When reading the bible, it is most helpful to gather information to understand what it means. This is important, because while we think of the bible as a single book, it is actually a collection of books. Moreover, these books are written in different styles and literary styles and genres. And, most of us, unless we are fluent in Hebrew or Greek we are reading a translation of the Word of God. Without considering the multiple ways in which understanding of the bible comes about, we can easily miss the point.