There is no other book in the world quite like Bible. It is an exceptional piece of literature. You can read it to enjoy the artistic beauty of its poetry, the exciting action of its books f history, and the drama of its prophets. You can look to the Bible for comfort or guidance, inspiration or entertainment.
But the Bible is much more than this. It is also God’s special revelation teaching us about God and pointing the way to salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. As God’s Word the Bible speaks authoritatively to all our needs and desires and calls on us to listen and obey.
You can read the Bible just as you do other books, skimming off the surface meaning of various passages. But to get into the heart of what God is saying to you, you also have to study the Bible as you would a textbook. This type of Bible study is a vital part of growing to spiritual maturity. It may sound tedious, and it certainly will require diligent effort, but the rewards are well worth the time and energy spent.
As you study the Bible, you will learn to know it better. You will gradually develop a strong biblical frame of reference that will help you build your life on what God has said. Because the Bible is God’s revelation of himself, learning more about the Bible will also lead to a greater knowledge of God. This doesn’t mean just knowing about God – though certainly that’s important. It means knowing God on a personal level and developing a closer relationship with him.
Studying the Bible will make you more aware of God’s will for your life. These results eventually will become a cycle. As you come to know God better, you will respond to his claims on you and follow his will for your life. That in turn will draw you even closer to God and give you a stronger desire to obey him. Through both of these your love for God will grow and your Bible study will become an act of worship.
There are some important guidelines you will need to keep in mind as you get started in Bible study. First of all, you should have a definite plan to follow so you can proceed in an organized manner. Listed below are a number of Bible study methods to use. You’ll probably want to vary your methods in order to avoid a routine approach.
You should be careful to consider the context of a verse or passage before you try to interpret it. This includes the immediate context – that is, the larger passage of which this is a part. Consider the general subject of a passage before you look for a specific application. Knowing the historical and cultural background is also important for understanding the Bible. And finally, you should be aware of the context of the entire book you are studying.