The Importance Of Biblical Study

The more debates I have with readers (or naysayers) of this blog, the  more I realize the importance of studying the bible in order to defend and contend for the faith. I’m no biblical scholar – in fact, I’m just a hungry learner who strives to learn more and more everyday. I sincerely believe that God speaks every time I read the words that He inspired (and flat-out told) men to write.

I wrote an article recently about the importance of understanding the Word of God that we read, and not just reading to “check off” our attention to scripture for that day. We can’t defend our faith if we can’t formulate sound arguments directly from the Word of God. It’s a waste of time to engage in biblical debate with people who refuse to use Holy Scripture to intelligently defend their interpretation of Holy Scripture.

Some of us (and I was one of them) have a hard time just admitting that we don’t approach God’s Word correctly. It is not a book of personal prophecy that will guarantee health and wealth or “our best life now”. If we can’t dig deeper to learn of God’s plan for man (repentance of sin and salvation through His Son, eternal defeat of the works of Satan and glorious fellowship with Him forever), then we end up defending the false teachers who bastardize scripture for their personal gain – all the while leaving the Holy Writ untouched.

Our brother Alan Higgins over at the blog Real Christianity wrote an excellent article last fall and I think it’s only fitting that I point you to it in a time when people circle the wagons to protect pimps, hustlers, apostates, heretics, wolves, and vipers of every stripe and their misuse of God’s Holy Word:

“Ten Rules of Biblical Interpretation”

Below are 10 rules of biblical interpretation which I believe will spare you much pain. This has been taken from Tekton Apologetics Ministries

  1. Pray! Pray! Pray! The Holy Spirit knows better then you do!
  2. Always know what the verse actually says, not what you think you remember it saying
  3. Take the verse in literary context, don’t just read what you want to read to prove your point and don’t forget the Bible is a mosaic of different kinds of literature meant to be read different ways.
  4. Take the verse in cultural context, just like you saying “it’s raining cats and dogs” is not what you literally meant
  5. Remember the Bible is a whole 66 books! Interpret all verses in relation the other 1000’s of verses
  6. Check the other translations, The variations are complimentary and show the whole picture
  7. The Bible was not originally written in English, go back to the sources
  8. Theological presuppositions are bad, scripture determines doctrine, not the other way around
  9. Check the Theologians’ opinions, The Ph.D, professor of heart surgery of Harvard is better then your uncle Ted’s heart removal service. Professional opinions matter! (but don’t assume they’re always right)
  10. Assume nothing, be ready to learn, don’t give up. Remember, only God knows everything

I haven’t cornered the market on biblical study and interpretation. On the contrary, it is only through the grace of God that I can even attempt to comprehend His Word.

Matthew 24:35 (New American Standard Bible)

35(A)Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

My sincere prayer is that all who claim to love God through Jesus Christ develop an unquenchable desire to know His Word – and be courageous enough to defend it instead of those who distort it.

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14 Responses to “The Importance Of Biblical Study”


  1. 1 Roger Servin July 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I know what you’re sayin’, I have so many books lined up to read and absolutely no time to read them! I have a hard enough time just spending time in God’s word everyday. Btw, thanks for adding us to your blogroll! 😉

    Grace & Peace,

    R.A. Servin

  2. 2 speaking truth July 7, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I know what you mean, Roger – I’ve got a waiting list of Sproul and Calvin before I can even get MacArthur’s “The Truth War” into the rotation. Of course the Word of God is paramount so it (and sound theological works) are necessary, so we must soldier on.

    You’re quite welcome for the add to the blogroll, but I’ve already warned you of the backlash of associating with this blog. 😀

    God bless, brother.

  3. 3 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen July 7, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I think it’s important to get into God’s Book as well as reading other people’s books. Looking back, had I done that, rather than do it the other way round, I’d have saved me a lot of trouble…

  4. 4 ready4change July 7, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Excellent post my friend…Have you thought about making this post into a series of sorts? You could either elaborate on each point already given with an example, or you could go through the different bible study methods like devotional, book summary method, chapter summary method, word study method, etc.,…Just a thought…

    I feel you on the other books and theological works…Roger, I kinda suffer from the reverse of what you explained…I mean, I’m such a bookworm that I find myself devouring so much of the wonderful material written by those whom God has gifted and called…Yet I have to remember to balance it with the reading of the scriptures and the application in daily life and practice…My amazon wish list has balooned to 65, containing everything from Berkhof’s “Systematic Theology” to Anybwile’s ” The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity”. Believe me brothers, I need much prayer!!! Right now the wife and I are praying through Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, and she is to begin her ladies book club at church that features Mcarthur’s “Twelve Extraordinary Women” on Wednesday (of course you know I had to preread that one and make notes just so I could check it out for her…I know, I got it bad…keep praying for me…seriously).

    ST, continue to inform, educate and most importantly DEFEND (Jude 3)…

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    R4C

  5. 5 speaking truth July 7, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I’d love to appear “deep” R4C, but Alan’s original article does detail every point in the list – but I will share more info on bible study methods VERY soon (like within the next week or so). Thanks for the “gentle nudge” – again, another clasic southside Chicago move 😀

    You must have older children because you could be sued for neglect if you had to juggle small kids AND that intense reading list 😆

    I appreciate you as well brother – the more of us out here towing the line for the Lord, the better.

    God bless.

