7 Fundamental Principles of Bible Study

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#1 – The Bible is Yahweh’s inspired Word, it is true, and it provides us instruction for life:
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, And a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
“Sanctify them in your truth. Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17)
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)
“For this cause we also thank Yahweh without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of Elohim, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the Word of Elohim, which also works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

#2 – We need the Holy Spirit to truly understand Yahweh’s Word… and we need to pray for understanding.
“But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.” (Job 32:8)
“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in Him.” (1 John 2:27)
“It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.” (John 6:63)
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
[see also 1 Corinthians 2:10-14]

#3 – Scripture cannot contradict Scripture; if it appears to do so, then there is a flaw in our understanding. We must build line upon line, precept upon precept, using the entirety of the Bible to understand a specific topic or issue.
“Whom will He teach knowledge? and whom will He make to understand the message? those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For it is precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:9-10)

#4 – The Principle of First Use: the very first use of a word (in the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts) usually provides the primary meaning of that word. When it is used in other places, it helps to understand that primary meaning. This is where a lexicon can be invaluable.

#5- We must be diligent to study His Word… and APPLY it.
“It is the glory of Elohim to conceal a thing, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2)
“Study (give diligence) to present yourself approved by Elohim, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing (properly handling) the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
“Now these [Jewish Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
“He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much…” (Luke 16:10a)
“He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'” (Luke 19:17)

#6 – The Messiah is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). We must look to His perfect, sinless example and His teachings first and foremost. Paul and the other writers of the New Testament were imperfect men. In fact, the apostle Peter warned about misinterpreting Paul’s writings in particular:
“…As also in all of his [Paul’s] letters, speaking in them of these things. In those are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16)

#7 – We need to utilize all the tools available to us to get back to the original intent of a particular word or passage. While we don’t need to become a Hebrew or Greek scholar to understand His Word, the reality is that some things do get lost in translation. We’re 2000+ years, 1 if not 2 languages, and half a world removed from the culture to which the Bible was originally given; do we really think we can just pick it up and read and understand everything?! Many of us have a hard time reading and understanding something written in English just a few hundred years ago (e.g., Shakespeare)!

CAUTION:
*** NEVER LET YOUR STUDY OF THE WRITTEN WORD REPLACE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LIVING WORD – THE WORD MADE FLESH!!!