Reading the Bible
- Pray to God for wisdom to accept and understand His Word (Jam 1:5; Mat
- Believe the Bible was written for your personal investigation and
instruction in divine ways (2Ti 3:16; Rom 15:4; 1Co 10:11).
- Read carefully
every chapter in the book or letter to become familiar with the terms, people,
situations, and teachings. Thorough reading is indispensable in obtaining a good
working knowledge of the text.
- Allow the text to explain itself. Often the
explanation of a situation or symbol or event is given in the immediate context
of the verse(s) under consideration.
- Use clear, simple passages to aid in
unraveling the meaning of less clear, more complex passages.
- Follow up the
OT and NT cross-references, which can be especially enlightening; but make sure
the context is the same.
- Determine what Scripture meant to the initial
readers. Correctly understanding the historical meaning and application is
necessary to determine if there is an appropriate application to your
- Be consistent in your interpretation. The same event or symbol in the
same or similar context should probably yield the same instruction or lesson.
Any conclusion should be in harmony with previous
- Consult other books and
commentaries for their suggestions and conclusions. But make sure that your
research is objective and critical, without blind acceptance or
- Discuss your own conclusions with others, attending Bible
classes/seminars/schools in order to exchange information. You should be willing
to change your thinking if something better is demonstrated from the Bible --
after all, you are looking for Truth.
- Realize that Bible study is a means to
an end, not an end in itself. God is looking for your humble obedience, not just
your intellectual development.
- Remember that understanding the gospel of God
is meant to lead you to a life worthy of the Lord and to bear fruit for His
glory (Phi 1:27; Eph 4:1; 1Th 2:12; Col 1:6; Rom 7:4; Joh 15:2).