Thursday, December 28, 2023

12 - Verse-by-Verse Bible Study Method

Big Idea: Look at a verse of the Bible asking 5 questions; a quick Bible study method to use on occasion.

Series note: This is the last post at the end of 12 weeks where we featured summaries of the 12 Bible Study Methods featured in the book by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life

A quick donut

Recently a friend and I had only a few minutes to grab a bite of lunch. We did something really crazy. We stopped at a donut shop.

A quick burger or peanut butter sandwich is not a nutritious meal. But in a pinch it provides energy. Like a donut!

Feasting on the Word is important, but sometimes studying a verse or a short section of Scripture provides quick spiritual nourishment. This does not nullify the value to study Biblical context and dig in to the Bible. But it can spiritually energize your day.

Verse-by Verse Analysis Bible Study Method

This method lets you take a passage of Scripture and look at it verse-by-verse, mulling it over, checking cross references, and finding personal application by five simple steps.

You can tailor it to your need at the moment, going at the pace you desire. This method can also be useful in an advanced study of a topic.

Tools needed

  • A Study Bible
  • A Concordance and Bible Dictionary

Five Simple Steps

1. Write the verse into a personal paraphrase. Put it into your own words.

2. List some questions, answers and observations. Make observations within the verse. Write questions you might have, and answers or advice it gives.

3. Find some cross-references. You may know some cross references, have it in your study Bible or you may use a concordance.

4. Record any insights you get from the verse. These might be something you see right away, or might come from further reflection and meditation. Think creatively.

5. Write a brief personal application. Consider a devotional thought or two that comes to your mind from this verse. Make an application that is practical, personal and tangible to your life.

The Verse-by-Verse Analysis Form

Rick Warren has created a form for each one of these 12 studies. There is a website that shows all of them. Here is the link to that page.  For this method he suggestions 6 columns, and make the chart for each verse you plan to study in sequence.  I made this in the landscape mode.

Rick Warren gives an example table in his book using I Timothy 1:1 and suggests starting in I Timothy.

This concludes our review of the 12 Bible Study Methods from Rick Warren in his book, Bible Study Methods: Twelve ways you can unlock God’s Word.

The Introduction and Appendices have a lot more practical information on Bible Study.

You can find the book in PDF form here. You can buy it from Amazon here

What's up next?

In the new year Scripture Spy will give you a weekly look at different tools you can use for personal Bible study. We will look at different kinds of Bibles, study Bibles, concordances, the Bible Atlas, commentaries, and so on. Even tools to understand delving in to a better understanding of Hebrew and Greek words will be touched on. 

So stay tuned!  

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Previous post from the series: Book Synthesis Bible Study Method
Previous post: Out of Darkness: Christmas Meditation
Up next: Using Bible Tools



1. What has impressed you or taught you reading through these reviews?

2. Have you tried some of these methods? Would you like to start the New Year with a plan to study the Bible more using one of these methods? What makes you hesitate?

3. Take some time to pray for a hunger for God’s Word.


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