Learn Some Basics Of Language
Gods word being supernatural, and requiring supernatural help, doesnt mean the natural aspects of reading are unimportant. In fact, they are all the more important, since so much is at stake. Those most convinced of the supernatural power of Gods word will want to master what natural basics of reading they can.
Many basics of reading are intuitive and come to us inductively as we learn to read and make a practice of reading, but we also can be helped by some deductive principles about the basics, to hone our craft. Mortimer Adlers and Charles Van Dorens How to Read a Book is a good guide, among others, for learning and refreshing the basics.
Do unto Authors
One key principle for reading, for instance, that we love to highlight at Desiring God says, Do unto authors, as you would have them do unto you. In other words, read to discern the authors intention in his text, not your own preferences.
We dare not resign to reading Gods Book in our own human capacities.
Good reading requires effort to get into the authors head, not through speculation, but through his own words. We seek to discover his meaning in the actual text of what he has written. This happens through patient and thoughtful attention to the words and sentences the author himself has written, and in particular by seeing the relationships between his words and phrases and sentences and paragraphs.
Come to Terms
Tips For Reading And Understanding The Bible
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
The Bible is Gods Word to us. Its His message of love and forgiveness, and shows us how we can have eternal life. It can also answer questions you have as you strive to live a life that pleases Him. Thats why Christians should try to read the Bible daily.
Here are some suggestions:
- First, read one chapter from the Gospel of John each day. This will help you understand the basics of the Gospel.
- Second, read Acts, the exciting story of how Jesus Christs first disciples told others about how He died and rose again.
- Third, read the letters that Christs apostles wrote to His first followersall who were new in their faith. These letters are the book of Romans through the book of III John.
- Fourth, go back and read one of the other three gospels: Matthew, Mark or Luke.
How Reading Notes Can Help
Many people find it helpful to find a quiet and comfortable place to sit and read the Bible and make sure that they read it every day. Take time to digest what it says. You could say a quick prayer asking God to help you understand what you are reading and its relevance to you. Another letter in the New Testament notes how the Bible can touch the very heart of the issues we all face. The letter known as Hebrews calls the Bible the word of God and says it is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
There are plenty of tools around to help you read the Bible. You might like to use a daily reading plan, which gives you a structured way to navigate the Bible. These usually include portions of the Old Testament and the New Testament to read every day.
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How Should A Beginner Read The Bible
If you are new or a beginner to reading the Bible, I highly suggest reading through the Bible using a Bible study or Bible reading plan.
The biggest battle when you first start reading the Bible is getting in a consistent routine reading the Bible. With a Bible study or Bible reading plan, these will help you stay on track as you read the Bible as a beginner.
There are so many Bible study books or groups you can join, and there are several free Bible reading plans available on the internet.
Some people like to follow a plan for reading through the Bible, while others like to read as they feel led.
Ive done both bible plans and bible studies, as well as reading as I feel led, and over time I have to say I prefer reading on my own. For example, some mornings I may want to read a particular story, while other mornings I may want to look up bible verses on a certain topic.
But my husband is the complete opposite. He loves reading through the Bible in a year by following one of the bible reading plans. For the past few years, hes gotten a new Bible where it already has the plan organized for him. Hes read the Bible chronologically and has also read a version where he reads part of both the Old and New Testament each day.
While I enjoy following a bible plan or bible study for certain topics or during certain time periods, Ive found that constantly following a bible reading plan was too much structure for me.
You can download free Bible reading plans here to get started.
Reconciling Faith And Science In A Medical Crisis
Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. Hell share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of lifes toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven
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Learning How To Read The Bible Can Be Fun And Enjoyable
By the way, if youre truly interested in learning how to read the Bible for beginners, Id love to invite you to check out my brand new book: Fall in Love with Gods Word: Practical Strategies for Busy Women!
Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Fall in Love with Gods Word has everything you need to learn how to:
- Overcome 7 common obstacles preventing you from spending time in Scripture
- Discover the personalized Bible-reading routine that works for YOU
- Learn 15 easy ways to make reading the Bible for beginners more meaningful and enjoyable
- Use Scripture to conquer sin, false beliefs, and negative thought patterns
- Experience fresh spiritual growth and passion for Gods Word.
Please visit Amazon.com or your local bookstore to learn more and grab your copy of Fall in Love with Gods Word today!
Where To Start Reading
Like any great story it makes sense to start at the beginning, but perhaps if you are like me, skipping ahead to the climax of the story is also very attractive.
Its up to you where you start, and hopefully as you read, study, discuss and digest Gods truth, you will learn that every new page is God speaking to you and into your life. Enjoy every pageits a book that youll never get tired of.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, the passages found in Jesus on every page: Reading the biblical narrative in Five Acts can be a good place to start as you seek to understand the overview of Gods story. Once you have read through these, dig deeper into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ starting in the book of John, in the New Testament.
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Consider The Cultural Context
Coinciding with historical context is the cultural context of a biblical book. This includes the original cultural circumstances that gave rise to the book, as well as the cultural features of the time.
Consider Revelation 3:1422, where John wrote to seven churches addressing specific circumstances. We should not forget that these were real churches with real locations in the first century .
And in Revelation 3:1516, the Laodicean church is described as neither hot nor coldreflecting the cultural features of two nearby cities: Hierapolis had hot springs that were of medicinal value, while Colossae had cold springs that brought nourishment and refreshment Laodiceas water was lukewarm, tasteless, and useless. The cultural features of Laodicea inform the historical circumstances: the spiritual life of the church had become like her citys water supply lukewarm and useless .
Remember that there were real-life circumstances that gave rise to the Bible’s narrative books and poetry, the Gospels and the letters. Hunter and Wellum help readers understanding these circumstances along with the cultural features of the time, helping us read the Bible in context.
