Through studying the Bible more these last few years than I’ve done in my entire life, I’ve learned two important techniques worth noting that have helped me to better appreciate and better understand it. Hopefully these will help you too.
One—discover who the writer of the passage is and in what context the passage is taking place from a historical context. This helps to understand who the writer is, and if we (the readers) are in the right frame of mind to grasp the concepts being laid out for us. For instance, the book of Hebrews is not written for new believers to the faith, but rather existing ones who need encouragement. In this regard, it might be more beneficial to introduce a new believer to the book of John instead of force-feeding them to eat meat if they are only capable of milk, so to speak.
Two—research the origin of certain words within the passage in the original language it was translated from. This is not nitpicking the English translations of the Bible to find fault. Instead, it’s bringing a greater understanding of the ancient language that was used to add depth and clarity to the passage itself. By understanding how the Greek and Hebrew definitions of certain words have evolved, it can shed light on where specific English words got their meaning. The English translations of the Bible are accurate in a general sense, but when you find out where some words originally came from, it provides a greater insight to what the original writer was trying to convey.
Now, most of us don’t have access to Biblical scholars or ancient historians each and every time we read the Bible. But, we do have Google. Here are some examples of what I’ll search online while reading a particular passage…
“What does the name Jacob mean in Hebrew?”
“Who wrote the book of Romans?”
“What does the word conform mean in Greek?”
“Who was the book of Ephesians written for?”
So I hope this helps you in your spiritual research. Every once in a while, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned in this aspect so that you can expand your knowledge of the Bible and help to educate others in their learning as well.