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Saturday, July 10, 2010

How Do You Read the Bible?

How do you read the Bible? How you read the Bible is absolutely critical to understanding what God's Word says and how to apply His truth to our lives. The "way" you read something makes all the difference in interpreting the text. For example, my lovely fiancée Melissa sent me a text message not too long ago about something important. I do not, however, think about any type of reasons what she meant by "importance" because the text message was just a text message, so I read it normal just as I do with all text messages. Well what happens is she calls me and says, "Did you get my text? I need you to get something for me!" So I went back to that text message and read it in the context of "importance" to see what she meant. The text message made perfect sense and I went to the store to pick up some items for her. Reading that text message in the right "way" would of communicated the right message to me than just reading it for the sake of reading it. Seeing the punctuation marking, and understanding why she wrote that message to me made all the difference in interpretation.

This is so true when reading the Bible! We need to ready it the right way in the appropriate context. We need to read it with the author's intentions of why they wrote each book. If we read the Bible right, then we can apply it right. Too many Christians just read the Bible and forget to apply it to their daily lives. 

Below are some insights into how to read the Bible correctly:

1. READ IT (observation) - The first thing you have to do is read the Bible! Open it up and study a passage. Try to get a general idea of the narrative, letter, and history. You have to observe the Scriptures before you can do anything else.

2. LEARN IT (interpretation) - The second thing you have to do is learn what all the big terms mean in the passage! Discover and learn the facts with Bible commentaries and dictionaries. Try to understand the main concept of the passage in context. After you observe the text for awhile, you can begin interpreting it to put the pieces together to find the meaning and purpose of the passage. Discovering this is key, because without correct interpretation, then application falls short (e.g. What did Jesus say, and what did it mean to the original audience, and how were they to apply it to their lives?).

3. KNOW IT (application) - The third thing you have to do is know what are the biblical principles and timeless truths God is revealing in the passage! Find the theological principles in order to apply them to your life. Application is different from implementation because you have to discover what the passage is communicating to the reader about "what" applied to their Christian walk, but the last point, implementation, teaches us "how" to apply those truths to our daily lives.

4. DO IT (implementation) - The fourth thing you have to know is how to do the biblical principles commanded in the passage. Grasp what design and action plan the passage is teaching for Christians to do in their daily walk. Obeying the Scriptures is the Christian's sole objective for the glory of God. Living out the Word of God bears the fruit of the Gospel, and shines the image of Christ-likeness. It is not a matter just reading, but doing what you read in the Bible. Therefore, in the words of the Apostle James, "Be a doer of the Word! (James 1:22).


Corey said...

You forgot "Correlate" O.I.C.A.
good concept though. Totally agree with it. We need to read and apply and then re-apply, whenever necessary.

RJ McCauley said...

Yeah, you could use that, but I decided not to use that because it was more relevant word use for high schoolers to memorize, plus it is just easier, lol. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting on it!


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