1999-09-04 - Study to Show Thyself Approved
Originally Published 1997-03-22
Ever wonder "What can I do to really really understand myself a bit deeper these passages in the Bible I read again and again?" I'd like to share a few time-honored and tested habits I have learned through the years with you, that should enrich your quest for truth.
Discover the author, the date and time, and the people addressed. Learn if a message is given to them in regard to something happening immediately in the context. Ask why? Ask who? Ask where? Ask when? Ask how?
Look into the date something was written, where it took place, the customs, laws and conditions surrounding the passage. Who is speaking? And to whom are they speaking?
When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning -- unless the facts of the immediate context studied in the light of related passages, axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.
Remember: A text apart from it's context is just a pretext...God said what He meant, and meant what He said. It is our duty to find out exactly what is being said in any context.
Take note of the spiritual conditions prevailing.
Look up quotes of Scriptures from other parts of the Bible if they are used in the passage you are reading, and seek the original primary meaning of them in their context.
Learn to study verse by verse through the Bible in context. The best way to learn is through the verse-by-verse method. Topical and textual study also has its place, yet you will become that much more familiar with the truth, by digesting the entire passage you study, in context.
Look at the original languages and meaning of certain words. Study tools are available such as Strong's Concordance. Also available are Greek and Hebrew language books that align themselves with the Bible. Also there are many, many resources on the internet.
In His Service,