How to Read the Bible
This discussion has not yet been rewritten or presented in the updated multi-part format. That will occur as God wills to provide me the time and energy to do so.
The ONLY Proper Way to Study the Bible
If you have not yet read the article that answers the question, “What is True Scripture?“, please do so before continuing. It is imperative one understands what the writers of the New Testament considered to be the Holy Scriptures – what Scripture defines as Scripture. When you have completed that reading please return.
Assuming you have read the article I will now continue.
Below I present in its entirety Bible study tips from a Christian web site. Sadly, most Christians reading these tips would consider them to be excellent and probably follow a similar procedure. Unfortunately very few actually follow the advice to read the “entire Bible” (meaning the Tanakh). Notwithstanding the sincerity of the typical Bible student, these tips may actually be the worst possible advice regarding the proper way to study the Bible and provides evidence as to why the website from which they originated is teaching the traditional Christian errors, despite the earnestness of the site’s promoter. Here is the procedure recommended by that site to study Scripture.
Here are some tips on reading your Bible. Begin reading the Gospel of John. Read it through completely, three times. Never read less than five chapters per day. More would be preferable.
Next go to the book of Matthew at the beginning of the New Testament. Begin reading from there, all the way through to the end of the New Testament, including the Revelation. Read the New Testament through completely three times.
Once you have read the New Testament through three times, then go to the beginning of the Bible and read the entire Bible through completely from Genesis 1:1 to the end of the Revelation. Remember, read at least five chapters or more per day, which will be at least thirty-five chapters per week. More that this is better.
It is extremely important for a Christian to have a good overall understanding of the Bible. Many people wrongly study the Bible, a little here and a little there. As a result, they never really have a clear, overall view of the entire Bible. They lack a good, biblical understanding of God, of God’s judgments, and of how Satan deceives. This gives a place for the devil to deceive them. It is highly recommended that a person read the entire Bible through at least once every year.
If the previous program is followed, these are the results at the rate of five chapters per day.
- The Gospel of John read 3 times = 1.8 weeks
- The New Testament read 3 times = 22.3 weeks
- The entire Bible read 1 time = 34 weeks
Thus in just 58 weeks a person will have read the Gospel of John a total of 7 times, the New Testament a total of 4 times, and the entire Bible 1 time.
There is only one section of the study methodology shown above that I agree with. It is his comment:
“It is extremely important for a Christian to have a good overall understanding of the Bible. Many people wrongly study the Bible, a little here and a little there. As a result, they never really have a clear, overall view of the entire Bible. They lack a good, biblical understanding of God, of God’s judgments, and of how Satan deceives. This gives a place for the devil to deceive them.”
The problem is, his suggested method of Bible study is an example of the very thing he warns about!
From the text above that I have underlined, the following sentence can be constructed that summarizes the poor advice given by the author. Begin reading the gospel of John 3 times, next the New Testament 3 times, then read the entire Bible. The remainder of this article will discuss why this typical approach to Bible study assures the student will probably end up with a terribly biased and erroneous understanding of truth.
What if you were facing a life-and-death situation that required you travel to a town that you knew absolutely nothing about within a specified period of time. You were told by the King precisely where you could obtain a map to the destination; however, it would require you to invest some time and study. Upon hearing you needed directions someone introduced himself and told you he knew exactly how to get you there. In fact, he claims to know a “short cut”. So, being the trusting type and not really wanting to invest the time and study – much less drive yourself – you agreed. You thought, “What a deal? This is going to be easy.” So you climbed in the car and off you went with the smooth talking, strangely friendly driver at the wheel. He showed you the sights along the way and described various things, and he was always willing to share his “scholarly” opinions. Of course you had never made the trip, but it seemed pleasant enough; so, eventually any anxiety you may have had vanished. You actually enjoyed the company of the driver and judged him to be intelligent, charming, and apparently perfectly capable of getting you to your destination. Eventually the driver announces you have arrived, lets you out, and continues on – leaving your alone to face the consequences.
Let’s summarize the story.
- Your life depended on you arriving to a very specific destination.
- You never had been there and didn’t even have a map; however, you could have obtained a map and studied the route.
- Instead of investing what was required of you to reach the unknown town, you decided to take the “easier” option of allowing the seemingly capable and friendly man drive you. You were particularly sold on his claim of knowing a “short cut” that allowed you to bypass the longer and more reliable path.
- During the drive you forgot all about the fact you had no idea where the guy was going and was captivated by his apparent knowledge and personality. The trip seemed so easy.
- Now that you have arrived you suddenly are panicked at the realization that you have placed your life in the hands of someone else and don’t know if this is even the destination you sought! Unfortunately, now it is too late because time has run out.
- You now realize that you are actually completely lost and allowed your laziness and trust in someone else to do the work to lull you into a false sense of security for which you must now answer!
This scenario is similar to the situation one accepts when they follow Bible study instructions similar to those given above. In reality, whether you know it or not, you are potentially just as “lost” as the victim described in the story!
