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Top 7 Tips for Understanding the Bible


The provided text delves into the complexity and widespread misunderstanding of the Bible, asserting that the root cause is the deception perpetrated by Satan, which has led to a fragmentation among Christian denominations. The text then offers seven key tips for effective Bible study to uncover the true meaning of God's Word.

1. Pray for wisdom and understanding: Emphasizing the necessity of seeking God's guidance before and during Bible study to gain meaningful insights rather than mere academic knowledge.

2. Always have an attitude of self-correction: Highlighting the importance of humility and the willingness to align one's character with that of Jesus Christ, using the example of the prophet Jeremiah.

3. Gather all the relevant scriptures: Stresses the importance of considering all scriptures on a topic, avoiding out-of-context interpretations, with an illustration of how different gospel accounts provide a complete picture of an event.

4. Always check the context: Advises readers to understand the surrounding text to grasp the intended meaning, exemplified by analyzing who is addressed in a specific scripture.

5. Begin with clear scriptures first: Warns against establishing doctrines based on ambiguous texts, advocating for a straightforward interpretation unless the text is clearly symbolic or figurative.

6. Let the Bible interpret its own symbols: Encourages readers to rely on the Bible itself for clarifying its symbols, using examples from the book of Revelation.

7. Compare several Bible translations: Acknowledges the value of different translations to grasp the original message better, noting that some modern versions may clarify what older translations obscure.

The text concludes by emphasizing the Bible's nature as a "coded book," accessible only to those genuinely seeking to understand and live by God's teachings. It suggests that a sincere, humble approach to Bible study, guided by these principles, can unlock divine truths for the reader.

Full Transcript

Why is the Bible the most misunderstood book in all history? The most twisted, distorted, maligned, and misrepresented book there is? In this episode, I will share with you 7 of the most helpful tips of Bible study to better understand the plain teachings of God’s Word. Let’s discuss.

In our last episode, I shared seven good reasons why you can absolutely trust the Bible. But WHY do we find so much confusion — so much disagreement — on what it says? WHY don’t the thousands of Christian denominations AGREE on what their acknowledged textbook SAYS?

Here’s the short and simple answer: Satan the Devil has deceived this entire planet, including the world of religion in general and mainstream Christianity in particular. That’s why we have so many churches, some 30,000 Christian groups, all having different doctrines and beliefs. Notice:

Revelation 12:9 — So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Without God’s guidance, there’s no way we can correctly understand the truths of the Bible.

Here are the top 7 Bible study tips that will help you truly understand God’s precious Truths:

1. Pray for Wisdom and Understanding

Before you even open the Bible, ask God in PRAYER to open your mind to His Word in the study that you intend to make. Without sincerely and believingly asking GOD'S DIRECTION in your Bible study, Bible study of itself would be useless or ineffective.

King David, the man after God’s own heart, studied and meditated on God's laws and ways. He was close to God in every way. Yet many times throughout the Psalms we read how David ASKED God to GUIDE him in his study, to OPEN his mind, to REVEAL His Truth.

Psalm 119:33-40Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness.

A formal education is not required. As long as you know HOW TO READ, get down on your knees and sincerely ask God to guide you in a study of His Word. He will open your mind to understand things that even the most intelligent people have not been able to understand.

2. Always Have an Attitude of Self-Correction

Before you rise from your knees in prayer, fully recognize that your main PURPOSE for this Bible study is not just to gain academic knowledge, nor to prove or disprove a certain doctrine or fact — but to get you closer to the very character of Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

Your attitude should be the same as the prophet Jeremiah. In fact, since you're going to be STUDYING the Bible, turn to Jeremiah 10:23 and read two verses there as part of your prayer:

Jeremiah 10:23-24 — O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. O LORD, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.

Read also Isaiah 66:1-2 to aid you in understanding what your approach should be:

Isaiah 66:1-2 — Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist," says the LORD. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.

