Welcome to Word of Life Study Series- Studying the Bible! For many, the Bible remains an enigma capable of many different interpretations. Some people have become discouraged about their own ability to make sense of it. To others, the Bible has a nose of wax capable of being shaped into anything the reader wants.
"He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. " 2 Peter 3:16
There are some principles of Bible interpretation that will serve as a check and balance for our all-too-common tendency to interpret the Bible according to our own prejudices. The Bible itself instructs us to be a student of God’s Word so we can correctly handle the word of truth.
1. Why Study the Bible?
If we can read the newspaper, we can read the Bible. In fact, I would venture to guess that more difficult words and concepts are expressed on the front page of a newspaper than on most pages of the Bible. God has kept it simple that even a child can understand God’s Holy Written Word! Martin Luther, the sixteenth century Reformer was convinced that what was obscure and difficult in one part of Scripture was stated more clearly and simply in other parts of Scripture. Some parts of the Bible are so clear and simple that they are offensive to those suffering from intellectual arrogance.
2. How to Study the Bible
Fundamental to the spiritual growth of a believer is the ability to feed himself/herself with the Word of God. We will explore two ways of “eating” the Word; the first way is indirect Bible study and the second is direct Bible study. The two are equally valid to supply the nutritional needs of a follower of Christ. As a student of the Word of God, there are three Bible study tools that would be worthwhile for you to obtain for your personal library: a concordance, a Bible dictionary, and a commentary. Bible study software is a tremendous blessing to the serious Bible student and worth every penny.
3. Bible Interpretation
Two of the great legacies of the Reformation were the principle of private interpretation and the translation of the Bible into the vernacular. The two principles go hand in hand and were accomplished only after great controversy and persecution. Scores of persons paid with their lives by being burned at the stake (particularly in England) for daring to translate the Bible into the vernacular. The greatest danger of private interpretation is the clear and present danger of subjectivism in biblical interpretation. Which simply means, placing a personal bias on explaining the meaning of what the Bible is saying. When people read into the Bible what they want, project their personal view or put words into God’s mouth, error occurs. Which is a place where none of us wants to be.Support the show