How to Read the Bible: 10 Simple Tips Can Help You Get the Most out of "The Word"

By Bennett, Joy T. | Ebony, December 2007 | Go to article overview

How to Read the Bible: 10 Simple Tips Can Help You Get the Most out of "The Word"


Bennett, Joy T., Ebony


IT'S 66 BOOKS IN ONE. It contains sweeping epics, riveting love stories, great poetry and deep kernels of wisdom. It's a "whodunit" mystery complete with a surprise ending. It has insight into the great questions of life. It discusses slavery and freedom. It is the alpha and the omega. It is the Bible. However, reading the Bible might seem intimidating at first for the novice. But it's not just for scholars, pastors and preachers. It's for all people of faith. EBONY magazine asked noted pastors and Bible scholars for a primer, "Bible Reading 101," for those who want to strengthen their spiritual walk by reading what has been called "the Good Book."

1. Set aside a regular time and quiet place that is relatively free from distractions to read the Bible. "Read it every single day," says Pastor Marvin L. Winans of Detroit's Perfecting Church. "The most fascinating is that it's almost like you're reading that happened in daily news."

2. There are different versions of the Bible Several pastors recommend the Contemporary English version for beginners.

3. Approach the Bible with prayer and anticipation. "Expect God to speak through God's Word, if you are a believer," says the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. "If you are a critic and a doubter, your reading of the Bible will be nothing more than an intellectual exercise. You will take nothing to the text and you will get nothing from the text!"

4. Find a Bible friend with whom you can discuss and share your readings.

5. Don't be afraid to underline or highlight passages in the Bible. Keep a pen and notebook, and write down things you discover and questions that arise.

6. Always ask the "W" questions! Ask who, what, when, where and why. "The reader needs to understand who wrote the Book, what the Book is saying, why the Book was written, when the Book was written and where the Book intended to go," Wright says. …

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