People study the Bible by analyzing the literal and spiritual senses of Scripture, as well as by building on interpretations early Christians gave to the text. Scholars examine the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to ascertain the meaning of particular words. Believers often invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Catholics, and some other Christians, further subdivide the spiritual study of the Bible into the allegorical sense, the moral sense and the anagogical sense. The allegorical sense studies each section of scripture within the context of the whole Bible, especially the life, person and teaching of Christ. The moral sense considers the application of the Bible's wisdom to human attitudes and behavior. The anagogical sense considers the words of the Bible as they pertain to the afterlife.
Different Christian communities have their own particular means for studying the Bible. Most Protestant Christians believe that the Bible is the final source of authority in matters of religion and faith, and so they put outside interpretations into second place. Roman Catholics view the Bible as a gift from God through the Church, and so they interpret the Bible in an ecclesiastical context, which takes into account the Church's official teaching office and the writings of saints and theologians down through the centuries.