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How I Study the Bible – 10 Essentials

February 15, 2015

How I Study (3)In my first post of 2015 (ahem…Happy New Year!), I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects—bible study. Two people asked last month if I’d done a video on studying the Bible, and one of them suggested I do so. I thought, Great idea. If I ever get time. I can’t even say I prayed about it, because God had already been dealing with me about putting full-focus on the things He’s called me to do in this season. But on the treadmill last week—why do so many things come to me on the treadmill?—it surfaced again in my mind and wouldn’t let go. So then I prayed about. ;-)

For many years, through fiction, one-on-one conversations, women’s bible study, or with my own kids, it’s been my passion to help people learn to study the Word for themselves. As I say in the video, this isn’t a definitive “how to study your Bible” guide. I’m simply sharing from the heart as to how I study, and my prayer is that someone might be able to use a tip or two in her own study. There is nothing more life-changing than the mind-renewing, soul-impacting words of the Bible—and there’s nothing like learning to glean truth for yourself.

I’m posting the video below, and the link is here, in case you do not see it in your inbox. Here on the blog, I’d love to hear from you. How do you study? What tips can you share? If you journal, do you incorporate journaling into your studies?


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  • Reply Tamara D. Davis February 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Hi everybody!! Happy New Year!! I enjoyed the video and gleaned a lot. (Kim, things always come to me when I’m driving or cleaning LOL) I now have a special journal just for when I’m in the Word. I wrote on my pages in my bible and I date what the Lord says to me when I write it in my bible. When I go back and read something He said to me five years ago, I rejoice at my growth.

    I have not done a study like you mentioned but lately, I’ve been thinking about deliverance. I like topics! I also like to pull out my big Strongs concordance (yes, I like to flip pages) and look up those words in Greek and Hebrew. How I remember what language to look up is HGTV. Old Testament is in Hebrew (H). New Testament is in Greek (G). HGTV LOL Don’t laugh! That’s how I remember. And no, you are not the only one fascinated with maps!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 16, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Happy New Year, Tamara! So funny to hop in conversation from Facebook to the blog. :) And things come to me when I’m driving and cleaning too! Must be something about those activities that don’t require much thought, but we’re still active (not sleeping!), and our ears are tuned to the Lord during those times. ;)

      I like to date things I note in the Bible too. Like you, I marvel when I look back at where I was then and where I am now…or marvel at what God was showing me then, and how He has remained faithful. In my first study Bible, I didn’t add dates to many of the entries, and I hate that now! lol HGTV…love it! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one fascinated with maps…I would put huge laminated maps on our walls if they’d let me! lol

      • Reply Tamara D. Davis February 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        LOL @ the maps!!!

        I got the e-mail so I don’t know where every one else is. I am off work today and I normally do not check my e-mail on my off days. LOL

        I wrote down the name of that book with the maps. I’ll have to invest in that one. I do hope to see everyone here later today :)

        You are a teacher at heart so I know your kids are getting the best at you homeschooling them.

      • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm

        Hey Tamara….Happy New Year!!! I so get the interest in topics but I just have to share something you might find interesting and helpful…if you undertake a study like Kim posted on and as you are talking over with God the topic, you might be blown away by how the book you are studying starts addressing that topic. The longer I’m in the word the more amazed I am at how “the whole counsel of the word” starts to come together and how God starts showing me how it “weaves” together. In in stunning to me at times. I’m not saying don’t study topically (that use to be what I did most of the time) but if you want an interesting adventure you just might find one by starting to study the books…be patient too…God brings it all together over time — but I think you’ll be awfully suprised (and p.s. you can do cross references too — you could spend a year in one book and never be board or exhaust what’s there!!!) :)

        • Reply Tamara Davis February 17, 2015 at 7:20 am

          WOW Debra!!! That was soooooo helpful! I will surely keep that in mind as I study.

  • Reply Rhonda J. Smith February 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Hey Kim and all my blog sisters! I have been reading but not commenting as I’ve been on a quasi-social media sabbatical to try to hear what God has been saying to me in this season. Now that I have clarity, I will comment here and on your last post (that will cover the previous two posts).

    I loved this video because it gave great points for newbies and veterans! I study books of the Bible but not exclusively because I like to do topical studies, too. Inevitably, I get close to a book study with the topical studies because I have to, as you so eloquently pointed out in your video, study the chapter, if not the entire book, to understand in context the topic that I am studying in a particular verse. Overall, I use the inductive Bible study method of observation, interpretation and application. I have some women that I mentor that I am sharing this video with. Even though it is your way, it is a great way! Thank you for giving us insight into your way. Truly, beneficial!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Hey Rhonda! I am totally with you on the quasi-social media sabbatical. I need those myself from time to time, which is kind of why I hadn’t blogged yet this year. So important to take those time-outs to hear what God is saying. I know it was fruitful. :)

      I’m so encouraged to hear that you felt the video had good points for newbies as well as veterans…praise God for that! I love your point about how you do topical studies, because in your topical studies you’re still focused on context and overall understanding. For some, topical studies means looking up a verse in this book, another in that book…and if that’s all one ever does, you’ll not grow in an overall understanding of the Word. But I know you’re a serious student. I actually meant to mention that inductive study is what I do. ;) As you know, there’s much more to it, but this is a start. I’m so glad you think it will help some of the women you mentor!