The Bible that you are studying is the very MIND AND THOUGHTS OF YOUR CREATOR GOD! It is not meant to be a weapon to attack OTHER people with. Apply TO YOURSELF AND TO YOURSELF ALONE that scripture which refers to YOU!

3. Gather All the Relevant Scriptures

No one scripture can OF ITSELF, taken OUT OF CONTEXT, be used to establish the Truth. You must take the whole Bible in its entire context, getting ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES in that Bible ON ANY ONE SUBJECT BEFORE you can come to the knowledge of that particular subject from God's point of view.

A good example of this is found in Matthew 27:37 as compared to Luke 23:38. Here Matthew and Luke APPEAR to contradict one another in their statements as to what was written on the sign affixed to the stake upon which Yahshua (Jesus) was crucified.

GET YOUR BIBLE and USE this example to PROVE that getting ALL of the scriptures on any one subject WILL give you God's understanding on it. In order to find out WHAT was written on that sign, WHO wrote it, and HOW MANY languages it was written in, you will need to put at least four scriptures together, not just two. Aside from those two verses above, also go to Mark 15:26 and write what MARK says was written on that sign. Then do the same with John 19:19. Put them all together and you will see what was written on that sign.

If ONE of these scriptures were left out you would not know that it was PILATE who did the writing. If TWO of these scriptures were left out you would not know that the writing was originally done in THREE LANGUAGES. These four bits of information, each from a different author, supply us with a complete record of what was written there originally. No one scripture contradicts the other — each only serves to complement and round out the information of the other.

4. Always Check the Context

Context means, con — WITH, text — TEXT. In order to check the context you merely read the TEXTS WHICH COME WITH the text that is in question. You read the texts BEFORE and the TEXTS AFTER. In this example of Luke 17:21, you need to also ask yourself a number of questions regarding the context. The text that is with (CON) Luke 17:21, is Luke 17:20! This verse JUST BEFORE answers the question regarding Verse 21, but in order to ANSWER that question you must ASK yourself the question, "WHO?"

In other words you must ask yourself, if "the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you" — WHO is the YOU that the Bible is referring to? In this case verse 20 explains that it is the PHARISEES! Now you KNOW that certainly Yahshua (Jesus) wasn't saying that the Kingdom of God is inside of the PHARISEES! Therefore, the con (WITH) text helps you to see that there must be a MISTRANSLATION in this particular verse.

And sure enough, when you check the margin of your Bible you will find that the word "within" should be translated "among" — referring to Yahshua (Jesus) Himself as a Representative of God's Kingdom who was at that time "among" the Pharisees!

In order to understand any scripture thoroughly, in its context, you need to ask yourself — and answer for yourself — all the following questions: WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? WHO? HOW? When you have answered these questions regarding any particular text, and you have read all of the accompanying texts, WITH the text in question, YOU WILL HAVE GOD'S ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM.

Many people misunderstand Mark 7:19 — thinking that in this place unclean meats were cleansed by Christ — simply because they do not read the context. In this case the context is the ENTIRE CHAPTER. You must go back from verse 19, until you begin to find the subject about which verse 19 is talking. That subject has to do with whether or not to wash your hands ceremonially before you eat, and has nothing to do with whether the food you eat is clean or unclean according to the laws of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

There are even LIES written in the Bible and you have to be careful that you ask yourself EXACTLY what the Bible says in the ENTIRETY of the context of any one statement. THE BIBLE SAYS, “You will NOT surely die” (Gen. 3:4). This is a BIBLICAL statement! But in order to find out whether it's true or not you have to find out WHO said it. In this particular case the same verse explains that Satan the Devil said it. But in order to find out whether it is true or not (because sometimes even Satan tells the truth) you have to go back in the CONTEXT.

In Genesis 2:17, God said, “You SHALL surely die!” That’s what the BIBLE DOES SAY!

5. Begin With Clear Scriptures First

Perhaps a better general statement of this FIFTH RULE of Bible study would be: NEVER ESTABLISH A DOCTRINE BY A VAGUE OR DIFFICULT-TO-BE-UNDERSTOOD SCRIPTURE.

