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  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3

How to Understand the Bible

Bible Approval of Personal Study

What did Christ say concerning the study of the Scriptures?

“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” John 5:39.

Note – Christ refers here to the Old Testament Scriptures, the “Bible” of His day. However, His statement is equally true of the New Testament. The same is generally true of the term “scriptures” throughout the New Testament.


For what were the Bereans commended?

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and explained the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11.


Note – “If God’s Word were studied as it should be,” says a modern Bible student, “men would have breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. But there is little profit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained.”


Easy and More Difficult Portions

By what comparison is it indicated that some portions of God’s Word are more difficult to understand than others?


“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food.”

Hebrews 5:12.


In what way is this comparison further explained?

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teachings of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5: 13,14.

What writings are specifically mentioned as containing some things difficult to understand?   

“Bear in mind that out Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15,16.


Note – Some scriptures are too plain to be misunderstood, while the meaning of others cannot so readily be discerned. To obtain a comprehensive knowledge of any Bible truth, scripture must be compared with scripture, and there should be “careful research and prayful reflection.” But all such study will be richly rewarded


What did Christ say concerning the Book of Daniel?

“So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand.” Matthew 24:15.


What other book of the Bible especially commended for our study?

“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3.


The Spirit of God and the Bible

Who alone comprehends the things of God?


“ For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:11.


How thoroughly does the Spirit search out the hidden treasures of truth?

“But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” Verse 10.


What is one purpose for which the Holy Spirit was sent?


“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

 John 14:26. 


Why cannot man receive the things of the Spirit?

“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.


Place of Prayer in Bible Study

For what enlightenment should everyone pray? 

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119:18.


What Spiritual gift did the Apostle Paul pray?

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:17.


Upon what conditions is an understanding of divine things promised?

“And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-5.


Another Condition for Light


What is promised him who wills to do God’s will?

“Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.” John 17:7.


Note – It is proper to repeat again and again the eternal truth that if any man searches the Word of God for light, with a heart fully submitted to do the will of God as it is revealed to him, that man will receive light. It is the seed of the Word of God that falls into an honest heart that brings forth fruit unto everlasting life. (Luke 8:11-15.)


When asked by the rich man the conditions of eternal life, what did Jesus reply!

“What is written in the Law,” he replied, “How do you read it.” Luke 10:26.


Note – The Jews of the Christ’s day called the first five books of the Bible, which were written by Moses, “the law.”


Results of Sincere Bible Study


What are the Scriptures able to do for one who believes them?   


“And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15.


What great blessing did Christ confer upon His disciples after His resurrection?


“Then he opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45.


How did Christ reprove those who, though familiar with the letter of the Scriptures, failed to understand them?


Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Matthew 22:29.


Whom did Jesus pronounce blessed?


He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke 11:28.  


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