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Index to Section 6.. Reading and Understanding Your Bible

 
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Read The Bible For Yourself: Do not let anyone, even your religious leaders, tell you that you cannot understand the Bible without their interpreting it for you. You may be persuaded that you cannot understand the Scriptures because you are not a Hebrew or Greek scholar, or you do not hold any philosophical or theological degrees. First, it is not necessary to know everything; we learn truth by degrees. Second, if the Bible really is the Word of God, then it is only reasonable to believe that God will give understanding to anyone who unselfishly seeks the truth . This is His reason for giving the Holy Spirit: [What Do You Believe? Al Dager. Media Spotlight]

You Do Not Need To Be Spoon-fed: The notion that the Bible is best filtered down to those in the pew through religious experts is a long-standing assumption, and accounts in a large degree as to why people do not read their Bibles. Why should they, if they are paying a clergy-professional to spoon-feed them from the Scriptures several times a week? [The Search for a Spiritual Home. Jon Zens.]

It’s Your Story:   Biblical Theology requires us to learn to read the biblical narrative from within. We are insiders to the story of Scripture. It’s our story. We have to learn to read the Bible canonically. We have to allow the Word to absorb the world rather than allowing the world to absorb the Word. We have to take Scripture’s outlook as normative rather than imposing another world view on our reading of Scripture. We must learn to read the Bible organically, in terms of itself. We should read the Bible the same way Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmond would read The Chronicles of Narnia: as a story not only for us, but about us. (What is Biblical Theology? Rich Lusk)

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HISTORY
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BIBLE
The fascinating story of how we got the Bible in its present form actually starts thousands of years ago

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE BIBLE
A detailed seven part article

 

OVERVIEW
OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE
A one page overview of both new and old Testaments.

SURVEYING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
A detailed look at the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. From Abraham, through Christ, to the close of the apostolic age

 

RELIABILITY
A REMARKABLE BOOK
What makes the Bible the only book we can accept as divinely inspired since it does not glow in the dark, levitate or exhibit any physical qualities that might be seen as supernatural. How can we know beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bible is and always was the only Word of God? How is it possible to determine the validity and the authenticity of the claims made by these Scriptures. (Several Articles)

DIFFERENCES AND DISCREPANCIES IN THE
OLD TESTAMENT / NEW TESTAMENT
 Does the Bible contradict itself? That charge is frequently made by skeptics. A careful consideration of the "law of contradiction" will however, demonstrate otherwise.

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH
A Few Commonly Misused or Misunderstood Verses.

 

HELPFUL HINTS
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CONTEXT IS CRUCIAL
No Biblical author simply strung together a number of lofty sounding phrases disconnected from one another. Since each verse is an integral part of a particular point the author was trying to make, no one should read, much less base their beliefs on stand alone verses. The reader can only be accurately informed by God's Word the way it is written… in its context. Understanding what the author meant comes not only from the words he wrote, but also by what the overall message of the chapter is intended to convey

IS PRIVATE INTERPRETATION POSSIBLE?
Does the phrase “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20) mean that we can’t understand the Bible for ourselves?

HOW TO CHOOSE A STUDY BIBLE
Overwhelmed by the number of choices in today’s glutted study Bible market? Let an expert on the subject guide you through the maze. The designation "study Bible" can refer to two things. In some contexts it refers to the translation itself, to a version of the Bible suitable for study. More often, however, it refers to a translation plus a set of features designed to help one read and study the text. 

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WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?
 Start At The "Beginning" No one would expect to comprehend a novel like "Tom Sawyer" or mysteries like "Sherlock Holmes" if they began in the middle of the story or just read the conclusion. Yet many people read the Bible in such a fashion and are then perplexed by this "difficult" book. Actually, it is amazing that folks get as much out of the Bible as they do with such methodology.

SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES
Do not expect to master the Bible in a day, or a month, or a year. Rather expect often to be puzzled by its contents. It is not all equally clear. Great men of God often feel like absolute novices when they read the Word. The apostle Peter said that there were some things hard to be understood in the epistles of Paul [2 Peter 3.16)

BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION... 12 GOLDEN RULES
What basic and common sense rules should we apply to reading Scripture?

HOW TO READ THE BOOK
It is true that Bible Study is hard work. Preparing for Young People's Society is hard work. However, these are not impossible works. If we follow some basic guidelines, we can definitely grow in our ability to read and understand God's Word.

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
 Without love of God the Bible has little chance of being much read; but without an intelligent method a nascent love for it may be arrested or even extinguished. Love quickens study; and study, pursued in the right way, increases love.

TEN STEPS TO BIBLICAL LITERACY
"I know I should read the Bible more often, but I just don't enjoy doing it: I get frustrated when I don't understand a verse, and I get bored reading verses I've already read and understand. It's such a chore." Few people would put it so bluntly as this. But if we were honest with ourselves, most of us would have to admit that such discouraging thoughts are frequent enough, and practically prevent us from reading the Bible at home. In this pamphlet we will take this problem by the horns in a very practical manner, so as to really help those who wish to improve their Bible-reading ways.

MEDITATING ON GOD'S WORD
The psalmists' interactions with God were often not a silent matter. Just as meditation is linked with the mouth in Joshua 1:8, it is often connected with the mouth or voice in the Psalms. The whole context of Psalm 5:1-3 suggests that the psalmist's meditation is something vocal and audible, for it involves words, the voice, crying, prayer, and hearing.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO
NEVER READ A BIBLE VERSE
 The numbers in front of the sentences give the illusion the verses stand alone in their meaning. They were not in the originals but added hundreds of years later. Chapter and verse breaks sometimes pop up in unfortunate places, separating relevant material that should be grouped together.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR IN THE BIBLE
To preach the Bible as "the handbook for life," or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture.

ESOTERICISM AND BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
If esotericists are correct in their approach to Scripture, then orthodox Christians have woefully misrepresented the true meaning of Scripture for almost two full millennia. We must therefore address the question, Is the esoteric method of interpreting Scripture a legitimate method?

 

EXTERNAL AIDS
USING BIBLE COMMENTARIES
A Word of Caution

 

 REMEMBER

EXPOSITION MUST HAVE APPLICATION
Theology is a set of facts concerning God, man and the world. These facts may be, and often are, set forth as values in themselves; and there lies the snare both for the teacher and for the hearer

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