SOAP Bible Study
WHY STUDY THE BIBLE?
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It contains instructions and guidance that help us to live the life that God intends for us to live. Scripture provides us with the spiritual nourishment our faith needs to grow and mature. When we study Scripture on a daily basis we gain the wisdom to make wise choices, we are better prepared for the challenges of life and our life as a whole bears fruit.
HOW DO I STUDY THE BIBLE?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions for people who want to study Scripture. For someone just starting out the Bible can be a little intimidating. But it does not have to be! There are many valuable and proven methods for studying Scripture. At LifePoint we recommend the SOAP method.
SOAP is an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.
Read the Scripture or a passage of Scripture. Write it down in your journal. Or, when reading large passages, write down the main verse(s) of the passage that you will focus your attention upon.
O = Observation
Write your observations about the passage. How would you explain the Scripture if you were teaching it to someone else? Stop and think on the Scripture. Say it out loud. Try to uncover who was the passage written to? What are some key words that stand out in this passage? Are there any other Scriptures that this passage reminds you of or makes you think about? Are there any pictures, illustrations, stories, or object lessons that come to your mind when reading this Scripture?
A = Application
How does this scripture apply in your life? What does this Scripture lead me to do? Why should I do it? What will be different if I live out the truths in this Scripture?
P = Prayer
Pray for God to give you understanding of how He wants to use this Scripture in your heart and life. Ask Him to help you to hear and understand His Word. Pause and listen! Ask Him to give you direction for the day, for the week, for your life.
WHAT DO I NEED?
You will need just three things for the SOAP Bible Study method.
1. A Bible – see below for a link to some Bible reading plans.
2. A Journal – so that you can write down your observation, application, and prayer during your Bible study.
3. Calendar/To-Do List – as you go through your Bible Study the Holy Spirit may impress upon you something you need to do as a part of your application. Therefore, it is important to have your calendar or to-do list available to write down a particular action step.
WHAT DO I READ?
YouVersion is a great resource that offers a multitude of Bible reading plans. These Bible plans offer options to read through various books of the Bible, cover a particular topic of Scripture, or even read through the entire Bible. YouVersion also offers an app for all mobile platforms.
Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro – this book outlines the SOAP method in greater detail
Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, and Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard - these books help to provide principles and guidelines for biblical interpretation
ESV Study Bible
Life Journals – website offering additional resources for SOAP Bible Study
Solid Joys – daily devotional by John Piper. Mobile app available for Apple and Android platforms.
Journal Apps – there are now many journal apps available for purchase that allow you to journal on your laptop or mobile device.
www.bestcommentaries.com - Great resource to assist in choosing a particular commentary to enhance your personal Bible study