In order to understand the Bible, we must accept it. God chose to reveal Himself to us through His written Word Any claims of so-called revelation must be tested by the Bible. There is no need for any additional revelation. The Bible is the complete revelation of God to man.
The Eternal God has revealed and caused to be recorded accurately both events of the past called history, and events of the future called prophecy. Events of history in the Bible can be verified by archaeology and secular history. Events of prophecy must await fulfilment to be verified. The record in the Bible contains many such fulfillments. We may conclude that all unfulfilled prophecies may be fulfilled in a similar way.
The Holy Spirit of God guided the men who wrote the Bible so that it is the true message of God to man. In order to fully understand the Bible we need to depend upon the Holy Spirit to direct us as we read. The Holy Spirit will always guide us to understand the Bible as it is intended to be understood.
The whole Bible
The whole Bible—the Old Testament and the New Testament—is the total written revelation of God. All sixty-six books fit into that total revelation, giving us the plan of God as unfolded in the framework of history. It is important to accept the whole Bible as God’s Word in its truth and authority. No verse of the Bible may be taken out of its context. It must be understood as it is given. We need to remember God acted in history through men.
Languages of the Bible
The words of the Bible had meaning in the original languages in which the Bible was written and for the times during which the writers lived. Since the Bible is God’s word to us, then its words have meaning for us as well. The rules of human languages apply to the Bible. Meanings of words must be understood as they were used by the writers of the Bible.
The languages of the Bible incorporate figures of speech, which usually are interpreted. In all such instances, no one has the right to change the meaning in any way. In the poetry, prophecy, and parables of the Bible we need to be especially careful not to go beyond the meaning of the words. We also need to be sure to accept all the truth which any text contains.
Purpose of the Bible
The direct and final purpose of God in giving the Bible is to bring about the redemption and restoration of man and all creation for fellowship with Him. This is the glorious end toward which the revelation God has given us in the Bible continually points.
God once dwelt with man in the Garden of Eden. He will dwell again with the redeemed in the final and eternal state. Salvation by the blood of Christ is the central truth of the Bible, When we accept that truth, God forgives us, which prepares us to fellowship with Him in that eternal state.
How to Study the Bible Effectively
The Bible is your guidebook for life. You should study it every day to learn to know your Heavenly Father and how to walk daily with Jesus.
- Read a Scripture portion over and over until you find the related or repeated ideas. Look for words that bridge from one idea to another: therefore, 80, thus. Lift out and list ideas that speak to you. Underline key verses. Mark important ideas in the margin so you can return to them. Read an entire book at one time to get the larger ideas of God’s plan for the ages.
- Memorize key verses and rich portions of Scriptures. Say them over accurately. These truths you will carry with you when you have stored them in your memory.
- Meditate on the verses you study. Bring them into your thoughts through the day. Relate them to other Scripture passages. Picture the meaning of the words. Look for ways to use them in your daily life.
- Pray as you begin your Bible study. The Holy Spirit controlled the writers of Scripture so that what ‘was written is truth. That same Holy Spirit will illuminate your mind as you study
- Share what you are learning with family and your friends, at work and in the chuck your family and church.