How to Read the Bible Tips

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The Three Steps to Reading the Bible

Studying the Bible and learning what it has to say is one of the most important endeavors any Christian can undertake. It can also be one of the most overwhelming.

Don't be discouraged, however. Studying the Bible is much simpler than you've been led to believe.

There are three main steps to learning to study the Bible.

1. Observation - Your first task is to see only what the passage you are reading is saying. Look for nuances in what is being said. Be careful of reading into a passage what YOU think it means, as this can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, just look for what the topic, setting, style of literature, etc. are.

2. Interpretation - This is the hardest part. Again, you are not trying to figure out what the passage means to you, but what the passage meant when the people it was written to read it. Keep in mind that the Bible was written to people thousands of years ago, and that their understanding and sensibilities were different from our modern ones.

3. Application - Take what the writer was writing to those people thousands of years ago and apply the concepts to your life. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for us when we understand what it meant in the first place. Figure out what the Bible has to say to you, and then go out and put it into practice.

And that, in a nutshell, is all Bible study is. Pretty simple, huh?

   

Using Observation to Help You Study the Bible

One of the primary elements in Bible study is observation. Literally, this just means that you take the time to simply see what is in a passage or book that you are studying.

Start with the 5 W's:

Who? Determine who was involved in what was written, who wrote it, who the author wrote it too, etc.

Where? Where is all of this taking place? What do I know about the setting? What do I know about where it was written?

When? When was the book written? When did the events written in the book take place? What was different about that time period from today?

What? What is happening in the passage? What is being written about it? What is the background? What events are taking place around the action? What does the author say about everything?

and Why? Why is this important to the author? What was this passage written? Why is it where it is in the book? Why does it matter?

Use these questions to help you start your Bible study, and watch your understanding and retention jump up astronomically.

   
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Lynne Christen