If you are a follower of Christ, chances are you have a desire to grow in Biblical literacy (check out my last post where I talk about Biblical literacy, what it is, and why it should matter to you).
But sometimes it can be overwhelming and confusing on where to start. In this post I have a few practical tips and resources to help you grow in your understanding of God’s Word by creating structure. Let’s dive in!
Learn the Metanarrative of scripture or story of
In my last post/video I explained what the metanarrative or story of redemption is but for the sake of this post lets recap. The metanarrative of scripture or story of redemption is the gospel. It’s the story of creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration.
It’s God’s plan for salvation starting in the book of Genesis and spanning throughout the Bible ending with the restoration and consummation of Christ’s Kingdom on this earth in the book of Revelation. Familiarize yourself with the story of redemption by reading some the key bible passages that paint the picture of God’s story of redemption.
Resource: Genesis 1-3, Gen 12:2-3, Mark 1:14–15, John 19:30, Romans 1:3–4, Romans 3:21–26, Revelation 21
Read your Bible in light of the metanarrative or story
Its so important to remember the story of redemption as we read whatever book or passage we are in. The context of what you are reading is so important and it will always point back to Christ and our need for salvation. When we read the Bible with the metanarrative of scripture in mind we are able to see deeper into the stories of the old testament patriarchs, or the explanation of the law, or the beauty of the psalms, or even the instruction of the epistles. They aren’t just great stories, encouraging words, or solid teaching; they are the very story that depicts Christ throughout the scriptures.
So as you read your bible, begin to see it in light of God’s larger story of redemption and the words on the pages will begin to make much more sense as they point to the greatest story ever told, God’s plan for salvation.
Resource: The Bible Project. The Bible Projects mission is to help people experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. You will find videos on every book of the Bible teaching you about the story, context, and how the story points to Jesus.
Learn the connection between the Old and New
These two books, though written by different authors, in very different times in history write inspired by the same source, God and they write with the same purpose, to communicate God’s plan throughout History. We cannot fully understand the good news of the gospel in the new testament without seeing its unfolding in the old testament. And we cannot understand the redemptive plan of God in the Old Testament without seeing its fulfillment through Christ in the New Testament.
Even Better Than Eden by Nancy Guthrie. This traces 9 themes of the bible from Genesis to Revelation
Read and Study with a Plan
How many times have you opened up your Bible and just had no idea where to start reading or studying? Or maybe lacking a structured study tool is your issue. Here are a few tips to open up that Bible of yours with a plan.
I have always needed structure in my time with God. When I don’t have structure I tend to waste time or neglect meeting with God at all. A fantastic way to bring structure into your time in the word is to study the Bible with a journal. One of my favorite journals is the “Give Me Jesus Journal” by Well-Watered Women Co.
Choose a bible reading plan that follows the metanarrative
Journey Of The Seed – Catch The Bible’s Big Picture In 60 Days (free). Optionally, you can purchase the book that accompanies it.
ESV Story of Redemption Bible: A Journey through the Unfolding Promises of God. Read through this Bible with built in commentary and resources that will point you to Christ in every book you read.
Inductive Bible Study
The Inductive Bible Study Method will help you to dive into deep study of God’s Word by utilizing 3 steps; observation, interpretation, and application. My next post I will walk you through step by step to put this method into practice!
Training and Courses
Trainings and courses that educate us about God’s Word is one of the most beneficial things we can do to bolster our understanding of the Bible. How well can we understand the history, context, or doctrines of our faith without being equipped by biblically sound teaching? Here are a few areas to start that will teach you how to understand your Bible better.
Resource: http://www.biblicaltraining.org This is my favorite resource right now. Completely free beginner, college and seminary level training on any biblical subject you can think of at your fingertips.
Theology is the study of God and all that He has revealed to us through His Word. When we commit to learning theology we can ultimately better understand the story of scripture.
Resource: Exploring Christian theology
These are only a few tips on growing in Biblical literacy and in no way conclusive but it will give you a great place to start!