Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Audio Recording of Study Class on Principles for Correct Bible Study (Hermeneutics)

Usually, the study hour doesn't make for riveting listening. On October 7, however, we were studying one of the most important subjects for Christians (and one upon which there is so little clear teaching): how to study the Bible.

In God's good providence, that morning's sermon turned out to be a good case study for applying the three main considerations for good Bible interpretation:
(1) The immediate literary context: how does this passage fit into this book of the Bible? What type of literature is this? What do the words mean, in context, and how do the verb tenses inform us of what is being communicated here, particularly, and also within the overall teaching of this Bible book? etc.
(2) The original historical context: how was the Lord interacting with His people who first received this book? Do we know who the human author was, and who the first human audience was? If so, what do we know about their circumstances, as they received this part of the Bible? What was God teaching them about Himself and doing in their lives? What was He teaching them about themselves and what He wanted them to do? Since God never changes, what considerations about their particular place in the history of redemption inform us of what we can take away from this passage about the answers to those questions about them that might apply in our own lives?
(3) The theology of this passage in the context of the Bible as a whole (a.k.a. "The analogy of faith"): Since Scripture is the only authoritative interpreter of Scripture... what other passages treat the same subjects as this one? How do they help us understand this passage better? How does this passage help us understand those passages better?

If we have a healthy ministry of preaching and teaching, the elders (and especially the teaching elders) will be modeling correct handling of the Word of God for us, and we will be increasing our skill in applying these principles/considerations to our own Bible study. How blessed will be the children who grow up in a home where dad is leading them through the Scriptures, read and understood in this biblical fashion!

That's the basic content of the class, but you may also find it helpful to listen to audio of the class teaching and interaction:

Once you are thinking about these three things, here is the sermon that immediately followed the class. See if you can identify how each one of the three types of considerations helped us understand something about the meaning of the text and its application to our lives:

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