/ Jared Olivetti

A Guide for Bible Reading

I hope your personal and family worship is going well! From painful personal experience, I know how easy it is to let this most basic spiritual discipline slide, especially when it feels like you're not "getting something" out of it. In recent conversations with my own kids as well as friends in the church, I've been reminded that we all need both encouragement and instruction in Bible reading. Encouragement because we have real enemies who would keep us from it and instruction because we're not naturally good at it. That is, just because we have the Bible open and are reading words on a page doesn't necessarily mean we're reading it correctly and in a way that will benefit us spiritually.

Toward that end, I recently led our congregation through a class on basic principles of hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible correctly). There are lots of good books that teach these principles (Berkhof's Principles of Interpretation and David Murray's Jesus on Every Page are some of my favorites), but sometimes it helps to boil things down as much as possible. So below is my own list of questions I try to ask of the text I'm reading. Prayerfully asking and answering these questions is the method of my meditation. I've edited the list over the years and would love to hear any suggestions you have. I keep these taped inside my Bible and have also made a bookmark with the same questions, which you can download here.

What are the parts of this passage?
What's the main point?
Why is this in the Bible?
What is revealed about the Triune God?
What is revealed about Jesus and the gospel?
What is revealed about me?
What other passages share ideas or themes?
What promises should I claim in prayer?
What sins should I repent of?
What else does God want me to do because of this passage?
Jared Olivetti

Jared Olivetti

I'm a pastor at Immanuel RPC in West Lafayette, Indiana. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, six kids and a loving church family.

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