Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Some Ways to Avoid Mistakes When Studying the Bible

This outline could use a lot more explanation. We give those explanations in our church and try to constantly model each of these in the pulpit, in Sunday school lessons, and Bible studies.  One of our Church members who has been studying the Bible for decades recently told me that this is the best Bible study method she had ever learned.

What we have discovered is that even though many people love to study the Bible, they do not always have the tools to do it as well as they would like.  We would like to change that.

This Fall a group of pastors in WV are banding together to offer classes in Hermeneutics (Bible interpretation--like below), Theology, Church History, and Ministry.  Through these classes, our fellow West Virginians can learn more about interpreting and applying the Bible. 

More information about the classes will come soon.  Meanwhile, I hope this helps.

Some Tips for Studying the Bible 
  • Read big chunks at each sitting
  • Read and reread the same big chunks constantly
  • Reference reliable resources
    • Multiple translations
    • Study-Bible notes
    • Commentaries
    • Bible dictionaries/encyclopedias
  • Note the contexts
    • Immediate Contexts
      • Words
      • Phrases
      • Sentences
      • Paragraphs
      • Sections
      • Books
    • Historical/Grammatical contexts
      • Literary
      • Historical
      • Cultural
      • Linguistic 
    • Theological Contexts
      • Biblical Theology (Redemptive/Historical)
      • Systematic Theology
      • Historical Theology
  • Determine what the passage meant when it was written.
    • Trace the big picture
    • Observe the broad strokes
    • Study the fine details
    • Always connect details to the broad strokes to the big picture as much as possible.
  • Apply the passage today in ways that are always faithful to what it meant when it was written.

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