Keys for Bible Study

Discovering a Life-Giving Relationship with God

Reading the Bible is the best way to build a life-giving relationship with God. The Bible is like a letter from God to us, full of guidance, wisdom, and love. But how do you get started and make the most of your Bible study time? Let’s dive in and find out!

Why Read the Bible?

James 1:25 (Phillips) says, “The man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law, the law of liberty (or freedom), and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness.”

Reading the Bible helps us:

  1. Hear from God: Discover what God wants to say to you.
  2. Apply God’s Word: Use God’s teachings in your daily life.
  3. Share with Others: Tell others what you’ve learned from the Bible.

Finding the Right Bible Translation

One of the biggest reasons people stop reading the Bible is that they struggle with difficult translations. It’s important to find a translation that you can easily understand.

Bible Translations by Reading Level

Word for Word Translations

  • KJV – Level 12 (ages 17+)
  • NASB – Level 11 (ages 16+)
  • AMP – Level 11 (ages 16+)
  • ESV – Level 10 (ages 15+)
  • NABRE – Level 9 (ages 14+)
  • NKJV – Level 7 (ages 12+)

Thought for Thought Translations

  • NIV – Level 7 (ages 12+)
  • NLT – Level 6 (ages 11+)
  • GW – Level 5 (ages 10+)
  • CEV – Level 5 (ages 10+)
  • NCV – Level 3 (ages 7+)
  • NIRV – Level 3 (ages 7+)

Using Multiple Translations

Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV) says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Using different Bible translations can help you understand the meaning behind each verse better. There are two main methods of Bible translation:

  1. Word for Word: Translates each word from the original language to English. Great for detailed study but can be harder to read.
  2. Thought for Thought: Translates the overall message and meaning. Easier to read and understand.

By comparing multiple translations, you can get a fuller picture of what God is saying. No single translation captures God’s heartbeat perfectly for every verse, but together, they can provide a clearer understanding.

Tips for Studying the Bible

  1. Download the YouVersion Bible App: This app offers many translations for free. Find one that speaks to you.
  2. Set a Regular Time: Make Bible reading a habit by setting aside time each day.
  3. Pray Before You Read: Ask God to help you understand and apply His Word.
  4. Take Notes: Write down what stands out to you and how you can apply it to your life.
  5. Share with Others: Talk about what you’ve learned with friends or family.

Digging Deeper

For those who want to explore even more, Pastor Buzzy Sutherlin has created meditation manuals using over 300 different Bible translations for each verse. These resources can help you dive deeper into God’s Word.

Available Manuals for In-Depth Study (in PDF Form)

These manuals compare various translations to help you understand each book of the Bible more thoroughly.


Studying the Bible is a wonderful way to grow closer to God. By finding the right translation, using multiple versions, and applying what you learn, you can deepen your relationship with Him. So grab your Bible, find a cozy spot, and start your journey of discovery today. Happy reading, and may you be blessed!

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