How shall we read the Bible to be able to receive the message?
Is it necessary to have special rules by which to read the Bible?
Well, yes and no. There are some principles that we can suggest.
The first principle is to remember the unity of the Bible. Remember that all the books in the Bible are necessary to make up the Bible. The Old Testament is only the beginning of a revelation that is not completed until the end of the New Testament. Each book of the Bible is related to the story, or by interpreting one phase of life, or by bearing on some group of people.
Another principle is to make full use of historical research. The Bible comes to us as history, and not in abstract theological terms. Consequently, it is necessary to study it in relation to the times out of which it comes. Fortunately, it is possible for us to use other historical sources, for there are many informative and interesting history books of comparative ages.
Another principle is to use other helps such as commentaries. There are many available, and it is helpful in understanding difficult passages to read what a commentator has to say about it.
The last principle is to read the Bible again and again. There is much too much in the bible to understand it in one reading. Furthermore, there is a doctrine that we might call the “inspiration of the reader.” The more one reads the Bible, the more one understands it, and the more one loves it.