First, it’s important realize that the Bible is not an ordinary book that reads smoothly from cover to cover. It’s actually a library, or collection, of books written by different authors in several languages over several thousand years. But it’s a readable library, and you can get through it. Its books are “shelved” by type and topic, just as in a public library: history, the Law, the Prophets, poems and wisdom literature, eyewitness accounts of Jesus (the Gospels), collections of letters, and mind-blowing apocalyptic descriptions of the past, present and future.
The Bible was given to us by God as He wants is to understand His word and was written for all people. Becoming familiar with the bible is essential if you want to understand its message and this can be done by regular systematic reading of it. Two keys to being successful are to begin at the beginning in Genesis as the bible enfolds as you read from beginning to end and secondly whilst reading the Bible “listen” for echoes. Echoes? Yes Bible echoes; a repetition of something you have read before – God uses echoes throughout the Bible.
Choose a Bible version – each version has good and not so good points. Some are designed for easy reading whilst some are more difficult to understand. What version you have is personal choice and having more than one bible is a good idea for clarity and comparison. Some bibles have wide margins around the text so you can make notes whilst others have maps, charts and cross references; great aids for bible study. Check out this post for some hints and tips.
Pray – for God’s blessing on your reading of His book and He will help you understand it. You could pray the words of the Psalmist David: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). If we ask Him, God will open our eyes and help us to understand His book, the Bible. We should read it every day.
Have a plan – set some time aside daily to read your Bible and know what portions you are going to read. Set aside say 20-30 minutes a day to read. If you don’t know where to start, try one of our bible reading plans.
Be comfortable – find a quiet place; in the Bible God speaks to us so we need to listen carefully. Be patient in your reading and in time the Bible will fit together for you. Ensure that you are open to new ideas and make sure you leave room in your mind for new growth.
You will inevitably have questions when you read – jot them down as you go as you may discover the answers as you read on. If not, feel free to contact us with your questions.
Studying the Bible can be so enriching and you will experience new energy as the Bible becomes alive and is powerful in your life. Enjoy meeting God in its pages.