Do you want to know your Bible well? The Bible is the only book that is considered holy by Christians. It comes to us directly from God. We can rely on the Bible to show us what the Lord thinks about everything that is important in our lives. It is the final word.
If you want to be strong in the Faith, it is important to know the Scriptures well. The better we know the Bible, the better we can know God. In fact, we don’t just learn about Him with the Scriptures; spending time with the Bible makes it more likely that we will become intimately acquainted with Him. He has promised that if we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us (James 4:8). One of the best ways to draw close to Him is to read and study His Word.
So, where should one start? We would suggest the following steps for personal time:
- Ask God to guide you in this new experience.
- Establish a certain time each day for the Bible and prayer. Start with 15 minutes.
- Get a Bible. If you don’t own one, we would suggest the New King James Version (NKJV).
- Use a plan for personal reading. There are many plans available on-line, with a variety of approaches. Keep it simple. We like the “5x5x5 Plan” from NavPress, but certainly there are many excellent choices.
- Expect to put some effort into making your reading time happen. New habits take time to form. Consider doing this with another person; it’s great to have a partner.
Group studies can also be a great experience. Ask around to find a good one. Many group Bible Studies examine topics in the Bible. We offer a number of high quality studies that can be used for groups or just individually.
Individual study of Scripture allows you to dig deep into God’s Word. The rewards are huge! To get started, you might consider seeing Chuck Missler’s DVD, “How to Study the Bible” where he answers many questions about translations, commentaries and how to resolve difficult passages.
To begin building your own resource library, we recommend that you consider two electronic sources. The first is on-line only, called “The Blue Letter Bible”. This service provides a number of different translations, Greek and Hebrew resources, Commentaries, and a search capability. It lets you move from knowing nothing at all to using scholarly tools that help clarify the Biblical text.
The other resource is “e-Sword”. This is a program that you can download at no cost. It has several versions of the Bible, commentaries, scholar’s tools, and a search program, all at no cost/donation. If you like working on a computer, this may become your favorite Bible for individual study.
The most important thing is to get started. Click HERE for information and links to these resources so you can begin your new habits right away!
Those are some tools, but what about a method? It is important to handle the Scripture accurately and avoid twisting it to fit our own notions. That is a common danger that we all need to avoid. The most widely accepted method is called the Inductive Method.
This method begins with three major parts: observation, interpretation, and application.
Observation is the step when you make sure you know what the words mean, what the verses are describing, and how this fits in the flow of thought. You want to be clear about Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. To do Observation, ask yourself, “What does it say?”
Interpretation is when you make sense out of what is written. Ask yourself, “What does it mean?” Writing out a paraphrase of a verse or paragraph would help you decide on the meaning, or interpretation.
Finally, application is when we make it personal. It’s good to do this with prayer. Ask, “How does this apply to me?” Don’t leave it there, though. Jesus said in Matthew 7:26
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand…” and it eventually fell flat.
It is imperative we build our houses on the rock by doing what we read in God’s Word.
That’s a quick look at getting started with the Bible. Don’t do this in isolation. Talk to other believers about what you are doing and you’ll find some great conversations can develop. If you can’t find someone locally, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.