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Reading the Bible may include reading through book by book or chapters, texts and verses. This is done without interruption and writing of notes though one can underline key verses or passages that specially appeal or speak to the reader. For a new believer reading through the entire New Testament is recommended. Beginning with the gospel and the letters of John would be of great help. It's not wise to begin reading difficult books for a new believer. Study: is a planned reading of the word which should also begin with simpler books or topics. Simple here does not mean the book/topic is not as important or carries less weight. Ways of studying the bible are varied; some are simple and others lead to more complex ones. First approach to studying the Bible is to know that the Bible interprets itself - always try to find similar texts and their contexts in other books. Secondly the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand it - rely and ask him to help you understand and apply the word. Thirdly we can learn from what others have written or said about the meaning of texts and passages. But note that if what men write contradict what is written then we need to ignore it and follow what the Bible teaches and by the witness of the Holy Spirit in us. Every matter even that of doctrine is established by two or three witnesses. Interpretation of scripture can be diverse. There are methods or ways of helping to interpret the Bible which are helpful. In theology they are known as hermeneutics and exegesis. These are ways or laws that help interpret scripture using given texts, looking at the historical background, the genres or what style was used to write the book, meaning of words at the time; the language of communication: the Bible was basically written in Hebrew and Greek languages. There are study tools which can help greatly in ones pursuit of Bible study: a good Bible dictionary, bible land maps, Bible commentaries, Bible chain references, a concordance, a lexicon-word to word study guide, and different Bible versions. With these background, it is possible to study and benefit you and others from the wealth of the word of God which is intended to still speak to us today and form the image of God in us.
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