A Deeper Understanding
Understanding the Bible and how to study it for yourself can be overwhelming. Some have been reading the Bible for years—even attending a lot of Bible study groups—but still feel unable to comprehend without the help of commentary.
As a result, they are frustrated. At some point, they may even have put the Bible aside and quit trying any more.
If this describes you, we encourage you not to give up. The fact is, you probably know more than you think you do. Just start with something familiar.
The story of Jesus in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John is a good place.
Because of its “rapid-fire” approach to story telling, we suggest starting with the book of Mark. It moves quickly.
We Are Without Excuses
All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. ALL. And the Holy Spirit gives us everything we need to understand what God has written to humans, and through His human penmen. There is no reason why you cannot become a knowledgeable student of the Word. You have the Holy Spirit, you have all that you need.
The first step is prayer. Ask God to speak to you as you read. He will give you understanding. Then…
Be patient. Slow down and give yourself time to digest every word. The Bible tells us in several places that “to him who has, more will be given.” So as you assimilate a little understanding, God gives you more. Then as you put that increased knowledge into actual practice, He gives even more. Continually reading and then applying what you learn has a synergistic affect on your ability to understand. The key is to begin small and grow gradually. Take it easy.
5 W’s, and an H
As you read, ask yourself questions about what you are reading. We call these the 5 W’s and an H—Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. In addition, pay attention to words that are repeated often and are essential to your understanding of the passage. Write these words down. Use Greek and Hebrew word tools (available at Bible book stores) to help you understand the meaning of these words. Use a Bible concordance to see how the same words are used in other passages in the Bible. Your personal Bible probably has a small concordance in the back, and you can get started immediately.
In addition, there are inductive Bible studies available for those interested in increasing their interpretation skills. Word Within International offers a class each Fall and Spring semester. Watch this bulletin for times and dates.