2 Timothy 3:16-17

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Context and Logic
2 Timothy 3:16-17

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

If you have spent any time around church then you have heard this passage. It's a statement that tells us the importance of Scripture for our lives and so that our lives can be conformed to God's will for them. The statement highlights the importance of these writings for correction and guidance so that our lives will be lived righteously before men which gives God the glory.
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Psalm 78

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Eternal Truth
Psalm 78

I want to take an Old Testament Narrative that is actually located in Psalms (which we really haven't covered yet). I want to look at this story and show how we translate the Old Testament to twenty-first century America.

Psalm 78 is a song by Asaph, the lead "praise and worship leader" of David. The song is a story of a rebellious Israel and teaches us the desires and character of God so that we can avoid from doing them again. In fact, the context of this song passes over generations of a people in failure with God (vs 8, 37). God has not changed (Malachi 3:6) and therefore we can look at the eternal truths and learn from them.
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Luke 5:1-11

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - God-Centered
Luke 5:1-11

In the last study, I made a comment that Old Testament narratives are God-centered. I want to clarify this... ALL SCRIPTURE is God-centered.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to make Scripture man-centered. We see a story and think the story is about a certain man. Or we read the story and miss the whole meaning and purpose in order to make it revolve around what we want.
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Understanding Genre's - Old Testament Narratives

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Understanding Genre's
Old Testament Narratives

About 40% of the Old Testament is a variety of stories. The following books are Old Testament Narratives: Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Jonah, and Haggai.

There's a variety of stories and characters and a variety of challenges. There's Abraham arguing with God on how many righteous people it's going t take to spare a city. We have a donkey talking to Balam; and if that wasn't enough, Balam is talking back to his donkey. There are plenty of stories that are just plain bizarre.
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Understanding Genre's - Acts

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Acts

The book of Acts is a sequel to the book of Luke. It's a sequel story with a specific purpose. Luke is telling the story about how the Gospel advanced from a group of 120 followers to a worldwide following. We need to understand that Luke is not trying to answer every question about the church, doctrine, Paul, etc., he's telling a story. It's kind of like a history book of the early church.
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Romans 8:28-29

SEE THE CONTEXT - Surrounding Text
IMAGE OF CHRIST

Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
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Understanding Genre's - Parables

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Understanding Genre's
PARABLES

I've been giving modern examples of how to study different genre's of Scripture but for parables it becomes difficult. Parables are their own different breed of a genre and the purpose changes based on the audience. Another difficulty in parables is because of the distance between the original audience and us. There is a depth of meaning that is intended by Yeshua in the parable He tells. Many times a parable is only understood through an understanding of the context of the day. Therefore, while there is a deep meaning to the parable, the meaning is understood by the context of the culture. We don’t want to take apart every little thing and try to find a meaning for it. Augustan Augustine was notorious for doing such things. He took the parable of the Good Samaritan and said, “Jericho means the moon, oil means comfort and good hope, wine means exhortation and work with a fervent spirit, the donkey means Christ’s flesh, etc.”. That’s taking it a little too far and we should avoid taking it that far. The question is, how far do we take it?
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Understanding Genre's - Letters

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Understanding Genre's
LETTERS

Let's say you found a letter from my wife to me. You don't read the whole letter you just look at one statement she made where she said, "Moe has been saying the "s-word" a lot lately and Isaac has been having temper tantrums and bit me twice." When reading that you may have some thoughts or questions. Who are Moe and Isaac? Do their children need discipline? Are these people foster parents? Before continuing to read this post, think about that statement in the letter and see if you can determine what's going on.
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Understanding Genre's - Gospels

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Understanding the Genre
GOSPELS

Let's say I came to you and asked you to write a short story about your boss and your job. I wanted you to write it to your mother and explain what your boss is like and the purpose of your job. Let's say I came to your co-worker and asked them to write on the same subject; but, I want them to write it to their best friend. Then, I go to another co-worker of yours and tell them to write the same subject; but, I want them to write it to a complete stranger. Chances are, all three short stories will have much of the same content; yet, all three stories would consist of things the other stories don't have and they could be arranged in different orders. Now you have a picture of the Gospels.
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Understanding Genre

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
UNDERSTANDING GENRE

Imagine taking a telephone book (that's the old people's version of the digital address book), a menu, a few letters from different people to other people, a hymnal, and a history book, and put them all into one big book. Even though these different genre's of text are in one book, you would not read the letters the same way you read the menu and you would not read the telephone book the same way you read a history book.

What you have here is a picture of the Bible. The Bible consists of several types of text genre. There's prophecies, history, letters, the gospels, parables, wisdom writings, and songs. Each genre has a way in which it is to be studied in order to get the full understanding. Unfortunately, while wisdom writings like Proverbs are a series of "one-liner" nuggets of wisdom, we tend to read the entire Bible in that same manner; and we miss the point of the text we are reading because we miss the context of the genre.

