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Have you tried MANY different methods of Bible study over the years only to find they didn’t work well for you? There seems to be one for every level of experience, and that is always a great thing! But the SOAP Bible Study Method is one of my favorites because of its simplicity while, at the same time, allowing one to take Bible study as far as they want to go with it.
It allows you to draw from scripture what the Lord wants to show you personally, and not just what someone else experienced. You are not limited in this method and can continue to use it as you grow in your walk and in as you grow in your study of the Word.
So let’s explore and see the SOAP Bible Study Method explained together!
Read on to learn more AND get your FREE SOAP Method workbook to help you along the way!
What is the SOAP Method of Bible Study?
There are many study methods out there that you can use to learn the Word, including Verse Mapping, APPLE, Inductive studies, Expositional studies, and many, many more.
In fact, I cover many of them in my post on Bible Study Methods!
So why the SOAP Bible Study Method? What is it exactly?
The SOAP Bible Study stands for:
S – Scripture
We are going to look at each one individually and explore the different ways you can use them in your study of the Word.
S – Scripture
This is the part where you get to choose which Scripture you want to dig further into.
It could be a verse you find during your daily Bible reading or one that you found in your Bible journaling or Scripture writing time.
Write the verse out (you can get my free SOAP Bible Study Method Prep Worksheet later in this post to use for this) and pray over it, asking God to show you what He wishes to speak to you through this study.
You can also choose a verse if you are studying by topic! For instance, if you are doing a topical study of parenting in the Bible you may choose a parenting verse each day.
If you are doing a topical study or if you are reading through a specific book of the Bible, it might be helpful to schedule out your Bible study!
My SOAP Bible Study Method workbook will help you do that! You can get it at the end of this article!
O – Observation
The observation part of the SOAP Bible Study Method is probably my favorite!
It is that time I get to ask questions that make me dig deeper into my verse.
This is a great place to ask the “who, what, where, when, why’s, and how’s” of the verse!
One of my amazing teachers, Rabbi Tony Eaton, said reading the Epistles is like reading someone else’s mail. It is not all being spoken TO us even when it is for us to learn from.
Sometimes the Lord is speaking to a specific person, like Moses or David, or one of the prophets. So we need to know these things.
So how do we “observe” in the Bible?
We look at:
- Who is speaking? Who is being spoken of?
- What is the focus of the verse? What does God want me to know about what I read? What promises are mentioned? What warnings? What commands?
- Where is this taking place? Where is the verse referencing? Where was the person who wrote it?
- When was this written? What timeframe is being spoken of?
- Why is this important to my walk with God? Why did ____ do ____?
- How is God trying to speak to me in this verse, this action, this wisdom, this person’s experience?
A – Application
This is the stage in the SOAP Bible Study Method where you will see what God wants to show you regarding how you can apply this verse, this lesson, and this teaching to your own life.
How can you use what you get from the previous two steps in deepening your walk with the Lord?
Does it speak to my life right now? Is it speaking to a situation I might be struggling with?
Are there other verses you can identify that are connected with this verse that you can study next?
Most Bibles will direct you to related verses. This is especially true when Jesus spoke the words of the prophets!
I advise you to not rush through this stage of your study.
In fact, I think it is a good idea to come back to this after the final step in the SOAP process and see if God has spoken anything to you further!
Take notes and then you can go back at a later date and see all the things He has shown you!
In the free SOAP Bible Study Method workbook, there is a note sheet where you can do that!
P – Prayer
I did mention at the beginning of this post to pray before you start this study but now is the time to pray further and ask God to show you any lessons He wants you to draw from the Scripture you studied.
Has He shown you an area of your life you might be sinning in? Repent of that!
Has He shown you His will in a certain area? Ask Him to give you the strength to set aside your own will and follow His.Has He shown you something you are holding onto that you need to put into His hands? Ask Him to help you to surrender to Him. Click To Tweet
Yes sure, you could purchase a well-laid out study that walks you through the verses or the topic and explains how to interpret it but then you are getting THEIR interpretation.
The Word says in 2 Timothy 2:15
In Hebrews 4:12 it says:
That “piercing”, that judging of thoughts and intentions come from your own study and the way the Lord speaks directly to you through His Word.
2 Timothy says “He deals STRAIGHTFORWARDLY with the Word of Truth”. So when you approach the Word on your own it allows you to experience His truth directly.
This method will help you dig into the Bible on your own and see what God has to speak to you directly!
The SOAP Bible Study Method Workbook
As I have mentioned, I have created a SOAP Bible Study Method workbook for you to track your studies with a daily, weekly, and monthly planner.
It also includes a sheet where you can do your prep work by writing down questions, words you want to verse map, and more.
There are questions you can ask yourself for each verse as well!I have created a FREE SOAP Bible study workbook for you to track your studies with a daily, weekly, and monthly planner. Click To Tweet
And I am offering this to you absolutely FREE to help you on your journey and to thank you for your support!
I hope you find the SOAP Bible Study Method to be helpful and that you can use it for years to come and alter it as you grow to make it your own!
CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.