How to study the Bible Effectively?
The Importance of Studying the Bible
One day, a friend of mine asked me about God, our Creator. He said “If God is, how can we learn of Him? How am I going to know what pleases Him, my beloved Creator?” I dare say many would love to please their Maker. Yet, they do not know how. Yes, you may be saying “Our great Creator has loved us so much that He created us, but He has left us all alone, as orphans—without any Guide of Life.”
However, I myself bring you Good News today that the Creator has not at all left you as an orphan. Instead, He has ever sought a way to communicate with you. God knows that you feel all alone in this world. And, He does not want you to feel so. Then, He has established a great communication channel with you. And, it is called Bible [it is so called because it is a collection of over 66 books in it], through which God has communicated with His creatures from long ago—your ancestors. And, through the use of the same Bible (also called Holy Scriptures), you can also get in touch with Him today. The Apostle Paul says “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4. As it is, everything found in the Holy Scriptures, not only was it for the use of our ancestors, but also is it to teach us. And such Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for the fulfilment of what our loving God has promised to do for the betterment of our lives as we place our trust in Him. So, God’s will for our ancestors, is the same for us today as well, for God says “I am the Lord, and I do not change…” (Mal. 3:6).
Now, you might argue “Should I trust the Bible to be the Word of God?” Well, many have asked this question. And to your astonishment, the Apostle says “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. See, all Scripture—the Bible—comes right from God. It is the written Word of God. Therefore, you are to trust it! Only the Scriptures can tell you the TRUTH—not a lie. Only the Scriptures can make you realize what is wrong in your life, thereby correcting you. Only the Scriptures can teach you to do what is right, for “God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” In other words, other books can tell you a fiction. But the Bible tells the truth and the truth only, because all of it is inspired by God—it is indeed the written WORD of GOD. Through the study of the Bible, you can get to know how God created you, thereby being able to refute Evolution theories; why there is so much sorrow in this world; why you cannot see you God, and thus think He has left us all alone; the solution to the problem of Sin; your future and even more.
How Did Man Come To Have Scriptures?
You might wonder how the Humans came to have the Scriptures in their hands. Did the Bible fall from Heaven down to humans? Of course not! As you noticed in our discussion above, all the Scriptures were written, “…They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” 1 Corinthians 10:11, and inspired by God “All Scripture is inspired by God…” 2 Timothy 3:16. So, the Scriptures are the written and inspired Word of God. But, they did not fall from heaven down to humans! Then, how did the humans ever have the Scriptures? We get the clue to that in 2 Peter 1:19, 21, where it says “…we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts…those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” So, God communicated His message to the prophets, who were moved by the Holy Spirit, thereby dreaming dreams, seeing visions, and thus speak from God, so that in turn, these messengers—the prophets, would transmit the message of God to the people. That is why the Apostle Peter urges us to “pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns”, that is, their words fill us with “hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4. All the Scriptures are God’s great Guidebook for all humankind. In the Bible, we have a lot of examples on how God ever communicated to prophets. For instance, in the book of Daniel and Revelation, we find Daniel the Prophet and the Apostle John, the Prophet (the disciple of Christ Jesus), seeing visions of the Son of Man—Jesus Christ—telling him, through His holy angels, to write down all that he was seeing in vision (Daniel 7:1; Rev. 1:1, 2; 1:11, 19; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; 14:13; 21:5).
How to Study the Bible?
Just as everything has ‘its cause’, it also has ‘its manner’—its manual, which tells how to handle it. Therefore, it is very fundamental to know how to go through the Scriptures in order that we get to Jesus, who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Every Scriptures—that give eternal life —testify of Jesus Christ. Jesus says “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me.” John 5:39. The better you study the Bible, the nearer you are drawn to Jesus.
The Bible study method is so simple: Scriptures answer Scriptures (they explain themselves). All you need to do in order to get to the Bible fundamental Teachings is compare one Scripture with another. Says Isaiah the Prophet “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10 KJV. So, as you read the Bible, could you encounter a difficult phrase in the Scriptures, whose meaning you don’t understand (or whom it refers to), then now you know what to do or the solution to that: try to conceive its meaning in the context of the whole Bible (be it in the Old Testament or in the New); compare such a phrase of the verse with even more Bible verses addressing the very same topic. For example, in Revelation 13, we find that the Apostle John was brought into a vision, and he saw a beast rise up out of the sea. Now, you might wonder what it means that ‘a beast rises up out of the sea’. But, as we have said earlier that Bible explains itself, it is going tell us the meaning of such a beast rising up out of the sea. When we turn to Daniel 7, we find the story of four beasts representing the four kingdoms that would rise from the earth (Daniel 7:17). So, we know, right from the start, that that one beast of Revelation 13:1 could simply represent one kingdom that would rise from the earth. And the sea represents masses of people of every nation and language (Rev. 17:15). So, that Revelation beast rising up out of the sea is a kingdom that would rise from most populated area (the Roman Empire). See, how wonderfully this Bible study method works. Thanks to the method, we now know what that means; we just need some details to proceed. Actually, we have unlocked the code!
Now that you know it, go try it and see how it works. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 KJV.
Was this helpful? Is there any question? Contact the author: