READING AND UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
Part One: What Translation Should I read?
When I say the Bible, I am referring to the King James Version of the Bible. The reasons for this are clearly understood by
anyone else who also prefers this version. So for those who prefer a version that is more modern, I will explain why I am
sold on the KJV.
The KJV translation was finished in the year 1611 after 10 years of work by not just one or two translators, but by 54 of
the most fundamental Bible scholars of the day. Those commissioned to translate the Old Testament were also scholars in Hebrew
and those assigned to the New Testament were Greek scholars.
The King James Version was recently compared with the NRSV and ARSV of the Bibles as to what grade level was required to understand
them. It was discovered that although a 6.5 grade level was required to understand the modern translations, only a 4.3 grade
level was required in order to understand the King James Version. “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid
them not, for as such is the kingdom of heaven.” Yet we have so –called educated, intelligent adult Bible scholars
who cry and whine that the King James Version is too hard for modern man to understand! Why is it that little children can
understand it, yet grown men who have been educated in their most prestigious seminaries and colleges are struggling with
it so as to require new translations?
Apart from obsolete words and old English grammar, ancient phraseology and idiomatic expressions, culture and history that
make the KJV seem difficult to understand, why is it that simple children and adults of all ages and backgrounds and cultures
can read their way through these seemingly impossible obstacles and get a beautiful picture of our wonderful God and His salvation
through His Son Jesus Christ?
Why is it that the millions of Christians that have been truly born again and claim to know Jesus Christ as their personal
savior, who were brought to the knowledge of Christ by the King James Version of the Bible can understand it, yet many millions
of others who insist on reading other translations of the Bible other than the KJV have doubts about their salvation and are
weak in the faith? I am speaking of the majority of the Church System that refuses to even look at the KJV. Even the churches
in Russia and China and very difficult countries that cannot read English but have the Bible in their own language which was
translated from the KJV or the original Hebrew and Greek are stronger spiritually and more fruitful than those who have a
watered down modern translation.
The KJV Has stood the test of time and is still around and widely used. If you took the KJV and re-translated it back into
Languages of Hebrew and Greek, you would end up with an identical version of the original scriptures, except for a very few
errors in the translation, which can be easily identified and corrected with Hebrew and Greek lexicons.
The KJV still retains the Spirit and Power of the originally given inspiration of the scriptures and cannot be compared with
the modern versions as far as eloquence, power, strength, authority, authenticity, expression, inspiration, accuracy, perfection,
godliness and beauty.
In the first pages of the Cambridge Wide Margin Bible which I have, you can find the letter which was written by the translators
themselves to the readers of the Bible. Most KJV Bibles have in the beginning the letter which was written by King James himself,
but not the one written by the translators.
Reading this also helps the reader to understand the hearts of the ones God used to translate the Bible and their intentions,
motives and goals. You can tell that it was not done with the goal to make money, but to relate the very Word of God to the
common people for their enlightenment and spiritual growth and strength. This is the book that changed the world! The nations
that heeded its words became great, and the nations that ignored and disobeyed its admonitions became desolate and obsolete!
There are many arguments about how a modern people need a modern translation of the Bible to adjust religion to the changing
world, but that is like trying to change God and bring Him up to date in order to appease the present materialistic, war-like
nature of the present day world.
We do not need to try to adjust the Word of God to the belief systems of today’s world. We need to change the belief
systems of the present day selfish, materialistic decaying world and adjust them to the UNCHANGING Words of God!
Part Two: The difference between reading the Bible and Studying the Bible
It all depends on your goals for cracking open the Bible in the first place. Why are you reading it? Is it because you just
want some good literature to read and you want to make it through the Bible in the quickest, easiest painless way possible?
If your goal is just to read through the Bible that I a very good goal, and should be commended. By reading through the Bible,
even the newer more modern translations, you can get the overall picture, the main idea, if that is your only goal.
However, if your goal is to STUDY the Bible and really want to understand what it says, because you believe that a thorough
complete understanding of the scriptures is imperative to your relationship with the Lord and understanding to why you are
here and what you are supposed to do, you will not be satisfied with just a surface reading of the scriptures. You can read
the Bible like that thousands of times and not get any deeper or have nay more understanding than the first time. It’s
Many people can probably get a lot of good and feel much more comfortable reading the Bible in modern English. There is less
strain and stress to try to figure out some of the old English expressions and translated Hebrew and Greek idioms. They can
have their Bible and eat it too. There are many benefits one can get with the modern translations also. The overall picture
is there on the most part. For those who prefer the modern English translations there is still a lot you can get out of it.
However, if you desire to really study God’s Word and understand what it really is saying and what God is actually speaking
it is much more beneficial to study the Bible with the King James Version and various helps. I believe it, and there are many
fundamental Christians who believe it to be the very Words of the almighty God, fully and completely inspired. Besides, it
really packs a wallop and holds back no punches. There is nothing to compare to the richness of its text and power of its
If you want to have a deep relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, it is necessary to not only read the Bible, but
to study it faithfully and regularly. It is imperative to dive down into its sacred waters and have a real thorough cleansing
daily as you would give to your body. “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you”
I would suggest for those who have a hard time reading the King James Bible to start off with the book of John first. Just
don’t worry so much about all you don’t understand or catch. You will no doubt come across plenty you do understand
and you will know it. You see, the thing is not that people do not understand it. Many understand what it is saying, but do
not have a will to obey it. It has the authority of God and when you quote the KJV of the Bible people recognize it right
away. They can feel the power and authority in the spirit of the words. It is anointed.
There are various ways to study the Bible. You can do a topical study on any one of hundreds of subjects starting from A to
Z, or you can choose
a few key subjects to study systematically. You can look up all the verses on one subject, or you can study a book or chapter
from beginning to end verse by verse using any one of the many commentaries available. Either that or if you prefer not to
use commentaries you could ask the Lord to
speak to you through His Word and write down what He shows you in the margins. That is why I bought a Bible with extra wide
margins so I can write in it right next to the verse. It also has extra pages of blank lined paper right in the back of the
Bible so I can write extra notes!
It is good to get a study system that you feel comfortable with, unless you are one of those who just goes on inspiration
and suddenly get the urge to study a certain book or chapter. Go ahead, that could be the Lord quickening His Word to you
as He has something to tell you.
Usually what the Lord shows you or teaches you by the Holy Spirit He wants you to share with others. Freely ye have received,
also freely give. Cast your bread upon many waters and thou shalt find it after many days. You need an output as well as taking
in all that input. You need to share what the Lord shows you with others so they also can be edified. Give and it shall be
given unto you, pressed down shaken together. You can never give out to others more than God can pour into you. He always
has more and never runs out!
One suggestion to divide Bible study into simple categories is the following example:
1. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Salvation, angels and the spirit world
2. Historical Study
3. Bible Prophecy (over one third of your Bible is prophecy)
4. Love (This is a huge subject and covers a lot of ground from the Old Testament through the New Testament
5. Prayer and Faith
6. Your Spiritual Walk with the Lord
Those are just a few suggestions to over all topics. These major topics can be broken down to smaller subjects that deal with
the details of these other subjects. You can also go through certain chapters or passages and put a label on the main subject
it deals with. Or you can take a subject and do a verse by verse study on it by looking up verses on the subject.
“Study to shew thyself a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy
May God bless you as you read and study His Word. He will surely be pleased.
Might I add that as much as I love to teach the Bible, what I share from my understanding of the scriptures is very limited.
Nevertheless, I feel I am sharing what the scriptures mean to me and what has been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, according
to the way God is working in my life.
The key to understanding the Bible is to take literally everything that is obviously literal. Common sense will tell you
it is literal not to mention the Holy Spirit. God means exactly what He says! No one but no one can put words into God’s
mouth and cause him to say what He did not say.
There are also many figurative parables and illustrations, such as the parables of Jesus, and some Bible prophecy etc., but
even then for the most part the interpretation is given right along with it so that you can see the literal meaning
Where the literal meaning is not made clear it can be discovered by interpreting scripture with scripture. This is done by
finding other places in the Bible that use the same words and by this you will find the literal meaning. If this fails to
satisfy you, then a Hebrew and Greek lexicon such as Strongs Bible Concordance, or Bible commentaries will be very useful
tools. Sometimes by reading what other Bible scholars said about a subject or passage of scripture, much light can be shed.
One of the best annotated Bibles is the Dake Annotated reference Bible, which has over 500,000 cross references, and is a
helpful tool. I have found it very useful in understanding difficult passages, culture, history, lineage, countries, and idiomatic
expressions as well as many of the doctrines of the Bible, but you also need the confirmation of the Holy Spirit to lead you
in this and not just take man’s word for it. Become a student of the Word yourself, and check out everything with the
Word. Otherwise you will be tossed to and fro like a ship on a troubles sea, battling with every doctrine of man and his imaginations!
When you know for sure what The Word of God itself says and how God deals with a subject, then you can preach it, quote it
,teach it and live it with all faith and confidence no matter what the so called learned Bible scholars say.
Then you will be one of the unlearned and ignorant who will turn the world upside down!