The SOAP Bible Method
Defining the SOAP Bible Study Method for your bible study and quiet time.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We all know that personal Bible Study is critical for our spiritual growth. However, we are not always too sure how to get started and then when we start to feel overwhelmed, we want to give up. Through this Soap Bible study method I want to share with you ideas what you can do to incorporate in your quiet time without feeling overwhelmed.
Schedule Bible Reading Into Your Day
The idea is that you you set a time, a place and a plan in place for yourself. Schedule a meeting with God that’s the most important thing. Look at one week at a time. Prioritize this meeting and honor it like you would a meeting with a very important person in your life. I know that sometimes life gets busy don’t feel guilty if you don’t get to your Bible study every day, remember it’s all about growth and building a relationship with God.
- Time – Select a time of day when you are most alert. Give God your best!
- Place – Decide on a place free from distractions.
- Plan – Be intentional about your Bible reading.
Some people start with Genesis and get lost halfway through, others find it helpful to read some New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs each day. Others read a chronological plan. There are various Bible reading plans online. If you are a new believer, Romans and John is a good book to read first. Find a Bible Study Series that you know will work for you.
When you start on a plan, a good idea is to start with a book and learn it well. It is all about growing in the Word. This is all personal preference, the best advice I can give is to start where you are, you will find your way.
One method I want to share is the The SOAP Bible Method. The SOAP Bible Method is an easy way for you to journal your way through the Bible. Through the SOAP Study method you learn to dig deeper into God’s Word and read what God is telling you through His Word.
It is one thing to read scripture, it is something different when you interact with the Word. The Words start to speak to your heart and you learn to delve deeper into different books and topics.
I’m sharing with you how you can use the SOAP Method in your Quiet Time daily. All you need is you, your Bible, a few color pens, a nice journal and you’re ready for your quiet time with God.
SOAP Bible Study Method stands for :
S – Scripture
This is where you write down the Bible passage you want to study. This can be either one verse or several verses, it might even be the whole chapter. Remember to always read in context as it can happen when you only read and study one verse that you might get lost in what God is telling you in the entire book.
When you write down the scripture it keeps you focused and you read what you are writing. When we write it down what we read it cements what we are reading and you will remember what you have read and so much more.
O – Observations
This is where you discover and write down what you notice. Your observations doesn’t have to be full sentences, these could be in bullet form. Paraphrase and write down the scripture in your own journal in your own words
- What do you see in the verses you are reading?
- Is there a repetition of words?
- What words stand out for you?
- What jumps out to you in the passage?
- Who is it written by?
- Who is it written for?
- What is the background of this text?
- What is the context to the people it is written for?
- What becomes before and after the text?
- What stands out for you?
- What do you find interesting?
- What would happen if you write it to yourself?
A – Applications
This is where God’s Word becomes personal.
How can I apply what I have read to my own personal life?
Do I need to make any changes?
What direction does God give in the context?
It is here that I usually write down one or two sentences on what I have learned and how it could apply to my life. Write down where you want to make changes and pray about it.
P – Prayer
Pray God’s Word back to Him. Write down your prayer. Respond to God’s Word with your own words (prayer). If God revealed something to you during this time you spent with Him. Pray about it. Confess if there is something He has revealed in your life, it is not always negative – remember that. Thank Him for His Word and His care and ask the Holy Spirit to continue to grow and build within your relationship with God.
A note to self :
With this method, please remember to always read a chapter and verse in context of the entire book, and ask the questions when you journal what are these verses saying instead of what the verses are speaking to me?
If you are not sure about a scripture always seek wise counsel within the body of Christ.
A few resources you can use for your quiet time :
YouVersion – I use this app on my phone all the time, my daughter and I are connected when she sends me scripture images, it makes my heart melt.
Biblegateway – this is my go to online website for different bible version, there are other versions available, I love using this one.
Bible – I have two bibles that I go to all the time, and this is personal choice. I read the KJV and the Afrikaans 1933 translation. I do have an NIV Bible for easy reading.
Commentary – I prefer to only read a commentary after I have studied a book well. This gives me another perspective on what I have read and understood for myself.