“Reading the holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man’s attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of God. Two kinds of study are called for here. We must first learn how the Scriptures are to be understood, and then see how to expound them with profit and in a manner worthy of them . . . No one can understand holy Scripture without constant reading . . . The more you devote yourself to the study of the sacred utterances, the richer will be your understanding of them, just as the more the soil is tilled, the richer the harvest.”
— St. Isidore of Seville
To be a disciple of the Lord, one must know who He is, how He relates to the world, what He teaches, and what He expects from His followers.
In order to learn how to follow Jesus, we must read and understand Scripture.
Reading the Bible can be daunting especially if you attempt to discern its meaning on your own. Constant reading, as St. Isidore of Seville says, will reap many benefits to your spiritual life, including understanding. We also have the Church who helps us to better appreciate the meaning of the Word of God; this proper interpretation of the Bible is called “Biblical hermeneutics.” The Church was given to us in part to help us understand God’s revelation. Anyone who has ever read the Book of Revelation can attest to the difficulty in comprehending the message therein.
This is why it is important to not only read the Bible for reading’s sake but to also look to the Church (at Mass through the priest’s homily, Bible studies, writings of the Church fathers, papal instruction, etc.) for assistance in fully grasping God’s Word.
There are many resources available to help you study the Bible. Here are just a few, in no particular order:
- Bible studies at Christ the King Parish
- Vatican Archives
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB.org)
- Dr. Scott Hahn’s “Tools for Bible Study” web page
- The “Navarre Bible” by Sceptre Publishers (complete with RSV translation of the Bible and orthodox commentary)
Grow in your love of God. Study His Word. It is never too late to begin to follow Him more closely!