Bible Study Tools

Browse through our most popular Bible study tools and Bible study resources, including free PDF downloads, book excerpts, and even full eBooks to find answers to your questions about studying the Bible. Discover new and fresh ways to read and apply Scripture to keep you growing as a disciplemaker.

Browse through our most popular Bible study tools and Bible study resources, including free PDF downloads, book excerpts, and even full eBooks to find answers to your questions about studying the Bible. As you explore these Bible study tools, discover new and fresh ways to read and apply Scripture to keep you growing as a disciplemaker.

What is Bible Study?

Why is it important to Study the Bible?

Scriptures about Studying the Bible

How to Study the Bible

Types of Bible Studies

Bible Study Books

What is Bible Study?

Bible study is the intentional discipline of reading the Bible and reflecting on it to deepen your understanding of who God is, the gospel, and how all of this applies to your life today. 

Studying the Bible can be practiced individually, one-on-one, and even in a group. When you study the Bible with others, you have the opportunity to discover the treasures of Scripture together, see the Word in new ways through another perspective, and watch as it both encourages and challenges you in your relationship with God. 

You can use a variety of Bible study tools to help you better understand Scripture (we have some mentioned below), but most important is the Holy Spirit who resides in every follower of Jesus. He helps you understand God’s Word and uses it to transform your life and those you disciple.

Why is it Important to Study the Bible?

Bible study is important because God uses Scripture as one of the primary means of speaking truth and love to the world. There may be passages where understanding the context will deepen the meaning and help you discern its application.

As you study the Bible, you may discover this is no ordinary book you’re reading and studying. Digging deeper into God’s Word will change the way you think about God, yourself, others, and the world. You may notice that as your thinking changes, your life will also change. Studying God’s Word is life-giving as it helps you holistically align with who God created you to be and understand how to fully love God and others.

Scriptures About Studying the Bible

  • Bible study will help you obey God’s Word and impact every area of your life: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” Joshua 1:8 (NIV).
  • Bible study will help you resist sin, embrace God’s grace and mercy when you do sin, and understand His forgiveness: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11 (NIV).
  • Through Bible study, God will guide you both internally as He transforms you and externally as He teaches you how to follow Him: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119:105 (NIV).
  • Bible study is life-giving for your soul: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” Isaiah 55:11 (NIV).
  • Bible study will help you respond to the enemy’s attacks and increase your hunger for God: “The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God””’ Matthew 4:4 (NIV).
  • Studying the Bible with others will deepen your relationships and lead to worshiping God: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” Colossians 3:16 (NIV).
  • As you study the Bible, God’s Word becomes a practical tool for life and disciplemaking: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV).
  • Bible study will help you better understand yourself and reveal where God’s Spirit is working to transform you to be more like Christ: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).

How to Study the Bible

Bible Study Methods

The Word Hand

The Word Hand illustration is an easy-to-remember tool highlighting five methods of learning from the Bible:

  • Hearing
  • Reading
  • Studying
  • Memorizing
  • Meditation

We encourage you to use this resource to spur your own spiritual growth and to inspire others. Download a print-friendly versions below to keep nearby during your personal Bible study and times of meditation with the Lord.

The Four Rs of Bible Study

Use this simple four-step Bible study method to: read, reflect, respond, and rest in God’s Word. This can be applied in your own time with God and in small group Bible study. Choose a passage that is not too long— four to eight verses—since people will be listening to it being read several times through. You can also practice this pattern in your personal devotional time.

How to do a Bible Study Alone

As we grow in Christ, it’s important that we learn how to study the Bible for ourselves and not depend solely on the instruction of others. Consider the challenge from the writer of Hebrews:

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:13, 14 NIV).

One of the best ways to get to the “solid food” of the Word is through “inductive” Bible study. The inductive method makes observations on a passage of Scripture and then draws conclusions based on those observations. Commonly, this method is defined by three parts: observation, interpretation, and application.

Navigator Dwight Hill has broken this method into seven steps. Try it out on one of the short epistles—1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians, or 1 or 2 Timothy.

How to do a Bible Study with Friends

Reading through the Bible together can be an effective way to share the gospel with your friends who don’t know Jesus. You’ll want to approach the study in a different way than you would with believers. Author and missionary Jim Petersen shares six-tips to start the conversation as you read the Word with a friend.

How to Memorize Scripture

Memorizing Scripture is as an excellent strategy for spiritual growth. It allows you to have gospel truths ready at all times, whether your day brings you temptation, heartache or a friend in need of encouragement. Many thousands of people have shared that this system was what finally worked for them after years of trying other approaches.

Our Scripture memory system works in four steps:

  • Step 1: Pick an area of gospel truth you’re motivated to understand more deeply
  • Step 2: Dig into the context of the passage
  • Step 3: Memorize the passage in bite-sized pieces
  • Step 4: Review your passage with friends

Create a Bible Study Habit

Bible study is life-changing, but making decisions about where to begin reading and how to find a rhythm of studying the Bible can be overwhelming.

This is why we created the Bible Study 101 eBook. Whether you’re new to studying the Bible or already familiar with Scripture, we want to give you simple next steps to make Bible study easier.

Here are a few questions we answer in this free eBook:

  • What’s a good place in the Bible to begin reading?
  • How do you create a Bible study habit?
  • How can Bible study transform your life?

