17 Pointers on How to Better Understand and Study the Bible

woman reading a bible painting

1. Take everything in the Bible literally unless this could not possibly be the meaning. When the language is used in a figurative sense get the literal truth conveyed by it.

2. Give the same literal meanings to words, and apply to the Bible the same rules of grammar, figures of speech, types, symbols, allegories, parables, poetry, prophecy, history, and all other forms of human expression that you would if they were found outside the Bible.

3. Choose to believe the bible even if you do not understand it.

4. If you battle with a particular scripture read 10 verses before and 10 verses’s afterwards and see if that helps by dwelling on what has been written. These are some questions to ask yourself:-  a) To whom was it written? b) Why was it written? c) What is the subject being raised or written about? d) Are there other scriptures on this issue or subject?  e) Where was it written? In prison, outside or in a city?

5. Read each word out loud where possible and slowly so your mind does not skip words and you get as much of the meaning as possible. You might have read a scripture many times but that does not mean you know what it means and how it applies to you right now.

6.  Lookup words in the Vines Dictionary, a normal dictionary and the Strongs Concordance. Many words that you think you know the meaning of have changed over time. The biblical meaning might not be what you think.

7. Take note of the tenses of words. Many words are in the “past” tense from Romans onward and this is very important. God achieved so much with the beating, death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His Son.

8. Take note of all the “In Him” scriptures by marking them in your bible. This will re-enforce what we have In Christ as new creations in Christ.

9. Learn the Bible manners, customs, and peculiar idioms.

10. Get acquainted with the geography of all Bible lands.

11. Get a general knowledge of the history of the biblical peoples and kingdoms to understand biblical history.

12. Get a general knowledge of the plan of God in the Bible and the ultimate purpose of God to defeat Satan, restore man’s dominion, rid the earth of all rebellion, and establish an eternal kingdom on earth ruled by God, Christ, and the resurrected saints (Genesis 8:22; 9:12; Isaiah 9:6-7 Luke 1:32-33 Revelation 11:15; 20:1-10; 22:4-5).

13. Recognise the three classes of people dealt with in Scripture-the Jews, Gentiles, and the church (1 Corinthians 10:32).

14. Keep in mind the historical background of each book and the circumstances under which it was written. Never change the literal meaning of Scripture to a spiritual, mystical, symbolic, or figurative meaning unless it is done by God Himself.

15. Get a complete concordance such as Strong’s to look up any subject and to define any Hebrew or Greek word if there is any question of proper translation.

16. Be just as intelligent and fair with the Bible as with any other book. Study it, not to disprove it, but to master its sacred contents and conform to its teachings and you will find it to be in unity.

17. It must be settled once and forever that the Bible does not contradict itself and all scriptures on a subject must be harmonised. The only thing difficult about the Bible is that it is a very large book and it will take time to master its contents enough to get a general understanding of it.

All of the above will take time, however over time it will get easier as you learn truth upon truth and you develop your skills.

It is suggested that you use a smart phone, tablet and PC with your relevant reading and study tools on it. You can get apps for the Strong’s Concordance, Vines Dictionary and bibles for free for iPhone, Android based phones and tablets including Amazon Fire tablets.

Suggested Apps

  1. Olive Tree Bible App on Windows PC, Android, Kindle Fire and iPhone
  2. YouVersion Bible App on Windows PC, Android, Kindle Fire and iPhone
  3. KJV Bible with Strongs Android and iPhone
  4. E-Sword for Windows PC, iPhone, iPad and Mac

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