Time spent digging into God’s word is often pushed back. “I’m too busy for that now; I’ll do it later”…”I’m too tired I just can’t study now.” But just sitting down to read isn’t enough. We need to study productively, to glean from His word. How can we be more productive in our study?
- Be persistent!-Set a time each day to spend in the bible and do it. It may be 15 minutes here or there but that’s okay. Just get into His word daily!
- Know about what you’re reading-Knowing if the passage is written as a history or is a symbolic text will determine how you apply it. Figure out what events are going on at the time. This will help you better understand.
- Have the proper mindset- “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16.
- We must be:
* Reverent-We’re reading and studying God’s word.
*Expectant- His word is profitable. We will gain something from it.
- Keep it in its context!-This is essential! Taking a verse out of context completely changes its meaning. Don’t just read one verse; read the verses before and after to get a clear picture of what’s being taught.
- Have a reliable translation-The bibles we have today are a translation of the original Hebrew/Greek writings. It’s important to remember that these were done by man. Some of these translations completely change what was originally taught. There are also different types of translations-literal(KJV, ASV, ESV) and paraphrase(The Message, TLB, ERV). A paraphrase gives you whatever the translator thinks the passage means and may leave out some things. Make sure you are studying from a reliable literal translation. My favorites are KJV and ESV.
Using a couple different versions is also helpful when studying. E-Sword is a great resource when studying. There is a comparison tool(shown below) that lets you see the original text, definition of the Hebrew/Greek words, and how different versions are translated.