The teacher said something about the baptism of John being for the remission of sins. An older man spoke up to correct him with the usual line, "John's baptism was for repentance and Jesus' baptism was for the remission of sins; John's was not for the remission of sins."
The teacher replied, "Read Mark 1:4 please."
The man continued his explanations of John's baptism in the tone of correcting a slow student.
"Please read Mark 1:4 aloud for the class."
He continued his points, but the teacher interrupted, "Look, this class is going no further until you read Mark 1:4 aloud for us."
Muttering that he had already studied the issue thoroughly, the man turned and read, "John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." The man looked up and in a quiet voice said, "I never knew that was in there."
Now, the man was a serious Bible student and had read his Bible many times in his life, so he had to have read that verse many times. But, he had heard John's baptism explained away so many times that he did not see what was clearly stated. What he thought he knew blinded him to learning. That incident made me begin questioning how many ways and times I had done the same sort of thing.
First, this is the reason my main study Bible has no notes or underlining or highlighting. As useful as those can be, they put your mind in the groove of things you already know. They can keep one from seeing anything new in the passage. I have notebooks full of notes, but my Bible is read anew each time I pick it up.
Another useful tool is to read a numberless Bible. At 71, I have been reading Bibles 65 years. When I first read a text without the verse and chapter numbers, I was amazed at how easy and quick it was, and also how many new connections I made without those speed bump numbers. I created and printed that first text on a computer. Now such Bibles are available, some with chapter numbers in the margin and at least one where one must turn to the Table of Contents to find the beginning of a book. They all are useful to open our eyes to things we "never knew were in there."
Another useful tool is to read the same paragraph in more than one translation, then move on to do the same with the next paragraph. Be aware that modern translations have broken large paragraphs up into "sound-bite" pieces to suit the fashion of our times. That often breaks one thought into 3 or 4 and the reader fails to see the point made by the inspired writer. Use the paragraphing of the 1901 ASV whatever translations you may be reading. Available online, it is rarely wrong in this. Just like chapter breaks can obscure connections, so can wrong paragraph breaks. For example, 1 Cor 9 is one paragraph, one thought. The ESV & NASB divide it into 6. In a study, one will discover 6 thoughts and possibly miss the one over-riding thought that is the theme of the whole paragraph/chapter.
Read to discover what one paragraph's main thought has to do with the one before and the one after and where that chain ends. Often, the interpretation of a particular phrase will depend on its place in an extended argument. For example, 1 Cor 8 – 11:1a is one theme. That effects a reader's understanding of the purpose and meaning of many of the links that make up that chain.
God bless you in finding jewels of truth you "never knew were in there."
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2Tim 2:15)