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How To Study The Bible










Before Starting To Study The Bible, Your Prayer Life Will Be Your Best Solution To Any Problem.  Or, in other words, PRAY before opening the Word of God.


A False Concept Of God Leads To False Doctrine. The Bibles design is for you to discover the Character of God; and then for you to implement that Character in yourself.  To become Christ-Like.


As far as which version to read, see my Bible Study:  “BIBLES PRODUCED AFTER 1881.”  However, read the one that you will read.  But it is best not to read a paraphrase, for you will miss all the little nuances hidden as gems in the Word of God from a literal translation of the original wording.






1) From Dr. Rydelnik of the Moody Bible Institute:  “If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up with nonsense.”  If it is in plain English, do not argue or struggle with it.


The Scriptures are to be taken in their plain, literal sense, unless a clear and obvious figure is intended.  For example, when Christ says He is the “door,” John 10:9, to salvation, that is not to be taken literally.  He is just expressing that He is, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life:” and that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by” Him.  John 14:6.  As opposed to Matthew 6:6, where a real “door” is meant.


2) Never try to interpret Scripture through your experience.  Interpret your experience through Scripture.  If your life is a mess, attempt to see if it aliens with Scripture.


Example:  A friend of mine got hit with a $4,500 bill from out of nowhere (past problem).  I asked him if had been paying a faithful Tithe?  You know the answer.


3) Studying without the help of the Holy Spirit for guidance, wisdom, and knowledge that you would want God to reveal to you, will be to your detriment.  See first:  John 6:45; 14:26; then see Luke 12:12; First Corinthians 2:13-14; Second Timothy 3:16.  Don’t just read the Bible; let the Bible read you.


From Education, page 189 we read:  “The student of the Bible should be taught to approach It in the spirit of a learner. We are to search Its pages, not for proof to sustain our opinions, but in order to know what God says.  A true knowledge of the Bible can be gained only through the aid of that Spirit by Whom the Word was given.  And in order to gain this knowledge we must live by It.  All that God’s Word Commands, we are to obey.”


4) Individual words “can” inspire the correct meaning of a sentence or passage.  After that, context is more important than the individual word.  By contrast, the individual word can set up the context.  Example:  “If you Love Me, keep My Commandments.”  John 14:15.  If our individual word is “Love,” then what is “Love?”  The “Keeping” of God’s Commandments.  If our individual word is “Commandments,” then why do them?  Because we “Love.”


5) There is usually, not always, but usually a KEY word or KEY phrase in every verse.  Focus upon those and you will find hidden gems.  Example:  “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”  Our “Key Word” would be “enmity,” while our “Key Phrase” would be “bruise thy head,” “bruise His heel.”  One is our safety, the other is referencing our Savior.


6) Context, Context, Context.  Although individual words and phrases “can” inform us of the true meaning of a passage or sentence, context overrides any interpretation derived from the individual word or phrase.  Besides the immediate context before and after a passage under investigation, we should take into consideration the context of the Book in which the passage is found.  As an example, if Paul is writing the Book in question, say, the Book of Philippians, what is his style?  Is this the same contextual style (and meaning) as he used in his other writings, such as the Book of Colossians?  If not, some other meaning and application must be determined for the passage.


7) Use of Lexicons.  The true meaning of individual Words can be found by taking (as an example) “Strong’s Hebrew and Greek” numbering system; taking that words number and finding every place it occurs (within reasonable doubt) and seeing if it is translated correctly or the same for your passage.  In other words, that particular words meaning must apply to all cases wherein it is translated, unless context defines a different meaning.  A perfect example would be the “KJV’s” translation of “meat” and “wine.”  In both instances, one must understand that “meat” usually just means “food,” and rarely “animal flesh.”  It can also mean fruits or grains.  Whereas “wine” must be determined if it is speaking of “fermented,” or “unfermented.”


Hermeneutics is the science and art of interpretation of Scripture.  Hermeneutics establishes the rules to which one must agree to a true analysis of the Scriptures for objectivity and accuracy in producing the intent and meaning of the original autograph.  All translators will have a world view and a language barrier.  Thus, studying individual words, within the “context” of the sentence, can be very helpful.


8) Time -- Place -- and Circumstances.  If the “Time-Frame” does not fit the actions or accounts; if the Place is out of Place; and if the Circumstances do not merit the response; you must redefine your conclusion.  As an example, Daniel’s, Chapter Two vision, would not be considered to be happening during his lifetime, but speaks of future events.  By contrast, when the Bible teaches us that if our brother dies without children (Deu. 25:5) and we are to marry our brother’s wife to produce them, that was Commanded in order that the land of the Israelites was not lost to intruders.  We no longer live under that God as our leader of the nation any more.


