BIBLE STUDY | LESSON 1: How to Understand the Bible
Some people think that the Bible is so difficult to understand that they are afraid even to try. Others wonder why, if the Bible really can be understood, there are so many different churches, all claiming to believe the Bible and yet teaching different things. The reason for so many different beliefs is that, although many people claim to believe the Bible, they have not studied it the way God has told them to.
God has told us how to understand the Bible. If we will just follow the method He has outlined, we can know exactly what it means. We can know truth! We can have eternal life! In this lesson we will learn how God tells us to study the Bible.
- What claim does the Bible make about itself?
2 Tim. 3:16 [Note: Faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God is developed by studying it. In these lessons we will witness how the Bible accurately reveals future events, and we will experience how it meets the needs of every human being. The Further-study verse is 2 Peter 1:20, 21]
- Why were God’s people in ancient times destroyed?
Hosea 4:6 [Isa. 5:13]
- What portion of God’s Word is needed for real spiritual life?
Mat 4:4 [Deut. 8:3]
- What did Jesus say was the basic theme of the Scriptures?
John 5:39 [Note: The only part of the Bible written at this time was the Old Testament. Luke 24:44]
- What did Jesus call those who do not believe all that the Bible says?
Luke 24:25 [Mat 22:29]
- Why did Paul commend the Bereans?
Acts 17:10, 11 [2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Chron. 20:20] Thus, as we have just seen, if we are going to understand the Bible we must recognize that all of it is important and none of it is to be neglected. If we will study the whole Bible exactly as God tells us to, we will find the truth. Even children and those who are poorly educated can understand it.
God gives us six rules for studying the Bible correctly. Let us look at these six principles.
- What is one condition that God sets forth for understanding the Bible?
Mat 11:25 [Ans: We must be humble and teachable. 1 Cor. 1:21, 26-31]
- What is a second condition that God gives for understanding the Bible?
Isa. 28:9, 10 [Ans: We must let the Bible interpret itself by comparing Scripture with Scripture. We should study everything the Bible says on a subject to make sure we are not misinterpreting a given passage. 1 Cor. 2:13; Luke 24:27, 44]
- What is a third condition for understanding the Bible?
1 Cor. 2:7, 10-14 [Ans: We must ask that the Holy Spirit guide us. John 16:13]
- What is a fourth condition God sets forth for understanding the Bible?
2 Thess. 2:9-12 [Ans: We must really want to know truth. Some people are looking for excuses not to believe the truth. If they look hard enough, God will let them be deceived, but they will still be lost! Heb. 4:12; Rom. 1:28]
- What is a fifth condition God gives for understanding the Bible?
Jer. 29:13 [Ans: We must really search for truth. Even if we have all the true principles for studying the Bible, if we do not spend sufficient time studying, we still will not find God’s truth for today. Matt. 13:45, 46; Isa. 44:3; Matt. 5:6]
- What is a sixth condition for understanding the Bible?
John 8:31, 32 [Ans: We must follow what we already know to be truth. Why should God reveal more truth to us if we are not following what He has already revealed to us? John 7:17; Mat 13:12; 7:24-27]
Is it your desire to let Jesus teach you truth through His Word?
Will you endeavor to study His Word every day in the way God has told us to study it?