We should always try to ask and answer this question: What does the Bible say? The normal, literal reading of the Scriptures should be our normal, default position. It’s only when the Scriptures are clearly figurative or symbolic should we assume that they are.

Too many people ASSUME that the vision which Peter had regarding the unclean animals lowered to him on a sheet meant that God had “cleansed” unclean meat. Because they TAKE OUT OF CONTEXT a verse, unclean of itself, that says, "What God has cleansed you must not call common" (Acts 10:15). However, all they need to do is read on TWO MORE VERSES and verse 17 very plainly says that PETER HIMSELF DOUBTED what the vision meant when he saw it — he didn't jump to any conclusions, but some zealous or misguided people are so eager to! Further reading in the same chapter will explain what Peter finally came to understand about the vision — read verse 28: “God has shown me [by means of this vision] that I should not call any man [he didn’t say animal] common or unclean.”

6. Let the Bible Interpret Its Own Symbols

In the King James Bible, the book of Revelation will probably be entitled, "The Revelation of ST. JOHN THE DIVINE." This is an excellent example of MAN'S INTERPRETATION. Now in order for you to understand WHAT the book of Revelation IS — WHOSE revelation it is, TO WHOM it was written and WHAT it is about — all you have to do is read the first few verses of THE BOOK ITSELF! In fact the very first words of the very first verse DIRECTLY CONTRADICT MAN'S INTERPRETATION of the Bible with the plain Bible statement that this book is, THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST [Yahshua the Messiah]!" (Rev. 1:1.)

PEOPLE have come up with many weird interpretations for the book of Revelation. Yet the book of Revelation is VIVID in its own clear description and needs no interpretation!

When Revelation 1:12 says that John saw seven GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS, you don't have to WONDER what these seven golden candlesticks are — all you have to do is READ ON until you come, in the CONTEXT, to verse 20. That verse tells you plainly that the seven candlesticks ARE the seven churches. In verse 16 it states that John saw SEVEN STARS in the hand of the Son of Man. There is no need to go into great, eloquent illustrations of what the seven stars are, because again verse 20 reveals the plain Bible truth — no interpretation necessary — that the seven stars ARE the angels of the seven churches. And so it goes through the rest of the Bible.

7. Compare Several Bible Translations

Even though the original Word of God was inspired in the Hebrew or Aramaic, God has allowed it to be translated into nearly every language spoken by mankind. We no longer have the original autographs. All we have today are translations from the original languages.

The King James Version was written over 400 years ago. In the time since, the English language has undergone many changes. Sometimes those texts which are vague and unclear in the King James Version can be cleared up very easily by reading a MORE MODERN TRANSLATION, such as the New King James Version.

There is one thing to note about the King James translation and that is regarding italics. Words in italics are NOT in the original languages but are SUPPLIED by the translators to help you understand the meaning of the sentence. However, since the translators were carnally minded, they did not always supply the words correctly. So some of these words in italics are incorrect and do not help but rather hinder your understanding.

On the other hand, NOT ALL OF THE WORDS WHICH ARE SUPPLIED by the translators are in italics. Take 1 John 5:7 for instance, where the reference to three who bear witness in heaven is a completely erroneous reference inserted by a monk-copyist in the Middle Ages. The fact is this particular verse appears in the King James Version and the New King James Version but is in NONE of the other modern translations of the Bible.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Bible, as originally inspired and written, is the Word of the Almighty God. But it is a “coded book” — not meant to be understood by just anyone, but only those whom God is calling now — those who have had their minds and hearts opened, and are therefore willing to seek, love, and obey Him. Yes, to those few men and women who are humble and teachable, God (YHWH) will reveal Himself and His wonderful, precious truths.

Could you be one of them? I sincerely hope and pray that you are.

Until next time, this is Daniel Macaraeg, of BiblicalTruths.TV, reminding you to always be growing, to always be giving, and to always be grateful.



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