9) Cross-Reference every verse (always); comparing Scripture-with-Scripture.  Many a false doctrine has been formed from one simple text without making sure that text is stated the same way somewhere else in Scripture.  If you cannot conform the text in question with the other texts you cross reference to, you have come to the wrong conclusion.  However, when cross-referencing, do your best to cross reference it to the same writer (Book), if possible.  Let that writer explain himself.  Isaiah 28:10 & 13:  “[10] For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: [13] But the Word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”


Furthermore, a text may be plainly understood, but not make sense in the long run.  As an example, Jesus said to the thief on the cross that he would (eventually) be with Him in Paradise.  People have incorrectly assumed that the thief went directly to Heaven at his death.  However, multiple passages teach that at death, the dead do not know anything, nor are they conscious of anything (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 and many, many, more).  Plus, Jesus tells Mary that He had not yet ascended to Heaven -- three days later; for He, like all Christians later at His Second Coming, had not yet been resurrected (like the thief will be, or was when Christ was resurrected).  See my Bible Study:  “DEATH, THE TRUTH ABOUT.”  See Isaiah 28:10 & First Corinthians 2:13.


10) It must be understood that there is no one Chapter that is dedicated to any one specific doctrine of the Bible.  Therefore, “All Scripture” must be sought out in order to establish a particular doctrine.  For example, “speaking in tongues” does not mean a language that is not understood by mankind.  See my Bible Study:  “TONGUES, THE GIFT OF.”  This must be discovered by seeking out information from other Books of the Bible instead of just a few passages in First Corinthians, Chapter 14.


11) ALWAYS rule out feelings, tradition, church theology, experience, culture, and your own biased reasoning, opinion, or whatever (double check against God’s Word).  Culture can always raise some important hermeneutical questions.  Is the Bible speaking culturally for this particular instance, and thus only relative to that culture in what it asserts for that passage?  Or does the Divine message given in that specific passage transcend that particular culture and speak to all human beings and their cultural habits?  This is mostly the case.  Such as the Ten Commandments, which apply to all cultures.  However, learning the Jewish culture and heritage is a valuable asset.  An example would be “veil” wearing in First Corinthians, Chapter Eleven.  See my Bible Study:  “TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL.”  Men with long hair in Biblical days was considered unbecoming.  Women with short hair were considered to be whores.  This would go along with Time-Place-Circumstances.


12) NO DOCTRINE should be established using ONLY one text.  Two is very questionable.  Three and many more texts is preferred.  That you die and go to Heaven or hell at death is over-run with multiple texts that teach the dead know not anything.  See my Bible Study:  “DEATH, THE BIBLICAL TRUTH ABOUT.”


13) Knowing the Bible’s “Main Theme” will conquer many a hesitancy of interpretation, both plainly, and even more importantly, spiritually.  I believe the Bible’s “Main Theme” to be “CHARACTER;” God’s Character and your own character.  “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27.  In other words, the “Main Theme” is connected to the “Main Question” of all time, i.e., “What Must I Do In Order To Be Saved?”


14) A correct translation of the Bible will spare you many-a-trouble.  Any Bible published after 1881 A.D., and or, is copyrighted, is questionable.  Buyer beware of these corrupted Bible versions which are translated with bias, based upon their agendas instead of staying true to the original Manuscripts.  See my Bible Study:  “BIBLE VERSIONS TO AVOID & BIBLE, VERSIONS (NEW) EXPOSED.”


As an example, New Interpretation Version -- I MEAN -- NON INSPIRED VERSION -- I MEAN --the New International Version, committee member, chairman, and editor Edwin Palmer writes, that in the New Versions there now are “few clear and decisive texts that declare Jesus is God,” because of his changes, not because of the original Manuscripts renderings.  “The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation,” page 143.  By contrast, the translators do admit that they used 7 Catholic manuscripts for their version, and one Catholic manuscript for the entire Book of Psalms. To be specific, the “Juxta Hebraica” of Jerome.  While not conferring with the over 2,500 extent original, unadulterated Manuscripts.  I could go on-and-on about this; see my Bible Study:  “BIBLE VERSIONS (NEW) EXPOSED.”


The King James Version has Its problems, but for over 400 years It has gone through the test of time, with many Commentaries that expose Its errors.  Thus, It is still (my opinion) the best translation of the English language available.  See my Bible Study:  “BIBLE, VERSIONS AFTER 1881 A.D.”  WHY? Because with It’s errors known and exposed, one can be assured that they will not obtain a false concept or doctrine from this version.  I cannot say the same for versions printed after 1881 A.D.


