These words are from the heart of God … for the heart of God.

Understanding the Bible

The Bible requires a good teacher, whether it’s in the form of a book that you can use as a guide, or a real live teacher taking you through each book and explaining the background behind the stories.

Some of the stories need no real interpretation. Any Bible introduction will point out the stories we connect with holidays, i.e., Christmas and Easter first, to get you used to the style and language.

After that, some of it gets a little difficult to understand, so a guide is needed.

If you haven’t read the Bible since the stories you heard as a child, you may be surprised to learn those stories have new meaning to you now that you’re grown up.

By understanding the Bible, you will find it is rich in religious meaning, of course, but it is also a wonderful example of different writing styles.

The poetry of the Psalms will take you through feelings of joy, sadness, hope, and appreciation for God‘s goodness.

The rich history of the Jewish people is the story of all of us–our goodness and our failings.

The Gospels tell us about the New Covenant through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and they do so in compelling stories. Reading the scriptures can open some interesting new doors.

Bible introduction and instruction can be obtained online from several web sites by printing out lessons, then providing questions that will take you back over the material and enhance your understanding of the scriptures through what you’ve read. There are quizzes you can take that will test what you already know about the Bible, and give you an idea of what you need to learn yet. If you are fairly familiar with the Scriptures, but want to go farther into understanding the Bible, that may be a good way to begin.

There are sites and books that will help the student, no matter what level he or she has currently reached. There are book sites that have only religious material, so that finding just the book you need, can be found.

A Bible introduction by denomination can also be found online or in the Christian Book Stores. Since there are somewhat different versions used by different denominations, it is a good idea to get the version best suited for your own church. (KJV Catholic Source)

There are many versions of the Bible available in religious bookstores everywhere. The earliest translation into English was the King James Version in 1611. It is the same kind of English as used by William Shakespeare. Several other, easier to read versions have been written in the last century, including one very easy-to-read version called the “Living Bible.” A good Bible will include a reference section in the back with maps, and a special index called a “concordance.” If you are searching for something you have read, but can’t remember where, the concordance will be a big help. For those who cannot read well, or don’t have time to sit down and read, there are taped versions of the Bible available in most places where printed versions are sold. With tapes, you can listen while you’re doing something else (like taking a walk, ironing clothes).

The Bible is made up of sixty-six books. Quite a sizeable library, and most Bible introductions will not begin with the first book and go right through to the last. Some books are easier to read and understand than others, and so when trying to understand the Bible, it is better to begin with the easier-to-understand books. Not surprisingly, that usually means starting with the Gospels. Mark and Luke are good places to start in your Bible introduction so you will not become discouraged on your journey toward understanding the scriptures.

College courses can be found, either on campus or online, for the person who wants to be a serious student of the Bible. A college course will include materials that will allow for understanding the Bible at a much deeper level than the average study group wants to go, and a much greater time commitment as well. This kind of Bible study alone will not earn you a degree, but will give you the knowledge on that one subject that will match a degreed person–which could be very gratifying. For most Bible students, something less than college level classes is required. People just want to have a healthy understanding of the Scriptures so they can better understand the sermons on Sunday, and the Sunday School lessons.

There are long courses offered by several groups that limit their group size so as to keep the class length under control, and use several books that span a period of two to three years. The discussions and homework involved in these courses will get attendees to a point near to the college class level by the time they are finished. Group study is very instrumental in the growth of faith in their members. There is no doubt that constant exposure to scriptures leads to more deeply understanding Christianity.

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