How to read the Bible? And to understand?
We are going to give you assistance in Bible reading. Reading the Bible is a serious business, not what one does in an instance. With the conscious sin of Adam, who knowingly ate from the God-forbidden fruit, sin entered into the world. Result, God took away the spirit of Adam and Eve and so came to an end their direct communication with God. In the Old Testament, sometimes temporarily the spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) fulfilled the prophets, judges and some kings. This was always temporary and never permanent, because sin was standing in the way. Only after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ (removing of sin), His resurrection from the dead and after Pentecost, the Holy Spirit could enter (live) in the believer. That means that anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as his or her personal Saviour, directly receives the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Thus, the believer turns into a temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19) and he/she is again able to communicate with God the Father and Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 10:12).
We need perseverance to do the will of God (Hebrews 10:35-38) and to read the Bible daily.
The Bible is God's way of communication with the believer. By means of reading the Bible daily, we discover what the will of God is. However despite that the Bible is written by people (and therefore easier to understand by humans and joins easier by humans minds), but IT IS INSPIRED (and sometimes directly instructed by God, like with the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 14:37)) by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to (fully) understand the Bible. I still discover new things, although after 30 year of reading the Bible completely in one year.
So how one reads the Bible? There are a number of conditions to read the Bible
- One may not have any unconfessed sin (do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30, 1 Thes 5:19)). If one has a sin in his/her life, then first it must confessed. Without the Holy Spirit, one is not able to understand the Word of God.
- One must live a pure holy life, because one is, after all, a temple of God, a royal priest.
- One makes the time to read, in isolation, in peace and quiet, without disturbing of anyone, of your children.
- Think why you wish to read your Bible: Your wish to get to know the Will of God, the Christian values and standards AND to DO them.
- First one prays that the Holy Spirit opens your mind and eyes so that you understand, what God has to say to you personally.
- One reads three chapters daily. First once, and ponders what the verses say, and then one reads the verses once again. And think about, what these verses have to say for your daily life.
- First time read and ponder what the verses say.
- On paper write in your own words what you read and understood.
- Then read the verses again.
- You compare whether your written thoughts agree with the Bible.
- You can follow Bible studies to learn what they have learned from the Bible. Often topics are covered and explained.
- From the Bible, you will learn and know, and confess your SIN. Sometimes it goes fast, sometimes it takes years. A baby starts with breast milk, liquid food and finally with solid food. So the newly born again person will also grow from milk to the solid food (Hebrew 5:11-14).
- When you do not understand something, pray the Lord Jesus that He explains it to you. My personal experience is that in 9 out of 10 times, I get an answer, sometimes after years. However somethings need (yet) to remain hidden.
Choose a Bible which suits you. Go to the store and read the different Bible translations. The King James is old, but near the original language (Hebrew and Greek) of the Bible. The modern Bibles are written in popular language, but sometimes with an incorrect (liberal) translation. Do you really want to understand the Bible, there are several good Bible commentaries. Please note that you do not buy one of liberal pastors. The Bible is God's Word which Words you cannot tune down nor spiritualize.
If one already starts with "sexual intercourse is not allowed before marriage, that is no longer valid in our time", then one errors. This commandment from Genesis 2:24 is directly given at the creation. The Virgin Mary, espoused, 4000 years later says: "How can I get pregnant, when I have no sexual relationship with the man with who I am espoused". When she respects a command of 4000 years ago (as well as her espoused husband), how can we just 2000 years later claim that it no longer applies in our time? That is contempt of God! And a heavy physical SIN! (Disobedience leads to unwanted pregnancies, abortions, AIDS, etc.).
God's Word, Institutions and Laws are given to human welfare. Disobedience can have serious consequences, also for your personal life. Therefore test your life (for sin) through daily Bible reading.
When you as believer appears before the judgment seat of Christ (right chair means Jesus Christ is seated on the Chair to the right of His Father, or the seat of the judge) (1 Corinthians 3:12-14, Hebrews 9:27, 10:12) you cannot say: "I did not know" or "my pastor told me ....". Every individual Christian has his/her own responsibility to read the Bible and know what are God's values and standards, and to live accordingly.
Because it is an obligation on every believer to read God's Word. Without reading the Bible, you lack knowledge, you are not capable to withstand satan. And you are with a mouth full of teeth when you appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
How many people do not have a cell phone but find a Bible too expensive and comments too expensive, while their mobile values many times more. They spent hours on social networks (Twitter, YouTube), but they have no time for God's Word. They invest in the terrestrial life, but not in the eternal life.
Just remember that with your Bible reading during this limited life of up to 120 years, you build to your eternal live (billions of years). Reason enough to read your Bible.
When you start to study the Bible, it is good to attend a Bible study group. There you learn about the questions people have about the Bible and you can express your Bible questions, Biblical subjects and in your life.
Search for a group at your level. Groups can range from beginners in faith to adults in faith.
Then afterwards when you would like to study alone, you start with 15 minutes (per day).
Studying the Bible is another thing than reading the Bible daily.
A Bible Study is wanting to know what is its meaning in that verse or those verses. Knowing more about the time when it is written, the background and culture, about the writer. You can find this information in the comments and on the internet (be careful not to get false information).
Also in the comments and on the internet you get more explanation about the verse. Let the Holy Spirit guide you!
Study a 40-60 minutes or more. You start with 5 minutes of prayer to clean yourself from sins and asking the Holy Spirit to teach you.
Before you already sought and choosed which comments you would like to use.
Take pen and paper to note your observations.
Take the verse you would like to study and keep your Bible open.
Study the comment(s) in case you have more than one comments. More than one, that helps to get various opinions and thoughts to form your own explanations.
Notice an actor may be correct in one comment, but incorrect in another. Let the Holy Spirit warn you.
Keep praying and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit until you have an explanation, even if it is not that you like.
Be careful with the explanations of prophecy. There are prophecies that have already been fulfilled, while there are others still need to be fulfilled. There are prophecies that have a double fulfillment: in the past and in the future. Others have only in the future.
Nowadays they have many books of illustrations, a picture says more than 1000 words. There are videos on the internet that also illustrates the topics.
This you do in a Bible study group. There you hear other people's thoughts and the questions they have. Search for a Biblical group of your level of faith and/or your age.
A Bible study group is a Christian group that comes together to study the Bible, usually at a believer's home. For example, it starts at 7.30 pm with drinking coffee, talking about things during the day and relaxing in preparation for Bible study. At 8 pm start the Bible study for one (or two) hour(s). At 9 pm (or 10 pm) concluding with half an hour of prayer.
The group informs the group leader what subject or part of the Bible they would like to study. The leader prepares about this, and speaks for 20 (-30) minutes. And also prepares questions for the group. Then the group will answer and question.
Talking about disease and vaccine.
This group needs to guide how to read the Bible. But do not just focus on reading the Bible. The leader needs to be sensitive to the problems that young people have in life, especially individuals. Alert for suicide, home problems, violence, incest, and more.
To dinner together. Camp with the group. Do things together. For the older ones, make a video, talking about Jesus Christ. The basis of sex education, if parents agree. Look CHRISTIAN SEX EDUCATION older than 9 years
This group needs to grow more in the Bible, like studying the Bible alone. Deeper questions. The teaching that the Bible says that you are not allowed to have sex before marriage, that this still holds true today. Why to give tithes and offerings. What is Praying? Why do we need to pray? Everyone in the group prays. Go with the group to evangelize (door to door, on the street, near the stadium, shopping-mall, etc.). Perform an evangelism theater.
See List to get to know your partner, How do you choose your partner?, With whom may you start dating?See CHRISTIAN SEX EDUCATION older than 14 years. And if you as a leader think, you can look at CHRISTIAN SEX EDUCATION older than 18 years.
