S.O.A.P Bible Study Method | How To Study The Bible For Beginners
You want to study the Bible, but you have no idea where to begin, or maybe you have tried to study the Bible, but it's been frustrating. The S.O.A.P Bible study method is the easiest way that I have learned to study the Bible, that’s why it’s the perfect method for beginners.
I’m going to show you how I have been studying the Bible using the S.O.A.P method. This isn't the only way to study the Bible, but it’s one of the simpler Bible study techniques.
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Why Should We Study The Bible?
I want you to ask yourself, what is the importance of studying the Bible? Sometimes as Christians we do things as part of a religious ritual. Everyone says that I should study the Bible, so I’ll just do it. When you approach Bible study that way you’re not motivated, and it makes it hard to learn how to study the Bible for yourself.
If you approach the S.O.A.P Bible method like that although it is the easiest Bible study method for beginners, it will be hard for you because you don’t know why you’re doing it.
Here are a few reasons why I think it’s important to study the Bible:
- It gives you an understanding of who God is
- It will help you to grasp the plan that God has for your life
- It draws you closer to God as you understand who He is
- It helps you to understand who Jesus is and to model your behavior after Him while He was on the earth
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.
Want to learn how to study the Bible? Get my Free "How To Study The Bible" eBook that uses the S.O.A.P method of Bible study. It gives you a simpler way to study the Bible so you no longer feel frustrated.
Soap Bible Study Method
S.O.A.P Bible study has helped me to learn how to study the Bible. It has opened my eyes to so many new revelations of scriptures that I have read many times before. If you’re looking for a Bible study technique (and I assume you are, that’s why you’re here) this will help you to start studying the Bible.
I made a little tweak to the S.O.A.P method, I start with prayer. Before I start to study the Bible, I always ask the Holy Spirit to give me revelation and understanding into the Word of God.
I also like to pray Colossians 1:9-10, I say Heavenly Father, fill me with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that I may live a life worthy of you Lord and please you in every way bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of You.
S – The S Stands For Scripture
You have a few options here within your Bible study technique, you can randomly pick any scripture that you desire, or you can start studying the books of the Bible and your other option is to do a topical Bible study.
If you choose to do your soap Bible study method verse by verse, you can write down the verse, but I usually don’t do this.
O – The O Stands For Observation
This is the who, what, where, when, why, and how. A study Bible comes in handy as well as a Bible study journal because here is where you will need to write things down. What words stand out to you, what do you see in the verses that you are reading?
I like to read commentary on the scriptures that I am studying from people I trust. It ensures that I am on the right track and that I haven’t completely miss understood the scripture.
That’s why I like to pray before I start to study the Bible, I also use my Strong’s concordance app during this step of the S.O.A.P method as I may need clarification on some words and the context.
A – The A Stands For Application
How can you apply what you have learned to your life? This is personal, what is God saying to you through the scripture? What changes will you need to make? What did the Holy Spirit reveal to you during your S.O.A.P Bible study?
Think about your behavior, relationships, family. How should your life change because of what you have learned in the Bible study session?
I have had some real wake-up calls during this part of the S.O.A.P Bible study process. Sometimes situations that I didn’t realize were related were revealed to me and the Holy Spirit showed me what changes I needed to make.
In this application phase of the Bible study, I like to pause and take a few minutes to meditate on the scripture that I read.
Take a few minutes and write down all that was revealed to you in your Bible study journal.
P – The P Stands For Prayer
I like to start with prayer and end with prayer. What I do here is to turn my application into a prayer. If one of my application points were to recognize that Jesus was my healer and wants to heal me from all sickness, I would say…
“Lord help me to truly understand that you are my healer, and that Jesus took the stripes so that I no longer have to be sick. Thank you, Lord, for revelation and understanding of your word.”
I also use this time to praise and thank Him for what He has revealed to me and for the Holy Spirit who will help me to make the changes that I need to make in my life.
If you want a detailed example of how I use the S.O.A.P Bible study method, it’s all here in the how to study the Bible for beginners PDF, it shows you S.O.A.P in action as I take a passage from the Bible and break it down for you using this Bible study technique. It will help you if you want to learn how to use the S.O.A.P method and how to study the Bible daily.
Where Should A Beginner Start In The Bible?
There are 3 methods of Bible study that I use, but I will also outline my favorite and which I think is easier for a beginner and give you a few tips for studying the Bible.
Studying The Books Of The Bible
Studying the books of the Bible is when you pick an entire Book of the Bible such as Genesis and study that entire book. You can break it down chapter by chapter which I believe will make it easier.
You could read 1 chapter per day and use the S.O.A.P method based on the entire chapter. This is not my favorite way to do Bible study, I feel that I don’t get as much out of it because there is so much information in one chapter.
Studying The Bible Verse By Verse
Studying the Bible verse by verse is when you pick just one verse from the Bible and study it. This is probably the best starting point for someone that is a beginner at studying the Bible. You can just focus on what that one verse is saying, and it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I would start in the book of Matthew and go to Revelations.
Topical Bible Study
I love doing topical Bible studies. A topical Bible study is when you chose a specific topic and study all the related verses in the Bible. I normally choose a topic based on a situation that I may be struggling with within my life.
For example, let’s say that you were struggling with unforgiveness. You would search the Bible for all the scriptures on forgiveness and unforgiveness and study those verses using the S.O.A.P method of Bible study.
Maybe you have a desire to have a deeper understanding of God’s love, you can search the Bible for verses about the love of God, then study those verses.
What Is A Good Study Bible For Beginners?
I use the NLT life application study Bible. At the beginning of each chapter, it gives you some statistics. It gives the purpose of the Book, the Author, the audience or who it was written for, where it took place, and the year.
That would pretty much sums up the who, what, where, when, why, and how portion of your observation step in the S.O.A.P method of Bible study.
Another benefit of this Study Bible is that it gives you scriptures to cross-reference and there is a commentary for pretty much every verse, its great for studying the Bible for beginners.
Whether you are a beginner at studying the Bible, or you have been studying the Bible for years, the S.O.A.P method is a great way to study the Bible. It has helped me during my time with the Lord and as a result, I have grown closer to Jesus through studying His Word.
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Check out my FREE Resources
16 Page Bible Study Journal/Prayer Journal