How to Get the Most Out of Studying the Bible
The Bible is a book unlike any other book. It is, in fact, a whole library of books, all bound together in one volume. These individual books were written by many different authors over an extended period of time. What makes the Bible so unique, though, is that its many human authors were all inspired by its one Divine Author—God Himself! The Greek word for “inspired” means “God-breathed.” These words that carry God’s breath are words that can change and transform our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that all of Scripture is “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
Whenever you purchase a complicated gadget, it is usually accompanied by a set of instructions—a manufacturer’s handbook. Without this handbook you’ll find yourself having to just guess how it works. In a sense, the Bible is the “manufacturer’s handbook” for life. The One who created us has plans and purposes for us. If we don’t know the content of His “manufacturer’s handbook” we won’t know what these are or how to live as He intends for us to live.
Still, many people don’t put much effort into reading the Bible. Sometimes the problem is just laziness or a wrong set of priorities. But that isn’t the only reason. The Bible can be a difficult book to understand. While its most important teachings are understandable by a child, there is much in the pages of Scripture that is not easy to grasp without some extra effort and help. That’s where a study Bible comes in handy! It will provide you with some background material and theological explanation that will bring biblical truths into sharper focus. But don’t count on the study Bible to do all the work for you. If you want to get the most out of the Scripture, you need to learn to read it for yourself, and learn to interpret it by giving a careful focus to the passage you are reading and by comparing what you learn there with the rest of what the Bible teaches.