I kind of have an unorthodox way of studying the Bible. As a person with ADD I have to really concentrate on something and use repetition in order to make it stick. Throughout my life I have struggled with studying the Bible for my own personal illumination, inspiration and education. A couple of years ago I stumbled onto a paper that explained how John MacArthur handles his personal study of God’s Word…and came up with a semi-hybrid version of it that works for me. Please understand the following Bible study technique works for me…it may not be your cup o’ tea.
First off…what I study for personal knowledge is almost always different from what I am studying for sermon delivery. Right now I’m mainly preaching through some New Testament verses during our “That Sucks!” series…but I’m personally studying Joshua. Joshua is 24 chapters…so what I do is break it down into three sections of eight chapters. For ten days I study the first 8 chapters…the next ten days I study the next 8 chapters…and the ten days after that I study the last 8 chapters. Basically I study one book of the Bible at a time for 30 days. For the first ten days I read Joshua 1-8 every day for ten days…it takes me about 30 minutes a day to read all eight chapters. The first day I read it on YouVersion.com in the NASB (my favorite translation for deeper study)…making private notes. The second day I read it online in the NIV version…and then revise my notes. The third day I read it again on YouVersion.com in The Message version…just to get a different feel…and again I revise the notes. By Day 3 my personal understanding of the 8 chapters is getting a little better…I’m starting to formulate some ideas. For the next seven days I read the 8 chapters in my MacArthur NASB Study Bible…taking a closer look at the his commentary notes. When I’m doing this…I make my personal notes in a Moleskine that I keep. At the end of ten days I go back to the YouVersion notes…revise them a final time…and then save them in the online journal for me to refer back to. Sometime I publish to YouVersion those notes of mine that I think may be relevant to others.
I have found that by breaking a book of the Bible down into ten day sections to study that I get a better understanding of the verses, they stick in my mind better…and the Holy Spirit really brings some things out concerning the Scriptures. It’s time consuming…and sometimes tedious…but for me…it really works for gaining knowledge of God’s Word…and discovering new ways that it’s Truths apply to me.