Updated: Jan 5
If you are new to studying the Bible it can seem a bit overwhelming. The Bible, given the size and literary styles, can be intimidating. Here are a few quick tips for better study.
Although the Bible is a large book, it tells the story of God and His redemption of all things through His Son Jesus. When reading various books, letters, and Psalms, contained in the Bible, keep in mind the overarching story of Jesus. Bound between the covers our Bibles are actually 66 individual books. It would be helpful to consider the Bible more as a library than a book. The uniqueness of this library is that each book tells the story of God and His Son Jesus.
Just like any library, the Bible contains different literary styles of books. There are books of poetry, history, proverbs, and even letters. As you read and study the Bible, recognize the type of literature you are reading. For example, we would not read law or history books as we would read poetry. The type of literary style and recognizing this style makes a difference in our understanding.
Seek to understand the author’s original intent. Although it can be tempting to read the Bible as if everything was written for a modern reader, the Bible is an ancient text. This ancient text was written to ancient audiences. Try to gain the context of the original audience to better understand what the author intends to communicate. A good study Bible may be helpful. Typically, study Bibles will have introductions to the various books of the Bible that include some historical context.
Read more. We have a tendency to read a paragraph or two and from this short snap-shot seek application to our modern lives. This often leads to misunderstanding and misapplication. Read large sections of the Scriptures or even complete books. You may even need to read them several times to understand the narrative flow and descriptions the author intends for us to understand.
Don’t get discouraged!
The Bible can be overwhelming when you first start reading and studying the Scriptures. The more you read, the more you will begin to understand the Bible. Don’t become discouraged if it is difficult at first. Keep reading and soon you will enjoy the Scriptures as you get to know God’s love and the gift of His Son Jesus.