  • Reply desiree February 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks for doing this video. I see that I don’t study. I only read. I had been praying about what to do for Lent and while watching this decided this is what I need to do. Study a chapter for the next 40 days. I am praying that God will lead me. Thanks again my sister.


    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 17, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Desiree’, I’m praising God that the video served as an answer to prayer for you! God is so good. I know He will indeed lead you as you study a chapter for the next 40 days. May your time in His Word be amazing and fruitful, and lead to an ongoing pursuit. Blessings, sis!

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Kim…whohooo!!!! Was this awesome or was this awesome??? It was awesome! I loved it and it!!! (Bet you couldn’t tell). Well my friend, I just wanted to grab that cheesecake or sliders or whatever with you, over at Cheesecake Factory and just do that “Right?!” “I know!!!” “Isn’t that true!!!” It got me all fired up again for my studies and love of the word. AND it gave me some fresh thinking on some things. Loved it. This is probably one of the best resources I’ve seen. Simple. Straight forward. Encouraging. You distilled a lot in a very short space. What a great resource. And now, I’m saying…”I’m looking forward to the ones on “interpretation” and “application” that will follow ;) . Love ya! xxoo

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Okay, Debbie, so of course your comment has ME fired up because we just love to talk about and get excited about God and His Word…like, seriously!! :) I am so rejoicing and praising God that you loved the video. And I’m rejoicing because of WHY you loved it…because you felt it would be a great resource for people in their studies. That’s HUGE to me. That’s why I was moved to do it! :) I was fretting slightly about what to include, how much to include, whether I was saying too much, not saying enough….. So the fact that you think it was simple, straightforward and encouraging blesses me tremendously. To God be the Glory! Oh, and the ones on “interpretation” and “application”….ummm….I think the “interpretation” one at least is called seminary. :D

      Cheesecake Factory….one of these days!!! xoxo

      • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 17, 2015 at 6:01 pm


  • Reply Kim February 19, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Hi Family! Happy New Year! Although I am a little late on responding, I assure you that I was all over this one as soon as it hit the blog. Wow! (God be praised that Kim was led to present this topic! Thank you, Kim!!!)

    Bible study is certainly life to this pilgrim. I know you all get that. After the season I just walked through, I cannot say enough about its significance. (But you know I could go there. I’m not kidding!)

    As for me, studying takes on many different forms. I adore word studies, character studies, geographical studies, and book studies. I utilize Priscilla Shirer’s 5P method, as well as a 4 R.E.A.L. method that God placed on my heart some years ago. I love, love, love connecting the OT to the NT, and I find myself being led to journey through the Bible connecting ancient paths to new beginnings A LOT.

    In this last year, I learned that there is such a thing as a meditative-prayer type of study. Who knew? In truth, there were some days that all I could do was cling to one verse or one word even and meditate and pray my way through the day with that. I stayed as close to God as I could get; in the end He drew me nearer and showed me a whole new level of intimacy. I am grateful because I could not have survived last year without Him. (Ladies, there are many rich lessons in this type of study. As I have shared with the people who lived out this past year with me, this type of study allows you to meet your ugly and your beautiful by way of His amazing grace.)

    Journaling…I have done it. Alas, I have never been the most consistent with this. This year, however, I joined a Bible journaling group online. It has been quite encouraging and I am excited to see what may come of it. Ha! All I know is that I am digging in with a hearty appetite.

    Kim, this is such a meaty resource! I am linking it up and sharing it all over the place. (Do you want to hear something funny? My husband and I were just talking this past weekend, and I was saying how so many people don’t really know how to study the Bible. I think we (people, in general, including the saints) have become so accustomed to being preached to or at that we find ourselves relying on others to feed us instead of taking responsibility to feed ourselves. Oh sure, we read but what beyond that? There is so much more! And the more leads to MORE. Praise God!)


    Love and hugs to all. I appreciate the prayers, thoughts and well wishes that you extended my way during my absence. God bless you all.

    From My Heart,

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hey Kim! I was hoping you’d chime in because I know you are a study-er. :) And I love that bible study is life to so many of us here. It’s our heartbeat. Like you, Iove connecting the OT to the NT. I’ve heard people say that many don’t even read the OT, and that’s such a shock to me…like, really! :) It’s so awesomely rich.