Types of Bible Studies

Online Bible Studies

The Navigators 5-14 Day Online Bible Studies are short, easy-to-access studies that you can complete on your phone through the YouVersion Bible app. Journey through topics like prayer, discipleship, trusting God, and growing your confidence as a disciplemaker. These short Bible reading plans can help you easily create a Bible reading habit and give you an opportunity to invite friends for discussion and accountability.

These plans will help you dig into the Bible every day even when you’re on-the-go through the YouVersion Bible app on your phone. You’ll discover profound truths to grow in your relationship with Jesus and confidence as a disciplemaker. Explore all our YouVersion Bible reading plans below.

Topical Bible Studies

Psalms to Counteract Fear & Stress

What can we do with our fears when we face a crisis? After reading many newsfeed articles that drain us; these Psalms can counteract fear, stress, and fill us up. They provide profound perspective and real hope! It helps to read each three times, to let God’s heart sink in to yours.

Assurance of Salvation Bible Study

The enemy will often try to cast doubt on the work God has done in your heart. Although you won’t hear his audible voice, he will whisper this in your mind: “You don’t think you are saved and your sins forgiven just by believing and receiving Christ? Surely that is not enough!”

What will your answer be? Your only hope of successfully resisting such an attack is to resort to God’s Word. What does God say about the matter? That is the important thing for you to know.

On the basis of this “testimony”—God’s written Word—you can be convinced you have the Lord Jesus Christ, and with Him eternal life. You can thus overcome in this test of your faith. The attack may recur, but now you can meet it with the Word of God in your heart.

Women’s Bible Study: Living for What Really Matters

We glorify busyness. We hustle, hoping to gain approval and find acceptance. Yet for most of us, we simply hustle our way to burnout. But what if it’s only pointless hustle that leads to burnout? What if meaningful struggle can lead us to growth and depth and even joy?

The apostle Paul understood hustle—and struggle—better than most. But in prison, where we’d expect him to be burned out and depressed, he wrote a letter to his Philippian friends seeking to build them up, a letter filled with thankfulness, generosity, and joy.

Focused on Jesus rather than concentrating on his own discomfort, Paul’s actions brilliantly display what happens when hardship is used for the glory of God.

Philippians shows us how we can grow deep roots and blossom by finding the meaning in our struggle.

Download the first week of the seven-week Bible study here:

A Life-Changing Encounter with the Gospel of John

The best way to study the Gospel of John is to read quickly for an overall view, not stopping for the details. Ask the Lord where He wants you to focus.

Ask yourself:

  • What are your first impressions of this book? What overall impression does it give you of Jesus? Is there a lot of action, description, dialogue, doctrinal teaching, instructions for behavior, or what?
  • What key words and phrases appear over and over?
  • If you are familiar with any of the other three Gospels, how is John’s Gospel like and unlike them?
  • Make a broad outline as you read through by giving a title to each chapter or section. To come up with a good title, ask, “What was the author’s purpose in including this section? How does this section fit his overall purpose for writing?”
  • After you have read through the whole book, pull your thoughts together into a summary statement. What would you say was John’s main purpose in writing this book?

Click below to download the full excerpt of this Bible study tool:

Journey Through the Psalms

When do you turn to the Psalms? When you’re feeling joyful or in the midst of profound grief?

Whatever your answer is, author Tricia Lott Williford understands. She turned away from the Bible when she experienced the hardship of losing her husband Robb ten years ago, but the Psalms was the first book she connected with when she came back to the Scriptures. It was there, among honest grief and exaltation, that she found exactly what she needed.

“I found prolific writers who cried out to God in the midst of real conversations in their actual lives.”

In her eBook, Journey Through the Psalms, Williford will walk you through the Psalms as a book of both mourning and of praise.

Journey Through the Psalms is actually an eBook in three parts:

  • Psalms for grief
  • Psalms for hope
  • How to write your psalm for any season

David and the other authors of the Psalms wrote out of the overflows of emotions both good and bad, and Williford will help you interrogate and harness your own emotions to follow their example.

Click below to begin your own “Journey through the Psalms.”

Bible Study Books

The Navigator Bible Studies Handbook

The Navigator Bible Studies Handbook is a classic collection of principles and methods for people who want to find out for themselves what the Scriptures say. Learn how to do question-and-answer studies, verse analysis studies, comprehensive chapter analysis studies, and topical studies. Discover the underlying principles for doing inductive Bible study, as well as some of the specific, time-tested methods of Bible study that The Navigators have used for over 60 years.

Design for Discipleship (DFD) Series

For fifty years, the bestselling Design for Discipleship Bible study series (DFD) has offered millions of new and experienced believers a chance to learn firsthand what it means to be a modern-day disciple of Jesus. Every study can be used individually, in Life-to-Life® discipleship, or with small groups.

These field-tested studies offer interactive, discussion-prompting questions that inspire and nurture growth toward Christian maturity. There are seven studies in the series and a leader’s guide. Go in order or choose the topic that best fits your need.

LifeChange Series

LifeChange Bible studies are optimized for small group use. Every study is broken down into 8-9 sessions of about 45 minutes. Each session includes:

  • Questions, interpretation, and application of a passage to the topic
  • Personally focused “Your Response” question
  • “For Further Study” section that gives readers another passage to explore around the topic
  • Callouts that include language study, historical context, and illuminating quotes from commentaries

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Leave a Reply

By commenting, you agree to our Code of Conduct.