Five Ways to Meditate on Scripture

To meditate simply means to ruminate or think through from different angles the Scripture you are reading.  Another way to think of meditation is to “mull it over”.  When God asks us to meditate on His Word, He is asking us to mull it over – to think about it in a deeper way.  Joshua 1:8 (NLT) says, “Study this Book of the Law continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.  Only then will you succeed.”

Here are some tips to help you meditate and think more deeply about God’s Word today.

FIVE WAYS TO MEDITATE ON A VERSE

  1. Picture It: Visualize the scene in your mind.
  2. Pronounce It: Say the verse aloud, each time emphasizing a different word.
  3. Paraphrase It: Rewrite the verse in your own words.
  4. Personalize It: Replace the pronouns or people in the verse with your own name.
  5. Pray It: Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.

 

APPLYING SCRIPTURE

Part of meditating on Scripture is applying it to your life.  In other words, taking action on what God tells you in His Word.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how many life-changing principles you read about in the Bible, until you apply the Scripture to your life they are just words on a page.  So, when you read, ask yourself these three application questions to help bring the Scripture into your life:

Three Application Questions:

  1. What did it mean to the original hearers?
  2. What is the underlying timeless principle?
  3. Where or how could I practice that principle?

Refer to the Application Bridge on page 14 of your CLASS 201 book.

 

BIBLE VERSIONS

You may have found yourself wondering, “Why are there so many different versions of the Bible?”  If you go to a Christian bookstore chances are you’ll find more than ten different versions on display.  So, where do you start?

First, it helps to understand that there are two different kinds of versions.  That is, there are translations and there are paraphrases.  Let me explain the difference.

  1. A TRANSLATION attempts to convey into our language what another language literally says i.e. a word for word rendition.  The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek.  Thus, a translation attempts to bring out as accurately as possible what the original Hebrew and Greek texts say, word for word.  The problem with a translation is that some Hebrew and Greek words have no functional English equivalent.

 

  1. A PARAPHRASE attempts to convey what the original text meant using different words than the author used.  It is a restatement of an author’s thought using different words than he did. The problem with a paraphrase is that whenever the author’s exact words are not translated from the original text, there is the possibility that the paraphrase may be giving the English reader something that the original writer didn’t mean to say.

 

An example of each will clarify the difference:

  1. Translation

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1 (NAS)

 

  1. Paraphrase

“Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God.  He has always been alive and is Himself God.” John 1:1 (LB)

 

Thus, a Translation attempts to relate what the original document literally said.  A Paraphrase attempts to relate what the original document meant.

Click here to see how different translations interpret this verse. 

The following are some of the better known Translations and Paraphrases:

 

TRANSLATION                                               PARAPHRASE

(Word For Word)                                      (Thought For Thought)

King James Version (KJV)                              New Living Translation (NLT)

New American Standard (NAS)                     Good News (GN)

New International Version (NIV)                    The Message (Mess)

Living Bible (LB)

 

Probably the best Translation on the market today is the New American Standard (NAS).  The New International Version (NIV) is extremely popular due to its readability.  A good Paraphrase is the New Living Translation (NLT) (it’s actually a paraphrase even though it’s called a translation).  It is very readable and substitutes explanatory words for religious terms like “justification” or “sanctification”.  We use both the NIV and NLT frequently at GNG.

 

I hope this helps.  Have a great weekend!