So first of all, this is not the only method I use. I do several different ways so that I can pick something different if I feel like I am getting bored in my studies. I know that I am the only one that ever has that problem, ha ha! Several days of the week, I do an in depth study where I pick apart a verse or several verses and can take an hour or more just looking up words in the Greek and Hebrew. Then once I completely break it down and understand every individual word, I put it all back together again. Then I read in a commentary about those verses. That is a different post for a different day. This method however, is by far, my favorite for every day study. I get so engrossed that my husband has actually came in the room where I was studying and started talking to me and I did not hear him! He had to yell at me to get my attention! You ready to hear what it is?? It is the Inductive Study Method! I first seen this several years ago in a book by Kay Arthur, "Discover the Bible for Yourself". However, at the time I really was not impressed with it. Well truthfully, I really wasn't impressed with any method- I did not study alot. (Frown face) But that is not the case anymore!
Here is how it works: as you read, you make colorful "symbols" over the words. Once you go through and read it the first time (making the symbols) you then go back and read it again. NOW when you read, things seem to almost jump out at you. This makes it easy for you to glance at a chapter and see exactly what are the key words in the passage. Confused? Keep reading, it will make sense, I promise!
The first thing you need is pens. I love these pens! I use them for everything- Bible study, color coding my calendar, writing notes, everything! I got them at Staples. And they were not expensive either. Obviously I need more than 10 colors to use, so I also use color pencils. These you can pick up at any office supply store or I think even Walmart has them. I got the big pack so there were more colors to use.
And then you need your Bible. (Just for clarification, the "Becoming Blameless" logo you see is not actually printed on my Bible. That is a watermark I put in the picture with my photo editing software. :)
I LOVE this Bible. I have had many, many, many and I truly mean MANY different ones and this one is just perfect for me. It has GREAT study notes in it and it also has different article type write ups that minister to women. It is great! It is "The Woman's Study Bible" in the New King James Version. Mine is the second edition. You can see it here. It is a bit pricey but you know the old saying, "You get what you pay for." In this case, it is truly worth it! My husband actually got mine for me as a gift. I had the hard bound cover in this same Bible, but it was falling apart. The binding is not made that well and it feel apart very easily. But the leather one I have now and that you see in the picture above, it has held up VERY well. I take it everywhere and it is doing great.
Here is just a small portion so you can see what I am talking about.
In this picture you can see the word "faith" is boxed around in orange. Every time you find the word "faith" in my Bible, eventually, they will all have that same symbol around it. God and Lord all have a yellow triangle on them. Names of people are underlined in pink. Names of cities are colored in with light green.Anytime you see the word Gospel in my Bible it will have a red "GN" over it-for Good News. Anytime you see Jesus or Christ, you will find a red cross above it. Over every crucified or crucifixion, you will find a brown cross. And the one that stands out most in the picture above is "promise". All of those are circled in blue! It may sound a bit tedious at first but once you get started it is hard to stop!! I have went chapters and chapters without even realizing it. And not only that but it is like because you are paying attention to EVERY WORD that you see things you just skimmed over before. I have found more things doing my studying this way, that I have never seen before! The best part about it is once you finish a larger portion and you set back to look at it. Now if you want to see every time the word "gospel" is used you just skim over the pages and look for the red "GN". It makes finding things so easy because they pop out at you. Well here. Look at what I mean.
Now don't panic! If you are anything like I used to be, you are flipping out! Writing in your Bible is PERFECTLY okay! Look at it this way. Do you think that God would rather you have a "spotless" ink free Bible that you never read OR one that you can pick up and actually FIND scriptures you can use when a situation comes up? I think the latter. Our Bibles are supposed to be "lamps to our feet" and it is our "sword" in the fight. What good is a lamp or sword that you never use?? EXACTLY!! NONE!
I have used this method of study for the book of Galatians and now I am going through 1 Corinthians. I absolutely love it. I do not know if it is because I am a visual learner or what, but because I remember writing the symbols, now I can remember where certain topics are. And hey, even if I couldn't remember where something was exactly, I could just flip my Bible open and look for the symbols! I encourage you to give it a try. There is no "right" or "wrong" symbols. Just make up your own as you go-that is what I did. Or there are resources all over the Internet that have a legend already made out for you.
I hope you are motivated to get into your Bible now! What do you think? I challenge you to give it a try in a small book and go from there. Let me know if you try it! I would love to hear how it works for you!