What are some rules around studying the Bible?

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There are clear rules that are helpful to those that study the Bible. These rules are to test any alleged claim to scriptural support. They serve as principles that guide to direct a person in Bible research, lest unwarranted conclusions be made.

Bible study rules

A- The Scriptures should always be examined prayerfully. Only the Holy Spirit can guide the believers to all the truth (John 16:13). For spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Thus, a man without the Holy Spirit is not able to comprehend divine things. Prayer with the desire to learn of God, will help the believer to receive God’s instruction (Psalm 86:11; 25:4).

B- The believer should be willing to obey God’s light (John 7:17). God’s truths are not given to people to trample them under their feet. The Lord grants enlightenment to those who are willing to walk in His light. A stubborn refusal to follow this light does not allow for further divine light.

C- The Bible must be interpreted according to the harmony of the rest of Scripture. The Bible, if understood rightly, does not contradict itself. If a concept is understood from a Scripture passage contradicts with another passage of the Book, that concept must be considered as false. Often a verse taken by itself, can prove to have several possible meanings. In such a case, that explanation which is in full harmony with the entire Bible must be accepted.

D- The Bible must be understood in the light of its context. The believer must examine fully the entire passage of the verse he is studying to find out what the author was writing about. For example, when Paul said, “All things are lawful unto me” (1 Corinthians 6:12), his words, taken by themselves, could be understood to mean that Paul was here giving himself the permission to be free from any rule.  But the context explains that he is only writing about the propriety of eating meats sacrificed to idols. Thus, no one has the right to interpret the phrase “all things” to mean anything, which is more than what Paul intended in this passage.

E- The Bible must be its own interpreter. Frequently the Holy Spirit does not immediately interpret a symbol it uses. But the same Spirit would be expected to explain that symbol in another place.

Conclusion

The proper method to understand what the Bible teaches on any subject is to prayerfully study all what the Bible has to say on that specific subject before making any conclusions or speculations. Understanding whole the picture prevents a person from making wrong interpretations. And Bible students should be willing to accept what they learn so that the Lord will continue to lead them to more truths.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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