How To Make The Bible Easier To Understand
In order to better understand the Bible, it is important to understand the minds of these authors and the purposes of God throughout history. One of the things that all biblical authors had in common was that they loved the Bible. They loved reading it, referencing it, playing with metaphors from old texts of Scripture, and making connections.
One very easy way to make the Bible easier to understand is to read the Old Testament several times. Getting a grasp of the storyline, central metaphors, critical conflicts, and disputed grievances illuminates the New Testament books with such clear detail that this will become a proven method for you in advancing your biblical studiesâreturning to and rereading the Old Testament narratives, prophetic idiosyncrasies, and wounded genealogies will highlight just how much of the Old Testament themes and concerns are replicated in the New Testament many times over. This makes it so much easier to understand topics like tithing in the Bible.
Write Your Questions Down
Write down any questions that come to mind while reading a passage, and look up additional information about them later. For instance, reading about Moses, Pharaoh and the Israelites in Egypt might prompt you to research the customs and culture of ancient Egypt. Reading about Abraham could be a springboard to learning about Ur of the Chaldees.
Bible Study Method #: Bible Journaling
While Bible journaling isn’t necessarily a new method of Bible study, it has started gaining popularity in the past few years. If you’re a beginner to Bible journaling, it’s pretty much learning and reflecting on a particular scripture or passage of scripture through painting, coloring, drawing, scrapbooking, and more.
You can keep these journal entries in a notebook or there are even Bibles designed specifically for art journaling with wide margins and thicker pages. Don’t worry if you aren’t the most artistic person out there Bible journaling is for everyone even the artistically challenged !
Bible journaling is one of the different Bible study methods especially helpful if you are a visual learner. I am constantly amazed by the amount of scripture I can remember because my mind has associated the scripture with whatever image I journaled with it.
Be sure to check out JoDitt Designs for some amazing resources to get started with your Bible Journaling adventures!
Bible journaling also gives you the opportunity to simply be in God’s presence. As I work in my journaling Bible I am able to focus 100% on God .
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Other Bible Study Methods
My technique is not the only one out there. There are so many others. In fact, I would encourage you to draw from the various methods to create your own. Your most effective bible study will be the one personalized to you. I wont go into detail but here are a few of the other types of Bible study methods out there.
- Bible Verse Mapping
How To Study The Bible Effectively
Also keep in mind the cultural context and genre of the passage being studied. Keep in mind that we are looking at biblical writings that are separated from our time by centuries more than 1,950 years in the case of the New Testament and even longer in the case of the Old Testament. The Bible was also originally written in cultural contexts that are different from what we are used to. This, of course, does not mean that the Bible is not relevant to us, but when it comes to studying it and seeking to understand it, remember issues related to context.
Genre is also important. This has to do with what kind of passage we are studying in the Bible. For example, the Bible contains poetry, wise sayings, history, letters, prophetic writings, apocalyptic literature and more. Sometimes when studying the Bible, knowing what genre we are studying will help us. For instance, Proverbs contains many wise sayings intended as helpful, general advice, but this advice is not always absolutely binding in the same way that a promise of God would be.
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Why Are There So Many Bible Translations Out There And Which Should I Use
Does that question sound familiar? Yes? Well, Ill break it down for you. There are three major types of bible translations and each serve a different purpose for us as readers. These include the word for word, thought for thought , and paraphrased Bible versions.
- Word for word follows the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts most accurately. These are direct translations. Examples of these include the King James Version, English Standard Version, and the New Revised Standard Version.
- Thought for Thought versions convey scripture in its most understandable wording. Ancient cultural slang, sayings, and expressions are replaced with modern ones that can be easily understood by todays reader. These include the New International Version and the New Living Translation.
- Paraphrased versions are the least accurate to the original text. Authors are given a great amount of freedom in interpretation, so some passages may stray slightly from its original meaning. However, they are very easy to read in modern language. A popular paraphrased Bible translation is The Message translation.
Praying The Scriptures Over Your Children
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Giving Up Sugar Tasting God’s Goodness
As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still pedaling away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.
Mr And Mrs Guy And Amber Lia And Mrs Jean Daly
Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,
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What To Expect From Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a Christian is comparing yourself to other Christians.
God created us differently. Just because Sister Sally and Brother Jim spend hours every day in Bible study doesnt mean you have too.
Just because your Bible doesnt have tons of underlined scriptures or notes in the margins doesnt mean youre a bad Christian.
My advice is to do what works best for you. We all learn differently. Find a few Bible study methods you enjoy and stick with those.
Example: How To Start Bible Study
One example is John 4:1-2: Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John .
If I was relaying the basic story, I would have just said Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard he was baptizing and making more disciples than John. The fact that the author adds though Jesus himself didnt baptize them means that theres something important there.
I did some Googling/research and it turns out that thats actually a really important note! It seems like Jesus didnt perform water baptisms so that no Christian could lord their status over another, because we are all of equal status in Christ . By paying attention to what stands out, Im able to notice little details that I wouldnt if I just looked at the big picture.
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Study One Chapter At A Time
Going slowly helps you really take in and absorb the meaning and application of what youre studying. One chapter a day is manageable and helps you dig deep without getting overwhelmed. What are the main points of the chapter? What passage of scripture seems to be pivotal here? Read the chapter in different translations.
Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage Part 1
They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!
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Studying The Bible Will Change Your Life
This is one of the most important reasons you need to study the word of God.
You can read the Bible every day and never see a change in your life.
Hebrews 4:12 perfectly sums up the power of the word of God.
For the word of God is alive 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.
As you study and apply the word of God to your life, it will begin to transform you from the inside out.
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Read Through The Bible
Reading through the Bible is a great way to study it. Every page of the Bible reveals Gods character, emotions, thoughts, and actions.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
When you read the entire Bible or large portions of it, you can get a big-picture overview of the Bible. Anytime you read the Bible, youll know what part of the big picture it is in.
How to Read through the Bible
Option 1: Read through the entire Bible from cover to cover.
Option 2: Read specific books first to get an effective overview of the Bible
Books of the Bible to Read for an Effective Overview
These 15 books of the Bible will help you cover all the major themes and the main storyline of the Bible.
If you want more details on why these books are suggested and how they fit into the big-picture overview of the Bible, you can find it in this article: What Is the Best Order to Read the Bible for Beginners?
The books of the Bible are arranged by category, not chronologically. Thats one of the reasons that reading the Bible from cover-to-cover is challenging for many people.
For example, there are 4 records of the Gospels, the life of Jesus, in the New Testament. You can read one of the Gospels the first time through and then read the others after you have an overview of the Bible.
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What Is The Best Type Of Study Bible
There are so many different types of study Bibles that it can be confusing trying to determine the best study Bible for you.
There are Bibles for men, women, college students, high-school students, kids, military members, and on and on. Its a flabbergasting, overwhelming blessing.
Generally speaking, study Bibles fall into one of two categories:
Pick A Book Of The Bible And Work Your Way Through It
If youre anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or youll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps.
If you read one chapter of John a day, youll read John in its entirety in 21 days.
After reading John, move on to the other gospels Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
Work your way through one book at a time, and youll never find yourself fumbling for where to read again.
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Find Quality Bible Study Tools
Gods Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and knowledge about what youre studying, but He doesnt do the work for you. God knows doing the work of Bible study is part of how you internalize what you learn.
There are additional tools to consider, but at a minimum, its recommended to have these two resources available as you start your Bible study journey:
A reliable Bible Commentary: A Bible commentary provides input from experts who have studied the history and context surrounding various passages of Scripture that often require further study. Since this is a man-made resource, its true that expert opinions may vary. But with diligent study, youll be able to pick out the patterns and pray for the Holy Spirits guidance as you learn more.
Heres a reliable Commentary to try:
A reliable Bible Concordance:
A Concordance is like an in-depth index to the Bible. It keeps track of where certain names, phrases, and terms were used and lists the verse references for each of them. Concordances come in handy for topical studies, as it helps you find each place in the Bible the topic is addressed.
Try using this concordance:
Additionally, you can find even more free Bible study tools at:
Its Ok To Say I Dont Know
The Bible is a heavy-duty book about an all-powerful God with infinite perspective. There will likely be passages that are hard to understand, at least at first. Rest assured God understands, and Hes on this journey with you. If you come across a section of the Bible that leaves you befuddled, take notes. Write down your questions, your concerns, even your fears regarding those verses. Then move onits OK!
While much of the Bible complements itself in piecing together its overarching truths, you dont need to understand every verse right away, as youre reading through. The Bible isnt a novel that requires you to understand everything in chapter one in order to make sense of chapter 2. In fact, its even recommended to set one story or section aside for further study, then continuing to study the rest. Just remember to come back to it later.
Also, God will answer your prayers for clarity and understanding about your Bible study, even if it takes some time or growth first. Patience pays off in studying the Bible. Clarity may come in a day, in a year, or through an experience. Gods timing is perfect, and He knows the best way you will learn each principle of the Bible.
Consider the prophet and statesman Daniel, while studying a specific prophecy became anxious, troubled, and confusedbut he didnt give up. Instead, he was consistent and persistent in praying and God gave him the understanding he was searching for.
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Bible Study By Chapters
In the Bible there are 1,189 chapters in the Old and New Testaments. In a little over three years, a person could make an intensive study of the whole Bible, taking a chapter a day. It is usually a good practice to start your Bible study in the New Testament.
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Study the Bible by Chapters
Seek to find its main subject or subjects.
If you are reading the Gospel of John, for example, you might give each chapter titles like this: ch. 1 Jesus Christ, the Word of God ch. 2 The Wedding at Cana ch. 3 The New Birth ch. 4 The Woman at the Well ch. 5 The Healing of the Man at the Pool of Bethesda ch. 6 The Feeding of the 5,000
Including its main thoughts. For example, for John 1, you might make an outline like this:Jesus Christ, the Word of God:a. Jesus Christ was the eternal Word of God, 19b. Jesus Christ came into the world, 1018c. John witnesses that Christ is to come, 1928d. John says that Jesus is the Lamb of God, 2937e. Jesus Christ calls His first disciples, 3851
Bible Study By Verses
In studying the historical passages of the Bible, such as most of the Old Testament or parts of the Gospels, each verse may have only one simple meaning.
But many verses in both the Old and New Testaments are rich with many great Bible truths that will demand more detailed study. There are many ways for you to study a single Bible verse.
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