This is a handout that we got in my Institute class yesterday. (It's Brother Brown's New Testament class at the U of U Institute of Religion.) His favorite ones have the numbers in bold. He said "If something else works for you, keep doing it and add it to the list. If it works, it's good."
HOW TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES
1. Pray and ask for specific spiritual guidance.
2. Listen and be sensitive to spiritual promptings.
3. Limit the scripture block to just a few verses and don't be afraid to go slowly.
4. Have a good attitude. Approach the scripture block as if there was a special message from the Lord just for you and then study and ponder to find it.
5. Use the new LDS version of the scriptures and the study helps. [Note for readers who are not LDS: we use the King James Version of the Bible; we just have footnotes and a topical guide and index, etc.]
6. RSVP - Especially visualize. Let the words paint pictures and images in your mind. [ RSVP = Read, Study, Visualize, and Ponder]
7. Focus on: Words - look them up and read all definitions for context.
Phrases - ponder and try to understand meanings.
Lists - look for and number the lists you find.
8. Ask questions and study to find answers (who, what, how, why, when, and where).
9. Focus on principles and doctrines; if/then relationships.
10. Look for symbols and ponder the characteristics of the symbols used.
11. Thus/therefore relationships; connecting words.
12. Look for Christ in everything you read.
13. Use other scripture sources and the teachings of the living prophets to clarify.
14. Try to study at the same time and in the same place each day. Develop a habit of scripture study.
15. Look for themes and story lines. Note protagonists and antagonists and watch for comparisons.
16. Put yourself in the scripture and ask questions like: How would I feel? What would I do? etc.
17. Read out loud occasionally and write down what you discover.
18. Share what you discover. Mark and annotate your scriptures.
19. Study cultural applications.
20. Ponder and meditate about what you've read -- this is when the Spirit will guide you.