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Have you any good tips on reading the Bible? Sometimes I struggle to concentrate.
Thank you for being honest about this situation and asking for advice about the Bible. This is a great spiritual enquiry.
It has only been possible to have your very own copy of the Bible to read due to the creation of the printing press in the last few hundred years. We live in a unique time in history where Bibles in book, app, audio, and digital form are readily available to buy in shops or read / listen to online. Many Christians in the Western world now own multiple different copies of the Bible.
It is also a time where the Bible is in more languages than ever before. There are still thousands of languages without any Bible translations, but this number is decreasing every year.
Historically the Bible would have been orally communicated to people by the leaders of the community. Many people would not have been able to read but would learn the stories and pass them on to their children as they grew up. Evidence of this can be found in the Bible in Deuteronomy 6:4-7. It describes how people talked about God's words from the Bible as they went about their daily business; a model that we too perhaps should replicate!
When you read the Bible or listen to it, make sure you always pray for understanding before you begin. We believe that God speaks to us through the Bible and that He can help us understand it. Pray for wisdom and guidance.
Here are some tips to reading the Bible:
- Read it at your own pace and in your own time.
- Make notes in a journal of things you like and also things you do not understand. These can then be discussed with other people in the Church.
- Do not be ashamed to admit you do not understand what some words or passages mean. All of the world's leading Bible teachers struggle to understand some parts of the Bible.
- Use a version of the Bible that you find easy to read and understand. There are many different versions available to cater for different people's needs. There are more literal versions that stick close to the original meaning of the Hebrew and Greek text and then there are some versions which purposefully seek to apply the original meaning to the 21st century reader.
- You can also access the Bible in audio form which will be great if you receive more through the spoken word; you could even read along with the audio if you're reading the same version.
- Start somewhere that may be simpler to understand the context. The Gospel of Mark is a good place to begin as it was written to be short and to the point and focused entirely on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Attend Bible study sessions at your local Church where leaders can explain what the text means as you read through it together. If your church doesn't have such meetings, recommend them to the leaders.
- You can also meet up with friends any time to discuss the Bible.
- When you read a little part of the Bible try to also look at the passages surrounding it to better understand the context of the passage.
- There are hundreds of Bible commentaries available and many of them are free online. These books are written by Bible teachers to help other people understand what the Bible is saying. Refer to them! Be careful what you read online. There are a lot of good materials, but also a lot of false teachers!
In summary we want to emphasise how amazing God's Bible is and encourage you to continue reading and/or listening to it.
For the Word of God is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12)
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Deuteronomy 6:4-7
- Hebrews 4:12
- 1 Peter 1:22-25
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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