“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph 3:4).
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3: 1-4 said that the word of God was written so that those who read it would understand the mystery in Christ. Christ is to be understood. God expects you to understand him and to understand His word when you study. If you think the word of God is mysterious, you’d never understand it.
One barrier to understanding the Bible is language. The King James Version, the most popular bible translation today isn’t in modern day grammar. This is a challenge to a lot people who are trying to understand the bible. Language barriers can be cheaply solved through other translations. Learn to use two or more versions of the Bible so that you can compare during study.
Another barrier many people face while studying the Bible is its use of figures of speech. There are lots of figures of speech used in the Bible, and you would be able to more accurately understand the bible when you can identify them. One figure of speech used quite often in the bible ‘simile.’ This is the use of ‘as’ or ‘like’ to compare things. See this example in Matthew 10: 16: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Another figure of speech the bible uses is ‘metaphor’ which is comparison by actual representation. In John 10:9, Jesus said: “I am the door.” Obviously, Jesus was not saying he was a wooden, physical door. He was talking about to fact that in him alone do we have access to the father.
Hypocatastasis is another figure of speech. So instead of saying that someone is as crafty as an ox, or calling the person a fox, this figure of speech would just say ‘Fox!’ In John 2: 19, Jesus, speaking about his body said: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Imagine if his followers had taken up tools and begun destroying the temple? As you study God’s word, put on your thinking caps so you can figure out what figures of speech are used. This will help you better divide the word of truth.