In high school I went with my friends to see Black Hawk Down. One thing to know about me- I am not into war movies. I had no idea what the movie was about, but my friends wanted to see it and I wanted to hang out with everyone. I immediately realize it’s a war movie. Five minutes into the movie, I realize I have no idea what’s going on. Thirty minutes into the movie, I’m miserable and looking for a way out. Who was fighting? Why were they fighting? I had no idea.
I don’t remember a lot of words being said. Only a lot of people flying around and shooting at each other. I was so lost and extremely bored. The thought of sitting through another two hours in this state of confusion was unbearable. I decided to go next door and watch Monsters, Inc while my friends finished Black Hawk Down.
If I had asked someone before the movie started for a little history lesson or a brief context of what the movie was about, I might would have enjoyed it a little more. Once I got in the theater, it was too late. My friends couldn’t explain it to me and watch at the same time.
This same feeling of confusion can happen to us in several areas of life. Specifically, in can happen when we read and study the Bible. When I began reading the Bible for the first time, I wasn’t sure where to start. I hear so many friends say they either don’t know where to start or they try to read the Bible but get confused and quit.
If you are new to reading the Bible, I recommend starting with the book of John and using an ESV Study Bible. If you are a note taker, I recommend using a journal to take notes. Kristin Schmucker’s shop has super cute journals that are great for taking notes.
Everyone can learn to understand the Bible by using these four questions as a guide when reading through each chapter.
Question #1: What is the chapter about?
Question #2: Who are the main characters?
Question #3: When does the event or teaching take place?
Question #4: Why is this being done or said?
These questions will not always have an obvious answer. Sometimes they will require looking at the footnotes in our study Bible, reading commentaries, or discussing it with friends in small groups. However, understanding the Bible shows us how everything points to Jesus. The more we understand, the more we realize God’s great love for us.
What questions do you ask when studying the Bible? We would love for you to share!