The Bible is a book. It is not a magical good-luck charm that has to be held just so, and pointed in a certain direction in order to obtain something from it. It is a book. It was written to be read with human eyes, and tested by the human mind, and believed by the human heart. The method of reading the Bible is very simple. In this article we will examine just a few suggestions to get you going.
Start with a determination to listen to what is written. Many people have developed the habit of reading and not thinking at the same time. This comes from a rushed, and impatient attitude toward life. So few people listen in conversations anymore. Their only focus is to either express what THEY think, or else to get back to what THEY were doing before they were interrupted. For an example of this, just watch your breakfast table conversations in the morning - everybody talks, and nobody listens! When you approach the Bible, seek to hear what the words are saying. Let God talk freely as if He were right beside you.
Praying is asking. So, ask God to grant unto you the true understanding of His word. There is no interpreter of the word of God except the Author of the word, God Himself (1 Corinthians 2:10-13). He knows what He meant when He wrote what He did, and He invites all to seek His meaning. Notice Jesus in Luke 24:44,45 opening up the meaning of Scriptures to people who desired to know them, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you... Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures."
Read it as a Book from Beginning to End.
Far too many people read it like chickens eat at feed-time - pecking and picking from it. The Bible is not an Encyclopaedia or Dictionary. If you think it is, then you have never read it! God made the Bible a complete Book, not to be picked at, or extracted from, but to be read from cover to cover. You will never get the meaning of ANY book unless you read it from cover to cover. For the first time, you should start in St. Matthew, and read through to the book of the Revelation. After you finish that, then go to Genesis, and start all over, and read all the way through to the end! It really is not hard, but very rewarding (Revelation 1:3)
Read with the Heart, and not just the Mind
The Bible is perfect and quite capable of being under any and all scrutiny of the mind, but was written for the heart. It is only with the heart that a person can trust the God who loved them and gave Himself for their sins (Romans 10:9,10). So, with your mind, you can come to the place where you can trust its promises with your heart by confident faith.
Read it Daily
The Christians of the first century were well known for searching the scriptures daily like a hungry teenager searches through the kitchen for something to eat. Notice in Acts 17:11, that the Christians in a place called Berea "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily."
Read it Obediently
Read the Bible with the goal of doing what you find commanded to be done. God says in James 1:22 that we are to "be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves." The goal of Bible reading is wrapped up in finding what the Bible says about a subject, and then doing what it says to do!
Read the Scriptures Contextually
That means, allow the Scriptures to explain themselves. A sentence is always understood only in light of the meaning of the surrounding sentences. You should find out who is speaking, who are they speaking to, and based upon what has already happened, what are they talking about? If a reader of the Bible does not learn to ask these questions, then they will most assuredly start making it mean something that it really did not say. Whole religions have been set up USING statements in the Bible that benefit THEM, and twisting the statements to say what THEY want God to say. But the best way to refute those types of religions, and to know God's truth is to know the actual context of each statement in the Bible, and believe it!