Have you read the Bible? If you’re going to talk about it (or even have an opinion), you probably should . . . read it . . . at least once. Here are a few ideas to help.
Pray that God will help you understand what he wrote.
Read the Bible like a book. It claims to be from God, but God used normal means of communication. Generally speaking, the rules of human language (word meanings, grammar, the ways language “works”) still apply. Different “genres” (poetry, history, etc.) function a little bit differently, just like they do in modern life.
Look for units of thought (not necessarily chapters and verses). In the epistles (which are like letters), for example, these will be paragraphs or larger sections. In the psalms (which are like songs or hymns), these will be parallel lines and lines grouped into stanzas. The extended flow of thought might include evidence, explanation or examples, parenthetical ideas, purposes, or reasons. The big thing is to break out of a “chapter and verse” mentality and follow the flow.
The historical context is important, because it sheds light on the meaning of certain statements.
Think about the big story. Any single passage of Scripture is part of the big story of God’s rescuing humanity in order to establish His kingdom.
The Bible is in two big sections. The first part is the Old Testament (“testament” means “covenant”). The second part is the New Testament. Remember that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament. The OT points to him with direct prophecy, with indirect prophecy (recurring themes, people, and institutions that are like “shadows” of Jesus, who is “the real thing”), and even with humanly impossible laws that he himself kept. The New Covenant doesn’t get rid of the writings of the Old Covenant (as if the old were now unimportant or not applicable). It is, however, “new.” The church relates to God through Jesus Christ and the New Covenant (Matthew 5:17-20; Hebrews 1:1-2).