from Orthodox America, Issue 4, Vol. 1, No. 4, October, 1980
by St. Justin Popovich
Just as important as knowing why we should read the Bible is knowing how we should read the Bible.
The best guides for this are the holy Fathers, headed by St. John Chrysostom who, in a manner of speaking, has written a fifth Gospel.
The holy Fathers recommend serious preparation before reading and studying the Bible; but of what does this preparation consist?
First of all in prayer. Pray to the Lord to illumine your mind--so that you may understand the words of the Bible--and to fill your heart with His grace--so that you may feel the truth and life of those words.
Be aware that these are God's words, which He is speaking and saying to you personally. Prayer, together with the other virtues found in the Gospel, is the best preparation a person can have for understanding the Bible.
How We Should Read the Bible Prayerfully and reverently, for in each word there is another drop of eternal truth, and all the words together make up the boundless ocean of the Eternal Truth.
The Bible is not a book, but life; because its words are spiritual life (John 6:63). Therefore its words can be comprehended it we study them with the spirit of its spirit, and with the life of its life.
It is a book that must be read with life-by putting it into practice. One should first live it, and then understand it.