Over the next several posts we are going to look at ways to study each genre of text.

Universalizing Words and the Strongs

STRONGS CONCORDANCE - Universalizing Words
PROPHECY

Obviously, the current subject in my circle is about prophets and prophesying. A friend made a post on Facebook asking why people can not tell the difference between the gift of prophecy and prophesying. People commented and noticed some kind of difference in prophesying in some texts versus other texts. So, this presented a grand opportunity to talk about word universalizing and the Strongs Concordance.
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Four Steps of Bible Study

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
THE FOUR STEPS

I'm sure most everyone can relate to starting a new job at a new company. Just think about that time. Your eyes are kinda bugged out looking around and observing all the new things. This place is totally different from your last job. You see things that your previous job didn't have. People at this company are doing things that people didn't do at the last company. So, you do your best to go through and observe everything happening.
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Presuppositions

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
PRESUPPOSITIONS

I'm about to cover with you the hardest part of Bible study, especially if you have any time in the church or around church people.

I was raised across a spectrum of denominations, from Nazarene, Baptist, Assembly of God, Pentecostal Holiness, and non-denominational. Each denomination was said to read the same Bible but each one differed greatly in their understanding of the Bible. I believe the root cause is not understanding how to study the Bible.
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Matthew 18:12-14

LOOK AT THE CONTEXT - The surrounding text
JESUS LEAVES THE NINETY-NINE

Matthew 18:12-14 (NKJV) “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
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Argument of Theology

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
ARGUMENT OF THEOLOGY

It's often said to avoid conversation about politics and religion. The reason this is said is that either subject will bring up hard feelings, bickering, fighting, name-calling, and the likes. This might be said of the world but should not be said of the church. Unfortunately, it is said and it's more common than that of love.

The issue of argument over theology comes down to a root called pride. Everyone wants to believe they believe the truth and no one wants to admit they can be wrong.

Let's look at two honest and brutal truths about these facts.
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Matthew 7:21

SEE THE CONTEXT - Who, What, Where, When, and Why
DID NOT DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER

When learning, we are so adapted to studying books and writings that are addressed to anyone in twenty-first century America. Because of this, we often go to the Bible with the same mindset. The fact is, the Bible is not a school book written for learning and it’s not a book addressing the twenty-first century, America, our questions, or anything like that. The Bible is a series of different genre’s of text’s that read differently based upon the genre. They are text’s that was written to a different culture, a different time, a different people, and a different language, answering their questions and addressing their issues. Because of this truth, we must ask a series of questions to the Bible: Who said it? Why did they say it? Who were they talking to? What as going on? When did this take place? What happened that caused this event or cause them to say this?
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Matthew 7:21-23

SEE WHAT IT SAYS - Logic
DID NOT DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER


Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Read More…

Matthew 10:32-33

SEE WHAT IT SAYS - Therefore
WHOEVER CONFESSES ME BEFORE MAN


Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV) “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Read More…

Mark 4:35-41

FIND THE TIMELESS TRUTH - Timeless Truth
JESUS CALMS THE SEA


(Mark 4:35-41 NKJV) On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “ Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “ Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “ Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him”
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John 3:36

SEEING WHAT IS SAID - Or does not say
BELIEVING IN JESUS


John 3:36 (NKJV) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Read More…

John 14:13

KEEPING IT WITHIN ITS CONTEXT - Culture
IN JESUS NAME

(John 14:13 NKJV) You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
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Old Interpretation

If you read Scripture Context, you may have finished a little confused on how to view Old Testament. After all, the New Testament makes clear that we are no longer under the Old Law.

Before we get into how to interpret Old Testament Law, we need to understand that there is more than one “Law”. In the last study we learned that the first five books of the Bible are called “Law”; yet Christ said these are not gone (Matt 17:18). This Law is not reference in New Testament. The most common belief of “Law” is the Ten Commandments but the purpose of these laws were to show sin. There was nothing about the Ten Commandments that were for the atonement of sin. There’s the Talmud Law. This law is not referenced in the letters but is eluded to with the stories of Christ. Any time He was coming against the pharisees for keeping the “laws of man” (Mark 7:8) He is talking about the Talmud law. Then there’s the law of Moses, also known as the Mosaic Law. These laws are actually two different sets of laws. One law is the Temple Laws that had to be done for salvation. The other set was the civil laws for Israel; must like any civil law upheld by the courts in this land.
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Scripture Context

Do you like challenges in your understanding? What if you viewed the Bible totally wrong for most of your life? While a bit long, this article glances at the history of the Bible and looks at the logical and contextual understanding of specific portions of Scripture.

When we read the Bible we often come to Scripture with presuppositions. Sometimes presuppositions can be good, but more often they are bad. They are bad because we place a twenty-first century American (or whatever country you're from) context into the Scripture. Look at the following six texts and I'll show you what I mean.
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