Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 ESV.
If you asked me today how to best read the Bible, my answer would be something like this:
First, read the book like any other story narrative. Start in the first book called Genesis and read right through until you finish the last book called Revelations. However read with only one question in mind: “How does God relate to humanity?” As you read, get to know God’s attributes, purposes, and mode of operation. Don’t get stuck trying to understand anything else at this time but only focus on who “God IS.”
When you have finished, plan to reread the entire Bible one more time. This time though pay particular attention in how humanity responds to God. However this time read first the New Testament before the Old Testament. But again only study how mankind behaves before God. Don’t get sidetrack on anything else at this time.
After you have completed that assignment, then re-read the entire book from beginning through end with only one other question in mind: “How does this apply to me?” As you read you will become more aware of how God may be working with you. Some scripture may only make you yawn. Others you will find yourself strongly relating too. You will discover more about yourself as you focus on how God has worked with others and how others have responded to Him.
Only after going through the above exercise, I would than study one book at a time starting with the New Testament. Read each book to discover the major theme, audience, and purpose behind the writing. You will not need any outside material to assist you. Instead, look for supporting points toward your main theme and outline it in your own words. This exercise will help you recognize when people take scripture out of context to make a personal point. When you recognize how that specific scripture supports the theme and answers the specific reason for the book, you will know probably just as much as any so-called Bible scholar.
You will find the Holy Spirit working with you as you discover more about God, humanity, and yourself in the process. It is a lifelong journey so don’t expect to understand everything you read at once. Through life’s divine appointments, listening to others, and walking in the Spirit, the Bible will become a relevant tool in your hand to decipher the season of life you are going through. When you look back, you will realize that the Bible is a living testament of 40 authors inspired by God so we may come to know Him more intimately as He reveals Himself through its pages. You will also come to recognize Him in the many daily routines and through life’s diverse moments. It all happens as you lean on Him studying His expressed Word like those Jews who were considered more noble than those in Thessalonica.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
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