Understanding The Bible
Show Yourself Approved Unto God," 2 Timothy 2:15
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
Lesson 2 - Read the Word
No bible study should be attempted without being acquainted with the words you are going to study. Just like any other type of education, no one is going to open up your head and dump understanding into it. At this point in your studying keep yourself away from commentaries. Each step in this process (lessons 1-13) should be completed before moving on to lesson 14 "Consult on the Word," which will teach about the use of commentaries in your studies. It is important, from the Start, to have an uncluttered mind. Bible Study in this course, is to have YOU do the work, YOU come to correct conclusions, and then you can COMPARE notes with the commentaries.
Most communication gets into your head by either hearing or seeing, or sometimes both at the same time. Since most of us don't have photographic minds, reading (seeing) the bible text more than once is of great benefit. All of us read on different levels, have different word and language skills, and you need to keep this in mind when building a routine of reading the Word of God. If you have difficulty in retaining what you read, try speaking the words out-loud while you read. That gives the brain two sources to work with while trying to understand the text (The eyes and the ears). In the same way, you can used pre-recorded bible tapes or CD's, allowing you to hear someone else's voice while you read the text with your eyes.
Also, remember that each of us has had many life experiences (school, college, work, churches, etc.) that have "flavored" many of our understandings of words, phrases, and sentences. We see (and hear) our words through "colored glasses," or filters. Be careful to "take off the colored glasses," when you study the bible. If you don't think this is true consider this small collection of sentences.
"Today, we're going to learn the truth about the correct method of baptism for believers."
"Believers in our time should not be reciting the "Lord's Prayer," it's only place is in the Kingdom Age."
"All church people are sheep, and sheep are stupid."
"Is salvation all about Grace or about Obedience?"
To some, these are "Hot Buttons" to charged topics. So when you are studying these kinds of topics - remember to begin by taking the bible at face value - define the words, study the context, turn off the filters - and see if you can find the truth.
Here is our format for reading God's Word, for studying it.
Move to the Next Lesson: Lesson 3 - "Touch the Word"