Even though the Bible is considered to be the best-selling book of all time, it is one of the most misunderstood. While millions of people are reading the Bible, it is undeniable that not all have the ability to comprehend it.
Some people have a hard time understanding the Bible that they give up trying and thinking that it is beyond comprehension. Perhaps, you are one of them and you want to know more about the Bible.
Understanding the Bible is crucial for every Christian. A correct understanding of the Bible is needed to know the will and purpose of God and to develop a closer relationship with Him.
For this reason, let us take a look at some of the keys that will help us understand the Bible correctly.
1. Pray for God’s inspiration and guidance
Before you even open your Bible and study it, you need to pray for understanding and this understanding MUST come from God. Bear in mind that God is the author of the Bible and if there’s only one Being who can explain it to us, it is God. Never commit the mistake of thinking that you can understand the Bible on your own. You need God’s divine guidance.
2. Be humble in learning God’s word
There’s no doubt that our pride may get in the way when we read and study the word of God. This is a big problem for all of us, Bible students. Pride, prejudice, and bias can cloud our minds and prevent ourselves from truly understanding the Bible. Thus, we must be humble enough to let go of long-held beliefs and traditions when confronted with God’s truth. If you have the humility and open mind when studying God’s word, you already have some of the ingredients needed to improve your spiritual understanding.
3. Remember that the Bible is the inspired word of God
We cannot accept a part of the Bible and dismiss the rest. We must take the Bible as a whole. If we acknowledge that the Bible is literally God’s word, then we can readily accept the corrections, lessons, and doctrines that we derive from it.
4. Let the Bible interpret itself
Skeptics are quick to find fault in God’s divine word. While it is true that there are parts of the Bible that are hard to understand and confusing – and may even seem contradictory – we can have the strongest confidence that it can be explained. We need to let the Bible interpret itself. In this case, it is helpful to start with CLEAR biblical passages to shed light on those passages that might be difficult to understand. Remember this important principle: scriptural passages do not contradict each other, but rather they complement each other.
5. Know the context of the passage
Taking scripture out of context is one of the most common mistakes Bible students commit. To learn the real intent of the Bible, it must be considered within the context. This means reading the verses before and after it, and even reading the whole chapter and using other verses to support a claim.6. Know the historical background of Scripture – sometimes, taking into consideration the historical context of a passage will shed more light on a topic.
6. Know the historical background of Scripture
Sometimes, bearing in consideration the historical context of a passage will shed more light on a subject.
7. Know the original words used
If you want to know the meaning of a particular word in the Bible, you need to know the original words used. The original Bible manuscripts are dominantly written in Hebrew and Greek languages. The most popular dictionary that you can use is the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
8. Rightly divide the word
The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to rightly divide the word of God (II Timothy 2:15). Dividing the word is studying the Bible by topics. It is helpful to concentrate on one topic at a time rather than jumping from one topic to another.
9. Read the whole Bible
Again, if there’s one book that you should read from cover to cover, it must be the Bible. There a lot of ways to read the Bible within a year. You can find some helpful resources to accomplish this on the Internet.
10. Compare different translations
There are different versions of the Bible and methods of translating it. There are three ways the Bible can be translated. This can be a literal rendering of each word, thought-for-thought translation, and paraphrasing. It is critical that you start reading the Bible using a translation that uses a literal rendering. This is the purest translation and example of this is the New and Old King James Versions. The other types of translations can be used to understand a portion of the Bible easily.
11. Use Bible study aids
There are a lot of helpful Bible study aids that you can use. Bible commentaries, books, dictionaries, concordance, lexicons, maps, and devotionals are useful in pointing out different aspects of a particular topic. However, you need to remember that they are just guides or aids written by men. So there is always the chance that they can be wrong.
These are just some of the important keys you need to remember when studying the Bible. When you keep these in mind, you will have a better chance of comprehending the Bible in such a way that God intended it to be.