Want to get the most out of your Bible reading, better grasping what God wants you to understand in his Word? These five guidelines from Kenneth Berding’s Bible Revival will help:

1. Pay Attention To The Context, Please!

“Paying attention to the context is the most basic thing you need to do if you want a clear understanding of what you’re reading.”

2. Remember What Category Of Literature You’re Reading.

“This will help you to recognize whether it needs to be read more literally (like historical narrative) or more figuratively (like an apocalypse or a parable), or in some other way.”

3. Don’t Forget That You’re Reading Cross-cultural Literature.

“Most of the Bible was originally written to people living in the area of the world we call the Middle East. It wasn’t written in the 21st century, nor was it written in English. … This means that you should first ask what something meant to them before asking what it means to you.”

4. Allow Scripture To Interpret Scripture.

“If you keep in mind that the passage in front of you doesn’t stand alone — that it is one part of all that God has revealed in his Word — you will protect yourself from drifting into mistaken and harmful interpretations.”

5. Keep It Connected To The Big Story.

“The big story of the Bible is nothing more and nothing less than a story about Jesus. Everything in the Old Testament gets funnelled toward Jesus. Everything. This is true whether you notice it the first time you read it or not.”