Have you found reading God’s word, understanding the Bible, so intimidating you’d rather not open it? As Christians, the word of God is the bread that feeds us daily, the water that quenches our thirst, and the feast that satisfies our deepest longings.

But if we are honest enough, it is not always easy to understand the Bible. Others also say only Bible scholars have the right to study it. But I believe the word of God is His love letter to all. To you. To me. And if it is a message of His heart, I would want to discover it for myself – and not wait for others to tell me what it is, right?

God promises that we can understand the Bible

The good news is that the Bible confirms His word isn’t for smart people, it is for people with His Spirit. Because it is by His Spirit that we understand the Bible!

10Bute it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

1st Corinthians 2:10-12 NLT

The Bible promises that we can get hold of God’s secrets because we have his Spirit who searches all things! But how do we understand the bible so we can appreciate God’s secrets? Here are tips and tricks how…

Look for a friendly text.

What’s a friendly text? It’s a text in your reading that glimmers among others. When you read the Word of God, there are verses that just shine before your eyes a while. There are lines, theme, passages that just speak to your heart of hearts, that even when you continue reading to the next chapter, you feel these lines beckoning you back.

When you find that friendly text, stick to that! For awhile, much on those words, fix your eyes on the message, and study that friendly text. There must be something that the LORD wants spoken to you in that particular passage.

Discover the historical context.

One way to avoid misinterpretations is to understand the history of that passage we are reading. The Bible was written by God-inspired people who have backgrounds, culture, behaviors, traditions, and history that are different from our upbringing. We will better understand the bible if we also try to read it in the lens of its inspired writer.

For example, we may slam the concept of “slavery” today but when we read the new testament, the apostle Paul calls employees as slaves. Because back then, that’s usual and non-offensive.

Questions to ask to better understand historical context:

  1. Who wrote it? (Consider the character, position, circumstance, background, etc)
  2. To whom was it written? (Consider the culture, relationship to the author, circumstance, etc)
  3. When was it written? (Consider the events, circumstance, date)
  4. Where was it written? (Consider the geographical setting, culture, place)

Discover the literary context.

It is very dangerous to take a verse out of the passage and understand it as a separate entity; we need to read the Bible holistically. I’ve heard a lot of teachers who interpret the Bible but disregard its literary context, and I feel sad because we are missing the beautiful point of the passage.

Here are what you should take note to understand the bible better:

  1. Study the words, paragraphs, chapters, surrounding it.
  2. Study the meaning of words used. You can search online what the original word really meant.
  3. Why was it written? Understanding the purpose unleashes jewels.
  4. Understanding the genre:
    • Law – Exodus and Deuteronomy
    • History – Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Acts
    • Poetry – Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations
    • Wisdom – Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes
    • Narrative – Ruth, Esther, Daniel, and Jonah
    • Gospel – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
    • Epistles – All letters from Romans to Jude
    • Apocalyptic – Revelations

Read in various texts.

Reading in various translations can help you enjoy your Bible study time. Honestly, there are times that I feel bored on my current translation but when I try to read the same text using a different one, I get fresh revelations! You can download YouVersion Bible App so you can read wherever you go.

I mainly read from the English Standard Version, I switched to using it recently when I learned that most Bible scholars recommend this. I also flip through New American Standard Bible because our Hermeneutics (Bible Interpretation) teacher highly suggests this version, too. I also run to Amplified and New International Version when the words get too hard for me to decipher. 🙂

Important: Get a journal to write your study.

Writing down your thoughts can help you understand the Bible better. Trust me, you’ll be surprised at how revelations can pour into your writing once you get a pen and a journal while reading! While my Deeply Rooted Devo Notebook has sold out but we’re coming back soon.

You may also download and print our Digital Devotional resources to help you study and understand the bible better. It’s now up on ETSY at a very cheap price!

Did this article help you enjoy your bible study time? Let me know in the comments section or message me on Facebook!

9 Responses

  1. I so love this! Indeed, we must take time to study the word. We must become Berean christians and seek to know the word for ourselves. It is his love letter to us as you said. We can’t know the Lord but not know who he is. Great piece.

  2. I thank God that I found your write ups relevant and full of words of wisdom. I encouraged my daughter to read your blogs. I told my teenagers to read Pinoy Devo and follow your posts because I find them really founded in His words.

    May God bless you with more wisdom to share and inspire others to keep digging the truth and be more in lve with Jesus each day.

  3. Thank you so much for this ms. Angel! ? I pray and hope that I can understand and be deeply rooted in the word of God.

  4. I love it!! I have now another wisdom about the Bible. But ate ung free Devotional template po is ayaw po magopen, kaya nakadalawang beses po ako ng pagpit ng name and email ko. But it’s fine lang po.??

    1. Hi dear! Yea, something went wrong with the free download plugins and have no time yet to fix it 🙁 haha but our digital devo templates are now for sale on Etsy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *