Understand Key Biblical Terms
Understanding the basic terminology and concepts of the Bible are one of the most important steps to studying it effectively. The Bible is filled with references to words and ideas that can be difficult for a beginner to understand. It is therefore important to learn the terms and definitions of commonly used words that appear in the Bible. These can include words such as “grace”, “righteousness”, “salvation”, and “redemption”. By looking these words up in traditional commentaries or online, beginners can quickly gain a richer understanding of the Bible.
Become Familiar With the Bible’s Layout and Structure
Becoming familiar with the Bible’s overall structure and layout can also help beginners to quickly understand larger concepts and themes. The Bible is generally arranged into 66 books, divided between the Old and New Testaments. Within these two main sections, the Bible is further divided into different categories including law, history, prophecy, gospels, and epistles. In addition, there is a range of different types of literature found throughout the Bible, including parables, proverbs, and poetry. Taking the time to understand the different sections and types of literature can help beginners to quickly become familiar with the different themes and stories of the Bible.
Create a Timeline for the Bible’s Stories
Since the Bible covers so much geographical and historical content, creating a timeline of its stories can help to put them into clearer context. Creating a timeline of the different books and stories of the Bible can involve several different steps. Beginners can start by putting different books onto a timeline according to their dates of authorship. They can then add dates to stories of the Bible and create a better picture of the Bible’s characters and events. Doing this can also make it easier to compare different events and track the progress of different stories. As a result of this timeline, beginners can better appreciate the Bible as a whole instead of simply as isolated stories.
Read the Bible in Context
Reading the Bible in context is a very important part of studying its content. Instead of just reading the Bible passage by passage, beginners can look into the historical context of its writing to gain a deeper understanding of its meaning. Studying the Bible in context involves looking into geographical and sociological backgrounds, reading cross-references, focusing on literary patterns, and even making use of archaeological evidence. Doing this can give beginners a better idea of how the ancient authors of the Bible may have intended it to be read and interpreted.
Engage With Different Types of Bible Study
Studying the Bible involves more than just simply reading it. Engaging with different types of Bible study can also be beneficial in deepening understanding of its concepts. For example, Bible study can involve engaging with study Bible notes, understanding key theological concepts, considering Scripture-based questions and answers, meditating on what it says, and making use of the commentaries of historical and contemporary theologians. Doing this can help beginners to understand the Bible from a variety of different perspectives and to relate its stories to their own lives.
Make Use of Digital Bible Study Resources
When it comes to studying the Bible, there are a variety of digital resources at one’s disposal. Making use of apps, websites, and online Bible study tools can help beginners to quickly understand the Bible and its concepts. Digital resources can include tools such as Bible commentaries, maps, and even interactive audio Bible. Furthermore, many of these resources are available for free, making them accessible to all those who want to engage with studying the Bible.
Make Use of Audio Bible Resources
For those who prefer to engage with the Bible through audio rather than text, there are also a variety of audio resources available. There are a range of audio Bible audio books, podcasts, and lectures which can help beginners to understand and engage with the Bible in a different way. Furthermore, listening to Bible verses being read aloud can be a helpful way to understand and appreciate the language of the Bible and its literary qualities.
Find an Appropriate Bible Study Group or Class
Finally, for those who want to study the Bible in depth and to gain feedback on their understanding, joining a Bible study group or class can be beneficial. Bible study classes can offer an opportunity for beginners to ask questions, discuss interpretations, and benefit from the experience of others. Joining a Bible study group or class can also be a great way to make new friendships and to share one’s faith.
Engage With Systematic Theology
Systematic theology is an important part of the Christian faith and is the study of the Bible on a more detailed, intensive level. It involves looking at different theological concepts, such as the existence of God and the Trinity, in great detail. Engaging with systematic theology can help to deepen understanding of Scripture and aid in formulating a more informed Christian worldview. Reading works by contemporary theologians and engaging with theological debates can be a helpful way to begin this process.
Make Use of Bible Commentaries and Devotionals
Another way for beginners to study the Bible can be by making use of commentaries and devotionals. Commentaries provide in-depth explanations of particular passages of the Bible and often include different interpretations from theological experts. Reading commentaries can be a helpful way to gain a deeper understanding of a particular passage. Devotionals, which contain a daily reading from the Bible, can also be a great tool for beginners as it can provide structure to their Bible study and help to create discipline.
Foster an Atmosphere of Prayer
Finally, creating an atmosphere of prayer around the study of the Bible can be an important step towards developing a deeper relationship with God. When studying the Bible, it is important to take a prayerful attitude and to ask God to supplement one’s understanding of Scripture. Furthermore, in addition to asking God for understanding and wisdom, there is also a need to “listen” for what God has to say. More often than not, God speaks to us through Scripture if we take the time to listen.