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General Principles for Interpreting the Bible. APPROACH THE BIBLE IN PRAYER -Psalm 119:5 -Psalm 119:10 -Psalm 119:12 -Psalm 119:17-20 -Psalm 119:34-37.

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Presentation on theme: "General Principles for Interpreting the Bible. APPROACH THE BIBLE IN PRAYER -Psalm 119:5 -Psalm 119:10 -Psalm 119:12 -Psalm 119:17-20 -Psalm 119:34-37."— Presentation transcript:

1 General Principles for Interpreting the Bible

2 APPROACH THE BIBLE IN PRAYER -Psalm 119:5 -Psalm 119:10 -Psalm 119:12 -Psalm 119: Psalm 119:34-37

3 READ THE BIBLE AS A BOOK THAT POINTS TO JESUS John 5:39 – Scriptures point to Jesus But not every text points to Jesus in the same way! OT promises, anticipates, and prepares us for Jesus. Matt 11:13 “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John the Baptist.” NT announces the fulfillment in Christ of all of Israel’s law, history, prophesies, and institutions (Temple, Priesthood, Prophetic School, Davidic Kingship, Land, Rest, ect).

4 LET SCRIPTURE INTERPRET SCRIPTURE The Bible does not contradict itself, so look to other Scripture to help explain difficult passages. Read the whole of Scripture when interpreting a text. Let the “Three Horizons” guide you. Text in light of its place in the book Text in light of revelation up to that point in time Text in light of final revelation of completed Canon Ex. from Malachi 3:6-10 on tithing and robbing God Heb. 10:1 “The Law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves.”

5 MEDITATE ON THE BIBLE Read the whole Bible through as often as you can Read the book your text comes from several times before beginning to interpret and apply (preach and teach through books at a time) Memorize Scripture Give yourself plenty of time when studying

6 APPROACH THE BIBLE IN FAITH AND OBEDIENCE Bible is not a philosophy textbook. It is a revelation from God that is meant to be believed and obeyed. Must be doers of the Word, not merely hearers only.

7 TAKE NOTE OF THE BIBLICAL GENRE YOU ARE READING More on this later, but…. Son comes home from school and says “I have a ton of homework.” What is the meaning of this statement? Helpful to know that the Bible uses exaggeration at times to make a point. What do we mean by using the “literal” interpretation of the text? We need to interpret each part of the Bible as it was meant to be interpreted, not import our own ideas. Proverbs are general principles, not once for all promises. How do historical narratives function in the Bible? Must they always be in chronological order? What is prophecy and how does it function in the Bible?

8 BE AWARE OF HISTORICAL OR CULTUREAL BACKGROUND ISSUES When the NT refers to the Passover, do you know its historical significance? What about how census taking worked? Historical realities between Jews and Samaritans? Romans and Jews? Jews and Greeks? Don’t become overly enamored with historical details or your sermon will turn into a National Geographic presentation instead of a sermon. But don’t ignore the background, or else you will misinterpret. Why is God so adamant that Israel keep itself separate from other nations ? Why the obscure OT food laws?

9 PAY ATTENTION TO CONTEXT Sermon from Luke 4: Let’s read. Pastor reads whole text, but only focuses on verse 16 “As was Jesus’ custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day.” 1 Corinthians 13 and weddings Show people how your text or passage fits into the context of the book and the Bible. Otherwise, people can make whatever they want of a text.

10 READ THE BIBLE IN COMMUNITY We need each other in the Church. My home church has elders who are biblically trained with Ph.Ds and others who are just “regular” godly men. We need each other’s insights. Get feedback before you teach or preach and get feedback after you do so. Mark Dever does. Give those who haven’t yet “made it” an opportunity to teach and preach, under your supervision and with your mentorship. Listen to good preachers and teachers and learn from them, without imitating them. Ex. Shadrack Meshach Lockridge


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