Easy Rules To Understand the Bible

Updated on March 6, 2018
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks writes for three different websites: HubPages, Blasting News, and Vocal. She loves sharing interesting things.

Understand the Bible

Aren't you tired of reading the Bible and not understanding what you have read? People have read the Bible for many years, yet they say they don't understand the Bible. That can change right now with simple rules.

Understanding the Bible is so easy when simple rules are used even if you have never understood the Bible before.

Choose the Right Bible

There are many Bibles in the bookstores. Spend some time there looking through them in order to choose a Bible you understand. A good way to test the Bibles is to go to a passage or scripture that you do know and see if you understand it.

I recommend a good study Bible. The Quest New International Version (NIV) Bible is a good one that a lot of people have found to be very helpful. The commentary on the side of most scriptures helps to make the scripture clearer for the reader.

"Jesus wept" (John 11:35)

Stick to the Text

One very important rule to remember and use is to stick to the text. People want to put their own spin on a scripture without reading and understanding exactly what it says.

"Jesus wept" in John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. Even so, some people mess that up. They do so when they don't stick to the text and say, "Jesus cried" or "Jesus sobbed" or some other form of emotion. To do so is to misunderstand the scripture and put meaning to it that was not the original intent.

Weeping is different from crying or sobbing even though the verbs are closely related. However, to say "Jesus wept" is a way to express grief and sorrow. It is more effective than to give the image of Him boo·hooing before the people at Lazarus' grave.

Another thing people should refrain from doing is changing the words around. In Genesis 6:9, Noah is described as a just man. If you rearrange the words and say Noah was just a man, you have changed the entire meaning.

Pray For Understanding

Before you read, pray that God will enlighten you and give you a deeper revelation. This might seem like a contradiction, but in order to understand the Bible read Psalm 119:18 in order to understand what you read.

"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

Read Slowly

In order to understand the Bible, you should not read through it fast. Stay with a verse until you understand it fully before moving on to the next verse. God will give you revelations as you read.

Read Previous Verses

You will not be able to understand what a writer is saying by picking a verse in the middle of his conversation. That's why it is so important to verse previous verses, the verse, and even the verses that following.

You miss the whole point when you don't read above and below the verse.

Then and Now

In order to understand a passage in the Bible, one must first know what it meant when the author first said it. In other words, you must understand what it meant then before you can understand what it means now.

Understand what was happening at the time of the writing. Knowing the purpose of the writing will help you understand what is written.

Words Have Different Meanings

Also, remember that a word in the Bible then might not have the same meaning today. For instance, Jesus says in Matthew 19:24 "I'll say it again, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

The needle that we sew with had not been invented then. Therefore, Jesus was not talking about a sewing needle. You must know the definition; otherwise, you will not understand what Jesus meant.

The "Eye of the Needle" was a narrow gateway into Jerusalem. Since camels were heavily loaded with riders and their belongers, it was extremely hard for them to go through. The camels had to be unloaded, and it was still hard to get through. They had to bend down and squeeze through the narrow passageway.

The analogy is that a rich man would have to similarly unload his material possessions in order to enter heaven.

Know the author

When you know something about the author and his style of writing, you will surely understand what he wrote.

Paul wrote 13 books in the New Testament. A good Bible student will know how to recognize Paul's writing just by hearing a passage. That's because Paul had a unique way of writing.

Here are some techniques that Paul used that set him apart from other writers:

  • Paul called his own name in the first verse of his books. He identified who he was and his relationship with God.
  • He said, "Grace and Peace" to address his Hebrew and Greek audiences.
  • Paul used a feature called an "aside" to insert his own thoughts into what God had told him to write.
  • He asked a series of rhetorical questions.
  • He never was on a first name basis with Jesus. He referred to Jesus not as just Jesus but Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, or Christ Jesus.
  • Paul prays for his audience at the beginning and sometimes at the ending of his letter.

In other words, when you get to know the writer, you will better understand what says.


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    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 3 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      I will also use the ones you put forth, Reverend. Sometimes, we fall out of what we began doing, and we need a positive reminder to revisit the solid methods you presented.



    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 3 weeks ago from Richmond, VA

      Tim, thanks for sharing your methods of studying the Bible. I believe people do understand the Bible better when they follow some guidelines. It seems as though you are satisfied with your methods. Blessings to you!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 3 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent article. I use a study Bible often, but I also check it with respectable resources on the internet. Usually, I can find a previously written sermon regarding a Bible verse or passage from the Holy Book. I look at Catholic resources, protestant sites, and then revisit the text after my morning prayers.

      Your article gave wonderful guidance on how to address topics and verses in the Bible. Thanks.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 3 weeks ago from Richmond, VA

      Great, Louise. A Study Bible is good to have. It is very helpful.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 3 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      I've got a Study Bible and find it really helpful when I need some explanation.