The bible can be easily be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Hence the article discusses how to understand the Scriptures using five ways
How to Read and Understand the Holy Scriptures in Five Ways
The bible is a spiritual book and frequently referred to as the Holy Bible or Holy Scriptures. The bible comprises of 66 books that span from Genesis to Revelation detailing the creation of man to the end of the age.
It is not uncommon to find people that have finished studying the bible, and yet unable to teach an individual. Moreover, quite a number of people are unable to understand the bible with inspiration, and more often give misinterpretation of the scripture, while a few are outstanding.
In Luke 10:26, Jesus asked a lawyer, "what is written in the law and how readest thou?". It is along these lines that this article discusses six ways of understanding and interpreting the scriptures.
Many a time our own selves tend to understand the scriptures as a result of conviction. Studying the scriptures by conviction is an interesting way to finding answers to the question on “which.” It stresses the most important thing from the passage, or ultimately about something and relates it to us. This comes when we read a portion of the bible, and it occurs to us that this passage is meant for us. Sometimes it reflects what we have experienced, or what we are currently passing through.
Conviction has a way of raising our curiosity to read on and reinforce our belief at the same time. This reinforcement typically increases our level of faith and further compels us to admit the truth.
Furthermore, Romans 14.22 also discussed that faith works in accordance with conviction. The scripture in I Thessalonians 1:5, also agrees that the power of the Holy Spirit is driving this reinforcement of understanding the gospel.
Understanding the scriptures from the angle of content answers the questions on "what and when" in the holy bible. The Content entails finding immediate or remote passages that reinforces the currently studied chapter. Questions such as, what happened here? What led to the king’s dethronement? When did he escape? are all content related.
Content also come about when suspense or excitement is developed during bible study, and the little knowledge that we know is suddenly nipped at the bud to raise our curiosity, followed by a referral in the bible. For Instance, 2 kings 14:28, says "the rest of the acts of Amaziah are the not written in the book of the Chronicles." Notice that the reader is referred to the book of chronicles for further search.
Then again, content understanding also come about when the reader deliberately decides to complete a chapter or a book in the bible, so as to have full understanding of the passage or story.
Contents are usually referrals and large, while context is implying, specific, and usually answers the question on "why and how.” When we ask questions like how did this event turn out differently? Why did he live long? Why was he pardoned? Then context is involved. The reader gets an idea that a similar occurrence had happened in the bible, and asks why and how the current chapter takes a different outlook, fit into the bigger picture of surrounding passage.
The current chapter may provide in parts or elements of a more complex story, creating a literature gap which requires the reader to investigate. For example, Peter created suspense in Acts 2:16-21, over Joel’s’ prophecy, in verse 25 and 34 Peter again created suspense about David. Similar events occurred in Revelation 2:1, when John the writer created suspense about the Church in Ephesus.
Undoubtedly, a reader will desire to read the Epistle of Ephesians to know how the church conducted itself and why the Church is being discussed. Also the reader may want to know how Joel prophecy came about, and why Joel was mentioned. Hence, when saddled with finding answers to the question on “why and how” in the scripture, we are doing a contextual related investigation.
Interesting Video on how to study the Bible in context
The act of conversation is a useful tool for understanding the scriptures. The knowledge seeker engages persons knowledgeable in the bible to find out why certain events in the bible seem to be unchristian, confusing, compromising or contradictory.
The knowledge seeker often either get’s clarity from the teacher or pitches an argument to further buttress a point. The Conversation also can be useful in one–on–one bible discussions to bolster the faith, and belief of new believers, or used for convincing persons to convert to Christianity.
Jesus Christ employed this tool when he visited Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19:1-10. He also used the approach to encourage followers for instance in Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visited Mary and Martha.
This technique also works for people who are shy, socially withdrawn, and fearful or busied by career. John 3:1-21 Nicodemus visited Jesus to inquire about certain elements of the gospel he never understood.
Similarly, this technique Is beneficial because the bible scholar will expose all fears and doubts been harbored, and the teacher calmly explains and illuminates certain perspectives of the scripture that addresses those problems or questions.
Clarification is a way of understanding the bible using all materials, and resources available to the reader. The bible scholar uses bible concordance, Christian books, magazines, different bible versions, and devotional books to seek understanding (Ecclesiastics 10:10).
The modern clarification process is via the internet and social media. There are internet websites dedicated to answering questions about the bible, and social media platforms for learning the bible.
Clarification in a broader scope is research based on wisdom, understanding, and quite different from connection. Connection is divine and spiritual, while clarification is physical and factual. Those who learn by clarification can memorize the scriptures, boldly handle sermon to a large extent, but lacks the grace to speak "Rhema" to a particular situation. They are unable to conduct deliverance, prophecy; neither can they ordain pastors and ministers.
Connection is the hardest way to understand the bible but most spiritually significant. The Connection is the level of understanding where a reader gets an inner witness, gets a “Rhema”, identifies fresh interpretation, or unfamiliar understanding, or new application, and revelation of secret (Amos 3:7).
When you are connected, you will easily spot wrong interpretation of the scriptures. When you are connected, you are knowledgeable enough to debate on what is scripturally wrong or right. Connection also places you as an expert that bible scholars seek clarification and opinion as final authority (2 Timothy 3:16).
When combined with meditation it accelerates Christian growth. Connection is deep, fulfilling and take-consuming. It takes patience, and impossible without devotion, and never happens without the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:45). When people that are connected discuss the scriptures, the public marvel at such level of understanding. I suggest that it is the highest level of understanding the scriptures, and those operating at this level are often Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Ministers, Prophets, and Apostles. They are usually able to conduct deliverance, prophecy, and ordain other ministers and ministries.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." However, the reading and understanding of the bible is finding Gods purpose for mankind and for your life. The ability to interpret the scriptures is largely dependent on a relationship with God and personal experiences.
In addition, according to 2 Timothy 2:15, all men ought “to study the scriptures to show themselves approved unto God, a workman needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
N/B: All Bible text were taking from King James Bible.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures....
— King James Bible
© 2020 Amarachi Nkwoada