Bible Study Methods – By Book

How to Study a Whole Book of the Bible


Welcome to this guide «Bible Study Methods: How to Study a Whole Book of the Bible.”

Studying a whole book of the Bible is very different than a traditional Bible study.

Usually, in a traditional Bible study, the goal is to break down a whole book into several smaller pieces.

These smaller chunks of text then become the focus of a weekly study, which can be digested and applied depending on the principles covered in each section.

Using a whole book approach, the goal is not to break a work down into individual parts, but to see the book as a complete unit, seeking to understand its overall contents, purpose and main themes.

Benefits of a Whole Book Study

Understanding the book as a whole provides you with two tremendous benefits in your understanding of Scripture:

  1. Individual passages within a book will make so much more sense when you understand the context of the whole book. This prevents you from taking passages out of context and misrepresenting their meaning.
  2. You will have a better sense for the larger story in the Bible and the grand themes in Scripture across a wide variety of biblical literature.

This helps to avoid a piece-meal, individual passage approach that we might have toward the Bible. Instead, we learn to see individual passages as part of books as part of testaments as part of the entire Bible.

How to Study a Whole Book of the Bible

The following procedure provides a step-by-step outline for studying a whole book of the Bible.

In order to really maximize this Bible study method, you should acquire or purchase a good study Bible and one of the following two Bible resources: 1) a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible or 2) a good Bible dictionary.

If you plan on doing more Bible studies in the future or you want to learn more about the Bible yourself, having all three resources in your library will be a big plus.

You can get more information on these resources and see some of my recommendations over on the Bible Study Tools page.

Steps for Studying a Whole Book of the Bible

Click on the links below to go to the desired step.

Step 1 – Read the Book Through In Its Entirety Several Times

This invaluable step allows you an uninterrupted, bird’s eye view of the general content of a book.  It will give you a sense for the flow of the book and its major themes.

Step 2 – Prepare Answers to Key Questions

In this step you are digging down a bit to uncover information about the author, date of writing, purpose of book and major themes.

Even better, searching for, finding and writing this information down will cement the content of the book like nothing else can.

Step 3 – Describe the Book In Your Own Words

In this final step, you write down your general impressions of the book and take a stab at some applications based on what you have learned.


Doing a whole book study is very different from most studies you have done.  Indeed, once you go through this type of study for a book, your study of individual passages will be so much richer.  This is because knowing the background and the major flow and themes of the book will help you immensely when you drill down to individual texts.

All of God’s blessings as you embark on this special study of individual books of the Bible.

P.S. To really enhance this study of a whole book of the Bible be sure to pick up the recommended resources on the side bar (or check out our Bible Study tools page).

You will not believe how much richer your study will be when you take advantage of the work that Christian scholars have already completed.

The resources are not just for seminary students, but for every Christian who desires to go deeper in their study of the Bible.