How to Do a Bible Word Study

How to Do a Bible Word Study (10+ Easy Steps, Tips, and Resources)

Have you always wanted to learn how to do a Bible word study? Maybe you are pursuing seminary school or just want to learn more about the Bible. Perhaps you are leading a small group or Bible study and want to be as helpful and educated as possible.

This article will walk you through 7 simple steps you need to follow to learn how to do a Bible word study. If this concept is new to you, there is no need to worry! This article will explain what a Bible word study is and why you should learn how to do a Bible word study.

Also included in this article are some dynamite tips that will assist you as you do further research to learn more about the Bible. Plus, many Bible resources are recommended. Quite a few are free options!

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What is a Bible Word Study?

A Bible word is one that is present in the Bible. Usually, this is a word or more than one word that is repeated or stands out. If you are doing a deep dive into the Bible, you will likely want to analyze just about every word. 

With a Bible word study, you can learn the meaning of a word in the Bible. Bible words are often also called keywords. With keywords in the Bible, you might wish to mark them in a specific way to have them stand out so that you are able to see how often the word is repeated.

How to Do a Bible Word Study

If you are participating in an inductive Bible study or doing verse mapping, you’ll likely want to or need to define specific words. You might also need to mark these words in a way that stands out to you. You do not have to make this a tedious task; have fun studying God’s Word!

Related: What is a Bible Study? (Learn What It’s All About)

Learning more about the Bible can be such an enriching thing to do! Don’t miss out!

Why You Need to Know How to Do a Bible Word Study

There are many reasons you will want to know how to do a Bible word study. Often, you just want to understand what the word means in the original language. Understanding its meaning will help you know the Bible better. Definitions can also help if you don’t know the English word.

If you have been called to write or teach the Bible, it’s a smart idea to understand how to do a Bible word study. Make sure you have a firm grasp on what you are reading, writing, and teaching, especially in the event that questions arise.

Knowing how to do a Bible word study can also help enhance a small Bible study group or your personal walk with God. Being able to grow in the Word of God will certainly improve your relationship with God on a daily basis.

Related: How to Build a Relationship with God (Easy Ways to Get Started)

Related: Why Study the Bible? (Learn the Big Reasons)

How to Do a Bible Word Study

The following steps should help you learn how to do a Bible word study. Dive in each step as you learn about the story of Jesus (found in the entire Bible) and how He saved us from the slavery of our sins! The Jesus Bible has this story laid out in a beautiful way!

#1. Decide on the word you will study.

You might pick the word because it is repeated in the passage that you are reading or studying. It could be that you see an unknown word that you want to understand. Additionally, you may want to know how to do a Bible word study for some type of homework you have.

The reason you want to know how to do a Bible word study should help you know which word you need to study.

#2. Know which language the word is in.

The majority of the Old Testament in the Bible is written in Hebrew. The New Testament is written in Greek. This information is important as you look up the Bible word in the original language. You do not need to know Greek or Hebrew, but you’ll want to know which it is.

#3. Understand context.

Often, words in the Bible have more than one meaning. Be sure to study the context. Context can be revealed by reading the text of the Bible word. You might want to read the chapters before or after the passage you are reading so that you can understand the meaning better.

#4. Decide which way you will look it up.

There are many ways to look up a Bible keyword. There are Bible study applications (Blue Letter Bible, Bible Hub, or the Inductive Bible Study application) that you can use online or as an app on your smartphone.

With electronic sources or applications, you pretty much do the word studies in the same way. Enter the scripture reference (Bible verse) where you found the keyword. Look up that particular verse (if possible) and select the Interlinear option. 

With the Bible Hub, the information is at the bottom of the screen (online). With the Blue Letter Bible and IBS application, it might not have that exact word defined. You will often need to look up the Bible verse in the translation you are using (if possible).

An additional way to look up words is by using the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. You do not have to use a specific translation, but it will be easiest to use the study Bible that matches the translation you are required to use or that you are studying as a preference.

Find the passage in the Bible or application that you are using. Determine the Strong’s Number (also attainable with Strong’s Concordance) that is assigned to that word. This will lead you to the back of the Key Word Study Bible so that you can look it up.

How to Do a Bible Word Study

The reason you can’t just look up the word in the back of the books like you would if you were just reading a dictionary is that most Greek or Hebrew words have more than one meaning. 

This can vary based on where you find the word (New Testament or Old Testament) and can vary based on where the word is found in the Bible. The all-inspired Bible does things the way it does for a reason. For example, “love” has many different definitions, depending on the context.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

#5. Learn more from other Bible passages.

Cross-reference verses or “other” Bible passages can help you further understand the word you are hoping to learn more about. Just make sure you are looking up the same word in both cases. Often, when you learn the definition, additional verses that use that word are given.

