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This is . . . a good article for men to read. PastorMed
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by Sharon Dixon
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Sowe have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2Pe 1:19-21)
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psa 119:105)
Interpreting Scripture is not a matter of one’s own interpretation. For as long as I can remember there have been teachers who would read a passage and then go around the room and ask each person in attendance to tell what the verse means to them. Perhaps it can be argued that it makes the students really look at the verse and consider it more than ever before.
But since Scripture is not “one’s own interpretation” there should not be a lot of diverse opinions, rather the purpose is to glean what God means by what He has said. When Gabriel came to Daniel, he said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.” (Dan 9:22) Now the Holy Spirit has been sent to give revelation as we study God’s word. (1Jn 2:27)
There have been volumes written over the centuries about interpreting Scripture but this is not the time and place to go into a long dissertation of principles and theories. It should be sufficient to give you a few simple guidelines to follow and as you study you will be found a workman not needing to be ashamed.
1. Always pray and seek the Author, our God, and ask for His guidance
2. Read the passage slowly and if there are any words you don’t understand, look them up in a Bible dictionary
3. Consider the context. Read a fair amount, perhaps a whole chapter or more, before and following the passage you are studying and,
a) find who is speaking?
b) to whom are they speaking?
c) what is the circumstance?
4. And of great importance, remember and practice this: Scripture is its own best dictionary and interpreter with deference to the Spirit of God, of course.
One last helpful guidepost. This is especially important in the study of eschatology (study of end times) but other areas as well. Consider your study in terms of a thousand piece puzzle. When you have the whole puzzle laid out before you, what is it that you start looking for first? Corner pieces and straight edge pieces naturally! We put together a puzzle by starting with the easiest pieces then we complete the puzzle putting it together from the outside inward. When done we have the complete picture.
In these studies I encourage you to employ these principles as you seek truth.
I will give you some little helpful hints as you proceed on the study sheet.
*All studies will be simple and easy to understand. You will want
to continue your study on each of the subjects that you might be well established in faith and the Scriptures.
**All Scripture quotes are taken from the NASV unless otherwise noted