Reading the Bible
Christians need to be familiar with the Bible and to immerse themselves in it. The books of the Old and New Testaments contain a wide variety of literature, including history, law, poetry, gospels, letters, polemic, stories and apocalyptic visions.
The texts were written and gathered together over a long period of time, and it is important to find out as much as we can about the original contexts in which texts were produced.
At the same time, Christians read the Bible as part of a faith community, and read the Bible to put ourselves into the story of God's dealings with humanity. The Bible can be puzzling but it is continually a source of inspiration and direction in our lives.
The Bible is the record of God's self revelation, supremely in Jesus Christ, and is a means through which he still reveals himself, by the Holy Spirit.A Catechism for the people called Methodists, Question 52
It is good for Christians with differing approaches to the interpretation of the Bible to engage with each other and argue through how the Bible should be applied to issues in our contemporary world.
Other resources for making sense of the Bible
There are many different resources to help you develop the habit of reading the Bible regularly and to find out more about biblical texts and stories.
The authority of the Bible
A Methodist Conference report A Lamp to my Feet and a Light to my Path identified a wide range of views among contemporary Methodists about the Bible's authority.