Use these verses or the definitions to learn more synonyms, which will only help you understand the Bible word better. Related words and definitions should be recorded or written down for further analysis. It’s also recommended that you put down the resource where you got it.

#6. Read trusted commentaries on the subject (optional).

Commentaries can be found in separate volumes or a single Bible commentary. My favorites are mentioned in the How to Build a Bible Library article, along with links you can use to purchase them! If you own a study Bible, it will have additional commentary notes in the footnotes.

#7. Write down the definitions and personal conclusions.

If you record what you learn about a Bible word in your own words, you will better understand the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the Bible verse that you are studying.

Tips on How to Do a Bible Word Study Successfully

The following tips have helped me when I learned how to do a Bible word study the right way. It always takes practice to learn something new, so be sure to give yourself grace.

Tip #1 – Keep realistic expectations. 

Do not think that you need to understand or even know the original language.

Tip #2 – Watch out for rabbit trails.

Word studies can easily lead one to distractions. You might spend forever on the word study if you really get into it. Be cautious about your time constraints.

Tip #3 – Aim for a purpose.

Why are you doing the Bible word study? Are you seeking to apply this information to your life, understand the Bible word better, or discover your spiritual purpose using this Bible word? Maybe you just want to understand the Bible better. Knowing your purpose will help you along.

Tip #4 – Allow yourself permission to look outside the Bible for clarity.

Many of the resources provided in this article will help you understand the Bible better. Don’t be afraid to look to outside sources, but be wary of any that contradict the Bible or your established values or beliefs. It is good to challenge those from time to time, but do so with caution.

Tip #5 – Always pray when doing a Bible word study.

Praying for the Lord to reveal His purpose for the word can greatly help you. If you do not know how to pray, check out the many FREE prayer cards located in our Shop!

Bonus Bible Word Study Resources

The following resources might help you as you learn how to do a Bible word study, but be sure to check out the resources mentioned earlier as well as the tips and steps on how to do a Bible word study. You do not need to purchase every resource listed. Find what works for you.

How to Do a Bible Word Study

Please do not spend a lot of money if you do not have it to share! Use one of the FREE resources (many are listed here) before purchasing something. 

Additionally, you can find great bargains at ThriftBooks and ChristianBook! Listed below are links to websites and Amazon products.

  • Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (NASB) – This is a version I have used many times when taking Precept Ministries classes or various Bible studies.
  • Complete Word Study Bible – I would LOVE to have this one and add it to my collection! I cannot wait to check it out further. This would be a great resource to have! This one just covers the New Testament. They do have an Old Testament version.
  • Interlinear New Testament – This is one I have not had the opportunity to check out, so I do not wish to recommend a certain version. If you have details on this resource, be sure to get in touch with us!
  • An Exhaustive Bible Concordance – This is Strong’s. I do have and love my Strong’s Concordance. If you go to this link to check it out, it will show you the inside for further review! This is definitely a resource worth having in your Bible library!!
  • Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary – I would love to know if anyone has this resource. It looks like it is quite a valuable one (and affordable for what it is).
  • Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary – This is one I hope to add to my Bible Reference Library soon, but I don’t know much about it!
  • Logos – This is a resource I have yet to explore, but I have heard many great things. I believe it does cost a bit, but if you are in seminary school or study the Bible in-depth, I have heard it is well worth the price!
  • Olive Tree – This Bible software is quite impressive!! They do have an app for your smartphone, as well.
  • Blue Letter Bible – This is a resource that will most certainly help you as you learn how to do a Bible word study. When I am doing my in-depth Bible study or writing Bible studies or articles, I use BLB. Blue Letter Bible also has a smartphone app.
  • eSword – This is a FREE Bible software resource that I highly recommend. It is full of different versions of the Bible, dictionaries, parallel Bibles, sermons, and so much more!
  • Bible Study Tools – This is another FREE invaluable resource. The website or smartphone app has dictionaries, concordances, Bible studies, Bible reading plans, commentaries, an Interlinear Bible, encyclopedias, and more!!

There are, of course, other resources out there, but this list should get you started!

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Final Thoughts on How to Do a Bible Word Study

If this is your first time learning how to do a Bible word study, please let us know which resources helped you and how your first time went! We’d love to share this journey with you as you learn more about the Bible and the original language in which it was written.

If you have not checked out our other Bible study articles, be sure to get into them. After all, we have many FREE resources in the Shop that will help you with your Bible study. Maybe you know of a resource that did not make the list. Please share that information with us!

We love helping others and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any way that we can! If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with friends and family or on social media. Sharing is caring!!

God bless you on your journey to learn more about the Bible!

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