FIRST THINGS FIRST
A – Begin by praying and asking God to open your mind, heart and spirit to His Word.
B – Set aside what you think you already know about God and the Bible. Humble yourself to the Lord.
To understand God’s Word we must believe and have faith in Jesus Christ. When you have difficulty understanding the Bible, ask God to help you and give you understanding.
There are many different English translations of the Bible. Though many of these often provide for easier reading, no translation has been found to be more accurate than the King James Version (KJV). While the KJV may seem old-fashioned and more difficult at first, after spending time with it, it becomes as familiar and easy to understand as any translation.
When it comes to ease of reading versus accuracy, the accuracy of the text is far more important. This is why the KJV Bible is recommended above the others, when studying subjects such as Bible prophecy.
Other translations include (but not recommended) are the New King James, the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, and the Complete Jewish Bible. It’s important to note that some Bibles are not translations, but interpretations or paraphrased versions of the Bible. Such Bibles include the Good News for Modern Man and The Living Bible, and others. These are not recommended at all.
Click here for more information on Bible versions and translations.
WHAT TO READ FIRST
Begin reading the book of Matthew at the beginning of the New Testament. Read it through completely.
I recommend that you read at least three chapters per day. This will help you to get a more complete or comprehensive understanding of what you’re reading. At the same time though, you should never read the Bible just so you can say, “I read…”.
From the book of Matthew, read all the way through to the end of the New Testament, including the Revelation. Read the New Testament twice.
Once you have read the New Testament through (twice), then go to the beginning of the Bible and read the entire Bible through completely, from Genesis 1:1 to the end of the Revelation.
It is extremely important for a Christian to have a good overall understanding of the Bible. Many people wrongly study the Bible, a little here and a little there. As a result, they never really have a clear, overall view of the entire Bible. They lack a good, biblical understanding of God, of God’s judgments, and of how Satan deceives. This gives a place for the devil to deceive them. It is highly recommended that a person read the entire Bible through at least once every year.
You’ll find that no matter how many times you read the books in the Bible God always reveals something new to you.
Always take notes of Bible verses, chapters, lessons, etc. that appear to strike out at you and/or that you may want to (or need to) reference later. A good idea is to have a Bible Journal (any notebook will do).
When taking notes in your Bible, colored pencils usually work very well. It is better not to use ink, as it can smear. Over a period of time, it also tends to bleed through, spoiling your pages. However, if all you have is an ink pen at the time then use it.
OTHER BOOKS AND COMMENTARY
There are many books “about” the Bible”. The problem is many people are more familiar with other people’s opinions than they are with what the Bible actually says. It is far better to read your Bible, and let God’s Holy Spirit speak to you. When a person does not follow this advice, often-times much confusion sets in. Satan gets a foothold. Beware.
It is the same with regard to listening to many other preachers. This is the generation of deception. You can listen to one preacher on the radio, and he will say that the Rapture comes during the middle of the Tribulation. Another may say at the end. Another may say after the Tribulation. Another may say, there will be no Rapture at all. God forbid! People that listen to lots of preaching on the radio or television, may become very confused. God is not the author of confusion.
Satan can be expected to move in to try to cause confusion. Do not give any place to the devil. Stay in the Bible, and stay away from others that might confuse you with misleading information put forth in their books or broadcasts. Satan wants to compromise the truth. He did so with Eve. If you give Satan the opportunity, you can expect he will also do it to you.
Commentary Bibles are not recommended. The reason is there are certain passages in all of them that have been misunderstood. If you get drawn into deception on a certain verse because of a commentary, it is often very difficult for the Spirit of God to correct you, as you have preconceived thoughts. Always approach God’s Word with an attitude of, “Lord, I don’t know. Teach me.”
AFTER READING THE ENTIRE BIBLE
After reading the New Testament, and the entire Bible, you may want study different subjects in the Bible.
Key subjects to consider include doctrines such as: believing on Jesus, faith toward God, grace, repentance from dead works, baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgments. Other more specific topics may include: sin, pride, humility, childlikeness, the tongue, witnessing verses, forsaking everything, serving God, fasting, fruits, a born-again attitude, fear, how Satan deceives, denying self, making excuses, idols, the Trinity, being content, doubt, prayer, warnings to take heed and beware, how to fight the good fight of faith, marriage, what God expects of a husband or wife, the role of women in the church, elders, and many others.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT GOD’S WORD
2 Peter 1:20,21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success
He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.