4: Section 1
We recall from
the first three sessions that the Bible:
We have also
given you some tips:
us the information that we
need to understand God's plan to save
us from death.
us real hope for the future.
us direction for daily living and real meaning to
for Bible "echoes".
to the Bible for answers to your questions.
look at isolated passages and draw conclusions.
principle of effective reading
- A regular
intake of God's Word, fifteen to twenty minutes daily.
There are many
different reading plans available. One such plan is the
“Bible Companion”. A copy of the
“Bible Companion” has been reproduced here
in sections of 2 months each which can be printed
out and stapled together. It has two readings from the
Old Testament and one from the New Testament each day.
At the end
of the year, after following the plan, you will have
read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice.
This plan keeps a wonderful balance between the Old
and the New Testaments, and can really help you bring
out those Bible “echoes”.
It is more
important to read daily than to achieve the goal of
reading all of the three portions each day. If you can
only read one portion, be consistent in which portion
you read. If you get behind, don’t worry about catching
up. Just pick up on the readings for that day and keep
going every day.
Psalm 119 v 97
time. Have a regular spot in your daily routine for
reading. For most people mornings are better than
a translation, bearing in mind our comments in Session
- Be comfortable.
Reading should be enjoyable and you should look forward
to reading. So pick a comfortable setting.
at a desk for reading can be more productive and comfortable.
to approach reading the Bible
If you are
to gain what you can from Bible study, you need to approach
it with the right attitudes. You need to be open to new
ideas. If you approach all ideas with a “fortress mentality”
- thinking that your main job is to prove what you already
think the Bible says - your understanding will have little
chance of growing.
is a book of strength that has withstood all kinds of
attacks during its history. As in all other areas of
study, Bible students build upon and re-evaluate the
work of earlier students. You need not fear examining
new ideas and evaluating them carefully in the light
of all the teachings of the Bible.
to be willing to think about what you are learning,
and to consider how you can apply it in your life. To
do this, it is usually helpful to share your ideas and
interpretations with other Bible students for discussion
and evaluation. We can learn from each other. This is
why we encourage you to discuss Bible topics by e-mail.
is stimulating and life-changing. Study of the Bible
can affect your life as no other study can. You will
experience a new satisfaction as you learn to make your
own judgements based on firm principles, and the Bible
will become more alive and powerful in your life. Remember,
you are intended to understand this remarkable book
and to meet God in its pages.
important thing is attitude.
read the Bible, have an open mind - let it teach you.
Aloud. This may seem ridiculous if you are alone,
but the human mind is amazing. While you read, you
can also be planning what you’re going to do next,
and finish a chapter wondering what you just read.
Reading aloud doesn’t solve the problem but it helps
the mind to focus.
yourself questions. Here are some useful ones:-
don’t need to ask all these questions about every
passage; quite often one will spark off an interesting
line of thought.)
Don't read too much at once.
is the main subject.
are the main people.
does it say about God or Christ?
is the central lesson?
example is there to follow?
do I need most in this chapter to apply to my life
there cross-references that can be used to develop
the theme of the passage or help my understanding?
there any words I should look up to clarify a definition?
can help to understand a passage if you look at another
bear in mind which translations follow the original
text the closest.
will look at these in greater detail in session 5.
Using the “Bible
Companion” reading table, pick one of the readings
for today and ask one or two of the questions about “Echoes”,
trying to find answers which satisfy you.