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© 2020 Shonda Carter 

Understanding



Last night I was in my online Spiritual Formation class (currently pursuing my M.A. in Divinity).  I was trying my absolute best to resist the temptation to answer my emails and all the social media notifications that were flying across my computer screen.  When all of a sudden I was jolted into spiritual bliss because I learned something new about a scripture that has been taught/I have heard explained the same way a gazillion times.

Because of this new historical information, I received it all suddenly began to make sense. I realized that I was guilty of not practicing what I preach, which is looking at things from a different perspective.  I realized that over the years the reason my study habits and prayer time had lapsed into a lull was that I was guilty of looking at things only one way- from my understanding.  

I am pleased to announce that this encounter last night has reignited my drive to understand things from the Holy Spirits perspective.  I have received specific instructions on how this is to be done. At least when it comes to reading the Bible. 

"Wanna read it, here it go!"

How to Read the Bible – Basic Steps There are some basic steps to take when learning how to read the Bible. It is a unique book!

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand. John 16:13 says, “Yet when the Spirit of Truth comes, he’ll guide you into all truth. He won’t speak on his own accord, but he’ll speak whatever he hears and will declare to you the things that are to come.”Read the context of the verse. The context (the verses surrounding the verse you are studying) is very important. In it, you will find to whom the verse is written, why it was written, who wrote it, and the issue the author was addressing.Understand cultural differences. Depending on what section you are reading, the Bible was written 3400 to 1900 years ago. Try to remove your 21st-century lenses and remember the culture of that time.Recognize the type of literature you are studying. There are portions of the Bible that contain history, law, songs, prophecy, letters, poetry, and so on. If you read poetry the same way you read history, you will become confused.Discover the application. How do the verses you are studying apply to your daily life? What did you learn about God or Jesus? What questions did it raise?

If you allow the Holy Spirit, historical context, and the fact that you are reading about actual human beings with feelings, struggles, and real-life drama to set the scene for you, the words on the page will become much more real and meaningful to you because you will know why it was significant to its original audience. 

Well, what do you think?  Shoot me an email or leave me a comment.  I love to hear things from a different perspective. 

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