Do you have a hard time understanding the Bible?
When I started studying the Bible over thirty years ago, it was a mystery. It seems like it was written in a foreign language. I kept reading words like…
It was a book filled with Bible jargon, religious lingo, and spiritual terminology that did not make any sense to me. How can I understand what the Bible teaches? How can I live my life by a book I could barely grasp?
After spending some time with a minister and scholar, it really began to make sense. It was so exciting to read a passage in the Bible and learn what it meant and how to live by its teaching.
If you are having trouble making sense of the Bible, there are some good reasons why.
1. It has a high readability level. The Bible was written on a 10th to 12th grade reading level. (It depends on the translation). Most people are comfortable reading at a 6th grade level. The higher the reading level, the less we comprehend and retain.
2. We are removed from its culture. The Bible was written thousands of years ago in a culture very different from your own. For example, the parable of the prodigal son can be confusing. Read it with some knowledge of the culture, and it makes more sense.
3. We insert our own interpretations (or that of others). Sometimes we approach the Bible thinking we already know what the Bible says. We read a verse or a paragraph through the lens of what our church, parents, and culture have taught us.
4. We don’t know how to live by what we read. It is possible that we read and understand Bible teachings. But how do we use what we learn in everyday life?
5. Some of the Bible is just hard. Do you struggle to understand certain Bible verses? It could be for the simple reason that the Bible is hard to understand. The apostle Peter referred to the writings of the apostle Paul. Listen to what Peter wrote…
“His letters contain some things that are hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3.16).
As a minister, I have been studying and teaching the Bible for close to three decades...and I can help you in your studies!
If you have ever wanted to know what the Bible says, these Bible studies and lessons can help you. The Bible is the most powerful and life-changing book in existence. But it can only benefit you if you can make sense of it.
1. Break down the verses into language that you can understand. Using modern terminology, the meaning of the Bible is well within your reach.
2. Interpret the Bible the way it was meant to be understood. The meaning of words change over time, even in our own culture. Imagine how much words change over the course of thousands of years. To understand the Bible, we need to…
a) Define words the way it was originally meant.
b) Explain the context. (the meaning of words change with the context).
c) Find cultural insight, and how to carry those thoughts into our culture.
3. Stay away from religious bias. Different religions, churches, and denominations will “spin” a passage to fit their teachings. Get to the truth without denominational influences.
4. Learn how to use the Bible in your life. Jesus tells us that we are to live by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4.4). The Bible is not a book of facts. It is a book of how to live.
The Bible can be difficult. It is time to strip away all the interpretations of man. Read the Bible the way it was meant to be read. Engage in a conversation with someone about the Bible with confidence. Answer the door to those who want to share their faith knowing how to detect religious bias. Live your life better by putting Bible teachings into your every day life.
Becoming well versed in the verses will serve you well.