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How to Study the Bible  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introductory

A. Assumptions

1. God wrote the Bible intending for us to understand it

There are difficult to understand parts of the Bible - Peter saying some of Paul is hard to understand.
How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It It’s All Greek to Me!

I like what the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody said about the challenge of understanding the Bible:

I am glad there’s a depth in the Bible I know nothing about, for it shows its divine authorship. A man once came to me with a very difficult passage and said, “Mr. Moody, how do you explain that?”

I replied, “I don’t.”

“But how do you interpret it?”

“I don’t interpret it.”

“Well, how do you understand it?”

“I don’t understand it.”

“What do you do with it?”

“I believe it! I believe many things I don’t understand.”

2. If we can’t understand it it is of little or no value to us

We read the Bible with prayer for understanding and application
The Holy Spirit illumines the scripture

3. Why we should study the Bible

2 Timothy 3:16 - profitable
2 Timothy - make us wise unto slavation
Psalms - guide us, a light to our path
John 17 - Sanctify us

4. What is the Bible (Knowing the character of the book we are studying)

God’s revelation to us
Inspired
Inerrant
True
It was written with language, words, sentences, structure.
It is one unified story of God’s plan of the redemption of fallen man and creation

5. Tools for Bible Study

The right tools are essential for any project - ILL - Making cabinets in workshop.
A good translation
Difference between translation and paraphrase - Examples (Living Bible, Message)
Difference between formal equivalence (Attempt at word for word) and dynamic equivalence (thought for thought - more interpretation which may lean toward the translators theology)
A good study Bible (Show how to use a study bible??)
ESV Study Bible
NLT Study Bible
Thompson Chain
Several other translations for comparison
A Bible dictionary/Encyclopedia to look up names, places, words, things,
Topical Bible
A lexicon
A general commentary on the whole Bible
The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Believer’s Bible Comentary
A concordance - basic found in back of Bibles
Digital tools
Free version of logos
Blue letter Bible

Observe what is in the passage

Read the passage, chapter, book several times
Repetition of words, phrases, ideas
Names
Places
Commands
Sins
Promises
Adjectives
Relationships
Contrasts
“If then” structure. In other words, “If you do this Then I will do that” Example, “If my people will pray THEN I will heal their land”

Ask questions about the passage

Who is this written to? A church, Israel, a person, a group?
Why was it written?
What is the context. Immediate, chapter, book, testament
What problem is the passage addressing
What promises are made?
What sins are there to avoid
What is the setting of the passage/book/verse?
What i the meaning of important words?
Do any other passages address this topic?
Is there any symbolic language in the passage?
are there any ideas, words, or teachings that are difficult to understand?

Interpret the meaning of the passage

Understand the meanings of the words
Obscure verses are interpreted by clear verses. Or Obscure passages yield to clear passages.
Assume a literal interpretation
Cross reference using a concordance
Check your interpretation using commentaries, study bibles, other scholars, pastors.
God gave us teachers to help us know and understand the Bible - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–12)
When you hear something taught, check it against scripture - Bereans, Acts 17:11.
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