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Jehovah’s Witnesses

Understanding the Bible—What Are the Keys?

The Bible’s answer

The Bible itself provides many of the keys to understanding it. Regardless of your background, God’s message in the Bible “is not too difficult for you, nor is it far away.”—Deuteronomy 30:11.

Keys to understanding the Bible

  1. Have the right attitude. Accept the Bible as God’s Word. Be humble, since God opposes the proud. (1 Thessalonians 2:13; James 4:6) However, avoid blind faith—God wants you to use your “power of reason.”—Romans 12:1, 2.

  2. Pray for wisdom. Do not lean upon your own understanding,” the Bible says at Proverbs 3:5. Instead, “keep on asking God” for wisdom in understanding the Bible.—James 1:5.

  3. Be consistent. You will benefit much more from Bible study if you do it regularly rather than sporadically.—Joshua 1:8.

  4. Study by topic. A topical study, in which you analyze what the Bible says about a particular topic or subject, is an effective way to learn what the Scriptures teach. Start with “the beginning lessons,” as it were, and then “go forward to more mature (advanced) teaching.” (Hebrews 6:1, 2, Easy-to-Read Version) You’ll find that you can compare scripture with scripture and learn that various parts of the Bible explain each other, even the parts that are “hard to understand.”—2 Peter 3:16.

  5. Get help from others. The Bible encourages us to accept help from others who understand the Bible. (Acts 8:30, 31) Jehovah’s Witnesses offer a free Bible study program. Like the early Christians, they use Scriptural references to help others discern what the Bible really teaches.—Acts 17:2, 3.

Things you don’t need

  1. High intellect or education. Jesus’ 12 apostles understood the Scriptures and taught them to others, even though the apostles were considered by some to be “unlettered and ordinary.”—Acts 4:13.

  2. Money. You can learn what the Bible teaches without cost. Jesus told his disciples: “You received free, give free.”—Matthew 10:8.