Shelby Denise Smith
BACK2BASICS: How to read the Bible?
Places to Start: The Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
The gospels are four different books all by people who witnessed the career and teachings of Jesus. With the goal of being more like Jesus and understanding what makes him happy, these are great starters. They take you through the impacts of his life and interactions he’s had with people. These books give us examples on how to live and how Jesus responded to the way people lived.
Understanding Concepts: YouTube Children’s Versions of the Story
Often when I read stories in the bible, I miss simple yet important concepts. Most children’s stories never miss the simple concepts because they’re for kids. Therefore, after every story or parable (stories that Jesus told) I’ll youtube “Children’s Story on __________.” In doing this, they break down the story as simplistic yet impactful as possible.
Understand Language: Have Bible Hub or any similar source that offers bible commentary and translation next to you
It is important to read the words as close to the original language as possible. A lot of important meanings are lost within translation. I read the KJV of my paper bible then have bible hub next to me on my laptop with the New Living Translation. In doing that i’m getting the “slang” of what he’s saying while reading the true context. When a word comes up that is not translated the same I look up the original meaning of that word (in Greek, Hebrew, etc. – whichever language that book of the bible was written in) and realize it means something completely different than I thought. In doing this, I really understand what God is trying to say which gives me a better idea of how to live right for him.
As much as we read and translate, there still might be confusion. Therefore, reading commentary on the verses we’re studying can help. Scholars who are gifted to analyze and translate the bible always leave their annotations. Reading this can help you understand more as well.
I ALWAYS pray over the text before reading it and ask God to reveal to me what he wants me to understand as well as how he wants me to apply the text to my life. That’s the main reason for reading! I hope this article helps you understand the bible more. Keep growing!
What are some ways you break down the bible?