How to read the Bible
‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ Jos 1:8
1. What is the Bible?
The Bible is God’s book given to us to tell us about God. We know there is a God because we see the sun, the moon, the thousands of stars and the earth with its mountains and rivers. We can see that there must have been a mighty being that made it all. We know nothing about God until we read the Bible. That is how we learn who God is, what God is, what He has done and what God is doing now.
2. Is it difficult to understand the Bible?
Some parts are difficult; but some, which is the most important, is very easy to understand. Read the parts that are easy to understand first and leave the difficult parts for now.
3. How was the Bible written?
It was written long ago by God’s servants. God lead them in what to write and kept them from making mistakes. This is why we believe everything that is written in the Bible because it is God’s Word to us. It was written in very old languages but is now translated into our own so that it can be our guide through our whole life.
4. Which part of the Bible must I read first?
If you haven’t read the Bible before, then start with the Gospel according to Mark. It is the second book of the New Testament. It is a plain storytelling of the life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It also tells of His death on the cross and of Him rising from the dead. You will learn a lot of what He had done when He was on the earth about 2000 years ago.
5. What must I read after that?
In the fifth book of the New Testament, called “The Acts of the Apostles”, you will read what Jesus Christ did after He went back to heaven through His servants, the apostles, here on earth. Here you will read how the church began, how the first Christians came together to pray in His Name and share communion like He commanded them. You will also read how the apostles and other Christians suffered for their Lord. All these things will be of great value to you.
6. What must I read after that?
You can now read the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians. It was written to a group of people who have been saved for a short while. They were young Christians. You will read here that our Lord Jesus is returning and what He will do when He returns.
After you have read these books you can start reading the Gospel of Matthew, the first book in the New Testament, and read right through to the last chapter of the Bible. Start reading Genesis, in the Old Testament, along with your readings in the New Testament.
7. How must I read the Bible?
Humble. Remember that it is God’s Word to you, and be willing to receive it as a student that wants to be taught how a Christian should live.
Prayerful. Before you read, ask God to help you understand what you are reading.
Obedient. Be ready to be obedient to everything God tells you to do.
Careful. Don’t be hasty, if you read too quickly you won’t see everything that God wants to show you. Read every chapter carefully and try to understand the meaning of it.
Daily. Read a chapter or part of a chapter each day.
Language? Read it in your own language.
Here is the advice that Paul, an old apostle, gave to a young man with the name Timothy. You will find it in your Bible in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verse 14 to 17. Read it, then think about it and read it again.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
What are the most important lessons in the Bible?
Here are some of them:
A. The Bible teaches us about God. We see that He is holy and that He hates our sin. It also tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to save us.
B. The Bible teaches us about ourselves. It says that we have all sinned, did wrong things, said wrong things and thought wrong things. And it also tells us that God will punish us for these sins.
C. The Bible shows us a Saviour. It tells of how the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to save the sinners. He took our place on the cross and died for us, but He also rose again and lives forever to save those who believe in Him.
Read the Bible attentively every day and you will soon learn all of these truths. King David prayed in Psalm 119:18 “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” May this be your prayer as well.