HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: Preliminary Consideration

Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or at a more scholarly level, needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics.

APPENDIX 5 How to Interpret the Bible

There are dozens upon dozens of books on how to interpret the Word of God. The intention of this appendix is to give the Christian the basics of the correct way to interpret the Bible. Almost all the books on biblical interpretation are liberal to moderate, that is, follow what is known as the historical-critical method (subjective) instead of the conservative historical-grammatical method of interpretation (objective).

Interpreting the Bible In Its Context

In Josiah’s day, the book of the law was found in the temple, and Josiah’s humble response to its demands changed his generation. Jesus later confronted religious teachers of His day who, for all their attention to the law, had often buried it beneath their religious traditions.

THE REVELATION OF JOEL: Analyzing Joel’s Prophecy

We first direct attention to the apocalyptic form and method of the Book of Joel. His prophecy is arranged in two leading divisions. The first part consists of a twofold revelation of judgment. Each revelation is accompanied by words of divine counsel and promise (chapters 1:1–2:27). The second part goes over a portion of the same field again, but delineates more clearly the blessings and triumphs which shall accompany the day of Jehovah (chapters 2:28–3:21; Hebrew text, chapters 3 and 4).

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Context, Context, Context!

Have you ever been quoted out of context? Sometimes people quote something you said, but by ignoring the context of what you said they can claim that you said something different—sometimes exactly the opposite of what you actually meant! We often make this same mistake with the Bible.

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