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Jun 1, 2017

Simple Tips on How to Study the Scripture

By Ianpassion 

There is no “the only correct method” of studying the Scripture. But there are general principles that you need to use to dig the intended meaning of the Scripture and avoid misinterpretation.


You may come across reading passages in the Scripture which are hard to understand.



In the Old Testament, The Father is often seen acting violently against the people sinning against Him, in ways that seem barbaric, brutal, and bloody. It does not mean, the Father has no authority to judge the sinners, but to the fact that innocents are included like the innocent babies and animals were killed is difficult to understand (see I Samuel 5:3). The danger is, a new believer may conclude that the Father promotes genocides, violence, and war.

One more thing, in the New Testament, there is no single verse commanded to abolish slavery. However, there is a passage seemed to promote slavery. Slaves were commanded to obey their earthly masters; that they have to respect with fear and with sincerity of heart in obedience to Christ (see Ephesians 6:5). The second danger is, when naive readers may conclude that our Father approves slavery. 

The passages I just mentioned earlier are some of the many complex passages. New readers, especially coming from the non-believing background may come across reading those so guidance from a mature believer is necessary. 


Based on what I wrote above, there is no “the only correct method” but there are general principles that we may follow when we read or study the Scripture. 



First, you need to know that the Scripture is the revelation of the Father HimselfSince the Scripture is the source of human knowledge of the Father and His plans, then it is necessary to begin your study of the Father's disclosure of Himself. Therefore, whatever methods you pick, always ask the Father to show Himself to you and to let Him speak.  So whatever passage you chose to study always remember that, all are leading you to the Father. So you may ask these questions: Is the passage telling me about His Love? Is the passage speaking about His Holiness? Is the passage telling me about His mercy? With one passage chosen, the Father could reveal Himself in many ways depending on His will and your needs. 


Second, you need to understand that Scripture is a compilation of 66 books. They are written by 40 different authors and at a different period of time and culture. It consists of various types of literature such as poetry, history, letters, and prophecy. Therefore, it is important not to interpret the Scripture isolated from the rest of the passages; each passage is related to each other conveying unified meaning. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation, the 66 books generally unveiled the Fathers’ love for His Children and His invitation to everyone to receive His love. Whatever genre or form of narrative it was written, it always points to one message - His love for His children. Therefore, when you start reading studying the Scripture, use His love as your major theme or guidelines to establish the gist of the Father and His very nature. 



Lastly, do not force yourself to understand all and be open to the illumination of the Holy Spirit.  There are some passages in the Scripture that you do not need to understand completely. Some meanings are hidden to make the Father, as He is an independent Father ( see Deuteronomy 29:29). It means that you can't fathom His mind. He is incomprehensible. That made Him different from mankind. He is divine and we are not. We can know Him but we can not fathom His understanding. Once we fully grasp the thoughts of the Father, then we will have all the answers to every question, therefore, man must be 100 percent like Him as well. To have a distinction between the Father and His children; the Father has intentionally not shared His incommunicable attributes to us for us to continually depend on Him. Therefore, when you come across difficult passages, leave those to our Father and wait for Him. Most of the time He speaks His heart to you than what is written. 


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