It is important to read and understand the word of God. The right way is to analyze what information God has provided in the Bible. Through the Bible, he conveys his message to mankind. In this context, Jesus Christs was the light for the world.
There are numerous ways of studying the Bible, but the best approach is to read and understand the word of God.
We can achieve this through the following three steps:
Step 1: Observation – What message does the text convey?
Step 2: Interpretation- What is the actual meaning of the text?
Step 3: Implementation- How can I implement these teachings in my daily life
Bible Study- Step 1: Observation
The initial and fundamental step for studying the Bible is the observation. When you read different passages of the Bible, you need to pay attention as to what does the text say. Also, how the Bible is addressing its readers. Focus on:
- Terms– words may have several meanings; however, times have a specific use in a particular context. For example, we can use the word trunk in the discussion of a tree, storing box, or a vehicle. But, when one reads, “These trees have large trunks.” They have an idea as to what does the word mean that makes it a term.
- Structure– When you read the Bible, you would notice that the text is in units known as indented paragraphs or marked as ¶. A paragraph is a full unit of an idea/thought. You may explore the content by understanding the group of every paragraph.
- Emphasis– You need to note how many verses or chapters are for a particular topic. The length of a question in the form of verses and chapter demonstrates its significance—for example, Psalms 119 and Romans 9.
- Repetition– If you notice the repetition of a topic, you will be able to determine the significance of that subject. You would understand that God has focused on particular issues. For example, on different occasions, there is a discussion and explanation of “salvation.” This indicates that God gives importance to salvation, and he wants people to achieve salvation through good deeds.
Connection between Ideas
As a reader, you should focus on specific relationships that exist in the passages. The Bible draws the attention of the readers to certain essential elements in the form of questions and answers. For example, “Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty” (Psalms 24:8).
Literary Type: In a way, the Bible is literature, and it has three primary forms of literature: the letter/communication, text (Old Testament history), and poetry (the Psalms). Understanding the form of literature enables you to grasp the message when you read and interpret the Scripture.
Environment: There is a proper context of the revelation of passages, verses, and the whole Scripture. As a reader, you should keep in view the tone and style of the writing. Once you have considered these things, you will be able to ask the questions.
Who? When? What? Where?
Who are the individuals in the text? When did the event take place (for example, the time of the history)? What is the message in the passage? At what location the event is taking place?
Asking such a question will enable you to understand the terms and determine the environment. The answers will help you to visualize the settings you are reading about. If you imagine or visualize the event, you would gain an insight into the text. As you read carefully, the questions will come to your mind to help broaden your views.
Bible Study: Step 2- Interpretation
Interpretation refers to exploring the meaning of the text; the main argument of the passage. Answering the queries that come to your mind during observation would facilitate you to interpret.
Background– You may answer the majority of your questions about a particular text when you read the book closely. Reading the text means you have to read the text that appears immediately before and after the text. By doing so, you will be able to understand the context of the verse.
Cross-references. As you read along, you would realize that an interpretation of a verse might come later in the Scripture. All you need to do is to pay attention to every single word, verse, and passage. Do not make any assumption that the same name or term in two different verses or passages have the same meaning.
Culture– Remember, God revealed the Bible long ago; therefore, when you interpret it, keep in view the cultural settings of two thousand years ago.
Conclusion– When you answered your questions to understand in terms of context, cross-references, and culture, you are in a position to conclude. If there is more than one paragraph for passage, there might be a representation of more than one idea or thought.
Consultation. Several scholars have interpreted the Bible, and such interpretations are commentaries. You can read and analyze these commentaries to get an insight into the Bible.
Bible Study: Step 3- Implementation
You should understand the purpose of studying the Bible. The Bible aims to transform the lives of humans. It wants believers to strengthen their belief in God and follow the teachings of Jesus.
The believers need to analyze their lives in light of the truth presented in the Bible. After reading and understanding the Bible, you should analyze the following aspects:
- How the truth of the Bible impacts my connection with God?
- How the truth affects my contact with other humans?
- How the fact impacts me as a human?
- How should I respond to my enemy, Satan?
You need to practice what God has taught you through Jesus in the Bible. Implement the teachings in your daily life.
You can follow three steps to understand the message of the Bible: Observation, Interpretation and Implementation. The key is to maintain focus throughout the reading.
After making careful observations, you will come up with questions, and then you will be able to interpret it. You can also use the commentaries of Bible scholars. Implementing the teachings of the Bible in daily life is the real objective and success for a true believer.