Bible school: How to read and Understand the Bible Effectively

Hey Luvs

Proverbs 4:7 "Wisdom is the principle thing and with all thy getting get understanding". Another version replaces "understanding" with "insight".

I am starting a series called Bible school. It's a collective piece on how I have learnt to read,study and assimilate what the Word of God says. As young or older people at times we struggle to pick up and read our bible and one of the biggest reasons is because we do not know where to begin from or even how to understand it! It is a big book but don't be afraid of it! We will explore practical ways for you to read and understand it. 1 Peter 2:2 " Like new born babies crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation".

We can say a form of this "milk" is the word of God. Milk is given to children as nutrience in order that they grow strong and healthy, likewise the bible and the Word of God.

Ways to read the Bible 

1) Read it like a story- when I first started reading the bible I was confused. However when I read it like a story I began to pay more attention to the content. I drew away from viewing it as a "rule book" to actually a book of Life. When I did this I was able to understand it more.

2) Read your verse/scripture repeatedly- if I feel that I have not caught the revelation I tend to read the content over and over again until I completely understand what I am reading. I am a fast reader so tend to miss things out. The more you read and pay attention the more revelation you obtain from it.

3) Pay attention to linguistics- what I mean by this is that you should pay attention to the language /words used. By doing this you will be able to understand what the scriptures are trying to say. If in any doubt turn to the dictionary and find out the semantics (meaning) of the word. Through this you can translate what the word is saying in simple terms for you to grasp the point! Also examining other versions (kjv,Niv,Nlt) will give you more understanding.

4) Carefully extract- what I mean by this is when you read  a verse within a chapter (this is how the bible is formatted) it is important to read ALL of the chapter to gain a deeper understanding. Often people will grab just a part of a chapter to explain what they are trying to say. However that can just be the addition to a bigger point. So when reading carefully examin the whole part before extracting as you could misinterpret scripture and then miss what God is saying.

5) Read in context- I talked about this in a previous post. Contextualisation is similar to paying attention to the language of the text. However this is slightly deeper as it involves analysis of the whole text. It is the ability to put language in a meaninful and real way to provide interpretation. By doing so you are more likely to remember what you read as a whole. You need to be able to break down the text word for word or sentence for sentence so that you do not live in scriptural error. The example I used was:

Isaiah 54:17 - No weapon formed against thee shall prosper and every tounge that rises up in judgement I shall condem. For this is the heritage of the servants of God.

A lot of people use this to pray but they do so in error. So if God does not answer don't blame Him! But He is saying He will do the above as an inheritance/ reward for those who serve Him. To gain a deeper understanding you would have to look at the definition of service and if you tie into this. Then you are praying according to scripture.

6) Read it with all joy- you will not and cannot understand what you read with a closed mind. If you approach the word of God with sluggishness or disinterest you will not gain anything from it simple. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17- "All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, training in righteousness, so that the servants of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work". What He has written is for our good so embrace it!

7) Engage in Exi-Jesus - what I mean by this is the ability to extract Jesus from scripture. Through this you also get to know who God is and His character. After all was He not God in the flesh? When you read the books try to understand the nature of Christ this is quite easy in the new testaments especially Matthew - John where His Character is fully displayed. The more you engage in Exi-Jesus the more you are able to understand the Mind of Christ.

8) Start with the parables (stories/subjects of moral lessons that have spiritual connotations) - I was advised this by my dad as I was so confused lol. But by doing this and applying the above I was able to understand the whole point of the Bible,salvation,the crucifixion and God which encouraged me to read more. Also at times when I was going through a particular issue I would look up the bible index for guidance.

9) Don't just read it when you are in need- in order to mature in the Faith you need the word of God daily! ( Psalm 119:105; James 1:22;Hebrews 4:12;Matthew 7:24; John 1:1) If you do this you will short-change yourself as you will only know God in trouble and will not obtain the wisdom you need to stay away from this trouble or how to combat it.

10) Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance- The Holy Spirit is the most cheapest way to access the mind of God. It's free people!!! So why don't We use Him! The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity and is therefore highly connected to God. He also lives in you! He is able to show/tell you great and Unsearchable things. If you find yourself struggling to understand ask the Teacher of all Teachers. After all He should know God and His word better than anyone or anything so why not give Him a try?

Children of God the bible is our lifeline, our guide. Let us become scholars of the Bible. Let's use this while we have the opportunity and to God we will give all the Glory.

I pray you have been blessed

Remain blessed and highly favoured

All things pink and pretty x

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