10 Easiest Ways To Understand The Bible
BIBLE TEXT: JOSHUA 1:8, 2 TIMOTHY 3:16, JOHN 5:39
2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. KJV
Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
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The Bible is the inspired word of God written by inspired saints of old. It is God’s instructions written to us to guide us in our daily living and interaction with other people. It contains specific examples of saints who God expects us to emulate, pitfalls to avoid, warnings about the end time, and much more. The Bible is not an ordinary book or work of fiction. The words within its pages are like medicine to our soul. It has the power to change our life because there is life in the Word. (Hebrews 4:12)
However, a lot of believers find it extremely difficult to read and understand the Bible. Some read the Bible and cannot understand its contents and messages; others cannot just retain the information gotten from the Bible. The reason for this is that a lot of believers are reading the scripture through the lens of what their pastors, Sunday School teachers, and youth leaders told them it meant. If you are not intentionally learning how to understand the Bible, you may end up reading the scripture wrongly; and this can have adverse effect on your salvation experience.
Do you really want to base your eternal salvation on a message that could have been muddled, misunderstood, condensed, or expanded along the way? Or would it be more preferable to be certain that you are receiving the complete truth and nothing but the truth? Because of this, reading the Bible alone is not sufficient. You must be able to study the Bible on your own and understand it clearly.
There are various methods of studying the bible for easy understanding. However, in this article, we will examine ten (10) practicable ways of studying the Bible and understanding it easily. Fasten your seatbelt, and let us take a fantastic ride!
- SET ASIDE A CONVENIENT TIME
Setting aside a suitable and convenient time for studying the Bible is the first step in truly understanding the scriptures. You can make an appointment with God in the mornings during your quiet time, but if that doesn’t work for you, find a more workable time that does. It might not even be every day. Whatever time you choose, just start somewhere and you see the fruit of effective planning manifest sooner than you expect.
As you create your study time, ensure you make preparation for your Bible study. Have a place that you enjoy being in; this can be a room in your house where you can be alone, or somewhere you are comfortable and like to be.
2. BEGIN YOUR STUDY WITH PRAYER
Regardless of when or where you study, it is always a good idea to begin your study with sincere prayer. Start by addressing God. Furthermore, you ask Him to grant you wisdom and understanding of the word you are about to study, and also for specific guidance to your life. This shows that you are humble, and you need God’s help as He is the source of all understanding. From this stage, you can now choose which method you want to employ in studying the Bible.
- STUDY BY BOOKS
You can decide to start studying the Bible by books. You choose which book of the Bible you want to study, and whether it is from the Old Testament or the New Testament. You can either use the inductive method or the synthetic method.
To understand the perspective and overall emphasis of the book, read it cover to cover. Then read the book several more times; taking note of the solutions you discover as you read along by asking yourself a pertinent question each time.
- STUDY THE BIBLE BY CHAPTERS
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible contains 1,189 chapters. You can finish studying the whole Bible intensively if you study one chapter per day. Alternatively, you can decide to study more chapters if you intend to finish earlier. As you study, you should carefully read through the chapter you have chosen, find its main subject and give it a title, and finally use a concordance to look up the key words. For instance, if you decide to finish the Bible in one year, you just divide 1,189 by 365. Whatever that gives you, is the number of chapters you study in a day. With this method, you will study approximately 3 chapters daily.
- STUDY BY PARAGRAPHS
A paragraph is a collection of sentences that expresses a thought. In the Bible, the first sentence of a paragraph is denoted by a verse number in bold. The following sentences present the details of the paragraph. This type of paragraph-by-paragraph Bible study is known as analytical Bible study. This style of studying the Bible enables one to digest the messages in bite size. You can find the subject of the paragraph by carefully reading through it.
- USE BIBLE COMMENTARIES AND MODERN TRANSLATIONS
Making use of commentaries can aid your understanding and ignite your passion and interest for God’s Word.
Another effective method to add variation and enhance understanding of the Bible is by using modern translations. There are translations like today English Version, the Message, the Voice or a contemporary translation like the CSB. You can try any of these translations after reading a book of the Bible in one version, say King James Version. There are also useful Bible apps like The Multiversion Bible; these enable a better understanding of the scripture as you study.
- BILLY GRAHAM’S METHOD OF BIBLE STUDY
The pattern of studying the Bible by the late Billy Graham is worth trying if you want to understand the Bible easily. This method was revealed in John Pollock’s biography, Billy Graham. It is simply reading the following different section of the Bible daily:
- Five Psalms daily
- One chapter of Proverbs
- One or two chapters of the Gospels
- Refer back to the Acts of the Apostles
- 8. DO A CHARACTER STUDY
There are lots of characters in the Bible. Their life stories are written in the Bible for us to learn from; and it can be quite fun studying about Bible characters. From Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Ruth, David, Solomon, Esther; to Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter, John the Baptist, to mention a few.
You can examine how God interacts with people and the character’s response to God. Both a person’s positive and negative life experiences can teach you anything. Was there any challenging situation this person had to deal with? What were his or her weaknesses? Did they triumph over them? What do I have in common with this person? What can I learn from their life?
These and many more questions are what character study of the Bible provides answers to.
- JOURNALIZE YOUR STUDY
If you do not want to forget what you have studied, the best way is by keeping a journal of what you have learnt as you study the Bible. With this method, you get to write down key verses, favourite characters, unforgettable incidents, inspirations and interpretations from the Holy Spirit, etc.
10. READ OR SHARE WITH SOMEONE ELSE
Having accountability partner can enhance your study. You get different interpretations as you study the Bible from your own unique point of view. When you have questions, you can discuss together. You can share verses with each other that are specifically helpful.
The Bible is easier to understand than you think. All you need is to develop strategies that are workable for you. With the right studying method and the enablement of the Holy Spirit, you can sure understand the word of God. Remember that all things are possible to him who believes!