Friday, May 30, 2008

learning how to read...

[continuing the discussion started here, and continued here and here]

along with "where did the bible come from?", i am often asked related questions pertaining to bible study.
"how do i study scripture?"
"how do i understand what i read?"
"how can i know i am not doing it wrong?"

below is an outline of things to keep in mind when studying scripture. i will break each point down over the course of the next week or so...

How Do I Read/Study the Bible?

  • The starting point is NOT
    “What does this verse mean to me ?”
    Avoid this type of interpretation
    in your own Bible study and from others.
  • Context is king! to ensure that you are
    properly understanding the point of the
    passage, keep the following things in mind
    as you read:
    Who was the author?
    Who was he writing to?
    Why was he writing this?
  • Know the literary genre (poetry,
    wisdom literature, hyperbole, parable,
    personal correspondence, apocalyptic, etc.)
    Each genre has its own rules of interpretation.
  • Meaning - Based on the above criteria,
    determine what message the original author
    wanted his original audience to get-that is what
    the passage means.
  • Seek out implications for your life from what
    the text means. (as opposed to making the meaning
    an implication)

Recommended Resource:
A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules. Robert Stein. Baker, 1997.

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible. Graeme Goldsworthy. Intervarsity Press, 2002.


Brian Megilligan said...

I've always thought How to Read the Bible for All it's Worth is a great survey of various types of biblical styles as well, presented in a way to help the reader learn how to understand the Bible further.

stephen lee cavness said...

thanks for stopping by, brian!

i have seen fee and (stuart?)'s book, but i have never read it. but i am all for others making recommendations here. i may have to check it out and add it to my list!
thanks again for stopping by... hope to see you around these parts some more!