Exegesis, eisegesis, hermeneutics? Wondering what all those terms mean? Here’s the definitions.
Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, was a theologian and philosopher who lived from 354-430 AD. He is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers, and his writings influenced the development of Western philosophy. Here are his principles of interpretation.
The Oxford Dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Do we live in a post-Bible study world? Increasingly sermons are heavy with stories and emotional appeals and light on critical explanations of the author’s intent. But good Bible study methods haven’t changed.
After you’ve done your observation, word studies, outlining and answered the questions you generated, it’s time to start putting it all together. In this step, you want to collect, refine and organize all those details you observed into a coherent meaning.
We use figurative language all the time: “I’ll have to face the music.” “I’m bored to tears.” “She has a green thumb.” “Don’t let the cat out of the bag.” “He died of embarrassment.” Biblical writers also used figurative language and vivid imagery. How are we to understand it?
Wondering how to put all the tools and pieces of Bible study together so that you can tackle a specific passage of Scripture? Here’s the overall procedure.
The first step in Bible study is observation. The goal is to slow down your reading and generate a list of questions that must be answered to understand the passage. I tend to break observation into the following 4 steps which generally correspond to my first few readings through the passage.
One of the most common mistakes in interpreting the Bible is riffing on a particular word or phrase at the expense of context. No one thinks they fall into this trap and yet, if you listen for it, you’ll hear it everywhere.
If you’re looking for a refresher course on how to study the Bible or want to start learning, Bob Smith’s Basics of Bible Interpretation is still a good choice.
What do you believe about your English translation of the Bible? Here are 5 ideas you should NOT hold.
Why do we have so much interpretative disagreement over the meaning of the Bible? Two explanations: one we can solve and one we can’t.
How do you know if you’ve successfully understood a passage of Scripture? Start by understanding and embracing these basic interpretative convictions.
How do you evaluate whether a particular interpretation hits the mark of authorial intent?
If Scripture is profitable for teaching, then we are expected to know and understand Scripture. If Scripture is profitable for reproof and correction, then we have to be able to determine what it means such that we have a objective standard by we can decide if one or both of us is wrong.