What is the SOAP Method of Bible Study

There are many ways to study the Bible and it can be both fun and enlightening to try different ones.  The SOAP method of Bible study is an fun an interactive way to improve your study of the Word.

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What is a Soap Method of Bible Study?

SOAP is an acronym and is a organized way to focus on one verse or passage of scripture at a time. 

What does SOAP Mean?

  • S is for Scripture
  • O is for Observation
  • A is for Application
  • P is for Prayer

Overall, the SOAP method of Bible study is a great way to really dive into a a verse of Scripture and understand how to apply it to your life.


Scripture

Physically write the scripture out.  Slowing down and noticing each word that you write will help you focus on the verse and zero in on the specific wording.  It might be helpful to circle or underline various words and phrases. 

Observation

What did you observe as you wrote it?  What words stand out to you?  Who is the verse written to?  What are the circumstances surrounding the verse? 

This is a good place to look at your underlined words.  What do they mean?  Why did they stand out to you?  Is the Biblical definition different from today’s modern definition?

Application

How can you apply this verse to your life?  What is God trying to teach you with this passage?  How will studying this verse change the way you live or how you view things? 

Prayer

Pray the verse back to God.  If the verse reveals something that is not right in your heart, repent.  If the verse is an answer to prayer, thank God for meeting you. 

I encourage you to keep these personal studies.  Looking back on them is a wonderful way to watch how God answers prayers and works in our lives daily.

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SOAP Bible Study Example

Ok, now that we understand the importance of each step, let’s take a verse and study it together. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

  • Scripture – Write the verse down.  I often underline or circle words that stand out to me.  In this verse, I would underline good and purpose. 
  • Observation – We know that Romans was written to the church in Rome.  They endured persecution.  The verses prior tell about their current suffering and the effects sin has on creation.  Paul wants to encourage them by reminding them that God is working for them.  Looking back at my underlined words.  The definition of purpose is “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”
  • Application – What is God working out in your life?  Are you facing hard times as the Romans did and doubt is creeping in?  How can God take this difficult situation and turn it into something good?  Focusing on the word good, how might God’s good look different than mine? 
  • Prayer – Dear Lord, you know that I love you and wish to serve you in all areas of my life.  Please help me to be strong and believe that you have a plan and a purpose even when things are hard.

SOAP Bible Study Resources

While the concept behind SOAP Bible study method is simple, it can become lost in the shuffle of our busy lives.  How do you remain on track as you seek a deeper relationship with God and study His word? 

These journal templates, printables, and apps can help!


SOAP Bible Study Printables

You could use a notebook or pretty journal for your SOAP Bible studies or you can check out some of these sites that have lovely SOAP printables for you to use.

  • Hey Creative Sister has a single print out that has fun frames and would be easy to print a month’s worth at a time and put into a binder.
  • Arabah Joy has a two page printable that is clean, organized, and to the point.
  • Raise Your Sword has a two page printable.  I like that she included one page for the SOAP method and a second page for additional journaling.  I tend to be a woman of many words so an extra place to write my thoughts would be helpful to me.

SOAP Journal App

Let’s be honest, our phones help us to stay on track (or waste time lol) so why not a SOAP journal app? 

Both of these apps are available for Apple and Android users. I love how they provide a place for you to write your observations, application, and prayer.  It creates an easy way to look back and remember what God is teaching you as you go about your everyday activities.

How do you feel about the SOAP method of Bible study?  Do you find it easy to stick to and help you evaluate what you are reading? 

Be sure to test out other Bible Study Methods below!

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