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I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!John 8:58"

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Rules of Interpretation



To understand  the Bible properly it is necessary to approach and interpret its contents in  a sound and  consistent  manner.  To assist  you in this process, the following guideline is recommended:

First. Intend to  be a student.  No lesser intention  will ever produce any good result.

Second. Concentrate  on the details.  Note what  the words say, and not what you suppose they say or would like them to say.

Third. Ask  yourself questions!  And  don't expect  all the answers right away!  (This requires a healthy dose of humility.)

"Where'er you look within this book, Five things observe with care: OF WHOM it speaks, and HOW it speaks,  And WHY, and WHEN, and WHERE."

Fourth. Put the parallel narratives together: not just the four gospels, but also Kings and Chronicles.

Fifth. Always have the question in mind: "What does this remind me of? "  Have an eye out for "types" everywhere (but be careful not to get carried away to the exclusion of the plain lesson).

Sixth. Distinguish the difference between "true principles" and "uncertain details".  Don't major on minors, or vice versa.

Seventh. Let the  Bible define and  explain its own terms, figures, and symbols.

Eighth.  Give every  passage a literal construction,  unless its own connection and phraseology  render such a course ridiculous, by bringing it into  collision with truths elsewhere established by clear and positive language.

Ninth. When  reading  articles  and  books that use portions of Scripture to support their views, give  careful consideration to the  complete Bible  context in which the extracted  passage has been taken.

Tenth. No doctrine  should  be built upon  one isolated text of Scripture.  Any  true doctrine  will be found  scattered through the whole Bible.  Select all the related texts in the Bible, put them together,  and you will have all the truth revealed on that particular subject.

Eleventh. Never be afraid of results to which you may be driven by your investigations.

Twelfth. Pursue your study of the Scriptures with as much independence as if you were the only one concerned.  In other words do  not let others  discourage you  from doing what  you know is right.

Thirteenth. Rely on no authority less than Divine.

Lastly. Prove all things: hold fast to that which is good  (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

It Shall Greatly Helpe Ye To Understand Scripture
If Thou Mark...  Not only what is Spoken or Wrytten
but of Whom and to Whom with what Words  at what Time
Where to what Intent with what Circumstances considering
what Goeth Before and what Followeth.   John Wycliffe

The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture,  it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.   Westminster Confession, 1647

The Bible should be  studied at least as laboriously  and exactly as  any other  book  which has  to be  completely mastered.  Every expression, every word, must be weighed; patiently, thoughtfully,  systematically, reverentially.  John William Burgon

The Bible does not yield its treasures to its critics.  John Carter

A BIBLE COMPANION copyrighted shareware  software Version 5.0

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture on this website was taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(r). Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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