How to Read the Bible

How do you read the Bible?

  • "I don't know how to apply this passage."
  • "I don't have a clue what's going on in this story."
  • "How do I find time?"
  • "Will I ever understand?"
  • "The Bible is boring."

If the Bible seems impossible to understand, apply, or just plain read from day to day, this Abide Conference was designed to provide you with the basics of biblical interpretation where all Bible reading is directed toward application and worship.

The Basics


We’re not done interpreting the Bible until we apply it & are led to worship (2 Tm 3:16–17; Ps 119:11; Mt 22:36–40).

Step 1: Their Land

What is the author saying to the original audience? What is their situation? Consider genre, figures of speech, context, culture, location, time in history, recent biblical events, & their relationship with God.

Step 2: Principle Bridge

What timeless principles are present in this text? Don’t create meaning. Discover it. Consider differences & similarities between their land & our land, relevance to both their land & our land, agreement with the rest of Scripture, doctrine, godly character traits, what it says about God.

Step 3: Our Land

How might these principles be applied to your life in specific ways? Each individual may find slightly different application depending on one’s life situation, stage in growth, culture, relationships, strengths and temptations. The Bible will more often challenge sin & inaction than validate & excuse our current behavior.