How to Understand the Bible

How to Understand the Bible

The shortest road to an understanding of the Bible is the acceptance of the fact that God is speaking in every line. The shortest road to the knowledge of the will of God is the willingness to do that will even before we know it. If we expect the voice of God to speak to us when we open the Bible, and have asked the Holy Spirit to bless it to us, we will find that He will undoubtedly answer that prayer. The Holy Spirit cannot feed us, though, if we have allowed known sin to come between us and Him.

Unless an author can give you his meaning within the pages of his book, he has failed. The reason the Bible is the universal Book is that one does not need a tremendous background of knowledge in order to understand it. The Book speaks to the heart of both the sinner and the saint. Anyone who tells us that we must have a full knowledge of Gnostic philosophy in order to understand the Gospel and the Epistles of John is making himself ridiculous. "If any man willeth to do his will he shall know the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself (John 7:17). This is the criterion for comprehension of Biblical truth. The governor of the feast did not know the source of the wine in the second chapter of John, but the Scripture says that the servants knew. The truly yielded heart of the child of God would rather be a servant and know what God is doing than be a governor and not know what God is doing.

An old Scotch lady, when asked if she enjoyed reading commentaries, replied somewhat dubiously, "Yes ... I like to read them sometimes. The Bible throws a great deal of light on them." There may be scholars who think that this attitude toward the Bible is wrong, but this is the reason why some simpleminded folk know more about God and His ways than some professors will ever know. The yielded heart, the certainty that God is speaking, and the willingness to listen, are the sum and substance of the "methodology" of Bible study.

1. Is the affection we have for God completely an intellectual endeavor or an endeavor of the heart, or both?
2. Both the head and the heart inform one other, when it comes to understanding the Bible, which comes first the head or the heart?

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