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.
There is nothing more important for the development of the spiritual life of the Christian than regular, systematic Bible study.
God has placed within each person’s heart a need for spiritual sustenance. He has provided for this need with his Word, which is literally more essential than physical food and literally more precious than any material resource.
In discussions concerning interpretations of the Bible, we often hear the phrase, “you took that out of context.” In fact, we often hear that in discussions outside the Bible, as when the media quotes a politician and the politician feels he or she has been unfairly treated. In its popular usage, the phrase seems simply to mean, “You got that wrong.”
Knowledge of the original languages can get you even farther. If you have the opportunity to learn the languages, take it. If you have learned the languages, use every opportunity to deepen your knowledge of them. If neither, learn to use responsibly the various study tools now available to help you in your study of God’s Word.
How many times have we been in church listening to the preacher do a good job expositing (explaining) the text? At some point, he says “Now, what the Greek actually says is…” At that pronouncement, the congregation grows a little quieter and a little more attentive. Why is that?
At times, it must be difficult for us even to contemplate the idea of finding any measure of peace in the world we now know. As beautiful as this hope is, you might nevertheless yearn for a measure of peace right now. Is there a way to find inner peace now? Yes!
Many a one who is eagerly asking, “What method shall I pursue in my Bible study?” needs something that goes far deeper than a new and better method.
John 5:39-40 Updated American Standard Version (UASV) 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness about me. 40 And yet you do not want to come to me that you may have life.