Systematic Bible Study
There are two ways of studying the Bible. One is for information and the other for inspiration.
Before we search the bible for inspiration, we must have some idea of what it actually says. There is no way to know it without systematically reading it.
Adopt a systematic approach to Bible reading, so that you can get to know the whole Bible. Read it in a translation that is easy for you to understand. Even though the King James may be beautiful, it’s archaic language may not be the best for a new Christian. Try one of the newer translations instead, in order to get the most our of your reading.
There are many Bible reading programs available on the internet, as well as others promoted through various churches. Set daily goals for reading that fid your schedule. Consistency is more important than voume when it comes to the habit of reading.
Make note of the questions you have (trust me, you will have lots!) but don’t let them slow you down. If you have to skip over the harder passages, do it. The first goal is to acquire general Bible knowledge, not to become experts.
Most people prefert to start in the New Testament, instead of the Old Testament. The first four books of the New Testament are called the Gospels, and tell the life of Jesus. The rest of the New Testament tells about the spread of Jesus’ disciples throughout the world and contains letter written by them to the churches. The last book, Revelation, contains symbolic images of the suffering sof the gospel and the end of the world.
The Old Testament is the prequel to the new, telling the story of the beginning of the world and the history of the Jews. It can greatly enrich your understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus.
Once you have a general understanding of a book or a section, go back and read it more closely.. Make notes of things you don’t understand an look them up, using Bible helps or online Bible resources. You can read the Bible every day and get something new out of it each day.
When you have a good knowledge of the Bible in General, you are ready to read more for inspiration than information. See the Lectio Divina and imgainative reading exercise for an idea of how to do explore the Bible further.