Following are some suggestions:
(1) Read in a quiet, non-distracting environment. Find the best place possible and do your best to remove all distractions. I know a pastor who removed all of the bright colored covers from the books in his office, because they distracted him when he was trying to study. I make sure that I don’t have my laptop open so that I am distracted by photos that rotate by my screen saver. For a mother with a small child, that perhaps means waiting until the child is sleeping. Each individual has to examine his situation and plan his Bible reading/study time so he can get the most out of it.
(2) Turn off cell phone notifications. Put the phone in airplane mode.
(3) Pray for the Lord to help you to keep your mind on His Word. If you find your mind frequently wandering during Bible study, lay the matter before the Lord. Tell Him that you desire to grow in knowledge of Him and His Word, explain your problem to Him, and beseech Him to help you concentrate.
(4) If you are particularly worried about some matter, cast it upon the Lord (1 Pe. 5:7) and trust Him to take care of it for you, then turn your full attention to His Word. (
5) If other projects come to mind, write them down for later. This way, you can put them out of your mind for the time being and proceed with your study. If you get in the habit of allowing yourself to rush off and deal with other things as they come to mind, you will be crippled in your ability to study the Bible fruitfully.
(6) Put the Bible reading first before you do anything else in the day. I have found that if I start reading and studying other things first, replying to emails, etc., it is more difficult to concentrate on the Bible later.
(7) If your mind drifts, go back and read the passage again. It is better to read one verse with clear understanding than to read an entire chapter with the mind drifting to other things.
(8) Sometimes it helps to read out loud.
(9) A larger print Bible can also help with concentration because it is easier to read and the pages of the Bible are not as cluttered.
(10) Try not to read the Bible when you are tired. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, and it is better to read the Bible when you are tired than not at all. But the wise Bible student will try to arrange his schedule in such a way that he can study the Scriptures when his mind is as fresh as possible.
(11) Test your comprehension by reading Bible passages and have a friend ask questions from the passage. Following are some examples of this. A passing grade is 70%, but you should aim for 100%.
TESTS OF READING COMPREHENSION
Read Acts 16:1-5 and answer these questions: (1) Paul came to what two cities? Answer: Derbe and Lystra. (2) What was Timothy’s mother’s nationality? Answer: Jew. (3) What was his father’s nationality? Answer: Greek. (4) As they went through the cities, what did they do? Answer: Delivered the decrees from the apostles at Jerusalem. (5) What were the two consequences of this? Answer: The churches were established in the faith and increased daily.
Read Acts 16:11-15 and answer these questions: (1) From what city did he depart? Answer: Troas. (2) What chief city did he reach? Answer: Phillipi. (3) It was the chief city of what territory? Answer: Macedonia. (4) What day of the week did they first meet Lydia? Answer: Sabbath. (5) What was she doing and where? Answer: Praying by a river. (6) What was her occupation? Answer: seller of purple. (7) What did God do for her? Answer: opened her heart. (8) After happened after she believed? Answer: She was baptized. (9) What did she do then? Answer: She invited Paul and Silas to stay in her house.
Read Numbers 22-24 and answer these questions: (1) Where was Israel when Balak called Balaam? Answer: “plains of Moab over against Jericho” (22:1). (2) How many messengers did Balaak send to Balaam? Answer: Bible doesn’t say. (3) Balak was the son of whom? Answer: Zippor (22:16). (4) What three things did God say to Balaam the first time? Answer: “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed” (22:12). (5) What two things did Balaam do when Balak sent more representatives? Answer: He said he could not do nothing beyond God’s Word if Balak gave him his house full of silver and gold, and he told them to tarry for the night while he might know what God would say to him (22:18-19). (6) What did the ass see that frightened it? Answer: an angel (22:25, 27). (7) Where did Balaam offer sacrifices the first time? Answer: “high places of Baal” (22:41). (8) How many altars did Balaam build each time he tried to curse Israel? Answer: “seven” (23:1). (9) What was the third place where Balak brought Balaam to curse Israel? Answer: “Peor” (23:28).(10) What two metaphors did Balaam use to describe the Messiah? Answer: star, scepter (24:17).
