Bible Study Method: The Swedish Method

The Swedish Method is explained in David Helm’s book One to One Bible Reading. One of the strengths of the Swedish Method is the simplicity and adaptability for different biblical texts.

This method was not made for Swedish people only. However, it was created through a ministry worker who used it with a group of Swedish students. On pages 44-45 David Helm explains the Swedish Method as doing the following:

  1. Read the passage aloud.
  2. Each person then reads back over the passage on their own, and looks for three things:
    • A light bulb: anything that shines out in the passage and draws attention; it can be something important, or something that particularly strikes the reader.
    • A question mark: anything that is hard to understand; something that the reader would like to be able to ask the author about.
    • An arrow: anything that applies personally to the reader’s life.
  3. Each person should write down at least one thing and no more than three under each category. If you are preparing for you one-to-ne meeting in advance, then this constitutes the preparation. Each person should come to the meeting with at least one light bulb, one question mark, and one arrow from the passage. If you are not preparing, you will need to allow some time for each of you to read back through the passage and write down your light bulb, question mark and arrow. You will need to allow 5-10 minutes for this, depending on the length of the passage.
  4. You each share your light bulb/s, and discuss.
  5. You each share your question mark/s, and then do your best to work out answers together from the passage (although it doesn’t matter if you can’t find an answer).
  6. You each share your arrow/s, and discuss.
  7. You pray together about what you have learned.

I recommend trying this method out with a friend or someone that you think would benefit from reading the Bible with another person. This is also a method that could be put into practice with middle school or high school students!


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