Maxims for Bible Study

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Deacon, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    From The 60 Second Scholar: 100 Maxims for Mastering Bible Study, by Michael Heiser

    • Read the Bible with a critical eye—it can take it.
    • Thinking is better than memorizing.
    • Bible reading is not Bible study.
    • Bible study is a discipline, not a ritual event.
    • The Old Testament came before the New Testament.
    • Learn the Hebrew and Greek alphabets.
    • Prayer doesn’t guarantee your interpretation is accurate.
    • All interpretations are not equally plausible.
    • Read the Preface to your Bible translation
    • It makes no sense to follow someone who doesn’t leave a trail.
    • Don’t be shaken by your lack of omniscience.
    • Insist on being a slave to the text—let it be your master.
    • Use more than one translation in Bible study.
    • The scribes that copied and transmitted the Bible made mistakes.
    • Don’t ignore footnotes.
    • Context is king.
    • Words don’t mean anything by themselves.
    • A Bible student who thinks clearly is better than a pastor who doesn’t.
    Any more you want to add?
     
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  2. Rippon

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    Be aware that the Preface of some Bible translations do not actually describe their translational methodology.
     
  3. Martin

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    Hi Deacon,

    That is a very good list. I like that you included the importance of context and the need for believers to do more than just read. Thanks for your post.

    Martin.
     
  4. agedman

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    Especially those added by Scofield! :)

    Added that just to stir up some folk's emotional reactions to anything Scofield.

    Actually, some of Scofield's notes are quite good as a place to start an inquiry. Others would have better been left out.
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Perhaps we should remove a few first.

    Here are my candidates for elimination
    (1) Learn Hebrew and Greek alphabets. This begs the question, can real Bible study be accomplished using English and transliterated Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek? I think yes.
    (2) It makes no sense to follow someone who does not leave a trail. This might have some merit if I was sure I understood the point.
    (3) The scribes that copied and transmitted the Bible made mistakes. Unless the English translations have put a phrase or passage in brakets, or otherwise indicated its validity is questionable, we should start with the maxim it means what it says, it is totally trustworthy.
    (4) Words don't mean anything by themselves. This is hogwash, words have meanings as found in lexicons. Which one of the range of meanings given is determined by context.​
     
  6. Rippon

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    You are contradicting yourself. You say it is hogwash that words do not have meaning in isolation.

    But then you say the meaning is determined by context. Which is it?
     
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  7. robustheologian

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    I would add: Do not ignore the rules of grammar when it comes to translation...nouns, verbs, tenses, moods, adjectives, adverbs, etc. are important.
     
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  8. agedman

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    Do not neglect that no matter the scholarship level nor the oratorical ability to express the scholarship, if it is without the love of God it doesn't matter.

    One can communicate with angles and humans with equal zeal and ability, but it is nothing but a bothersome noise and ear irritating without the love of God.

    Faith and hope are tied for second place, knowledge can puff up, being able to understand all mysteries of Scriptures and even bringing prophetic statements to light, is absolutely worthless without the love of God.

    "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. "

    If one fails in love, they are pretty much worthless. For all the study and ability mean little.
     
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  9. Deacon

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    I'm the last person to write you a ticket as a grammar cop but this sentence reminds me of a song we sang on Christmas Eve, "Angles we have heard on high..." o_O

    There were quite a few typo's in the overhead projection.

    Rob
     
  10. JamesL

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    I would add:

    Don't be afraid to admit, nor afraid of, an instance when a verse or passage doesn't square with your theological system.

    Your biblical studies ought to include the study of accompanying subjects. If you're studying the Pentateuch, become somewhat familiar with the Canaanites, Babylonians, Egyptians, et al.
    Read about the ziggurats, pyramids, temples..... burials, marriages, government, etc

    It takes forever to scratch the surface

    Don't elevate opinions above what's in scripture
     
  11. TCassidy

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    "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
     
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  12. Van

    Van
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    Revised list
    • Read the Bible with a critical eye—it can take it.
    • Thinking is better than memorizing.
    • Bible reading is not Bible study.
    • Bible study is a discipline, not a ritual event.
    • The Old Testament came before the New Testament.
    • Learn to use an interlinear and study the transliterated underlying text.
    • Prayer doesn’t guarantee your interpretation is accurate.
    • All interpretations are not equally plausible.
    • Read the Preface to your Bible translation
    • Give no weight to assertions lacking scriptural lines of evidence.
    • Don’t be shaken by your lack of omniscience.
    • Insist on being a slave to the text—let it be your master.
    • Use more than one translation in Bible study.
    • The bible is trustworthy, and must be taken as is, unless bracketed.
    • Don’t ignore footnotes.
    • Context is king.
    • Words have meanings (found in lexicon) but which meanings is determined by context.
    • A Bible student who thinks clearly is better than a pastor who doesn’t.
    • Use a translation that most closely reflects the grammar of the underlying text.
    • Ask yourself, how would the original audience understand the message?
    • Does that message apply to me?
    • Do not give up, the more you study, the more your understanding grows.
     
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