Make Bible Reading A Habit
It might be tough at first. You might doze off, but you have to strengthen your muscles because your devotional muscles are weak now. However, the more you devote yourself to Christ and His Word the easier it gets. Reading Scripture and prayer will become more enjoyable.
Satan knows how to distract you and he is going to try to distract you. It might be with TV, a phone call, a hobby, friends, Instagram, etc.
You are going to have to put your foot down and say, No! I want something better than this. I want Christ. You have to make a habit of turning down other things for Him. Once again, it might be rocky at first. However, dont get discouraged. Keep on going! Sometimes you have to separate from your groups so you can spend uninterrupted alone time with Christ.
Joshua 1:8-9 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Have accountability partners
Im starting to be more accountable with my Christian friends. I have a group of men who keep me accountable in my personal Bible study. Every day I check in with a text and allow them to know what God has been telling me through His Word the night before. This keeps me accountable and it allows us to motivate each other.
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Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young womenand what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughterwhether shes a toddler or a troubled teento achieve her full human potential.
Need A Way To Keep Track Of Your Bible Reading Plan For Beginners
When I was learning how to read the Bible for the first time, I loved checking off each book and chapter as I read them, so I could easily see my progress.
My NIV study Bible came with a built-in reading plan checklist right in the front. If yours doesnt, youre welcome to print off this Bible Reading Checklist to keep track of your progress.
It comes straight out of my Fall in Love with Gods Word WORKBOOK, but youre welcome to have it for free.
Print it out and stick it in your Bible, or hang it on your fridge where youll see it often as you work your way through your Bible reading plan for beginners.
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Fresh Ways To Read Your Bible In 2021
Turning to Scripture should be an intuitive response for Christians when we feel anxious about the world we live in. Yet the American Bible Societys annual State of the Bible 2020 report found an alarming trend: A mere 9 percent of Americans read their Bible each day in 2019the lowest number in ABSs decade of research and decreasing more in the first few months of the pandemic. But if 2021 carries even a fragment of the uncertainty we experienced in the past year, we need Scripture for guidance and reassurance even more. In my years of leading in-person Bible studies and an online Bible reading group, Ive found sometimes we need practical ideas for getting started or picking the Bible back up again. Here are ten ways to read the Bible with fresh eyes in the new year.
1. Add a new translation to your bookshelf.
2. Read Scripture out loud.
3. Listen while driving, cooking, or walking.
4. Take a year to read the Bible chronologically.
5. Use a commentary or study-aid tools.
Use a new-to-you commentary to aid in researching the passage or book youre reading. Commentaries go further than a study Bible in offering historical background and cultural context, and they help tie together the narrative of Scripture in a holistic way. Other multimedia resources, such as She Reads Truth, The Gospel Coalitions free courses, or BibleProjects videos and studies, can complement our daily reading of the Word.
6. Read a whole book in one sitting.
How To Read The Bible In Context
- Jeremy Bouma
The Bible is not just any book. It is Gods Word to us, given using a number of literary genres, through the stories of a cast of rotating characters, and over the span of a few thousand years.
So how do we read such a book?
This question is important when picking up any document, from paperback to newspaper. You wouldnt read a historical novel on WWII the same way you would a nonfiction historical account of the same time. And we read the newspaper’s front page differently than the opinion-editorials .
How, then, should we read the Bible? It starts with context.
In Christ from Beginning to End, authors Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum outline six different contextsthree specific, three generalto help you read the Bible well. For Hunter and Wellum, understanding these 6 contexts is like reading the directions before playing a board game:
If you know the rules, the game will make sense and you might even enjoy it. But learning the rules can be a bit tedious and frustrating until you start to see how they fit into the larger game.
The same is true for the Bible. Grasping these rules will help you read the Bible in context and therefore help you better study the Bible.
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How To Read The Bible: Pray Before You Begin
Pause before you open your Bible and ask God to speak to you. Remember, the Bible is Gods Word it is Gods love letter written to His people, which includes you.
Ask God to help you understand His Word. Ask God use His Word to teach you, to direct you and even to re-direct you, when necessary. Ask Him to use His Word to help you know Him and love Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, You will seek me and find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart. God loves to reveal himself to those who seek Him.
The Purpose Of Scripture
Scripture is not intended as a moral guide book or a collection of propositions to believe. Its purpose is to reveal Gods plan and purposes throughout human history. According to the Apostle Paul, All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work . Among the most important objectives, Scripture is able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus .
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Memorize To Master The Bible
I used to think that it was better to have a lot of verses memorized, but in my effort to have as many verses as possible memorized, I had them memorized shallowly. I might have to struggle to get started, or get partway through a passage and have to paraphrase the rest. Now, I realize it is much better to have fewer verses memorized very deeplythat is where the power comes from. Rather than memorize a mile wide and an inch deep, it is better to memorize an inch wide and a mile deep. That is a key difference, because until we memorize verses deeply and spend time meditating on them, the truth of the passages does not seep deeply into our subconscious to influence our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and emotions.
When we memorize Scripture this deeply, it will often then jump into our minds as our first reaction to lifes circumstances, helping guide our decisions and influence our emotions. Even Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4, quoted Scripture in response to the temptation. When we know Scripture well enough to quote it immediately in response to lifes challenges, the Bible begins to take on a power that it did not previously have in our life.
Memorize one verse so that you can say it without hesitation. Then, memorize another, but link it to the first. Then memorize a third one, but link it to the first two, and so on. Keep doing it the rest of your life. Pretty soon, your command of Scripture will be a mile wide and a mile deep.
Sharing Your Faith With Grace And Purpose
You can confidently and lovingly share your faithyou just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the Columbo tactic of asking questions, the self-defeating argument tactic to find holes in your opponents arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.
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