How to Study the Bible

by Kim Josephson

    First, get a translation that you can understand and then simply read it. A poem that will help you get the point is:

    Read on, Read on, Read on, Read on
        Read on, Read on, Read on.
    Read on, Read on, Read on, Read on
        Read on, Read on, Read on!

    To know God, you will have to know His Word, so whatever it takes — do it! It will take a quality decision, determination, and the hardest part — discipline. However, the reward is great. If you'll read it only five minutes a day, you can read the whole Bible in a year. If you'll read 10 chapters a day you can read it in just 18 weeks. This should be your year to read the Bible, and you will be amazed at how much you learn about God!
    Always remember these three questions as you read God's Word:
    1) What does it say?
    2)What does it mean?
    3)What does it mean to me?
    You must interpret each scripture in the light of all other scriptures. Never simply grab verses out of context to prove or disprove some treasured opinion. Go with what God says. His Word should be taken literally as much as possible. Sometimes obvious word pictures and symbolic language are used but when this is the intent, it is usually clearly revealed by surrounding scripture. Keep it in context!
    Study to show yourself approved unto God (11 Timothy 2:15). For this you will need some tools:

1) A Notebook — Take notes! If you just outline a chapter that you read or a book that you're studying you'll be amazed at how much more you'll retain. There is no reason that we should not be able to immediately recall the contents of a chapter of the Bible at the simple mention of its address. What's in John 3 & John 12? If you don't know, you should! If you'll write down scriptures you want to memorize it will help you immensely.

2) A Concordance — Strong's or Young's is fine. These will help you find scriptures if you can remember one word or phrase of what you're looking for, but more importantly they will also give the word in the original language and its definition.

3) A Dictionary — will help you understand Bible words that we don't use everyday but also common words will take on fresh meanings with some concentrated study.

4) Other Helps — from other translations, atlases, handbooks, etc. are good, but watch out that the interpretative helps don't become a crutch and rob you of your own study.

    Psalms 1:1-2 says, ' 'Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night," Meditate means to be absorbed in thought — to rehearse what God's says over and over. It involves thinking God thoughts — listening to the Spirit and applying the Word to our actions. Another meaning of the word meditate is to "mutter." As you meditate, speak the verse out loud — over and over. Think about each word. You'll be amazed at how quickly you' 11 memorize it. Take the verse, read it as it is, think about it, personalize it, say it again, think about it. Concentrate. As you digest it you'll be surprised at the blessing that you receive.

    As soon as you hear the word memorize, you'll be tempted to run — but don't! David said,' Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against God." Memorizing is hiding God's Word in your heart. When satan came against Jesus to tempt Him, Jesus said, "It is written." He didn't argue or debate, He simply quoted what God said. Memorizing the Word of God is learning how to use the sword of the Lord! The Word is a mighty weapon, but you've got to know it, to use it.
    God wants you to memorize scripture and He'll help you! If you'11 read, study, and meditate, memorization will come very quickly. Don't be sloppy or haphazard about this. First learn the scripture. Know what is says and means. Memorizing words that you really don't understand is pointless. Know where it is—the address of the scripture. Then write it out. Read it aloud, write it again. Put it on an index card or something smaller and carry it with you. On the back side of the card write the address and maybe the first few words. Then use the cards like flash cards. By awakening as many senses as possible it will be easy to remember.
    Memorize scriptures that remind you who you are in Christ. Other scriptures that are good to memorize are those that can be used in witnessing.
    In conclusion, remember, the Bible is God's Word. How you treat the Word is how you treat God. The point of study is never to make you proud or contentious or argumentative. These attitudes only grieve the Holy Ghost. Don't fight over scripture. Study the Word that you might know God and develop the mind of Christ. Don't get trapped in an intellectual pursuit of God. God is not some head trip. The Word will renew our mind but it is for your heart. Love God with all your heart. Talk to Him about His Word. Get to know Him and enjoy Him. Be full of God, full of the Word, full of love and full of joy.





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