Bible Studies

How to Study the Bible

Want to use this method to study your Bible?
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In spite of whatever you may intellectually affirm (head knowledge), what does your current interaction with the Bible say about how you actually view it?


Summary: While there are several great methods for studying the Bible, here’s a simple method one can follow: Observation, Interpretation, Transformation and Application. To put it another way: What? Why? Who? and So What?

Read Matthew 7:15-23, and explore it using the Observation, Interpretation, Transformation, Application method. What specific questions can you think of for each section?

1. Observation — What?

Observation is taking a portion of Scripture and making some initial observations about it:

  • What’s going on?

  • Who are the characters?  

  • Where is this taking place?

  • When did this take place?

  • What does that word mean?

  • Is this situation described anywhere else in the Bible?

  • What is the context? (What comes before and after the passage?)

Once you get a feel for some of these questions, try to keep an eye out for key words or phrases, repeated words, contrasts and comparisons.


  • What observation questions can you think of for this passage?

  • What can we observe in Matthew 7:15-23?

2. Interpretation — Why?

Interpretation refers to understanding the meaning or big idea of the passage. Resources that can be beneficial to this step are Bible dictionaries and commentaries. Ask questions such as:

  • Why did God include this in His word?

  • Why did the author write this?

  • What is the historical and cultural context of this passage?

  • What is true about God and His character?

  • What sinful, broken or fallen condition is being addressed or corrected by this passage?

  • How are people putting their trust in something apart from God? Why?

  • What are the universal principles, beliefs and values that can be taken from this passage?

Keeping these questions in mind can help us understand the timeless truths in the passage.


  • What interpretation questions can you think of for this passage?

  • How can we interpret Matthew 7:15-23?

3. Application — So What?

In light of our interpretation and the transformative grace and truth we’ve discovered, how does the passage apply to us practically? To discover this, ask questions like:

  • What does God want me, or us, to believe, value or do?

  • How is this different from my current beliefs, values, desires and actions?

  • Are there commands, warnings or encouragements in this passage?

  • Is there anything discussed in this passage that I should avoid?

  • In light of this passage, how does God want me to trust and follow Him?

  • How do my negative thoughts, feelings and actions point to the lies I’m believing about myself, God and others?


  • What application questions can you think of for this passage?

  • What application to your life do you see in Matthew 7:15-23?

  • Which of these four steps do you find easy? Which do you find difficult?

Pray: In light of what we’ve discussed, how can we pray for each other right now?

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