- Homily /
- This Is How To Bible Study
Until January, I really did not know how to study the Bible. But over time, I have learned and am still learning; therefore, I’d like to share them with you for your own spiritual development. I’ll be laying them down as ‘rules’; and in no particular order too. You ready?
- Use Bible commentaries: Frankly, Bible commentaries provide deeper understanding and insight into the Bible and can be used to assist both casual readers of the Bible and those who pursue serious study. If you are like me and ready to pursue serious studies then check out the following: Michael Henry Commentary, Albert Barnes Notes and Concordance.
- To understand the context of a passage, you must first understand the pretext and post text. For instance, you cannot just open a passage of the Bible and choose to run off with it as a ‘message from God’. Trust me, some of us have been there. Should you open something, read it from the beginning until the end. Understand the who, what, where and when of the story before accepting it for yourself.
- Common barriers to properly understanding the Bible are language translations, figures of speech and cultural backgrounds. As a feminist, I used to hate the Bible for being sexist. But here’s what I’ve come to find, the society and cultures at that time are not like it is today. Therefore, I decided to shift my focus from the things happening all around these stories to the actual reason the Bible exists: to give us an account of our salvation in Christ. Hence, pay attention to not be distracted by context or to misinterpret the word because of the figure of speech. And finally, using the KJV version to study the Bible is not a measure of superiority or excellence. Just saying.
- Please and please, do not make it a habit of using a dictionary to understand the Bible. Use the lexicon instead- Greek for new testament, Hebrew and Aramaeic for the old testament.
There are literal and allegorical interpretations to the Bible. They’re opposites. Literal is the method of Bible interpretation where the only meaning which one ascribes to a text is that which the author intended. This can be known by looking out for the historical context and ordinary use of grammar. Seek no other sense when the scriptures before us make common sense.
A text can never mean what it never meant- Pastor Emmanuel Iren.
- Understand the principle of corroboration - let scripture interpret scripture. A correct interpretation will always be consistent with the rest of the scriptures. If a certain part of the old testament says something, to understand it more, look for it in the new testament. Don’t preach verses or themes in isolation. Stephen the first martyr preached the good news while drawing insight from the scriptures. Not by motivational quotes or speeches, but from the word.
- Remember that the first mention of any fundamental word or institution usually presents the general conception of the subject and the use throughout the scripture.
- Start from the beginning and read using different versions. There is no rush to finish the Bible in one year. Pastey once read two verses for 12 hours. It’s better to stay on it and study well, than rush and run off with rubbish.
Check out The Bible Experience series on Youtube for more.