The truth on Bible study doesn't have to be hard to discover. Yet, many believe it's too difficult. Unfortunately, their apprehension is spurred on by a litany of other books and a chorus of false teachers. Church leaders boast about their extensive libraries and their theological degrees. The implication is that Bible study is only for the "professionals".
Understanding the Bible requires nothing more than the Bible itself1,3,6,9 and a diligent, open, seeking heart2,6,8,10. With our prayer to God for understanding4,7, He has promised that we will find (or, know) Him8,9,10. It is, in fact, the only way we can know His will for us.1,7,9
Of course, the word may travel by way of a teacher/preacher6. There are some portions or topics that are difficult5, but Scripture’s promise3,10 is that we can grow in the truth9 with careful, diligent study2,6.
As of the first century, God’s word had been proclaimed throughout the whole world4,6,8. If the word was sufficiently complete in the first century to save individuals1,3,4,6,8,9,10,11,12, how is it any less complete now and why would it be necessary for God to reveal more? The foundation9,12 would not still be being laid some 2,000 years later.
We should have full confidence in Scripture interpreting Scripture since all Scripture is divine and perfect (from God)1, its entirety forms a complete picture2,8,9,10,12,13. The very idea that God is the sole author1 forces the conclusion that Scripture cannot contradict itself5 and must also interpret itself – literally, God interprets God6. Of course, this doesn’t abdicate the need or necessity for drawing conclusions and/or teaching/explaining as needed7,9,14. Jesus required the lawyer to form a conclusion after reading it10 (and only it).
Scripture is the sole source for morality and obedience…it was this way for those under the Law3,4,7,8,10 (“Scripture” for that time) as well as for those (like Timothy1 and us) under the Gospel9,11,13,14.
We can interpret prophecy, but only to the extent God has told us through Scripture what it means1. Interpreting Bible prophecy and how we handle it in general is the ultimate example of how Scripture interprets Scripture (lit. God interprets God1).
Prophecy belongs to God2,4. We cannot presume to know their meanings except where inspired writers guide us (for example, Hosea->Matthew5 and prophetic duality in general). If we are coming to definitive conclusions about prophecies that God has remained silent about, is that not a form of adding to3?
There is no precedent in Scripture for “Scripture Weighting.” Quite the contrary. All Scripture is divine and perfect1,7; they are His words5. God, is the sole author1,5. Further, it is only when taken in its entirety that we get a complete picture2,7. It is consistently put forward as equal weight since “all” is always the standard for understanding — Old4,6 and New1,3. Never has God said, “Read it all, but you really only need to focus here.”
May we never scripture weight – whether by authorship, testament or presupposition – but instead seek to gather all that Scripture has to say on the matter and only then make careful conclusions.
The effect of God’s word is never failing3,4. It sanctifies believers5, bringing them into a peace with God17 and ulimately saving them4,10,11,14. However, the effect of God’s word can also be destructive2,9, causing division7,8,11, animosity12,13,16, physical death for those that speak it14,15, and ultimately spiritual death6,8,9,11 to those that refuse it.
There are many in the religious world today that claim to be an apostle. More than simply "a messenger" (Greek meaning of the word "apostle"), a title of "Apostle" is given or assumed by individuals wishing to mimick the authority and power given to the original twelve. For example, the [more]
God has relied on messengers throughout history, but tracking the messengers of God through Scripture reveals some interesting things about God's character and His word. It also has implications for those that make claims about their own supposed "anointing" by God to speak His words today. God hasn't always used [more]
Understanding the Bible can be difficult. For many centuries, the Catholic Church taught that the Bible could only be understood by an ordained priest. In modern times, people like N.T. Wright and other well-credentialed theologians are often held up as having profound (even special or unique) insights into God's [more]
The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20. They were given to Moses by God and written on tablets of stone. According to IMDb, the classic 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments" (staring Charlton Heston) is the seventh highest grossing film of all time! The Ten Commandments were central to the [more]
How we interpret Bible prophecy presents a unique challenge, at least to the extent that the question should be asked...Is Bible prophecy even something we can interpret? interpret (verb): 1-to explain or tell the meaning of : present in understandable terms. 2-to conceive in the light of individual belief, [more]
Some maintain that Jude quotes from the apocryphal book of Enoch. Often, this is put forward as a statement of fact in order to move forward to the much "larger" discussions regarding the meaning of extra-Biblical quotes, their place in Scripture, and the question of their inspiration. The book of [more]
"It's a miracle!" That's an exclamation we hear often and have probably uttered ourselves. It might be used to describe passing a test you didn't study for or to sum up a great, come-from-behind victory. For example, the great Olympic victory by the U.S. Men's Hockey team is known as [more]
Whether or not the Bible is the complete revelation of God has profound implications on Christianity today. If the Bible isn't the complete revelation of God, then the door remains open to "other" revelation. "Other" could be other scriptural authority such as the Quran or the Book of Mormon. [more]
Scripture weighting is not a term you will find in Scripture. However, it's a practice you may recognize when coming to conclusions about Scripture. Fundamentally, it's the practice of ignoring Scripture. That might sound egregious -- but it's fairly rampant in the world of Bible study and theology. A [more]
Where we worship God has often been debated through the years. Some hold to the idea that worship must occur in a cathedral -- an often ornate structure dedicated to the worship of God. Others don't take much stock in the structure at all, whether an official worship building [more]
The children of Israel were surrounded by prophets that claimed to be speaking for God but they were actually false prophets. In fact, by most accounts in the Old Testament, most "prophets" were false prophets and there were two kinds. First, there were prophets associated with other gods. For [more]
The word Bible is from the Greek and Latin meaning "book" or "books". The Christian Bible as we know it is made up of two Testaments or Covenants (Old and New) and might also be referred to as the Holy Writ, Holy Scriptures or Word of God. It is [more]
Scripture interprets Scripture is built on the belief that all Scripture is from God. Essentially, if all of the Bible is from an unchanging God then it must also be inerrant and without contradiction. It's from one, divine author. Therefore, the goal should be to let Scripture interpret Scripture. We [more]
"Follow your heart" is a common refrain from those in the world. Or maybe you've heard someone say, "the heart wants what the heart wants?" These statements are usually meant to be aspirational and reassuring, giving the individual confidence to do whatever it is they have a mind to [more]
Has the God of the universe changed over time? Is God's character subject to "evolving" the same way that you and I would develop over time? God's character not changing is sometimes described as the immutability of God (defined by Dictionary.com as "not mutable; unchangeable; changeless"). However, some struggle with [more]
The sinner's prayer is something frequently referred to by preachers today. In fact, at the close of every sermon, Joel Osteen asks those that are not saved to pray with him. The prayer is asking Jesus to "come into their lives." He might also ask them to raise their [more]
Judge not, that you be not judged.1 Right out of Jesus' sermon on the mount and one of the most quoted phrases from scripture. It speaks to the issue of judging others. Jesus' statement in John is usually uttered when someone is criticizing another's actions. Specifically, it's typically used as [more]
You've probably seen the red-letter Bible -- in fact, you probably own one. These Bibles place all of Jesus' words in prominent red letters in order to stand out from all the other recorded words in Scripture. This is obviously a man-made introduction to Scripture, along with the chapter/verse [more]
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