3 Things to Avoid in Studying the Bible

We’re all interpreters of the Bible. Every time we read it, our mind tells us something about the passage. But, the question is, are we interpreting the texts correctly? Some might argue that the Holy Spirit will help us as we read the Bible. Of course, He does. But we have to consider that dealing with the texts accurately is a part of the Holy Spirit’s works as we’re moved to study the Bible.

text || noun. In studying the Bible, it refers to the passage, whether chapters or verses, that is the focus of your study. It does not refer to a chat or message someone sent to your phone.

We are told to love God with our mind (Luke 10:17) and to rightly handle “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). To say that God isn’t concern about how we interpret the Bible neglect these commands. It fails to see that God requires us to love him with our mind and that includes studying the Bible correctly.

So how do we handle the Bible correctly? There are three good suggestions on how we can deal with the Bible correctly.

1. Avoid making any points that compromise proper interpretation.

This is a common mistake if you are preparing a sermon or message. Our first task as interpreters is to expose the author’s intent, not to maintain our points by proof-texting. It’s easy to do the latter, but it is not the correct way. Remember, our interpretation should be the result of a proper investigation of the texts. Instead of making prior points, we have to investigate the texts first: its background and the author’s intents of the text. In so doing, we can consult a good Biblical Encyclopedia.

2. Avoid a shallow study of the Bible.

Studying the Bible can be complicated. It is especially true when you are not used to doing it. The result of superficial study leads to wrong teaching, wrong implication, and wrong application. In order to avoid these errors, an in-depth study of the Bible helps us see the work of the Holy Spirit in us and appreciate the beauty of God’s word. A lot of resources are available such as Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedia, maps, and good exegetical commentaries. These resources can help our tour in studying the Bible.

3. Avoid seeking for hidden spiritual meanings in the Bible verses.

Take note that the Bible was written in a commonly spoken language of Hebrew and Greek. There are no hidden spiritual meanings in each word. The Bible conveys truths about God and how he deals with his creation. However, it does require a proper understanding of the context. You cannot simply interpret every word of the Bible as having hidden meaning. You cannot say, for instance, that each character in a parable has a hidden meaning.

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