studying the Bible Easier

One of the best things about technology is that it means the Bible and a large number of Bible study apps are available to add to your phone, and you can easily access them at any time, anywhere. Without lugging a bag full of study materials everywhere. 

BlueLetterBible is my personal favorite. I’ve used it for years, fairly regularly. It’s very searchable, which is great for when you remember a phrase, but not the address or the context. It has a Concordance and other cool tools integrated into every verse, and many translations to choose from. 

If you set up an account, you can even log notes and thoughts. 

YouVersion is another cool Bible study app that allows you to study the Bible conveniently, with the benefit of many free video and text-based Bible study series on tons of topics. Includes some great kids options for family devotions and bedtime. 

Logos Bible study app has lots of features and resources for making an in-depth Bible study simple. I love how easy they make it to do a word study. Following a specific word through many uses throughout the scripture and gaining insight into the meaning. 

Bible Memory Verse Locker is a useful app for helping you to hide God’s word in your heart. 

Prayermate is a great way to organize your prayer life, and keep track of those prayer requests you promised to pray over, and the people you want to pray for, etc.

Samaritan’s Purse Greatest Journey is an adventure game meant for kids, but I found it kind of fun myself. Taking a journey through a few of the most well-known Bible stories, listening for detail, and answering questions about it is a great way to make the truths stick. 

Superbook apps are fun, and not just for kids!! Between the games, trivia, the shows, an interactive, readable Bible, and now Superbook radio, this one hits a lot of key points. And I definitely love the new Superbook more than the original! It’s very practical in the way that it connects Biblical truth to current, real-life situations 

A Journey Towards Jesus is another Bible trivia game that is fun and is a bit more productive than the match 3 or sudoku games we like so much. 

Miscellaneous Bible Study Tools

If you like more tangible Bible study tools, you will want to consider a few of these: 

Having a good Concordance, more in-depth than the ten pages at the back of your Bible is wonderful for creating your own topical Bible reading plan or researching what the Bible teaches about a particular issue. 

An illustrated Bible Dictionary and even a regular dictionary come in handy. I use both frequently and have been a Christian for 3 decades. Sometimes we 

A Bible Atlas is more than just a bunch of maps. It helps to recognize that what we’re reading really happened in real places. Seeing the relationship to other locations and events is great! In looking for a good one to recommend, I found this one that has clear overlays, with “Then and Now” capabilities. It’s really cool!!

A book of biographies, a Who’s Who of Bible characters can be a good resource for keeping track of everyone and how they relate. 

I really like this Soaring Through the Bible Travel Guide for Kids (And Adults!) because it offers a brief introduction to the key information about each book of the Bible. 

How to Study The Bible: Choosing a Bible to Study 

A different translation of the Bible than you typically use can bring a lot to your comprehension. Nuances stand out differently, verses you have read a dozen times make you think about them afresh. Reading the Bible in a different translation can turn a boring ‘to-do’ on its head. 

The standard translations all had many of the same people translating them, and are mostly in harmony. So that’s not as big of a deal as it is played up to be. 

A couple of them had an agenda, naturally, but that’s true when people are involved, isn’t it? 

If you have always read the NIV or the KJV, or the ESV, etc, that’s fine. But I would encourage you to try a different one, at least some of the time. 

These translations have begun to interest me very much as I hear certain passages that are beautiful and just different enough to make it feel brand new. 

You also might want to try other styles of Bible. The options seem endless, and I think that’s so cool! 

My first (and still favorite) special Bible was my Adventure Bible. There are devotionals and fun facts, explanations, and book introductions that are perfect for curious kids.

I still use a teen study Bible sometimes, that has more teen-targeted devotionals and commentary. I took it with me a lot of places and through a number of different Bible studies, so it has some amazing memories and notes in it. 

I’m currently using a coloring Bible. It’s much easier to write in and highlight text than my regular Bible, and there are hundreds of drawings and word art to color! 

This Archeology Bible is next, it has all kinds of information uncovered through the many archeological digs that have proven various Bible stories true. Having those kinds of details in line with your daily reading is a powerful Bible study tool that helps your faith and confidence grow. 

A parallel translation is cool too, reading 2-3 translations side by side. You can often catch the meaning better this way. Also a feature of Blueletter Bible app!

A chronological Bible is a great way to experience the Word of God in an ‘as it happened’ way instead of the standard order, and you don’t have to consult a reading plan and flip back and forth. It’s all laid out beautifully. (I really enjoy the audio version! 

How to Study the Bible: Best Bible study tools.

2 Comments on “How to Study the Bible: Best Bible Study Tools”

  1. This is great, Aryn! Reading and studying the Bible is such an important part of Christian growth.

    My husband and I use a Bible reading plan called the Victory Bible Reading plan which goes through the Bible in a year chronologically and has a mix of Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms and Proverbs each day. We’ve used it for several decades now and love it, using a different version of the Bible each year.

    For Bible study tools, don’t forget Precepts Ministry and their in-depth, inductive studies. There is also the Olive Tree app for phones and computers which is similar to Logos…

    1. The Victory Bible reading plan sounds fascinating, especially the way you use it! And thank you for these other suggestions. I think it’s amazing how many Bible study tools and resources are available these days!

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