HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
I don’t know if you’ve ever really thought about the magnificence of the Bibleand what a privilege we have in studying it, but I hope because of this study you’ll be able to focus in on some of the tremendous things that await you in the Scripture as you break it open.
An architect’s view of the Bible
Some time ago I read an illustration that went something like this: The Bible is like a magnificent palace constructed of precious Oriental stone, comprising sixty-six stately chambers. Each one of these rooms is different from its fellows and is perfect in its individual beauty; yet, when viewed as a whole, they form an edifice—incomparable, majestic, glorious, and sublime. In the book of Genesis, we enter the vestibule, where we are immediately introduced to the records of the mighty works of God in creation. This vestibule gives access to the law courts, the passage way to the picture gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung on the walls scenes of battles, heroic deeds, and portraits of valiant men of God. Beyond the picture gallery we find the philosopher’s chamber (the book of Job), passing through which we enter the music room (the book of Psalms). Here we linger, thrilled by the grandest harmonies that ever fell on human ears. And then we come to the business office (the book of Proverbs), in the very center of which stands the motto: “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (14:34). Leaving the business office, we pass into the research department—Ecclesiastes. From there we proceed into the conservatory (the Song of Solomon), where the fragment aroma of choicest fruits and flowers and the sweetest singing of birds greet us. Then, we reach the observatory where the prophets with their powerful telescopes are looking for the appearing of the Bright and Morning Star prior to the dawning of the Son of righteousness. Crossing the courtyard, we come to the audience chamber of the King (the gospels), where we find four lifelike portraits of the King Himself that reveal the perfections of His infinite beauty. Next, we enter the workroom of the Holy Spirit (the book of Acts) and, beyond, the correspondence room (the epistles), where we see Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude busy at their tables under the personal direction of the Spirit of Truth. And finally, we enter the throne room (the book of Revelation), where we are enraptured by the mighty volume of adoration and praise addressed to the enthroned King, which fills the vast chamber; while, in the adjacent galleries and judgment hall, there are portrayed solemn scenes of doom and wonderous scenes of glory associated with the coming manifestation of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Oh, the majesty of this Book, from creation to the culmination. How it behooves us to be diligent in our study!
But how do we go about it? How can we really understand the Bible?
I. Read the Bible
Bible study begins with reading it. But quite frankly, a lot of people never get to that point. They sort of nibble at it, but they never really read it. They may read a lot of books about it, but they don’t really read the Bible, and there is no substitute for reading the Scripture. We must be totally committed to reading it because that’s where it all begins. My suggestion is that you try to read through the Bible once a year.