How to read the bible?
Topic: How to write a epistle letter
May 25, 2019 / By Jacqueline Question:
I would really like to start studying the bible, but I don't even know where to start. It seems that every time I try, I get confused. Besides praying and asking God for guidance, What are some tips? What should I look for when Im reading the bible.
Best Answers: How to read the bible?
Emeline | 10 days ago
You read the bible not in a quest for knowledge, but in a quest for Jesus. Jesus told the Pharisees, "You search the scriptures because you think you have eternal life through them, but they are there to testify of Me." There's nothing magical about the bible. It's your relationship with Jesus that makes the bible worth reading, and the bible is meant to point you to Jesus. Without this, there's not much point in reading it.
That said, I would suggest (very strongly) that you read the bible in chronological order, only start with the New Testament. It's a lot easier to follow. The Old Testament is a lot of background which can at times be extremely difficult to understand without a basic knowledge of the people to whom it was written, the history and culture of the times, and the prophetic language (all of which were a lot more obvious to the Jewish people of the day). I don't say you shouldn't read it, but save it for later.
You can get a chronological reading plan of the bible by doing a web search or by purchasing a chronological bible (which will actually be set up that way.) The way ancient manuscripts were ordered was generally by category and by placing the longest segments first. Having everything out of sequence makes things really confusing for us, who aren't that familiar with the historical time-lines. Some of the chronological ordering is subject to opinion, but the lists are generally quite similar to one another.
When reading the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), you should keep in mind that laying out events in chronological sequence wasn't the value to the writers that it would be to us. So things may not always be listed in order. For reading Acts and the Epistles, I recommend Frank Viola's "The Untold Story of the New Testament Church," which gives (along with a generous dose of his own opinions) valuable cultural information on the circumstances and likely reasons these letters were written. It doesn't include the biblical text, but it will help a lot in putting events in order and relating them to one another.
The Revelation is an apocryphal book containing large doses of symbolism. I would recommend saving it for last. If you don't have a familiarity with scriptural symbolism (or even if you do), it can be almost incomprehensible without a great deal of study and work--and even then you won't be certain--that's the nature of the book.
Bon Voyage and Blessings on your journey, Cindy
👍 208 | 👎 10
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Originally Answered: Can the Bible be read alone?
Yes I read the bible all the time. You should read it on your own. You can't really understand the bible fully just by listening to the Mass readings because you need to read the bible through for yourself and study it. The Mass reading are meant to help us contemplate Scripture. But many Catholics dont really understand the bible or salvation history because they never read it on their own. St. Jerome said ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.
You wouldn't pick up gone with the wind and read random pages out of it? You would never get the big picture that way. But that is how many read the bible.
I recommend a good Catholic bible study like Jeff Cavins the Great Adventure Series. If you don't have a bible study group there you could start one with this series. You don't have to know the bible to do it. The group is assigned questions and you do the homework and come back and share your answers with each other. Then you watch a video. You could also do the bible study on your own if you had to.
Find the latest translation (the later the translation, the more accurate they are). Read "Song of Solomon" and the 23rd Psalm. If they read like poetry, you're in the right place. Do NOT get the "study bible" things.
Read from beginning to end. Genesis 1.1 and go all the way to the end. You need all of the Old Testament to have the New Testament in context. You read it like anyother book, beginning to end. Period. Then reread it, preferably twice more.
Do NOT go into it with preconceptions, just take it for what it says and see what it means for YOU.
It is all between you, the bible, and God. You don't need any man-made doctirnes to muddy the waters on you. You can ask God for guidance. But nobody else, or you will be deceived sooner or later.
Blessings on your Journey!
👍 80 | 👎 1
Some do, but I don't think they should. A lot of the Hebrew writing in the Old Testament was written after the events and transcribed from tradition. I understand some of the New Testament stuff may have been also. I do know Y'Shua's (according to other writings from the time, that probably was Jesus’ real name) words were written later by others. He didn't write anything. I read recently that was true about the Quran. The words are Muhammad's but he did not write them down. Someone else did later. As I noted a lot of people go through a lot of trouble trying to prove every word is true and from God. It is obvious to me a lot is legends and fabricated to influence the Hebrews and, later, the Jewish cult that over a few centuries developed into Christianity. A couple examples are the stories of Samson and Job. I believe they are just lessons about marriage restrictions and loyalty to God. In the Quran, there are things I find very wise, like the warning about vengeance; but there are some things that I suspect might serve mostly Muhammad. One is his rationalization to his wives and another is fighting to the death for Islam. I study religions, and other philosophies, and both books are good representations of cultures' views of themselves, their world, God and the relations between those. Too many people try to put more into them than is in there. That is where the trouble starts. If you want to know about God, close the books and look around you. He is everywhere outside the books. Relatively little of him is in there.
👍 71 | 👎 -8
hi...There are many resources you can use as you read. First thing is try to establish who is saying what and to whom. You can read a verse but the verse is placed in a chapter that is part of a book; so as you read look for things emphasized, contrasted, promises given, cause and effect. Look at the positive side of a statement as well as the negative. There are many books that make up the bible yet it stands as one voice in unity on its voice. There are things like on line concordances that you can click on the words and find the Greek word and a better definition. Most often the plain meaning is the meaning of the text. I ask a lot of questions like who what why where when..I chart the answers ..this usually makes the interpretation pretty clear and most importantly the application. Take psalm 1 and read it about 10 times. then ask these questions and look at it this way. you will be amazed at how much is in this very short psalm...and don't worry about the things you don,t get file those questions away and they will get answered over time..
👍 62 | 👎 -17
Read this first..
