Firm Foundations Two (17 of 55) How Do I Study The Bible?

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How Do I Study The Bible?

Bible study is the privilege of a believer to understand God’s Word through reading, interpreting, and applying the Scriptures. A healthy habit of studying the Bible will also include: meditating on Scriptural truths, obeying Scriptural commands, and teaching the Scriptures to others. This is accomplished through knowing how to properly interpret the Bible so that one will know what it says and means for themselves.

The Usefulness Of The Bible

  • The Bible is the Word of God. It is infallible, inerrant, and complete. It is necessary for us to know God and His will. We glorify God by doing His will, and His will is revealed to us in the Bible.
    Psalm 19:7; 30:5–6; Romans 10:14–17; 2 Timothy 3:14–17; Revelations 20:18–19
  • The Bible is the source of truth. As believers correctly study, interpret, and apply the Bible to their lives, it will help them in the following ways: guide them, give them victory over sin, allow them to grow in the faith, and bring them true joy.
    Psalm 119:11, 105; 1 Peter 2:2; Luke 11:28; John 17:17; 1 John 1:4

The Believers’ Attitude Towards The Bible

  • Believers can spiritually understand the Bible. Only believers can understand the Bible, because the Holy Spirit lives inside of them. Therefore, believers should know, study, honor, love, obey, and teach the Bible.
    1 Corinthians 2:12–14; Psalm 138:2; 119:97; Job 23:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 2:5
  • Believers should desire to understand the Bible. Like a newborn baby desires milk, believers are to desire the Word of God. We should put away our sin and receive the Word. The more we live holy lives, the more we will desire the Word and vice versa.
    1 Peter 2:2; James 1:21–25; Psalm 19:10; Matthew 4:4
  • Believers should diligently study the Bible. Bible study is not always easy, but it is often hard work. We should be diligent to study the Bible and pray for God to open our eyes so we can understand and apply the truth correctly.
    Acts 17:10–12; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 119:17; Ephesians 1:16–18
  • Believers should meditate on the Bible. We should think about the Bible, consider its truths, memorize it, and constantly keep it on our minds.
    Deuteronomy 6:6–7; Psalms 1:1–3; 37:31, 119:11, 105; Joshua 1:8; 1 John 5:3
  • Believers should teach the Bible. We have a responsibility to communicate the Bible to others. This should motivate us to read, study, interpret, and meditate on the Bible.
    Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Timothy 2:2

How To Study The Bible

  • Read the Bible: All believers should read or have someone read the Bible to them so they know what it says. They should read the entire Bible, Old and New Testament, because it is all profitable.
    1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:3
  • Interpret the Bible: All believers should interpret the Bible so they know what it means. When you interpret the Bible, you want to follow some principles that will help you understand its meaning. Below are four principles:
    Nehemiah 8:1–8

– The Literal Principle: You interpret the Bible according to its natural meaning. You are not trying to find any hidden or special meanings in the text, but you interpret it in the plain normal way the author intended it and in accordance to its literary style.

– The Historical Principle: You interpret the Bible in its historical context. You should ask many questions, such as: When was it written? Who wrote this book? What was the historical setting? Who was this written to? How would they interpret it? Why was it written?

– The Grammatical Principle: You interpret the Bible according to its grammatical structure (nouns, verbs, pronouns, etc.).

– The Scripture Principle: You interpret the Bible according to the Bible. The Bible will never contradict itself, but it will always be in harmony. We compare Scripture with Scripture.

  • Apply the Bible: You apply the Bible according to its interpretation. How does the scripture apply to you? This does not mean “what does this verse mean to you,” but based on the Scriptures proper meaning, “what application does it have for your life?”
    2 Timothy 3:16

Other Bible Study Helps

  • Reading Plan: It is useful to read through the Bible in an organized way. Start at the beginning of a book and read all the way through. Decide on an amount of time or an amount of chapters to read everyday, so that you will consistently be reading the Bible.
  • Bible Resources: The Bible can be hard to interpret sometimes because it was written in a different language, culture, location, and time. There are books that can help us understand these areas so that we can properly interpret the Bible (Dictionaries, Concordances, Commentaries, etc.).
  • Basic Bible Study: If you do not have any Bible resources, you can still interpret the Bible through the following process: pray, read, put the passage in your own words, note your predetermined ideas, look for what the Bible says (not others), study and know the context, ask questions about the text to clarify your understanding, compare your findings with other Scripture, explain it and apply it the best you can.

Review Questions

  • What does the Bible reveal to us?
  • Why can believers understand the Bible?
  • What are 3 ways to study the Bible?
  • What are the 4 principles to interpret the Bible?
  • Are you fulfilling your responsibility to teach others about the Bible?

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