BIBLE STUDY TECHNIQUES Interpretation OVERVIEW Overview of Interpretation

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BIBLE STUDY TECHNIQUES Interpretation

BIBLE STUDY TECHNIQUES Interpretation

OVERVIEW • Overview of Interpretation • Principals of Interpretation

OVERVIEW • Overview of Interpretation • Principals of Interpretation

OVERVIEW • This lesson relies very heavily on the book Studying, Interpreting, and Applying

OVERVIEW • This lesson relies very heavily on the book Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by Walter Henrichsen and Gayle Jackson https: //www. amazon. com/Studying-Interpreting-Applying-Walter. Henrichsen/dp/0310377811/

OVERVIEW OF INTERPRETATION • What is Interpretation? • Interpretation is answering the question “what

OVERVIEW OF INTERPRETATION • What is Interpretation? • Interpretation is answering the question “what did the author mean when writing this verse/passage/book/subject/character? ” • Once we have observed the circumstances of a passage, we can inductively reason about what the passage means • More specifically, interpretation answers these 3 questions • Why did the author bring up the topic? • What was the key thought of the verse/passage/book/subject/character? • How did the author get to the key thought?

PRINCIPALS OF INTERPRETATION • Not every interpretation is equally valid • In order to

PRINCIPALS OF INTERPRETATION • Not every interpretation is equally valid • In order to arrive at an accurate interpretation, rules need to be followed consistently • The rules can be broken down into 4 categories • • General Principals Grammatical Principles Historical Principals Theological Principles

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 1: Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 1: Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative • • For Christians, the Bible is the final source of truth This is tied to the idea that scripture is inspired and inerrant Jesus dealt with this question during his own ministry John 7: 14 -17 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, [d] when he has never studied? ” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's[e] will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 1: Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 1: Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative • This Bible expresses its authority in 3 different ways • A person acts in an authoritative manner, and the passage explains whether the act is approved or disapproved (Gen 3: 4) • A person acts in an authoritative manner, and the passage does not indicate approval or disapproval (Gen 12: 10 -20) • God or one of His representatives states the mind and will of God (John 13: 34 -35)

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 2: The Bible interprets itself; Scripture best explains Scripture •

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 2: The Bible interprets itself; Scripture best explains Scripture • The Bible must be allowed to speak for itself • This rule also implies the need for the correlation step of Bible study

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 3: Saving faith and the Holy Spirit are necessary for

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 3: Saving faith and the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to understand properly interpret the Scriptures • Jesus dealt with this in Matt. 13: 9, 15 • Paul dealt with this in 1 Cor. 2: 14 • In John 11: 45 -47, people did not believe Jesus after he raised Lazarus

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 4: Interpret personal experience in the light of Scripture and

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 4: Interpret personal experience in the light of Scripture and not Scripture in the light of personal experience • Jesus raising from the dead was an experience that proved he was the son of God • Jesus was not the son of God because he rose from the dead

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 5: Biblical examples are authoritative only when supported by a

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 5: Biblical examples are authoritative only when supported by a command • The Bible has many examples that are bad or cannot be followed • Christians cannot even fully emulate Jesus’s life • There are parts of Jesus life we are commanded to emulate (John 13: 34 -35) • Examples that are not supported by a command can still be useful • They can verify God’s leading in your live • Provide examples of the application of a commandment • As a corollary, believers are free to do anything the Bible does no prohibit

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 6: The primary purpose of the Bible is to change

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 6: The primary purpose of the Bible is to change our lives, not increase or knowledge • People learn from personal experience and from the experiences of others • Some lessons are too expensive to learn firsthand • The lessons in the Bible must be applied • Not all passages are to be applied they same way they were when they were written • Application must follow a correct interpretation

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 7: Each Christian has the right and responsibility to investigate

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 7: Each Christian has the right and responsibility to investigate and interpret the Word of God him/herself • Christians are responsible for seeking answers to their questions • Christians are responsible for what they accept as truth from their leaders

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 8: Church history is important but not decisive in the

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 8: Church history is important but not decisive in the interpretation of Scripture • For Christians, scripture is the highest authority • Tradition does have its place • The church does not determine what the Bible teaches; the Bible determines what the church teaches

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 9: The promises of God throughout the Bible are available

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 9: The promises of God throughout the Bible are available to the Holy Spirit for the believers of every generation • There are many promises in the Bible • Not all promises belong to everyone • If you claim a promise and it does not happen • God let you down (Num. 23: 19) • You misclaimed the promise • The promise will be fulfilled at a latter time or in a way you do not expect • There are 2 kinds of promises • General • Specific

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 9: The promises of God throughout the Bible are available

GENERAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 9: The promises of God throughout the Bible are available to the Holy Spirit for the believers of every generation • Guidelines for specific promises • • • The Holy Spirit gives them to the individual Christians at particular times in their lives as He chooses. Promises are often conditional and the condition is obedience. The Holy Spirit of God is sovereign. He can speak from any passage at any time to any person. Do not prejudge the Lord as to when and how the promise will be fulfilled in your life. God gives His promises to make you more dependent on Him. God’s intent is to glorify Himself by giving you promises. Always give him glory when the promise is fulfilled. • Claiming a promise cut you off from further counsel

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 10: Scripture has only one meaning and should be taken

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 10: Scripture has only one meaning and should be taken literally • In everyday life, no one says something that has many meanings • If you find a passage that appears to be literal but you wish to interpret it otherwise, ask the following questions • Are you questioning the passage being literal because you do not want to obey it? • Are you questioning the passage being literal because it does not agree with your preconceived theological bias? • No statement can have more then one meaning • No word can have more than one meaning at a time

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 11: Interpret words in harmony with their meaning in the

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 11: Interpret words in harmony with their meaning in the times of the author • Most words can be taken at face value • Bible dictionaries can help with difficult words • Word studies can be done to learn more • • How is the word used by the author? How does the word relate to the immediate context? What was the words meaning at the time of writing? What was the words root meaning?

