How You Can Understand the Bible
1. Ask the Author for Help
“There was a time when I would read the Bible before going to bed,” relates Ninfa, who lives in Italy. “I did so because I realized that it is God’s Word, and even though I didn’t enjoy reading, I wanted to know what God had written in the Bible. I had intended to read it all. In the beginning I found it easy, but then I got to parts that I found difficult, and I stopped reading it.”
CAN you relate to Ninfa? Many people can. Yet, as we saw in the preceding article, the Bible’s Author, Jehovah God, wants you to understand his Word. How, though, can you gain such understanding? A first step is to ask the Author for help.
Jesus’ apostles were considered “unlettered and ordinary” because they had not attended rabbinic schools for religious training. (Acts 4:13) Nevertheless, Jesus assured them that understanding God’s Word was within their reach. How so? Jesus explained: “The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things.” (John 14:26) God used this holy spirit, or active force, to create the earth and all life upon it. (Genesis 1:2) He also used it to inspire about 40 writers to record his thoughts in the Bible. (2 Peter 1:20, 21) That same spirit is available to help those who seek to understand the Bible.
How can you receive God’s holy spirit? You have to ask for it in faith. In fact, you may need to ask persistently. “Keep on asking, and it will be given you,” said Jesus. “If you . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” (Luke 11:9, 13) Jehovah will generously give holy spirit to those who sincerely ask for it. That active force can help you to grasp the meaning of the inspired words written down in the Bible thousands of years ago. God’s spirit can also give you the wisdom needed to apply the Bible’s powerful message in your life.—Hebrews 4:12; James 1:5, 6.
Each time you sit down to read the Bible, then, pray to God, asking him for holy spirit to help you understand his Word.