Q&A: How do I start getting into the Bible?

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4 thoughts on “Q&A: How do I start getting into the Bible?”

  1. Hi Abouna,

    This is an awesome post, well your entire blog is always a pleasure to read.
    I just have one question – here you’ve concentrated a lot on the New Testament like the gospels as well as mentioning the story of the Samaritan woman. I think this is a great post for beginners to read. But what about those of us that do struggle to read, and want to read more of the Old Testament books – how do we go about doing this. Personally, I find it so hard to keep up with all the stories of what I read the day before or even just understanding what just happened, and even not knowing who is “good” and who is “bad” in some stories (lol). For example, David and Absalom – I had to read commentary several times to understand what went on, how and why David reacted the way he did in certain situations and whether they were good or bad reactions to finally get a message out of it. But maybe it’s just me because I am a slow person…
    Thanks, Abouna!
    Looking forward to more of your posts 🙂

    1. +

      Hi there!

      🙂 You’re right, I was focusing on NT.

      The OT is also a treasure box of spirituality and depth. I cannot give a general guideline, but worked for me was reading it several times. I’d read through it in bulk – as in, read several chapters a day and go through at faster speeds. In doing this I got the general “picture” of the OT, what happened in these books, what happened historically, and of course there was also spiritual meditation, I simply mean reading multiple chapters rather than zooming in on a handful of verses or just once chapter, and meditating for hours on that. After doing this, I understood the general picture, and could go back and read more slowly.

      The same questions posed above still apply though, so questions like:

      a) Where is this in the history of God and man
      b) What does this mean about God – His personality, His self etc…
      c) What happened to evoke/provoke this response and what is the response?
      d) What does this mean in daily life?
      e) What does this mean historically and where did it have an impact?

      The list could go on. Commentary is also extraordinarily helpful,but make sure to not resort to using commentary so much that you forget to do your own meditations and feel the power of His words directly. Commentary is good for getting the mind of the fathers, specific interpretation of what a verse particularly means (especially if dogmatic), and for direction, but it’s never to replace your own spiritual time with the Word.

      Hope this helps a little!

      Pray for me and this service, and thanks for writing!

  2. Abouna, bless me. I think you have written a good introduction to how to read the Bible. I think it would be helpful if you add that the Church has assigned readings from the Epistles and the Gospels (as well as the Psalter) for each day. One resource I have enjoyed is the Orthodox Study Bible which contains brief commentary on some verses as well as introductory notes on the different books of the Bible and short one page essays on Orthodox concepts, such as deification, and the Mysteries of the Church, to wit, the Eucharist, Baptism, Chrismation, Ordination, Confession, Marriage, and Holy Unction. The Orthodox Study Bible is perhaps the best introduction to Orthodox scriptural commentary, for those of us who are too lazy to read the Fathers extensively on our own, even if it is far from exhaustive.

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