Mark & Beth Brownson
Saturday, June 06, 2020
To know Christ and to make Him known

How to Study the Bible: Part A

 There is a Child Evangelism Fellowship song that Beth uses to teach children and adults about Bible Study. The start of the song says “As I read God's Word each day, I will ask myself three questions: What does it say? What does it mean? What is God saying to me?” Although this makes a great outline of how to study the Bible, this is obviously somewhat simplistic. As Christians, I think we would all agree that studying the Bible is important to our faith. In 2 Timothy 3:16,17, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy 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.” These verses will be our starting point for the next several months as we attempt to take a look at how to study our Bibles. My baseline understanding is that the Bible is the Word of God from first to last. We will be looking at ways we can better understand what it says, not only to its original audience, but to us today. Some of the things that we will be looking at will be subjects, such as the following: “Context”, which is the surrounding verses and setting of a given passage; “Resources”, where we can go and do research as to the meaning of a passage; “Genre”-- the type of literature, such as poetry, prose, illustrations, etc.; how the Bible as the Word of God affects our understanding; how the fact that it was written by human authors impacts our understanding; “the Holy Spirit's role” in bringing understanding to us; “Language and Translation”; “Unity of the Bible”; “Biblical Time Periods”--is it for today and can that be determined?; “Literal and Figurative Interpretations”; “Applications”--how does it effect me? When somebody suggested this to me, my first reaction was “What a daunting task”. It sounds a lot harder than it actually is. There will always be portions of the Bible that are hard to understand. Much of it is straightforward and if we take it in its most literal sense, with the Holy Spirit's help, the average person can understand the Bible, maybe not in its complexity, but in its simplicity.

How to Study the Bible: Part A