This group already has a good knowledge of the Bible and a deep faith. They talk about Armor of Christ (Eph 6:10-20), the attacks of satan during daily life and with which they fight. They argue about attacking satan and demons, how to proclaim the gospel. They pray for the persecuted Christians and missionaries.
This group only has women. The leader is a woman (without speaking in foreign languages, without shouting, in order). The topics are especially of women and their problems. How to handle your sons and your daughters. Problems within marriage. Staying single. How to cope with your husband. Drug and alcohol problems (of children). Problems at school, etc.
As you read the Bible, you learn about the commandments of God
God the Father and Jesus Christ are revealed through the Bible. If you do not read the Bible, you will never know God and why you are a sinner. The Christian faith is THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN, which through the death of the Son of God and HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD gives LIFE TO MEN. No other religion has the son of god died in your place for your sins.
Only through reading the Bible do you know what sin is, why the wrath of God the Father is on sin, what will happen when you reject the offer of God the Father, your future and the future of the earth. Who is satan and demons, and their works.
Christian values and norms are found in various places in the Old and New Testaments. Yes, also in the Old Testament. Jesus went on earth to FULFIL THE LAW (Matthew 5:17-48). And the law is the first 5 books of the Bible, the Pentateuch.
The Torah is the first part of the Jewish book: the Tanakh. The Tanakh consists of two other parts: the Books of the Prophets and the Writings. The Torah is also called the Law of Moses. God gave the laws to Moses, which is why he is seen as the writer of the Torah. Therein is a written version of the ORAL explanation of the Torah: the Talmud (= learning/teaching). The Talmud contains the commentary of the rabbis, its practical application in daily life.
So not only the 10 commandments are the law, but if each person was already fulfilling, then the earth would already be a different world!
Especially Leviticus 20 and 21 are important. Non-sexual intercourse during menstruation and the priest needs to marry a virgin. The Christian (man and woman) is a real priest (1 Peter 2:9) so he/she must fulfill it. Ezekiel 44:20-22 repeats this importance to MARRY VIRGEN and out of the tribe Israel, that is to say only with another Christian. Do not marry a non-Christian. 2 Corinthians 6:14 " Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" With whom may you start dating?.
In Jesus' life on earth, He used many parables to teach the practice. The apostles and especially Paul in their letters, have a lot of teaching about the Christian values and norms
Just by reading the total Bible, does the Christian know God's Christian values and norms for him or her.
The best way is to separate yourself from the environment without interruption from children and other people. Without the radio, television, cell phone or other connected device. A silent environment. You are completely relaxed. Complete focused to read and focus on the Bible and God. Sinless and filled with the Holy Spirit. All sins confessed. With nothing against anyone else.
I prefer to read in several translations, King James Version, Living Bible and in Portuguese and Dutch languages. Before reading, I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach me what God wants to say to me. I use the comments and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary and the Internet which the Holy Spirit uses to teach me.
Reading the entire Bible depends on you and how much time you have to read each day. If you have 20 minutes (3 pages) a day, you can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in 1 year.
If you are a new converted (new born-again) start with the New Testament. Read the first 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 2 to 3 times. Read calmly, and take time to think what is written and Jesus wants to tell you.
Then continue reading the rest of the New Testament. Attend a Bible study group. Use comments. And when you are ready, read the last book Revelation. If you want to know about Apocalispe soon, watch my Revelation sermons.
Continue with Genesis (how sin came into the world) until the last book Malachi.
And you repeat each year from Genesis to Revelation.
The Holy Bible consists of 66 books, 39 of which in the Old Testament and in the New Testament 27 books. To read
In 120 days: 2 hours of daily reading.
In 160 days: 1 ½ hour of daily reading.
In 240 days: 1 hour of daily reading.
In 1 year: 3 to 4 chapters per day.
NOTE: this is just reading, not studying!