15) Do not go beyond what is written.  Do not create or manufacture a doctrine based upon your own heart’s desires.  Compare your feelings, agendas, wants, and anything else you are holding on to, to the Bible.  Numbers 15:39 states, “remember all the Commandments of the LORD, and do Them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring.”  And Proverbs 28:26:  “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”


16)  If you are not willing to receive and OBEY what you have already received from the Living Word of God, no further knowledge or understanding of the Bible will be given to you of God until one’s life begins to conform to the Bible’s Statutes.  Without obedience, no further knowledge and correct understanding will be given.


From 2T:605 we read:  “If you had made God’s Word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible Standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies.  It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourself with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies.”


17) Find out whether the passage you are reading is a parable, a prophetic-symbolic dream or statement, or an historical narrative.  The decision of such an important question of the CONTEXT of Scripture involves an act of interpretation itself.  Derive the purpose for the telling of the parable as opposed to finding any other different meaning or application.


As an example, in Luke, Chapter 16, Verses 19-31, is where many denominations conclude that the rich man is talking to Lazarus in Heaven from hell.  This could be true AFTER Christ’s Third Coming, but NOT NOW in our time.  All Bible commentators agree that this is a parable.  However, a prophetic-symbolism is derived from the conclusion of it, while nothing historical is involved, unless you apply characteristics to it as being a futuristic event.  See my Bible Study:  “DEATH, THE TRUTH ABOUT.”  Christ’s point is, if you will not heed to the prophets messages to you now, no future telling will be of use to you.


18) One must consider the historical setting in which the prophecy, account, or instruction is given.  This is the same as Time -- Place -- and Circumstance.


19)  A background knowledge of Near Eastern culture is helpful for understanding some Biblical passages. For example, Hebrew culture attributed responsibility to an individual for acts he did not commit but that he allowed to happen.  As an example, when a ship sinks, the captain goes down with the ship even though he did not commit the error.  Therefore, the inspired writers of the Scriptures commonly credit God with doing actively that which in Western thought we would say He permits or does not prevent from happening.  For example, It’s “Mother Nature” when something good happens; but it is an “Act Of God,” when something bad happens.


20) Dictionaries, Commentaries, Bible Maps, etcetera, are VERY helpful, but not the final Authority.  Let them point you in a general direction.  But compare them against all the principles listed above.


21) Most denominations ignore the Biblical requirement of Bible prophecies, in that most are conditional.  As an example, all prophecies of Christ’s First, Second, and Third Comings, are not conditional -- they will take place.  However, prophecies of “blessings” or “cursing’s” are conditional upon “obedience” to the fulfilment of that prophecy (see Deu. 28:15).  In other words, if the prophecy was conditional and the conditions were not met, then the prophecy will not come ture, nor will it ever take place.  Most denominations still count prophecies given to Israel as a nation valid.  When in fact, the conditions were not met, and as a consequence, will not take place.  An example would be the building of the third temple in Ezekiel, Chapters 40-43, which was not built because Israel did not keep the conditions in which it would have been built.  Yet most denominations still hold to the “Third Temple” doctrine.


22) This one can be, but should not be, difficult to determine because of your personal understanding, expertise, and time spent understanding the Bible.  And that is, What is the ultimate intent of the author?  Are they teaching you principles to live by; introducing you to the God of the Bible, warning you against certain behaviors, etcetera, or all of the above?  The ultimate attempt of all the authors should be understood as introducing you to the Character of God and the Character you should incorporate inside of you (Col. 1:27; I cannot emphasize this enough).


23) According to Isaiah 28:10, the Bible should be studied like you would overview a legal document, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”  Just as you will not find one page in the Bible where a particular doctrine is spelled out, so you must search all throughout the Bible to discover it.  So also, one must explore the entire legal document to make sure you don’t miss something important.  A saying would be, “Read the fine print.”


24) Jesus is in every Chapter of the Bible.  If you did not find Him in a Chapter, read It again.


25) If you are having trouble with a certain section of the Bible, it may be that you do not have a full grasp upon the totality of Scripture well enough.  Keep studying (other portions) until the Holy Spirit reveals it to you.  Or, it is not the time for you to know this section until you are ready to receive the instruction our Lord has for you; or for someone else you are to teach it to.  Many times I did not understand something completely, then I did, and God sent to me someone who needed instruction in that very area.  Amazing!


26) The best way to interpret Scripture is to let Scripture interpret Itself.  The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture itself.  Why?  Because Scripture is inspired.  Don’t try to make It say something It doesn’t.  Read It for what It is.






Since coal can turn into a diamond, and sand can change into a pearl, and if a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly, then LOVE can change the world.


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