      I was keying in on what you were saying about a meditate-prayer study. I have totally had those days when I was clinging to one verse or one word because it was EVERYTHING right then. It’s actually amazing to think how one word or verse in the Bible can speak such LIFE to us. Praise God that in your time of difficulty, the Lord met you where you were and led you in a study of His Word designed for you. And you joined an online Bible journaling group?! I didn’t know such things existed. :) I love how creative the Lord is in causing His Word to come alive to us. I can only imagine the “digging” experience you’re enjoying.

      I’m praising God that you find this a meaty resource. I’ve been praying that people watch and are inspired to dig in. The more truly does lead to MORE! With patience, discipline, and consistency in our studies, we grow from glory to glory. To God be the glory!

      Missing you, Kim, and love you much!

  • Reply NON-Superwoman February 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Great tips sis! I love using the methods you’ve shared. I’ve started getting into geographical studies more lately. I have to admit I’ve always hated geography, but the Bible makes it fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 23, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Praise God, sis! I wasn’t big on geography either, but YES, the Bible makes it fascinating! It’s amazing how studying geography makes the Bible come to life, and the more you learn, the more you want to learn. I’m so thankful these tips have been helpful to you!

  • Reply Renee February 24, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Hello Kim,

    I have been a follower of your blog off and on for sometime. I first found your book more Christian than African American. I was thrilled that someone had addressed this subject. But today, I just went to your page and found this topic on studying the bible. Wow what a conviction. I have consistently read the Bible or did devotions but never a study, other than at Bible study. Please pray for me. I don’t know why but there is fear of attempting this. Maybe because of what Christ may call me to or show me. Anyways please pray, I do desire to know Him.

    Thank you

    • Reply Tamara Davis February 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Hi Renee,

      I think most of us may have had that fear at one point or another. Tell yourself that you have FAITH for what He’s going to show you and reveal to you! Nothing but good comes from the studying the word! It’s a blessing and so fulfilling.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 27, 2015 at 8:51 am

      Renee, I thank God that you happened to come to the blog and see this post, because it had to be God moving in your heart. And there’s such excitement in that because if you feel God convicting you about studying, then you can know that He will give you grace to study and understand His Word. Only the enemy would bring fear about studying the Bible. The Lord wants you to draw near to Him. You will be abundantly blessed in doing so. Lifting you up right now. Blessings to you, sis. I know the Lord will faithfully lead you in His Word.

  • Reply Katrina Foreman February 26, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Hello Ladies, thank you Ms. Kim for a Timely Word! I am actually reading More Christian Than African American and was thinking how in the Before…I could see myself. I am a 2nd generation Washingtonian and grew up in PG Cty. I laughed at some of the things you talked about because I remember some of the same places/things.

    Now, to the studying. I just said to my husband the other day, did he think we could be doing more? We are both ministers in our local church, but I know there is more for us to do. I have been in school (did not finish for other reasons), but you shed some light into the next phase of studying.

    Thank you. I will be sharing the video as well.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate February 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Hi Katrina! Okay, this is weird that two of you have posted this week about More Christian. I always think, how have people even heard about the book?? :) So of course I’m praising God that you could see yourself in my story! Grew up in P.G. County…..YES!!! :) There is truly a kinship in that. I love that that’s where I grew up. So rich.

      I am thankful that the video caused you to think about what God may be calling you to do. Also, I saw your email and will be replying to that. Just wanted to reply here as well. Blessings to you, sis!

      • Reply Katrina Foreman March 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm

        Hello again, look forward to reading your response. You are truly an inspiration. I have been enjoying your videos.

        Be blessed and keep inspiring others…

  • Reply Yolanda Moore November 30, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Hello Kim, thanks for connecting with me today on twitter !!! I have been searching for a down to earth type video that will inspire me and ALL your has. I actually started with this one and searched for more from you. GIRL YOU ARE BLESSING ME !!! So I believe I will start my studies with the book of JAMES. I’ve heard it has a lot on the tongue in there I believe the Holy Spirit told me to start there. I’m in property management and need to form my words better, I don’t curse or anything like that but like the R & B group GUY said.. It’s written all over your face… HELP me Holy spirit stay FOCUS and complete my studies. THANK YOU FOR YOUR OBEDIENCE TO THE PROMPTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, IT’S CHANGING LIFES !!!

  • Reply Kat May 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Kim, I just found you and loving your resources. I sent your video on tips for Memorization to a friend…I have Janet Pope’s book, “His Word in my Heart” and it was a huge encouragement to me too. Quick question… do you use the Precept system for making in your Bible, or some other system? I noticed you said you marked pink for power verses (or something like that). I’m a big Bible study-er too and just wanted to hear your system….if you could snap a pic and share it. Thanks for your faithfulness to King Jesus!

    Love in Jesus!

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