The word of God will stand a thousand readings; and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there.
James Hamilton, English Clergy-1814-67
Nothing is more important to understanding the Bible than knowing what it says. The more you read it, the more you will understand. I recommend it be read through at least three times before what others have said about it is considered.
A good way to do it is to read the chapters in this order: 1,1–2,1–2–3, 2–3–4,3–4–5-,4–5–6, etc. You will have read it through three times at once and it will help you keep things in context.
My rules for the study of the Scriptures:
- Context: keep all in context, do not just take a verse by itself.
- Context: maintain proper grammatical structure. Nothing less than a whole sentence has definite meaning. Study sentence by sentence.
- Context: a sentence must have a complete thought. The complete thought might be made up of several thoughts. Verses divide the Bible into individual thoughts. A sentence might be contained in one verse or contain several verses. The thought within a verse might be modified or limited by the context of the sentence it is within. Context: If your interpretation contradicts another passage you have something wrong; the Bible does not contradict itself.
- Study diligently
- Believe all that is written.
- Do not add nor diminish from the words, meaning, or sense of the Scripture.
- The Bible is God’s revelation to man, we are not looking for what God could have, should have, what we think he ought to have, we are looking for what God revealed.
- God uses similitudes, word pictures describing future events or things that may be designated differently at differing times in history.
- Study that you might rightly divide the word of truth
- Doctrines are built of precepts and precepts are formed here a little, there a little, line upon line.
I had six honest serving men,
They taught me all I knew,
Their names were Where and What and When And Why
and How and Who.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
English short-story writer, poet, and novelist
I first read the KJV through in 30 days. I have since read it through numerous times and individual books many more times. You will never understand the Bible by taking short cuts. The more you know what it says, the more understanding you will have—if you have the right heart attitude toward it, to the best of your abilities.
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
“Believing all things which are written,” what should our attitude be toward the things that are written, God’s word?
Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
“Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” How much glory and honor is God placing upon his word by magnifying it above his name?
Deuteronomy 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Psalms 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Psalms 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
It is sure, many more verses extolling God’s name could be listed. It is glorious and fearful; his name alone is excellent and reverend. It must now be asked, if God’s name is glorious, to be praised, and to be reverenced, what is our attitude supposed to be toward his word which he not only puts but magnifies above his name?
You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of literature.
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869-948); Leader of the Indian independence movement
Make the word of God as much as possible its own interpreter. You will best understand the word of God by comparing it with itself. “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
-Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727); English Physicist & Mathematician