How To Understand The Bible
Directions for the Future
God has given us directions for the twenty-first century. The most important directions God has given us involve getting from earth to heaven. The most important appointment in life is to be ready to meet Christ when He returns. There is no second chance on eternity. To miss an eternity with Christ is to miss life's most important appointment. Yet multitudes have taken wrong "religious directions." They are helplessly lost on the road of life. With no "religious" map to guide them, they are confused. They have searched for truth on their own but have come up empty. They have listened to misguided voices, and their desperate search has led nowhere. They are on the wrong road, and they know it. Where can we find a reliable map? Are there directions to guide us confidently through the twenty-first century? There are! The Bible provides clear information. It presents understandable answers to the deepest questions of the human heart. Questions such as:
- How can I be certain of eternal life?
- If God is so good, why is the world in such a mess?
- How can I have peace of mind?
- How can I become the person I really want to be?
- What happens five minutes after death?
- What is the ultimate solution to stress?
- Are we living at the end of human history?
- How will the world end?
These lessons are especially designed to answer your questions directly from the Bible. You can place your confidence in God's Word. If you have never studied the Bible before, you are in for a rich reward. God's Word will give you encouragement and hope as you seek for life's deepest meaning. If you are an experienced Bible student, these lessons will lead you deeper into the truths of God's Word.
01. How does God communicate with a Fallen race?
2 Peter 1:21
for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
God spoke through His Holy Spirit and inspired the prophets to write down His messages. Although they recorded these messages in their own words, the message of the Bible comes directly from God. The Bible is God's Word.
02. Since The Bible was written by human beings, how much of it is actually inspired by God?
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
Both the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God. The Old Testament consists of the first 39 books of the Bible from Genesis to Malachi. It reveals God's plan for His people before Jesus' birth. The New Testament, the last 27 books of the Bible (from Matthew to Revelation), reveals the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible especially describes God's instructions to His church today.
03. Since scribes copied the Bible repeatedly throughout the centuries, is it still reliable today?
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible has preserved it throughout the centuries. Recent archaeological and historical discoveries have further confirmed its accuracy and reliability. Here are just a few examples of archaeological discoveries that confirm the truthfulness of the Bible (you can click on links to see more information):
THE ROSETTA STONE:
discovered in 1799 in Egypt by Napoleon 's scientists, was written in three languages-hieroglyphics, demotic, and Greek. It unlocked the mystery of the Hieroglyphs and helps to confirm the reliability of the Bible.
THE MOABITE STONE:
discovered in 1868 at Debden, Jordan, confirms the Moabite Attacks on Israel as recorded in 2 Kings I and 3.
THE LACHISH LETTERS:
discovered 1.932-1.93824 miles north of Be Sheba in Israel, describe the attack of Nebuchadnezzar on Jerusalem in 586 BC and confirm the truthfulness of Jeremiah's and Ezekiel's' prophecies.
THE CYRUS CYLINDER:
records Cyrus ' overthrow of Babylon and the deliverance of the Jewish capture, as recorded in Daniel 5 and prophesied in Isaiah 44 and 45.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS:
discovered in 1948, date back to 150 BC. They contain portions or the entirety of every Bible book in the Old Testament. More than a half century of study by the worlds best linguist scholars confirms the accurate transmission and copying of the Bible text.
04. What was God's purpose in giving us the Bible?
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
God's Word is like a flashlight. When you are in a dark place, the flashlight's beams penetrate the darkness, providing light as to where you currently are, and the direction showing the path ahead. The Bible enlightens our understanding.
05. What is the source of God's Truth?
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
06. With so many people interpreting the Bible differently, is it possible to know the real truth?
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
07. What is the first principle of understanding the Bible correctly?
2 Peter 1:20
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
We avoid "private" interpretation by letting the Bible explain itself. The Bible is its own interpreter. By allowing one passage of Scripture to explain another we discover God's interpretation.
08. What attitude is essential in understanding Bible truth?
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
An understanding of the Bible largely depends on a willingness to do whatever God requires. Bible study is not simply a mental exercise. It is a heart experience. If you are willing to do whatever God asks you in His Word, He will guide you into all truth.
09. Why do some people have difficulty understanding Bible truth?
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
2 Corinthians 4:4
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Understanding the Bible is difficult for some people because of their unwillingness to give up their own ideas. God invites us to seek His way, not our own. He invites us to turn from the pride of our own understanding to humble acceptance of His revealed will in His Word. If we cling to our own ideas, our eyes will be blinded by the evil one.
10. What does the Bible tell us we should do to understand truth?
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
It is very important to study the Bible for yourself. We can't rely on what others tell us. God invites you to go on a personal discovery of truth from His Word. The Bereans daily searched the Word of God for themselves to discover truth.
11. If God is guiding us into truth when we study the scriptures, what method of Bible study will be especially helpful in discovering God's truth?
09. Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
10. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.
1 Corinthians 2:13
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Let's suppose you are putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Do you come to a conclusion regarding what the finished picture will look like without looking at the original picture? Certainly not! It's the same with God's Word. God invites us to study all the texts on a given subject before coming to a conclusion regarding what the Bible teaches on a particular topic.
12. What guarantee has Jesus given to ensure that as we study the bible with a sincere heart we will be led into His truth?
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
As the Holy Spirit leads us in our Bible study interpreting line upon line and text after text we will know the truth of God. God has not left us alone in our pursuit of truth. He has promised the Holy Spirit's guidance.
13. Who is the central theme of the Bible?
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
14. What will happen in our lives as we study the precious promises of God's Word?
2 Peter 1:3-4
03. as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
04. by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Scriptures testify or bear witness of Jesus. As we study the Bible, the power of the living Christ will transform us. Millions of people throughout history testify to the amazing power of God's Word. As they have studied its pages they have found an inner peace, a new joy, and life-changing power to overcome undesirable habits. As you continue on this fascinating journey of discovery you too will discover God's amazing plan for your life and will experience the secrets of living life to the fullest in the twenty-first century.
Do you wish to make it your purpose to allow the Holy Spirit to shape your life as you open your heart to discover Jesus' love and truth in His Word?
For Further Study:
Fulfilled prophecy confirms the truthfulness of the Bible.
- JESUS' BIRTHPLACE, Bethlehem, was predicted 700 years in advance by the prophet, Micah (Micah 5:2).
- JESUS' CRUCIFIXION was described by David (Psalm 22:16).
- THE DESTRUCTION OF TYRE AND SIDON was foretold by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:32-36; Ezekiel 28:20-23).
- CYRUS OVERTHROW OF BABYLON was predicted before Cyrus' birth (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, 2).
- JERUSALEM OVERTHROWN by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was foretold by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27:6).
- BABYLON'S ATTACK ON EGYPT was foretold in advance (Jeremiah 46:13).
- JESUS PREDICTED THE JEWISH TEMPLE'S DESTRUCTION by the Roman armies (Matthew 24:1, 2).
- And Many More!