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REAP Bible Study Method

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REAP (Read, Examine, Apply, and Pray) Bible Study Method


As you open your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to teach, correct, and train you (2 Timothy 3:16).  As you read, your goal in this step is just to observe what the passage(s) say. Questions you’ll want to ask yourself at this point are:

  • What is happening in what I’m reading?
  • Is there anything that’s emphasized, repeated, or related in this passage?
  • What are the key words or phrases?
  • Is there cause and effect or compare and contrast language used?
  • Answer the basic who, what, when, where, why, and how questions?  Knowing the author, audience, and setting is important.
  • Spend time on this step, looking closely at words, grammar, sentence structure, and more.


Spend some time digging into the passage to determine what it means.  You will take what you learned above to help you interpret what the author intended for the people they wrote it to.  Your goal at this point in the process is understanding. Examples of the questions you’ll ask as you examine are:

  • What do I learn about God?
  • What do I learn about people?
  • How should I relate to God?
  • How does this passage fit with other passages in the Bible?
  • You’ll also ask very specific questions, usually around What? Why? and So What?

Take Luke 2:1-21 as an example:

  • What kind of authority is Luke concerned about? What was a “governor”? What power did Caesar possess?
  • Why is Luke concerned about power? Why did Caesar make a decree?  Why were the shepherds fearful?
  • So what does this mean about who has ultimate authority?  So what should we expect when Jesus is in conflict with the world?
  • Apply

After you’ve spent time reading and examining, you’ll translate what you’ve learned into application for your own life.  If you stop before this step, you’ll gain knowledge, but remember that our goal in reading Scripture is a transformed life. The kinds of questions you will ask as you apply are:

  • What does God want me to understand, think, and believe?
  • How do I need to repent?  
  • What does God want me to do with what I’ve learned?
  • What should be happening in me and what should be the outward results?
  • What can I do – empowered by the Holy Spirit – to apply this passage today?

You’ll want to formulate a main idea and then formulate specific application… let’s look at Luke 2 again:

  • Main Idea:  Jesus was sent to save the low and rule them graciously.  This is how He is glorified.
  • “I will put off selfishness and put on humility by…"
  • “I will be intentional in the way I love others by…”
  • “I will show others the gospel by…”


Take the time to pray through the passage and specifically about your application.  Ask God, through the Holy Spirit and because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to change your heart and life.  Ask Him to use the Bible, His Word, to transform you.

Who will you share this with?  A really good way to learn and apply the Bible is to share it with someone else.  They might help you in the process or understanding or help to hold you accountable in your areas of application.


At a glance

REAP Bible Study Method

Read, Examine, Apply, and Pray