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How to Study the Bible

One of my great desires is to encourage people to read and study the Bible for themselves. Often we are exhorted to read the Bible, but only very rarely told how to do it, which can lead many people to a sense of failure, or even guilt.

Over the years I have seen this situation change dramatically for so many people once they are taught Inductive Bible Study. Instead of coming to the text trying to prove a particular point, we need to read the text with a open mind, allowing it to challenge our thinking, and to draw the message out of the text. Normally when we read the Bible, we try and find what God is saying to us personally today. This is a good aim, but we forget that the Bible was not originally written to us, so often it will seem unintelligible or irrelevant to today. This is what so frequently puts people off reading and studying the Bible. The key is to learn to ask the right questions about the passage of Scripture, and through these, determine the meaning of the text to the original readers before attempting to apply it into our lives today.

From this page are a number of links

Method

This shows how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions

The other links consider the different types of book found in the Bible. It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

Narrative

Some suggestions of how we can learn from the narratives (stories) in the Old Testament.

OT Law

Here is some help in how to understand the Law of Moses and how to determine some relevant application to today.

Hebrew Poetry

Much of the Old Testament is written in poetry. How was Hebrew poetry different from modern poetry?

Wisdom

How to make sense of books such as Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes.

OT Prophets

Some practical guidelines on how to understand the Old Testament prophets.

Gospels

This explains the particular issues to be aware of when reading and studying the four gospels.

Parables

How to understand the parables told by Jesus, by identifying his original audience.

Acts

Is the Book of Acts a manual for church organisation, or is there another way of gaining wisdom from it?

Letters

Practical guidelines for understanding the letters (epistles) in the New Testament, and the importance of knowing their historical setting.

Eschatology

Some practical ideas on how to approach the controversial issue of end times (eschatology)

Revelation

Some help in making sense of this amazing book, which is so often misunderstood.