Our Bible study tool
The Bible Study Framework (BSF) is a simple Bible study tool. Its goal is to aid the serious Bible student by following a repeatable process in their Bible study. We like it because it aids and support our Bible study rules to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, using ‘Sola scriptura’, and never scripture weighting.
The BSF is not especially unique. In his book “Bible Study for Joy and Profit”, Charlie Brackett advocates something similar. He develops it directly from the encounter between Jesus and the lawyer in Luke 10:25-28.
bible study simplified
Bible study can be hard and certain passages confusing. Understanding where to start and how to condense it down can be a challenge. The Bible Study Framework goes a long way to solving that difficulty. Adapted from the same technique that Jesus used with the lawyer in Luke 10 and with Satan in Matthew 4, it forms the basis for the exegesis of scripture on this site.
…enter the scripture-block
In a pattern used by Jesus, the Bible Study Framework simply asks three questions for any passage. After doing your best to honestly answer each question, you end up with what we call a ‘scripture-block’.
These are the literal building blocks that form every answer on this site. There are over 1,000 passages currently exegeted in this way and applied to produce Bible answers literally built on Scripture.
When mulitple, applicable scripture-blocks are applied, we do our best to allow scripture to interpret scripture without scripture weighting.
Bible Study Applied
Once you have the relevant scripture-block(s), you’re ready to formulate a Bible-based answer to the question.
How does it apply here? The passage was picked for a reason; we “thought” it applied. But based on the context, does it really and how? This can be the most dangerous part of getting to an accurate interpretation. We may come to find this passage actually doesn’t apply to the question.
Further still, there may be times that we can’t be sure of its application with just the passage alone. Therefore, it could be that we must hedge a little with a “Somewhat” or “Not exactly” or “Possibly”. In these cases, we don’t want to jump to a conclusion and apply that passage without first weighing its applicability in light of the other passages. In other words, letting Scripture interpret Scripture! A good example of this is with prophecy, where an inspired writer has not interpreted God’s message for us. This is, yet again, Scripture interpreting Scripture in practice.
Bible study that lets scripture interpret scripture
Together with scripture-blocks, following our “any, only, all” rule is the only way we know that a God-inspired interpretation of Scripture can happen. For any passage to be “in context” means we are looking at any Scripture, only Scripture and all the Scripture together.
You might be asking, “What could stand in the way of letting Scripture interpret Scripture?” That’s a great question…
letting commentary interpret scripture
Man’s commentary, whether from internet posts or from published works (e.g. Barnes, Matthew Henry, etc.), should not be our source for interpretation. This includes the theology of our favorite pastor or preacher. These may be helpful at times, but “the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Pr 2:6).
letting culture interpret scripture
It seems for certain texts, particularly the Old Testament and in Paul’s letters, it’s popular to force a pre-requisite knowledge of “their time” in order to make an application. Sadly, this is used to marginalize or even remove completely any modern-day application. However, God’s word “endures forever” (Ps 119:160) and warns against anyone that “takes away” (Re 22:18-19).
letting vocabulary interpret scripture
Vocabulary is vital to communication. “Word-studies” and knowing words in their original Hebrew or Greek language can be helpful to understand a passage better. However, the ultimate definition belongs to God, not to man. They are “words not taught by human wisdom” (1 Co 2:13). Scripture defines words like “joy”, “fear”, “church”, “fellowship“, “works“, and “love” very differently from Webster or Vines.
letting think-sos interpret scripture
What we “think” can be shaped by lots of things including tradition and dogma/doctrine. In fact, tradition and doctrine form the very basis for what we believe and practice. It’s here where what we “think” (or “feel”) has no place…and this may be the hardest to decouple from letting scripture – and only scripture – shape our understanding of God’s will for us.
To be clear, none of these are wrong in and of themselves. Knowing the cultural norms in which Jesus lived can enrich our understanding of His walk on earth. Paul commends the Christians in Corinth for how they were, “maintain[ing] the traditions even as I delivered them to you” (1 Co 11:2). However, drawing conclusions and making applications about Scripture based on any one of these is to do so without God’s authority and potentially to our own eternal peril.