The Biblical road is truly a journey. The New Testament was written when much of the journey had already been completed. Of course there was still far to go even after Yeshua arrived on the scene; however, the most involved portion of the trip occurred prior to Messiah’s first appearance. In fact, ALL the primary teachings (Torah) occurred before the Messiah ever arrived! There are no “short cuts” to finding truth. If you don’t have a thorough understanding of the path from it’s very beginning, you may easily be lead to the wrong destination and be completey unaware of the error until it is too late.
Now, what part of what Christians call the “Bible” actually describes the journey? What is the only reliable path one can follow to lead them to truth? What records the actual promises, the examples, the Laws, the rewards and punishments of straying from the path, the entire road taken to arrive at Messiah? If you can’t answer this question you truly do need to sincerely ponder your spiritual condition. There is only one answer – the Tanakh! (Older Testament). If you think you can take the “short cut” of only studying the New Testament, you are grossly mislead and may be victimized by the “changed times and laws” of the Beast!
The New Testament authors – all of them – assume you know all about the journey. They spend very little time describing the sights along the route because they assume you saw the sights firsthand. The only way you can know the promises, the prophecies of the future Kingdom, the definition of the Kingdom of God, the definitions of Messiah, the rules of the road, etc. is to read the Tanakh! There is literally no possible way to correctly understand New Testament unless you first read the Holy Scripture as defined in the article mentioned in the first sentence of this writing. But, of course, there is no shortage of friendly drivers willing to “take you for a ride.”
I oppose the false directions previously quoted for finding truth. Directions such as his are a precise illustration of “the blind leading the blind”, and as Yeshua properly pointed out, if the blind guides the blind they will both end up in the ditch (Eternally lost). The traditional Christian recommendation for Bible study such as I showed above guarantees a level of Biblical ignorance and an anti-Tanakh bias since, quoting from his directions, “…the person will have read the Gospel of John a total of 7 times, the New Testament a total of 4 times, and the entire Bible (Tanakh) 1 time.” The true and reliable path (Tanakh – “Old” Testament) was read only 1 time! His study suggestions are an excellent example of precisely why so few Christians – or preachers – are actually Bible literate. Some Christians can chat at length about the New Testament, but the minute you begin to attempt an indepth discussion of the Tanakh or Torah they suddenly become mute.
John is actually the worst book to start one’s study from even if reading only the New Testament. It is no surprise to me that John, the most un-Hebraic and mystic of all the gospels would be what a Christian preacher would suggest to read. The mystic nature of it makes it difficult for a novice to understand. It is also the one most used by those promoting the concept that Yeshua (Jesus) is God, even though their interpretation of it is flawed (I will point this out in my listing of NT verses). Not only does he suggest John be read first but that it be read 3 times before moving to something else!
Can anyone with an ounce of sincerity actually say with a straight face that reading John 7 times, the New Testament 4 times, and the Tanakh (actual directions) only 1 time is unbiased? The study method given above actually recommends that the Holy Scriptures that Yeshua and all the New Testament writers embraced be read last and least! It is for this reason there is a plague of Bible ignorance and that the Hebraic foundations are all but invisible within Christianity – a faith birthed in Hebraic roots? The Beast thrives on Bible study instructions like those given above!
Ok. So now we will describe our recommended Bible study procedure:
- Pray. Always pray before reading the Bible. Pray primarily that the Almighty will rid your mind and heart of ALL bias so that He will be unopposed in His efforts to gently guide you into knowledge of His perfect truth. The spirit of deception finds fertile ground and a comfortable home in the biased mind. If you belong to a denomination you should specifically pray for God to remove your conditioned learning resulting from your denominational traditions. BE SINCERE IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REMOVAL OF BIAS! If you are unwilling to surrender your own heart and thoughts to God what makes you think He will waste time with you. You DO have free will, despite the false teachings of the Calvinist, and you must freely choose to remove all barriers to the Spirit of Truth.
- Pick up a good translation. Never read a paraphrase or a “dynamic equivalence” translation. Instead, ALWAYS purchase and study a LITERAL translation, and try to avoid bias-inducing “Study Bibles”. Study Bibles are for the spiritually lazy wanting someone else to drive while they go along for the ride. By the very definition of a “Study” Bible one can realize those that use them are absorbing what someone else has studied and thus absorbing their bias as well. Study Bibles are definitely one of the devil’s greatest weapons for leading people astray. Make sure it has good center column references and a concordance. I list my own personal translation preferences in my list of recommended readings on the home page. The ONLY “Study Bible” I recommend is the “Key Word Study Bible.” I recommend it because it contains:
- Of course the Bible, in either the literal King James Version or the literal New American Standard Version.
- The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with both the Hebrew and Greek lexicions is actually included within its pages,
- Many of the Strong’s numbers are presented within the text of the Bible, which aids tremendously in obtaining quick information on the word,
- Aids for clarifying the grammatical structure of the sentence,
- And other extremely useful study aids.
