There are many ways to study God's Word 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 of God.
This simple method offers a structured and adaptable approach to Bible study, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced readers of Scripture.
It encourages a thoughtful and reflective engagement with the Bible, promoting not only understanding but also personal growth and spiritual development.
It's a method that fosters a deeper connection between individuals and the sacred texts they hold dear.
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What is a Soap Method of Bible Study?
The SOAP acronym refers to a simple Bible study method used by Christians of all ages and stages of learning the Bible.
It is a organized way to focus on one verse or bible passage at a time.
What does SOAP Mean? SOAP stands for:
- S stands for Scripture
- O stands for Observation
- A stands for Application
- P stabds for Prayer
Overall, the SOAP method of Bible study is a great way to really dive into a verse of Scripture and gain a better understanding of how to apply it to your life.
The first step in the SOAP method is to select a specific passage or verse from the Bible to study.
This could be a verse that stands out to the reader, a passage of scripture related to a particular topic, or part of a daily Bible reading plan.
Writing down the chosen scripture is an important part of this step because it is the most effective way to remember it!
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.
The second step is to carefully observe and analyze the chosen scripture. This involves asking questions about the text, considering its context within the larger narrative, and identifying key themes, words, or phrases.
Observations can range from understanding the historical and cultural background to noticing literary devices or repeated motifs.
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?
The next step is to reflect on how the scripture applies to your life today. It's about making a personal connection between scripture and the actual things you are going through in your life.
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?
The final step in the SOAP method is prayer. It's a moment for readers to communicate with God, sharing their thoughts, feelings, and insights related to the scripture they've studied.
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.
SOAP Bible Study Example
Ok, now that we understand the importance of each step, let’s take a verse and study it together.
Below is a SOAP Bible study example using Romans 8:28.
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.
See how these simple steps make this such an excellent tool for studying the Word of God?
This is a great method for both personal study time as well as a group study.
The SOAP method not only promotes understanding but also encourages spiritual growth.
Through prayer and reflection, it fosters a deeper connection with God, helping individuals develop a more profound and meaningful relationship with their faith.
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
A SOAP Bible Study printable worksheet is a great starting point for getting started. Instead of having to remember what each letter stands for, they have specific areas for each of the letters and actions.
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 Bible study free 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.
SOAP Journal App
Let’s be honest, most of us are glued to a mobile device of some sort for many hours throughout the day.
Our smart phones offer practical ways to help us to stay on track in our daily life so why not use 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?
Here are some additional ways to go about your Bible study time:
If studying the Bible better is on your list of things to do this year, be sure to visit our Bible Study Resources page where you'll find everything you need to make Bible study a regular part of your daily routine.
The Bible is a complex and multifaceted text, and understanding its message requires thoughtful study. A simple method for your Bible study time helps you approach the text in a simple and more organized manner.
Overall, the SOAP method of study is a great tool for both new Christians as well as those who just want to refresh their knowledge.
It's popularity can be attributed to its simplicity, structure, practicality, and adaptability.
It resonates with individuals seeking a systematic yet accessible approach to engage with the Bible, fostering deeper understanding, spiritual growth, and a more meaningful connection with God.