Bible Study Tip #1: Reading the Bible in context is always a good idea.
Start by reading the entire chapter before focusing on one particular verse. It is critical to understand what the author originally intended when they penned the words. You might miss that, if you jump to a single verse too quickly.
If you read one verse, go back and read what came before it and what comes after it. You need to see the big picture of what the author was trying to convey.
As you read for context, you might consider asking the following questions:
- Who wrote the book?
- To whom were they writing to?
- What clues are given in Scripture to indicate when this book was written?
- Is there a particular problem being addressed? If so, what was it?
- Were there any repeated words or phrase? If so, what were they?
- What was the theme of the book?
- What is the book about?
- What was the tone of the book? Was it encouraging and hopeful or was it more corrective and disciplining?
Take notes. Answer as many of the above questions as you can. Creating and keeping a log of your answers for every book of the Bible you study will become a treasure trove of truth you can review again and again.
You can create an Overview Worksheet, similar to the one below, to keep your notes neatly organized.