Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to get the most out of studying the Bible?

The biggest obstacle to understanding the Bible is time. The books of the Bible were written nearly 2000 years ago. Other books were written approximately 4000 years ago. This presents a huge obstacle for us to understand what was written and how to understand the Truth in our culture. I think over the years two tools have been important for me in my growth.

First, read the Bible.
This may seem obvious but if you stop and think about all the tools available for us to understand the Bible we can often forget the book itself. I have caught myself preparing for a message on a particular passage and completely failing to read through the passage myself. Now in my preparation I try to avoid any commentary, online resource, or other material until I have worked through the passage on my own. I consider it one on one time with God. It is a part of my prayer life.

Second, choose your companion wisely. Reading the Bible is a conversation with God. It is his word and your thoughts integrated together into a powerful interaction of creator and creation. Any other resource (book, blog, commentary) is like inviting another person into the conversation. This conversation will influence both how you hear God and how you form your thoughts about God.

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