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Sunday Seminar 1: Ten Basic Rules For Bible Study

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© 1997 G. Edwin Lint



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2 Timothy 2:15

1. Accept The Divine Inspiration Of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16)

God has had his hand on each phase of the delivery of His word into your hand:

--Original composition

--Hand-copying for hundreds of years

--Translation into your language


2. Ask For The Guidance Of The Holy Spirit As You Study

The most intelligent and highly-educated people in the world can find the scriptures to be foolishness without the help of the Holy Spirit.


3. Choose A Version For Personal Study Which You Can Understand

--The New International Version is the most popular modern-language translation.

--The Living Bible by Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor is the most popular modern-language paraphrase.

--The King James Version sounds the best when used in public worship and ceremonies. (Personal opinion.)

If you do use the King James Version for personal study, learn the meanings of the more frequently-used archaic terms.


4. Memorize The Biblical Outline Of The Plan Of Salvation

a. In the beginning God created human beings for fellowship and worship. Gen. 1:27.

b. Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God through disobedience and the penalty was death. Gen. 2:17; 3:6-8.

c. God had mercy and for hundreds of years He was willing to accept the death of an animal as the penalty for sin. Lev. 4:4.

d. Then God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as the supreme sacrifice for our sin. John 1:29.

e. Now the only way back to the fellowship with God for which we were originally created is to personally accept the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. John 14:6.


5. Learn The Chronological Sequence Of The Bible's Story Line

Bible dates are taken from "The Chronology of the Bible , Frank R. Klassen, Regal Publishers, Nashville, 1975.

Dates up to the birth of Christ are BC

 April 1, 3975 Adam is created as the first human being.
 2319 Noah survives the flood in the ark
 April 15, 1892 Abraham enters the Promised Land of Canaan as the father of God's chosen people.
 1677 Jacob (later known as Israel) and his 12 sons migrate to Egypt to escape a famine and be with Joseph.
 April 15, 1462 Moses leads the exodus Out of Egypt.
 1422 Joshua leads the children of Israel back to the promised land of Canaan after an absence of 255 years.
 1061 Saul becomes the first king of Israel.
 945 The kingdom is divided after Solomon's death.
Judah with 2 tribes is known as the Southern Kingdom. Israel with 10 tribes is known as the Northern Kingdom.
 721 Israel is destroyed and scattered by Assyria.
 586 Babylon completes the captivity of Judah.
 458 The wall of Jerusalem is rebuilt and Ezra restores proper temple worship.
 April 1, 5 Jesus Christ is born

 AD-- Anno Domino (year of our Lord)
 April 15, 29 Jesus Christ dies on the cross.
 June 5, 29 The Holy Spirit is given on the day of Pentecost.
 48 The Council of Jerusalem decides gentile Christians do not have to live according to the law of Moses.
 48--57 Paul's three missionary trips.

6. Study The Context Of All Quotations And Incidents

--Who said it or who did it?

--Why was it said or done?

--When did it take place?

--Where did it take place?

7. Look For The Pattern

As a general rule, doctrine is not based on one incident or reference. Doctrine is part of a pattern.

8. Ignore What Isn't Taught

The Bible doesn't tell us everything we want to know, only what we need to know. Remember: "We'll understand it better by and by."

9. Accept The Supreme Authority Of The Bible

The teaching of the Bible takes priority over all other writing. Many doctrines and philosophies appear in commentaries and devotional books which are not in harmony with the teachings of the Bible. The Bible always has the final word. In addition, examine Biblical fiction, art, and music very carefully. Many gifted people do not follow the scriptures in the midst of their creative flow.

10. Learn The Difference Between What Is Reported And What Is Commanded

The Bible is extremely valuable as a history book. However, not all incidents which are reported can be accepted as a basis for doctrine. For example, snake handling is reported but it is not commanded.

Food For Thought:
The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 39 different authors using 3 different languages, yet it has never been proven wrong. The Bible has never been in proven conflict with scientific fact in such areas as history, medicine, astrology, and archeology. It never will be.

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