[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
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.