Avoid Scripture Twisting: Eight Basic Rules Of Bible Interpretation
Eight Rules for Bible Study. Helps to avoid Scripture-twisting !
1. Begin with what the passage says, but always ask, “What does the passage mean?”, not what it “says.”
2. Pay attention to the Greek and Hebrew, (For those without language training, an interlinear Bible used in conjunction with a Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words or Expository Dictionary of Bible Words is recommended).
3. Remember the context. Read verses in the context of the whole passage, the chapter and even the book. Finally, keep in mind the larger context of the New Testament or Old Testament.
4. The Bible is progressive revelation. This means that, generally, the New Testament specifically interprets the Old Testament.
5. Always interpret the incidental passage by the systematic teachings of that topic; consider all the passages dealing with the topic, A good topical Bible is a useful aid (e.g. Nave’s Topical Bible).
6. Interpret the unclear passages by the clear ones. A favorite ploy of the cults is to choose a difficult passage and build their unique doctrines on it.
7. Beware of novel interpretations, check various conservative commentaries on the passage. There is very little new under the sun. Many of the heresies of the cults have been dealt with thoroughly. Even though there are many Christian denominations, it is interesting that on the essential doctrines there is solid agreement. Always go beyond what the passage is saying to get at its intended meaning. Cult leaders are expert in isolating passages and imposing their interpretation on it.
8. Come to Scripture prayerfully, submitting to be taught by the Holy Spirit, allowing the Scripture to interpret itself and not be clouded by personal doctrinal presuppositions.