Interpreting the Bible
A-View the scriptures as God’s inspired Word. “The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
B-Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to all His truth. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
C-Interpret Scripture literally. Look first for the clear teaching of Scripture, not a hidden meaning. Some literary styles in the Bible are: Historical–Acts; Prophetic–Revelation; Didactic (teaching)– Romans; Biographical–Luke; Poetic–Psalms; Epistle (letter)–2 Timothy; Proverbial–Proverbs.
D-Study the Scriptures in context: Read each verse in the light of the surrounding verses and the entire Word of God. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
E-Don’t build a doctrine on one or two isolated verses. In order to understand a given topic, you need to collect all the verses on that topic and study them and get the overall picture. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?…For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9,10).
F-Remember that ideas were inspired but the prophets used their own limited language to communicate them. “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
G-You have to study both the Old and the New testament on any topic because the New was based on the Old. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
H-Let the Bible interpret itself and unlock its own symbols. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
I-Know that Scripture will never contradict itself. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 114:33). When you find it difficult to reconcile two seemingly contradictory verses, don’t get discouraged but pray and continue to study till the Lord makes them clear.
J-Study with an open mind not allowing the pre-mental luggage or human doctrines and traditions to affect you. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’ (Matthew 15:9).
K-Seek God’s truth with all your heart. Look for it as if it is the most precious treasure. “Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:46).
In His service,