.It will help you to understand better.The Bible is not in alphabetical order. In fact...it's not sure what order it's in... Some writings were found at different times.It's not like they found the whole book at one time. (I'm not meaning to insult your intelligence...I had a lot of wrong ideas all my life about the Bible. I didn't know that some things were repeated in it.)
Anyway... I'd get a Bible Story Book first from the Library and read it.
Some things in the OT you'll want to speed read...the the Begots. Don't try to pronounce the names.
By the time you get through the OT you'll want to jump up and down when you get to the NT. (no more animal sacrifices)
Be careful about just opening to any place and following what it says. You'll be taking it out of context.
Try to find a Bible you can half way understand...not the one in Old English. Then later if you want to get more technical you can go back to the hard one.
Be sure and get a YELLOW MARKER. You'll probably find a lot of things you'll want to highlight..important things.That way when you go back to it..you won't have to read the whole chapter again...just the main things.And use a bookmark...Don't be afraid to use the -marker or turn back the page corners.
Get a Bible where Jesus' words are in red...or underlined in red. That way you won't have to highlight them.
The Living Bible is easy to read..but I'm not sure how accurate it is. To be really accurate...you'd have to know and read the ones written in the original languages.
👍 53 | 👎 -26
I think you should read Genesis and Exodus first. Then Matthew, Ephesians, Psalms and Proverbs. Those are like the most basic. You can add to that Isaiah and Daniel too, but keep in mind the best way to understand the Bible is going to church. Is like when you are in school: The teacher explains and guides you and then you read the text books and ask questions. The teacher teaches a little more and you become curious and you read a little more. Eventually you become familiarized with the material and it's easy to read and learn by yourself. Of course for understanding the Bible you must be guided by the Holy Spirit. I believe He already guided you to be interested in reading the Bible but you should also maintain communion with Him through going to church, praising and praying.
👍 44 | 👎 -35
I've divided my reading into a different theme for the day of the week eg Mondays - letters starting with Romans, Tuesdays Job and proverbs, Wednesdays Psalms, Thursdays Gospels, Fridays Prophets, Saturdays first 5 books Genesis to Deuteronomy and Sundays History Joshua to Esther.
I've divided it so that I read the Bible in a year but you can do whatever suites your schedule. I find that this way helps me to have an overall picture quickly, the Bible is connected in many ways, reading from Genesis to Revelation I often forget details.
👍 35 | 👎 -44
A good study Bible can really help - John MacArther has a very good study Bible available in NASB and NKJV - he also has a commentary of the whole Bible and separate commentaries of many of the books in the Bible, the stand alone versions and complete commentary have more 'meat' then the study Bibles. There are many other commentaries out there but my preference is the MacArther. If a person started at the beginning of the New Testament and read every verse and every comment in the MacArther study Bible they would do themselves very well.
In addition to study Bibles is having a more modern version to refer to - My main Bible is a NKJV or sometimes NASB but I also have an NLT that I sometimes look to.
It is good to start and finish a particular book, going verse by verse.
Praying that God Blesses your study of Him.
👍 26 | 👎 -53
Congratulations for choosing the course of true wisdom!
"The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge.
Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised."
I suggest getting an overall picture of the history & contents of the Bible,
as well as what the Bible itself actually teaches.
Several articles --based on the Bible-- which can help you to do so are:
"True Teachings That Please God"
- How Old is it? - How is it Organized?
"Can You Trust the Bible?" :
- To Trust or Not to Trust
- - A Unique Book
- - - Reasons to Trust the Bible
"Ancient Scribes and the Word of God"
- The Early Scribal Profession
- Scribes in Ancient Israel
- Integrity of the Scriptures
"The Bible—Just a Good Book?" :
- A Textbook for Modern Living :
— A Book That Gives Purpose
— Adding Stability to a Troubled Life
— Help in Overcoming Emotional Problems
— Practical Counsel on Family Life
— Counsel That Endures!
What Is the Value of the “Old Testament”? :
- Is the “Old Testament” Still Relevant?
- It Was “Written for Our Instruction”
"The Gospels—History or Myth?"
- Questions to Consider:
-- Could the Gospels be a masterful invention?
-- Could the Gospels be legends?
-- If legends, could they have been compiled so quickly after the Jesus' death?
-- Were the Gospels later edited to fit the needs of the early Christian community?
-- What about seeming contradictions in the Gospels?
-- Does modern-day Christianity represent the Jesus of the Gospels?
- What Is Your Conclusion?
This is a condensed Bible study aid,
with both Scripture references -&- study suggestions:
"What Does God Require of Us?"
Next is a much more detailed Bible study aid,
complete with Scripture references, & review questions:
"What Does the Bible *Really* Teach . . . ?"
Both Bible study aids study subject by subject. . .
'Carefully examine the Scriptures daily as to whether these things are so.'—Acts 17:10,11
"How Can You Choose a Good Bible Translation?"
- From One Extreme to the Other
- Are Word-for-Word Translations Best?
- What About Free Translations?
- Why the Need for Caution?
- Finding the Best Translation
"Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word,
but the shrewd one considers his steps." --Proverbs 14:15
👍 17 | 👎 -62
Originally Answered: How long does it take to read the bible?
It is not important how much of the bible that you read. What is important is that you absorb what you read. I always read a chapter a day in the old testament and one chapter of Psalms and one verse of proverbs. I always ask God to speak to my heart as I read. IT is important to ask Gods help because HE wrote the bible and you needs His understanding. waite till you get to all those begets. I skipped over most of them.
That is good that you are reading the bible but read the new testament too.
God bless you!!