- Best of all, all of these study aids are contained in that single source, “The Key Word Study Bible.”
- I should add that I basically ignore the biased Constantinian Christian “commentary” contained throughout this particular Bible just as I do most commentary in Study Bibles.
- Invest us additional study aids. This is very important since such aids greatly facilitate correction possible translator bias and/or assist in further understanding particular words for which you may desire more information. At the very least obtain a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It is even better if you can obtain 2 or 3 Hebrew/Greek Lexicons which all utilize the Strong’s numbering system. I list a number of possible study aids on my “Recommended Reading” page, which can be accessed from the homepage of this website.
- Take everything literally unless it is impossible to do so. Those things that are figurative are almost always obvious. Do not fall into the “allegory” and “spiritualizing” snare of most Christians. When God says eternal, forever, perpetual – He means eternal, forever, perpetual in almost all cases. When God says Israel – He means Israel. When God says “promise” – He means to keep His literal “promise”. God says what He means and means what He says! Sadly, the devil is alive and well in the minds of most preachers who spiritualize away the literal promises God made in the Tanakh.
- BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING! Do NOT start in the New Testament, and if you can’t resist, at least be sure the majority of your study is from the Tanakh. The dominant Christian method that emphasizes Bible study that primarily focuses on the New Testament is equal to the story above where the passenger arrived at a location with no idea if it was actually the correct destination. Read from Genesis 1.1 to the end of Revelations – cover to cover. I cannot over emphasize how crucial it is that you invest the necessary time to understand the path so that you are relatively sure you truly are at the destination. And don’t let some “tour guide” (pastor) drive for you! If you can read you can understand the Bible and have no need for someone to tell what you can read for yourself. If your eternal destiny is not enough motivation for you to “study to show thyself approved”; then, you may be beyond hope.
- Take special note of the Torah, which is the first 5 books of Moses – Genesis through Deuteronomy. This is the very core and pillar of the faith Yeshua practiced, Paul practiced, Peter practiced, James practiced, and all other Biblical authors practiced. Much of what you read in the New Testament is based entirely upon the first 5 books of the Tanakh. If you don’t understand Torah you can’t understand Messiah. Yeshua the Messiah is the perfect, Torah observant Jew.
- If you encounter confusing areas just scan through them until you reach something that is understandable. Usually such areas are not crucial anyway, but don’t go overboard just to try and hasten your reading. Remember, this is the very Word of the Almighty Creator. Read it with respect for its Divine author.
- Read it straight through – particularly the first time. Do not jump past the historic accounts of Israel, since within these accounts are countless eternal truths. One of the reasons for the pagan nature of many Christians is because of their ignorance of God’s dealings with those that practiced similar abominations. Read it straight through. Read it straight through. Read it straight through…
- Psalms should be read very carefully due to the wealth of Messianic prophecies which very clearly present the true relationship between Yeshua and his God and show how much that is taught within Christianity is wrong. Psalms is also the best source for many of the characteristics of God. Psalms also clearly proclaims the eternal nature of Torah. Psalms 119 addresses the Torah particularly well.
- The Prophets are VERY applicable today! The sins and accounts of false teachings could be just as easily written for the very time in which we live! Jeremiah 23, for instance, is a good analogy of today’s false prophets. It is obvious to me that few Christians read the Prophets as anything other than “historical reference”. This lack of reverence for the prophets is extremely depressing to me and eternally dangerous to many Christians. When confusing areas are encounted follow the same procedure as no. 6 above. Also, the Prophets are bristling with Messianic passages.
- NOW YOU ARRIVE AT THE NEW TESTAMENT. READ IT STRAIGHT THROUGH.
- When you get to Acts take special note of Paul. Paul is accused of promoting teachings that directly conflict with his own recorded faith. ALL OF PAUL’S WRITINGS MUST BE INTERPRETED IN THE LIGHT OF HIS OWN BELIEFS WHICH ARE CLEARLY SHOWN IN ACTS! If Paul truly taught what the dispensationlalist and other false teachers proclaim, then he is proven to be the greatest hypocrite of all time! Acts proves Paul to be a zealous Torah observant “Hebrew of Hebrews” and proves the accusations that he taught against Torah to be false. In fact, most of the last chapters of Acts specifically record his defense against these false accusations!
- When the epistles are read always keep in mind what the writers considered Scripture (the Tanakh) and the demonstrated faith of Paul in Acts. The “Rule Book” article addressed this. If you disagree and can show SCRIPTURAL proof of your position you will be the first to do so. It is a “Scriptural” fact that each and every New Testament writer considered the final authority to rest in the Tanakh. The primary method used by the Beast to “change times and laws” is the discarding of the Tanakh.
- When you finish, start over and keep reading until the lord returns.
Header image © HalfPoint/bigstock
© TORAH OF MESSIAH
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED