Published on September 30th, 2014 | by adam curran5
How To Read The Bible
My dad was a very studious person, always reading anything he could get his hands on. Our island in the kitchen served as his desk, and some of my fondest memories of him are standing at the island reading the newspaper or a book. No book was more worn out by him than his Bible. The photo above is his Bible which I still have and flip through from time to time. Inside the flap of his Bible, he wrote a quote, “This book is the only book whose Author is always with you while you are reading it.” I love this quote because it captured my dad’s heart for important the Bible was to him. As believers, we say that it is the most important book ever written, but I have found that in talking to most people, they have a hard time reading it. So, here are a few helpful things to ask yourself when reading any part of the Bible. These questions help me to understand the text and why God put that particular story into the Bible.
1. WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE TELL US ABOUT GOD?
The Bible is first and foremost a story about how God has redeemed his fallen people and his plan for restoration. It follows a four part narrative, creation, fall, redemption and restoration. In each part of the Bible we learn more about what God is revealing to mankind about who he his, his plan for the world in Jesus Christ, and his plan to rescue the fallen world.
2. WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE TELL US ABOUT MANKIND?
The Bible also speaks to the nature of man and have a tremendous amount of insight into why the world works the way that it does. Although the Bible is not about us, we can learn a great deal from how we are called to treat others as well as our appropriate response to God himself. In each passage, we can see how God deals graciously with mankind as well as his mercy and justice towards His people.
3. WHAT SHOULD BE BELIEVE/DO ABOUT IT?
All our reading of scripture should have an element of “so what?” to it. If we read a passage that talks about how God dealt with Moses and the Israelites, we can move towards belief in the fact that God cares for His people. If we are reading the stories of Jesus on the cross, we know that should believe that Jesus is the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” In that reading, we know that we are powerless over our sin and that we need a savior to take it away from us.
What particular ways of interpreting scripture are helpful for you?