12 Simple Tips To Understand The Bible.

Before you try to understand the Bible, you need to first understand why you need the Bible.

It’s harder to understand what you don’t have interest in, or what you don’t realize you need.

Here’s a simple article that explains why the Bible is that one book that answers your life’s deepest needs:

The Book that changed my life: https://link.medium.com/8LYfSIbu3sb

Skipped it? I entreat you go back. It should only take 2 minutes to read

Now that we’re done with why you need the Bible, let’s dive into how you can understand it. Here are 12 simple tips that can transform your experience with the Bible:

Now, to recognize Jesus in the Bible you have to know Him, and to know Him you have to have Him in your heart. If you are yet to receive Jesus in your heart, just say this simple prayer:

Jesus, Son of God, I accept that I am a sinner, but I believe that God sent you to die for my sin on the cross over 2000 years ago, and you rose again to die no more. I receive you into my heart Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to you, completely. Henceforth you are my Master and Saviour. Thank you Jesus for saving me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may learn to walk in your ways and follow You all my days. Amen.

2. Read the Old and New testament: You need the old testament to really understand the new testament, and vice versa. They go hand in hand, like two parts joined to form one story. You need both to understand the Bible.

A quote from the article, How to Start Reading the Bible: https://bible.com/reading-plans/16643/day/2?segment=0 says:

If you are new to the Bible, consider starting with the New Testament. It’s a great starting point because the new testament records the life and teachings of Jesus. Begin with the book of Matthew and write down insights or questions you have as you read and ask a friend or pastor who knows more of the Bible than you to explain things you don’t understand or to share your insights with.

3. Use the version you understand: Use the translations or version of the Bible you find easier to understand. Depending on your level of English understanding, you may find one or more of these versions easier to understand:

New International Version (NIV), New English Translation (NET), New Living Translation (NLT), The Passion Translation (TPT), The Amplified Translation (AMP), The Message (TM), English Standard Version (ESV), or New King James Version (NKJV).

4. Patiently Study God’s word: Don’t be in a hurry. It’s less about how much you cover in a given time, and more about how much of what you read that you understand, truly believe and are able to apply in your life.

God’s word is amazing. Sometimes you may need to spend an hour on just one verse of scripture to really understand what God is trying to say to you in it, other times in just a second it will hit you like a flash of insight. Sometimes insight comes like a flood, other times it comes drop by drop, so be patient.

5. Talk to the Holy Spirit: The Bible is a spiritual book, in other words, it is inspired by God’s Spirit. Therefore you need the Spirit of God to understand the Bible. If you are born again (received Jesus into your heart), then you’re God’s child and His Holy Spirit is always with you, so ask Him to give you understanding whenever you read the Bible.

Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16:13 NIV

6. Apply it: Read the Bible, understand it, believe it and practice it; read the Bible so you can apply what you learn. The Bible isn’t just for knowledge, it’s so you can live out God’s truths in your life.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:24–27, “²⁶But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. ²⁷The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

7. Meditate on it: Read God’s word every single day, and meditate on what you read (think deeply on it, memorize it and declare it to yourself often)

Remember what we said in point 4 about patience? You need to apply this patience when you are meditating. Deeply thinking on something, commiting it to memory by regularly saying it, and seeing how you can apply it to your life takes time.

8. Get Context: Don’t read a verse of the Bible in isolation, read the pretext, and post text. For example, don’t only read John 3:16, read John 3:1-15, and John 3:17-end, so you’ll understand John 3:16 better.

Here’s how it works using Matthew 6:33 as an example. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

This scripture is sometimes taken to mean when you serve God diligently he will give you all you want. But that’s not what it says, it says all these things, not all things.

So the question is: what are these things that Jesus is referring to? The scriptures just before it (Matthew 6:25–32) and after it (Matthew 6:34), answers that: What to eat, drink and what to wear— essentially the basic daily necessities of life. So Jesus is saying put God’s kingdom first and seek His righteousness before anything else, and your daily needs will be attended to by Him.

See how reading the pretext and post-text of scripture matters?

Also learn the history surrounding that particular portion you’re reading— it could help provide more context to it.

9. Find Community: Read the Bible in a community with other believers. Have a community where you read the Bible and share what you learn, ask questions and encourage each other on the journey of knowing God more through His word; this community can be virtual (digital platforms) or physically in your local church or some other community of believers.

Remember Hebrews 10:24-25, “Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

Hebrews 10:24‭-‬25 TPT

10. Listen to Teachers: No one person knows all about God; not even a lifetime of intense study can achieve that. Therefore it helps a great deal to listen to seasoned teachers of God’s word; but you must be careful to select credible teachers of God’s word, so you’re not taught wrong.

Here’s one key way to recognize the truth from a lie when someone is teaching: you must know the truth for yourself. Therefore, listening to teachers of God’s word does not replace spending quality time with God’s word personally, rather it should be in addition to it.

11. Use a Bible Devotional: Devotionals are like guides to understand scriptures better. They take a portion of scriptures, daily, and explain it. Some good devotionals I have used are: Everyday With Jesus by CWR, The Word for Today by Bob and Debbie Gass, and Open Heavens by Pastor E.A Adeboye. (Please share in the comments if there are others you’ll like added to the list)

12. Download YouVersion Bible App. It contains numerous plans, videos and features to brighten up your walk with God. Download here: https://j794q.app.goo.gl/vWwukNLtxMeAvb4XA

YouVersion has thousands of Bible plans to help you on your journey. There are people highly knowledgeable about the Bible, its history and it’s background, and that will really help you understand it. Here’s a plan to get you started— How to start reading the Bible: https://bible.com/reading-plans/16643/day/2?segment=0

I’ll close with another quote from this plan I referenced above:

There will be days when we don’t want to read our Bibles, so many other things pulling at our attention. And there will also be days when we read it but don’t really get it. But this is where we make the choice to read the Bible anyway. We rarely feel our way into actions, but often our feelings follow when we act.

As you build a daily habit of reading the Bible, God will begin to show you things you could never imagine. Trust that this investment will yield long-term spiritual gain in your life.

Do you read your Bible everyday? Why or why not?

Today, consider making a commitment to read your Bible everyday for the next 30 days. You could find someone to share this challenge with for accountability. On YouVersion, you can even start a Bible Plan with friends and invite them to do it with you!

You can Download the YouVersion Bible App here: https://j794q.app.goo.gl/vWwukNLtxMeAvb4XA

Do you know of other strategies that help to improve understanding of the Bible? Please share in the comments or email me at dipo.oasis@gmail.com!

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Hi. I’m Dipo, I write, speak and train on interpersonal/softskills, teenagers, hope, emotional healing, and overcoming fear, failure, shame, rejection and other limiting emotions and mindsets that stand in the way of your progress

Generally, I share content on personal development. I love to see people grow and become better through applying biblical principles. You can get free access to my articles here: https://bit.ly/3MB3CUu

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Dipo Adebayo

Dipo Adebayo

I am a water engineer, interpersonal skills coach & teen counselor. I write on hope and rising above shame, rejection, fear & failure. Follow on IG @dipoadebayo