A smorgasbord of tools are available to study the Bible. Here are a few to begin a journey of discovery.
We can take a broad brush approach and try to read it all in 3 months or one verse and meditate on it all week. Ask yourself questions as you read and write them down for later.
biblegateway.com has a wide selection of translations including some of the best available all for free
biblehub.com has an excellent lexicon giving the meanings of Greek and Hebrew words
The Text of Holy Scripture
A thought or story has a natural beginning and ending. This is called a pericope and is one of the best ways to study the Bible, a section at a time.
This can be dangerous if mishandled because the same word in different contexts can mean very different things. With that caution in mind, a host of topics can be researched throughout the Bible — computer programs with a word search function can help
If history fascinates you, there are many resources available which explain the cultural and historical background to the Scriptures.
theopedia.com has excellent sections on theology and church history. Theology is the study of God and asks important questions about our faith.
What is a sound Christian approach to ethical topics like abortion, alcohol, contraception, dancing, gambling, sex and war?
Bible scholars have written various kinds of commentaries ranging from very simple ones like the free classics available at biblestudytools.com to the more in-depth but also expensive ones in print such as the New International Commentary or the Word Biblical Commentary.
Hebrew and Greek
There are plenty of free websites which teach Bible languages. Go deep or get a great sense of accomplishment just learning the alphabets.
Early Christian History
ccel.org has thousands of books from early church history for free. You will be amazed at the incredible amount of information from the early church fathers
Experts agree that a healthy approach must include two simple steps: extract and apply — ask A) what was the original meaning and B) how do we apply that today?
Steps to Study
A) Extract the meaning (the exegesis):
1) Pray and read the passage in several translations, in Greek or Hebrew with an interlinear translation if you want a real challenge
2) Read some creditable commentaries to see what experts say — if there are several points of view, ask why
3) Look up any words that may be unclear or interesting
4) Explore some of the history and culture of the times around the text
5) Ask where the good news of Jesus is in the text
B) Apply the lesson (the hermeneutic):
6) Prayerfully look for applications in daily life
7) Meditate on the passage all day long