Read Deuteronomy 28 and answer these questions: (1) What did Israel have to do to have God’s blessings? Answer: Keep His commandments. (2) What are two things that this prophecy says about rain? Answer: If Israel obeyed, God would give the rain; if Israel disobeyed God would withhold the rain. (3) What is the first thing that God says about Egypt in this prophecy? Answer: If Israel disobeyed, God would give them the diseases of Egypt. (4) What does God say about Israel’s sons and daughters if Israel disobeys? Answer: they will be given to another people. (5) God said if Israel disobeyed she would be scattered among the nations and would be _________ among all nations? Answer: An astonishment, a proverb, and a byword. (6) If Israel disobeyed what would happen to their economy? Answer: Strangers would lend to them; they would be borrowers and debtors. (7) God said a nation would come upon Israel from afar as swift as what? Answer: An eagle. (8) What shocking thing would happen when Israel’s cities are besieged? Answer: They will eat their own children. (9) If Israel disobeyed, God would rejoice over them to do what? Answer: To destroy them. (10) If Israel disobeyed, she would dwell among the nations in what condition? Answer: fear, sorrow.
Read Joshua 6 and answer these questions: (1) Israel compassed the city of Jericho how many times each day the first six days? Answer: Once. (2) Who went before the priests with the trumpets? Answer: The armed men. (3) Who went after the priests with the trumpets? Answer: The priest bearing the ark. (4) How many priests blew the trumpets? Answer: Seven. (5) The trumpets were made of what? Answer: Ram’s horns. (6) How many times did the people shout the first six days? Answer: None. (7) When did they rise the seventh day? Answer: About dawn. (8) What person out of Jericho was saved alive with her family? Answer: Rahab. (9) What things of Jericho were to be consecrated unto the Lord? Answer: Silver, gold, vessels of brass and iron. (10) What did Israel do to Jericho after the occupants were killed? Answer: Burned it. (11) What curse did Joshua pronounce against any man who rebuilds Jericho? Answer: His firstborn would die with the laying of the foundation and his youngest son with the setting up of the gates.
Read Joshua 7 and answer these questions: (1) Who committed the sin against God? Answer: Achan. (2) What city were they unable to defeat because of the sin? Answer: Ai. (3) What did they do in first attempting to capture this city that shows they were being careless and self-sufficient? Answer: They said they only needed part of their soldiers to conquer it. (4) How many Israelites went against the city the first time? Answer: About 3,000. (5) What did Joshua pray afterwards that shows he was doubting God? Answer: He asked why God had brought them over Jordan to deliver them into the hand of the Amorites. (6) What three kinds of materials did the sinning man take from Jericho? (3 points) Answer: gold, silver, a Babylonian garment. (7) The sinning man was of what tribe? Answer: Judah. (8) What did Israel do to this man? Answer: Stoned him and burned him. (9) What happened to this man’s family? Answer: They were also stoned and burned. (10) What is the name of the place where this judgment occurred? Answer: The valley of Achor. (12 correct answers, 8.33 points per answer)
Read Joshua 8 and answer these questions: (1) What is the first thing God said to Joshua to encourage him for the second attack on Ai? Answer: He told him to fear not. (2) How many of the Israelite men of war were to go against Ai? Answer: All of them. (3) What was different about God’s instructions pertaining to the spoil of Ai as compared with the spoil of Joshua? Answer: The people were allowed to have the spoil of Ai. (4) On what two sides of the city did the two groups of ambushers lie in wait? (2 points) Answer: behind (south) and west. (5) How many men were in each group of ambushers? (2 points) Answer: 30,000 and 5,000. (6) Joshua attacked the city from what side? Answer: the north. (7) How many of the men of Ai pursued after Joshua? Answer: All of them. (8) What did Israel do to Ai after the people were killed? Answer: They burned it. (9) When was Ai rebuilt? Answer: Never. (10) What did Israel do to the king of Ai? Answer: Killed him and hung him on a tree. (11) After conquering Ai, Israel went to what two mountains? (2 points) Answer: Ebal and Gerizim. (12) What three things did Joshua do there according to Joshua 8? (3 points) Answer: Built an altar to the LORD and offered sacrifices; wrote a copy of the law of Moses on the stones; read all the words of the law to the people. (16 correct answers, 6.25 points per answer)
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Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials