Understanding scripture is not a simple task. There are depths of meaning attached to each passage, which have to be understood in historical context and linguistic detail. Spiritual meaning becomes clear when the mind is clear and receptive and when the heart and will are aligned with Godly principles.
Hunger and Thirst
It may be simple enough for academic scholars to interpret scripture logically but the true meaning and the beauty of the promises of the Word is heightened only to those who are hungering and thirsting for the righteousness that comes from it.
Over my lifetime I have tried on occasion to read and understand the scriptures. For some reason, I was never persistent or consistent and consequently had little success. I was satisfied for many years to sleep with the Holy Bible as my companion, deriving some peace from its very presence.
Within the last two years my appetite for the revelations contained therein has become insatiable. I spend time every morning reading and trying to understand the scriptures. I know that such time is not enough and I am trying to improve.
My objective is to become immersed in the Word; to become a sponge, soaking up every morsel of its profound offerings. To do so will require spending more time reading and more time studying the interpretations by enlightened devotees and academic authorities.
Incisive meaning of this consecrated text requires more than just a casual reading or interpretation by others. The practice of praying earnestly, fervently and constantly is an essential aid to grasping the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual essence of biblical literature.
This is what is commanded in the scripture:
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12 KJV
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Physical Fasting for Spiritual Results
For those with the burning desire to know even more, to be filled, not by bread alone, reading, studying and prayer should be supported by periods of devout fasting. Physical fasting produces spiritual results. Growth and purification accompany this discipline; and it is indeed a discipline to fast.
Five Websites I Use
I am but a baby in this process. I am feeding off spiritual milk derived from the practices mentioned above. I have listed below some of the websites I have found to be particularly helpful in deriving meaning or resolving confusion.
There are other, very notable sites but these are just some that have been easier to read, aligned with the meaning I have been able to discern and easily accessible.
I like this site for several reasons. I am able to view the passage of scripture in different versions of the Bible on one page. It also presents a few commentaries and interpretations of the passage by various scholars on the same page. The context, cross references and other links are also given. This is good for an overview of the passage.
This site also is organised like the first one. There are several versions of the same passage and several meanings. It is good for developing a general appreciation of the scripture.
Many resources are available on this site. The site presents the scripture in the version you require. Any version is available. Detailed meanings are available but not necessarily on the same page as the scripture you are viewing. This is a great site that I use quite often. Good for general overview or for developing a more detailed understanding.
Another great site with many resources and detailed explanations.
Again wonderful resources, great explanations and filled with cross references. Audio is available for those of us who are auditory learners.
I hope these sites will be helpful to you in your own spiritual journey. I do not limit myself to these but I do use these regularly as the starting point for each new passage.
There is an immense amount of information available to assist in this growth process. Be discerning; be perspicacious; be careful.
Please share what you do in your quest for insight into the Word of God.