It is hard for me to read the Bible sometimes much less understand it. Part of the problem is that the words were written thousands of years ago and aren’t immediately accessible for a reader in the 2000s. Most of the time I find that the problem is that I am reading too quickly and not spending time seriously processing and thinking about what I’m reading.
Over the years, I have developed several questions to help me concentrate on the text, understand it, and apply it to my life. Here are three of those go-to questions:
1. What is the big meaning?
This may seem obvious, but as we all know, when someone says something like “How do I look in this dress” there can be many meanings, and the literal meaning is not always the most true meaning.
When reading the Bible, if the literal meaning is it, hone it down to a fine point. If it says “Love one another” then ask how? Look for clues in the surrounding verses. What was being talked about before? What was being talked about after?
How do you know if the truth of a passage is something beyond the simple, literal meaning? Check out this article on understanding when to take the Bible literally.
2. What would this look like today?
Sometimes it takes some imagination to really understand a passage. Take a moment to imagine it happening at your dinner table or by the coffee pot at work. What would be modern-day equivalents to what is said and done? How would you react? How would the people around you react?
3. What is the turning point?
Often times, passages pivot at a specific moment, and noticing where that occurred can give you tremendous insight into what was going on or being argued. Take a moment to look for that turning point, and once you’ve identified it ask how its role as the turning point informs the rest of the passage.
These are just a few, but the most important lesson here is: SLOW DOWN. Think about what you are reading. Turn it over in your mind and allow it to speak to your life and form your soul.
For the Comments: What questions do you use to help you get more out of your Bible reading?
>>>Read More: 3 Questions to Un-Boring the Bible