As believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, to study the Bible isn’t an issue of productivity but necessity. Bible study is an essential part of the Christian as God’s word is our strength, healing, peace, and guide. But most importantly, it is our primary source of truth about who God is. But how do we understand this heaven-inspired narrative?
If we’re honest, understanding the Bible can be intimidating for most of us. We didn’t have any education on Theology, but we want to know the God who saved us nonetheless. Good news is that, to study the Bible is something that our God empowers us to do. The Bible promises that through the Spirit, we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. (1 Corinthians 2:10-12)
The Scripture is written to people with culture and language that are far-fetched from ours. The key to understanding what the Bible says is to ask the right questions when we read our Bible.
Study the Bible better when you ask these questions
What should I take note of the writer?
When you study the Bible, you need to take note of the information about its writer. You can get a fresh and accurate perspective with the author’s profile in mind. You need to ask questions like:
- What was he experiencing when he wrote it?
- What is his personality, culture, background?
- Where was he when he wrote it?
- What’s his encounter with God?
For example, Philippians tells us a famous verse about rejoicing in all circumstance. It’s a cute reminder until you take note that Paul wrote it while he was in prison. To be encouraged by someone who is experiencing discomfort and uncertainty leads us to deeper awe, right?
Who is the recipient or intended audience of the book/letter?
The intended audience of the passage has a different culture or language than us. Hence, we need to study the Bible by how it was meant to be understood by its intended audience. We can ask the following questions:
- What’s the audience’s relationship with the author or the one talking?
- What’s the circumstance surrounding the audience of that passage?
- What’s the audience’s issues/characteristics/culture?
1st Corinthians 13 provides us the most celebrated passage about Love. Take note that Corinthians were lovers of faith, gifts, and knowledge. They have a reputation for being excellent in what they do. However, in all their labor, they lack or forget to love. While these verses look good on Tshirts or Instagram, for the Corinthians it was a strong admonition.
What am I learning about God in this passage?
Let’s not forget our main goal when we study the Bible. We study the Bible for so many reasons like to get direction, find peace, or increase our faith in tough times. But the most important approach when we study the Bible is to know God more. When we know God more, we get to trust and worship Him more.
Download this cheat sheet below to help you ask the right questions the next time you study your Bible. For more tips, check out our Devotional Tips category or type #HowToDevo on Facebook posted by Angelittle.