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How to Use the S.O.A.P. Bible Study Method

This post is part of the Discover Deeper Devotions series.

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Today we are covering a Bible study method that is fairly new to me as I just learned about it in the last couple years. I have found that the S.O.A.P. Bible study Method is quite popular among many groups of women. While I haven’t used it much in the past, I will be utilizing it to participate in the Advent study by Good Morning Girls. Because of this, I thought it would be a good time to cover it. I hope you find it helpful.

The Purpose

The S.O.A.P. Bible Study Method is useful for gleaning a basic understanding of the text you are reading and finding immediate practical application. Because of it’s simplicity, it is a great method to use for quiet times, especially if you are a bit short on time.

The Tools

  • Bible
  • Notebook
  • Pen

The Method

Scripture

Write the verses you read (or the verses that stick out to you if reading a larger passage) word for word in your notebook. You can also write out an additional paraphrase in your own words for greater contemplation.

Observation

As you read through the verses again, pen any information and truths that you find in the text. You can do bullet points or a paragraph. Asking questions (such as Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?) can help you gain deeper insight and help you avoid skimming over verses.

Application

Once you have identified the important lessons you have learned from the Scriptures you read, you can discern how to apply what God has revealed to you in your personal life. What area of thinking or doing needs a change of direction? Ultimately, the result of studying God’s Word should be transformation, a change in nature or character.

Prayer

Write out a prayer based on what you just learned, reiterating what you observed and asking Him to help you apply the truths to your life. Of course, if you don’t want to write your prayer out, you don’t have to. However, it can often be quite helpful in staying focused and avoid distractions.

To help you remember these steps, I have created a free printable for you. The PDF includes two half-page cheat sheets so they are (hopefully!) small enough to fit in your journal or Bible.

soap study method image{Click here to download printable}

While this method may not be quite as in-depth as some of the other methods we have looked at in this series, I have found it to be a great one to use for short morning devotions. I personally would not want to use it exclusively since it doesn’t cross-reference texts, but I believe it is a practical tool for learning how to quickly read and apply Scripture in practical ways.

Have you used the S.O.A.P. method before?

 

 

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About Jenni Mullinix

Jenni is a writer who passionately strives to encourage and equip Christian women to live for the glory of God by fulfilling their call in every season of life. She is happily married to the love of her life and delights in being a stay-at-home mama. She is fascinated with all things domestic and strives to live a life of Gospel-centered simplicity. In her free time, she enjoys deep conversations, decaf lattes and diving into a good book. Read more...

Comments

  1. Jenni: Really appreciate this whole series. I hadn’t heard of this specific method but I’m totally in need of something fresh in my quiet times… a new way to study & I love how simple this is! I’ll let you know how I do ;) thanks for your encouragement, as always. pinning!
    - lauren
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  2. Hi Jenni! I have never heard of this method before, but the first step caught my eye. I love to write out Scripture, and I found a tool to help me do this in a more organized manner. It’s called the Journible . This little diary of sorts gives me room to copy the Scripture verse by verse, and on the other side of the page, I can then make notes, do my observations or simply write out my thoughts and prayers about the verse. So, apparently, I already SOAP! =)

    I find myself going back through these beautiful books to re-read my notes and add new ones after hearing a sermon or talking about a certain passage. I hope that one day my son will want to look through how his momma has been growing during all my years of Bible study. And of course, you could easily make your own journal-Bible with a pretty notebook or hardback journal.

    I love this series, too! Thank you for sharing!! ~Jenni
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  3. I tried out the SOAP method this past spring, and really enjoyed it. Sad to say, life got busy and I stopped the journaling part, but I still use the outline as a basis for digging deeper as I read. Thanks for sharing it!

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