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 12: Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 12: Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and context • The most important part of interpretation is context • Examples • Faith (Gal. 1: 23, Rom. 14: 23, 1 Tim. 5: 11 -12) • Blood (Acts 17: 24 -26, Eph. 1: 7, Heb. 9: 6 -7)

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 13: Interpret a passage in harmony with its context •

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 13: Interpret a passage in harmony with its context • Context is the most important rule of interpretation • To ensure you understand the context of a passage, answer these questions: • • How does the passage relate to the material surrounding it? How does it relate to the rest of the book? How does it relate to the Bible as a whole? How does it relate to the culture and background in which it was written? (Historical rules)

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 14: When an inanimate object is used to describe a

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 14: When an inanimate object is used to describe a living being, the statement may be considered figurative • Jesus refers to himself as bread, light, and a door (John 6: 35, 8: 12, and 10: 7) • A corollary rule: when life and action are attributed to inanimate objects, the statement may be considered figurative (Micah 6: 8)

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 15: When an expression is out of character with the

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 15: When an expression is out of character with the thing described, the statement may be considered figurative • Paul called the Judaizers dogs (Phil. 3: 2) • Jesus called Herod a fox (Luke 13: 32) • Context should help you understand the meaning of the passage • Consider the meaning at the time of writing • Interpret the passage literally if at all possible

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 16: Consider only the principal parts and figures of a

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 16: Consider only the principal parts and figures of a parable when drawing conclusions • Before the protestant reformation, parables were allegorized • A parable could have multiple “levels” of meaning • Each element of the parable was given a special meaning • Jesus always offered a simple interpretation • When you study a parable • Determine the purpose of the parable • Make sure you explain the different parts of the parable in accordance with the main design • Use only the principal parts of the parable in explaining the lesson

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 17: Interpret the words of the prophets in their usual,

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 17: Interpret the words of the prophets in their usual, literal and historical sense, unless the context or way they are fulfilled clearly indicate they have a symbolic meaning. Their fulfillment may be in installments, each fulfillment being a pledge of that which is to follow • Prophecy can be a controversial subject • Malachi prophesied that God would send Elijah to herald the coming of Christ (Mal. 4: 56) • Many were confused by John the Baptist • Hosea makes a statement about Israel’s history (Hos. 11: 1) • Matthew interprets this statement as a prophesy (Matt. 2: 15) • Joel prophesied about the coming of the holy spirit and the second coming of Christ (Joel 2: 28 -32) • Peter states that the first part of the prophesy was fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2: 16)

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 18: Since Scripture originated in a historical context, it can

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 18: Since Scripture originated in a historical context, it can be understood only in the light of biblical history • The book of Galatians is most clearly understood when its historical context is known

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 19: Though God’s revelation in the Scriptures is progressive, both

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 19: Though God’s revelation in the Scriptures is progressive, both Old and New Testaments are essential parts of this revelation and form a unit • There is no difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament • The Old Testament is an important part of interpreting the New Testament • The New Testament often clarifies doctrine the comes from the Old Testament • There are cases where the New Testament fulfills laws from the Old Testament

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 20: Historical facts or events become symbols of spiritual truths

HISTORICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 20: Historical facts or events become symbols of spiritual truths only if the Scriptures so designate them • Sometimes, the Bible uses historical events as symbols of other things • Only biblical authors under the influence of the Holy Spirit could do this • Modern Christians should not attempt to allegorize the Bible

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 21: You must understand the Bible grammatically, before you can

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 21: You must understand the Bible grammatically, before you can understand it theologically • In other words, a reader must understand what the Bible says before they can know what it means

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 22: A doctrine cannot be considered biblical unless it sums

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 22: A doctrine cannot be considered biblical unless it sums up and includes all that the Scriptures say about it • The Bible does not fully explain every subject every time it comes up • This rule explains the importance of the correlation step of Bible study

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 23: When two doctrines taught in the Bible appear to

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 23: When two doctrines taught in the Bible appear to be contradictory, accept both as scriptural in the confident belief they will resolve themselves into a higher unity • A God, complex enough to speak the universe into existence is, certainly, too complex for human minds to understand • We know that the Bible is authoritative and must accept apparent paradoxes in faith, believing that they resolve themselves in the end • Some common examples are the Trinity, the duel nature of Christ, and the origin of evil

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 24: A teaching merely implied in Scripture may be considered

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPALS • Rule 24: A teaching merely implied in Scripture may be considered biblical when a comparison of related passages supports it • It is okay to draw conclusions about doctrines that are implied by the Bible as long as the Bible truly supports them • Jesus did this in Mark 12: 26 -27 by quoting Ex. 3: 15

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES Links to materials and resources mentioned, as well as the handouts,

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES Links to materials and resources mentioned, as well as the handouts, Power. Point slides, and lecture notes, can be found at http: //www. nbsbaptistchurch. org/resources/bible-study-techniques/