HOW TO READ

Summary

  • Recognize it as God’s Word to you
  • Ask yourself questions on what it means
  • Read the main stories first
  • Read each passage in context
  • Study with others

The Ethiopian asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”

(Acts 8:34-35)

 

Reading the Bible can be an intimidating task, especially when you get into some of the more difficult areas of Scripture. But the basic story is not hard to follow. The more you understand the main story, the easier it will be to see how the rest of the Bible fits into it. There are courses available to help you dig deeper into scripture, but here are a few quick helps

  1. Recognize it as God’s Word to you

Read the Bible not as another book, but as God himself writing to you. If things do not match your understanding or the viewpoints of the world, accept what you read as more knowledgeable because it is from God whose ways and insights are much higher than ours.

 

  1. Ask yourself questions of what it means and how to apply it

The Bible is not just to give you information and facts but to impact your life. As you read, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What is God teaching me about himself?
  • What is God revealing about me and my world?
  • What gift and blessing is he wanting to give me?
  • How should I apply this to my daily life?

 

  1. Read the main stories first

Some of the Bible gets into technical aspects of the worship life of the Israelites. Some prophesies are best understood with a knowledge of what was happening at that time. It may be easiest for you to stick with the basic stories first. A place to start might be in reading the following books first:

  • To understand the main story: Genesis, Exodus, Luke, Acts
  • For deeper understanding of forgiveness through Jesus: Romans, Galatians, Hebrews
  • To grasp how to live your life: Ephesians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 John.
  • For devotional encouragement or direction: Psalms, Proverbs,

 

  1. Read each passage in its own context

Oftentimes people are misquoted by taking their words out of context. The same is true about the Bible. It is important to take into consideration the main message the author is trying to get across in that section of scripture. It is helpful to understand the original setting and situation of the people. Above all it is important to take into consideration the whole context of the Bible – the main message that we have sinned and fallen short of his design, we are accountable to God whose justice demands punishment, but we are declared not guilty, forgiven, and accepted and have a place in heaven because of what Jesus has done for us.

 

  1. Study with others who have a deeper knowledge of Scriptures

All the points above are good reasons also to find a partner or group to study with. Those who know more or have greater insights can share with those who are still learning. You may also want to turn to some trustworthy authors who have written more deeply on the section you read. The additional insights will expand your understanding and application.