Things to Know Before Reading the Bible
What to do Before Reading the Bible
The Bible is incredible. It is the written Word of God and contains God’s promises, covenants, stories, history, parables, wars, love affairs, betrayals, and so much more. Perhaps you like to read the Bible but are unsure about how you are going about it. Or, maybe you are unsure about how to begin reading it. Here are some tips about what to do before reading the Bible to help you dive in to reading the amazing Word God has for us.
1. Pray before reading the Bible.
What do you say before reading the Bible? When you plan to read your Bible, say a prayer before you begin. Ask God to help you to understand His Word and apply it to your life. Do not be concerned about sounding eloquent or having the perfect words to say in your prayer. Simply speak to God from your heart.
If you would like some ideas of how you can pray, click this link to find a Catholic prayer before reading the Bible.
2. Remember that the Bible was written many years ago.
Do not be worried if you do not understand something in the Bible as well as you want to. The books of the Bible were written over 2000 years ago. Scripture scholars today still debate what different passages mean!
When reading the Bible, it is important to think about the people it was written for at the time it was written. Yes, it applies to all of us today as well, but cultures and languages were different at the time the books of the Bible were written. Reading the footnotes in your Bible or using a study Bible can help you understand more about these differences and therefore help you to more fully understand what you are reading if you are unsure of a passage’s meaning.
The post How to Read the Bible gives you ideas and tips for reading the Bible.
3. Remember that God loves you.
God loves you beyond measure. He died for you so you could be in Heaven with Him. He wants you to know and love Him. He gave us His Word, the Catholic Church, and the sacraments to help us to learn and understand more about Him and to help us to draw closer to Him.
When you read the Bible you are reading God's Word. The more you read the Bible, the more comfortable you will be with reading it. Be patient with yourself and keep reading.
4. Have Peace in your heart.
Be at peace as you read. If you get to a passage that really speaks to you, stop reading and think about it. If you are not sure about a passage, reread it or look it up in a good Catholic reference to learn more about it.
Taking the time to think about God's Word as you read and think about how it applies to your life is an important part of reading the Bible.
The Lectio Divina way to prayerfully read and think about the Bible may be helpful to you.
5. Trust in God.
God wants you to know and love Him. He wants what is best for you-to be in Heaven with Him one day. It makes it easier to trust in God when Heaven is what He wants for us!
Trust in Him to help you to know and understand what it is you need to know and understand right now as you read the Bible. You may read a passage today that speaks to you in one way, then read the same passage a few years from now and understand another aspect of it.
God's Word is rich in meaning and value. It is there for each of us to learn more about God and His promises to us. It is there for us to learn how to live our lives in a way that will draw us closer to God. Trust in Him to help you to live your life as He calls you to and to draw closer to Him a bit more each time you read the Bible.
Pray after reading the Bible.
Say a prayer after reading the Bible. Ask God to help you to apply to your life what you learned as you read. Thank Him for the gift of His Word and for helping you to love Him even more.
What to Know Before Reading the Bible
The main thing to know before you read the Bible is that God loves you. Pray and ask Him to guide your reading and your understanding of His Word. Trust in Him to help you. He will.
If you are unsure of where to begin reading in the Bible or how to include reading the Bible in your daily or weekly routine, here are two posts with ideas to get you started: