Discover more from The Inklings
Bible Study in Our Digital Age
How To Use Note Taking Apps To Supercharge Your Bible Study
Bible study is an important aspect in the life of every Christian. It’s not enough to only read the Bible and hope that the knowledge of God gets into our brain.
Paul tells us in his second letter to Timothy to study and the same instruction applies to us.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)
In our current age, we have many tools to assist us in our Bible study. Along with a rich history of Christian thinkers to learn from. So how do we use these tools and resources effectively to make the most what God has graced us with?
Four Steps To Deeper Bible Study
We can not learn what the Bible says without reading the Bible for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with listening to podcasts or watching videos on theological topics, but we must read the word of God for ourselves.
The more time we spend reading God’s word, the less chance we have of deception from false teaching or a false teacher. As you spend time in the Bible, your understanding of theological matters will change and confirm to the truth as God had revealed.
I believe the reason for this change is that of spiritual maturity. This maturity opens our eyes to deeper meanings of the text, even if we have read that same passage before. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought to myself, “how did I miss that last time!” It’s all because of spiritual maturity and growing in the faith.
This growth does not happen without reading the word of God.
First, we need a tool to capture the ideas and insights exposed to us while reading the Bible. This can be as simple as a pen and paper but, since this is about digital, there are tools we can use that will make recall and organization much easier.
The software I use is called Logseq.
Its format is of a bulleted list, so everything is in an outline format. If you don’t like outlines or would rather have the option to use a document format, check out Obsidian.
Both Logseq and Obsidian can achieve the result of effective Bible study when used properly. In each program, you can link notes together, search notes, and all the files you generate stay on your computer or mobile device.
For the rest of this post, I’ll be talking in relation to Logseq. It’s the program I use for my personal life, work life, the Stoic Christian project, and Bible study.
I have used Obsidian in the past, but it’s been months since I used it and can not guide you in the specifics. But the community around Obsidian is large and you should be able to find answers to your specific questions online.
Taking and Linking Notes
This is the bread and butter of Bible study in our digital age. As we read the Bible, we will have thoughts pop up. When this happens, take the time to write this thought into Logseq.
Just plop it down on the default journal page the app gives you. We want to minimize the friction so we don’t lose focus on the scripture we are reading. While making it as easy as possible to create the habit of taking notes as we read the Bible.
After you write your note, tag it with the book, chapter, and verse that gave this thought life. When I do this, I format the tag like, `Bible/Joshua/1/1`. The `/` in a Logseq page name denotes a relationship and the app will show the hierarchy at the bottom of that page.
Once you have the note and the verse tagged, move on and continue your reading. Take more notes in the same way as thoughts arise, repeating as often as necessary.
Now you must integrate those notes deeper into your system. At a later time, say that evening before bed, go over all your notes from the past day and add more tags.
If you have a note about the God dividing the water of Jordan in two, similar to what He did with Moses, you may tag `miracle`, `Moses`, etc. The key when adding tags (other than the bible verse) is to think about the context in which you will want to find this note again.
A Quick Tip on Tagging:
When thinking of what words to use as tags for a note, find at the object of that note. The default thought is to tag a note with a topic that it fits within, but this is too general. The object of the note is specific to that note and much more useful when searching for content.
The [[Israelites]] walked on dry land when crossing Jordan. Just as their fathers did when crossing the Red Sea as Moses led them out of Egypt. [[Bible/Joshua/13/17]]
In this example, I have Israelites linked in this note along with the Bible verse. I could also have linked Moses, but since the object of this note is the Israelites, I left a link to Moses out.
As you can tell, this is a matter of how much you want to link, what you prefer to link, and what context you think you’ll need this later. But always be sure to create at least one link when reviewing all of your notes for that day.
Finally, we generate new ideas and connections from the notes we take.
As you use this system, you will create an enormous collection of notes. You’ll want to build in structure but, as crazy as it may sound, don’t! Let one emerge over time from the links you add to each note. The more notes you take, the more connections you will find.
Use these new connections to write papers, plan a group Bible study, or create content online. The best part about this system is that you can use this for any note, not just notes from your personal Bible study.
Read a theology book, watch a video, or heard something interesting in a podcast? Take notes and add them to this system as well. This will create more connections to your Bible study notes and more connections means deeper understanding as time goes on.
Attention: My Brother in Christ
Do you want...
To put an end to relapsing?
To jumpstart your Christian growth?
To learn how to be more productive?
Join the Stoic Christian Fellowship Today and
Become The Man God Calls You To Be.