How to Read the Bible Well


Reading your Bible as a Christian gives you more insight into the mystery of the universe than Moses or King David or Solomon ever had. Reading gives you unimaginable understanding.

We don’t understand “the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3) through mystic incantations, or mental meditations, or even through bare prayer. Rather, Paul says that it is by reading what he wrote that we can understand what was not made known in its full significance “to the sons of men in other generations” (Ephesians 3:5).

From this, we ought to infer that God wants us to pay attention to the words of Scripture and know how they are being used. So when we come to our Bibles, let’s put off the twin errors of laziness and hopelessness. We cannot afford to lazily drift in the words of God — we must put forth effort to understand what God intended for us to understand through the biblical authors. But even when it’s hard to understand, read with hope, knowing that God through reading his word, God desires us to understand the greatest truths of the universe — and he will help us do it.

Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.

As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 2 in a series on Ephesians called “Seeing and Savoring the Splendor of God’s Sovereign Grace.”