  6. 6 escapeetoo July 7, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Good post IM,

    After my escape from the stroll my entire mindset changed as I “re-learned” how to approach the word of God. I now look very close at the context of the scripture I am studying. I no longer take the word of “passa” I am searching the scriptures for myself and not allowing to accept “story telling”. I have spent an hour looking at one scripture. I look at the Septuagint versus the Hebrew.The NASB vs the NIV. I have retired my NKJV because of it “inclusion” tendencies. When you study this stuff on your own it opens a whole new world!

  7. 7 speaking truth July 8, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I know what you mean by “re-learning” how to approach the Word, escappetoo – I’m doing the same thing. I’ve become really taken with the NASB translation of the bible, but I still cross reference with my NIV, Amplified, and NKJV as well. I did notice that some false teachers like to lean on a particular translation because they can twist a vague translation easier than one written to clearly understand. For example, the “c” clause of Romans 4:17 in the KJV says:

    who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    That’s were we see the famous twist of “speak those things” to support the WOF heresy. However, when you see it in the NASB version, you see the “c” clause a bit more clearly:

    who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

    Again, you have to read the entirety of ROmans 4 to see how out of context the quote is, but you can see how easy it is to manipulate the text to fit your own purpose.

    The bottom is that you are empowered when you read and study for yourself.

  8. 8 ready4change July 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

    ST,

    You said, “You must have older children because you could be sued for neglect if you had to juggle small kids AND that intense reading list”

    And you’re absolutely correct!!! 14, 13 and 7 (going on 27!!!LOL!!!)…Oldest is a boy and the two youngest are girls…

    As crazy as this sounds, my kids are PRECISELY THE REASON why I have to stay in the word continually…Between my son’s questions about escatology, my oldest daughter’s questions about soteriology and my youngest daughter’s questions about everything else (just think of all the theological questions that a curious 7 year old can come up with), I don’t see how I could respond unless I was knee deep into some serious theological works and constantly in prayer to God for wisdom and humility…This is the reason why I have so much respect for pastors who are faithful to the true teaching of God’s word, because seeing how challenging it is just to lead your own family makes me shudder at what it takes to serve a broader group of believers in the local church setting…

    The dialogue has been fruitful and helpful my friend, keep it comin’…

    Sola Scriptura,

    R4C

  9. 9 speaking truth July 8, 2008 at 11:44 am

    As crazy as this sounds, my kids are PRECISELY THE REASON why I have to stay in the word continually…

    Amen R4C – my kids are under 9 and “going on 27”, like yours 😆 so I have to study to satisfy questions as well. I was having a discussion about “Evan Almighty” with my oldest – primarily because I wanted to make sure there was an understanding of the true story of Noah’s Ark (I reinforced what was taught at the Christian school I pay for) and to show where the movie lacked any sound biblical context (although it had an OK moral to the story).

    Kids definitely keep you on your game – and you’re right, as the pastor of my home (especially since we’re still searching for a regular weekly assembly) it’s definetly important to climb through scripture before you try to teach it to someone else.

    BTW – we’ve been to Southwest Christian a few times and have been THOROUGHLY BLESSED. We’re seriously leaning toward “interviewing” their leadership and considering eventual membership to that assembly. Thanks for confirming the good things I’ve heard about the sound expository preaching of Anthony Carter and Robert Benson.

  10. 10 lavrai July 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for this post! It can’t be said enough — Christians can’t know the Word unless they actually pick up the Holy Bible and dedicate some time to understanding what the LORD has written. There may even come a time when we won’t have printed copies of the Holy Bible around… the Holy Scriptures should be written on our hearts. Let us not take it for granted.

    And it’s not about memorization and being able to spit out a passage or verse like some kind of superstar or computer… it’s about knowing how these words from the FATHER apply to our life, our existence in the physical and spiritual. There is nothing we face as people and Christians that the FATHER doesn’t address in HIS Holy Scriptures.

    And as the post says, we always have to pray, pray, pray! The Holy Spirit will reveal all things to us, but you should let HIM know that you are laying your will at Jesus’ feet. If the FATHER must be worshiped in Spirit and we are to pray in Spirit, then it makes very much sense that we are to read the Holy Words of our FATHER in Spirit as well. The flesh will always fail.

    Ephesians 6:10-20 also explains how important reading and understanding the Holy Scriptures is to the Christian.

    And, remember, the apostles had to know the Word (which was what we call the Old Testament) in order to help those to whom they were preaching the Gospel to know and understand that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.

    Again, great post. And the Holy Bible should be the most important book in every Christian’s life.

  11. 11 speaking truth July 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    And it’s not about memorization and being able to spit out a passage or verse like some kind of superstar or computer… it’s about knowing how these words from the FATHER apply to our life, our existence in the physical and spiritual. There is nothing we face as people and Christians that the FATHER doesn’t address in HIS Holy Scriptures.

    Amen lavrai! That’s such an important statement.

    We who profess Christ and are His witnesses are in the wrong if we just learn the Word to “recite” to others – the true blessing is in surrendering our will to His and APPLYING the Word in our lives (both to exhort and comfort us when we’re in alignment, and to chasten us when we’re out of alignment ).

  12. 12 escapeetoo July 8, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    ST,

    The decompression process continues. Here is something I’d like to share regarding the need to study the “End Times.” This is a topic of study considered “unsexy” for the pimps of this age.

    http://escapee.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/read-the-fine-print-and-study-eschatology-the-end-times/

  13. 13 Alan Higgins July 8, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Its so simple. Get into the word of God, know how to interpret it, let the word become a part of you (thy word have I hid in my heart) and you will spot falsehood a mile off without a bible even being in front of you

  14. 14 speaking truth July 8, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    I gotta say Alan that if it really was that simple, then Todd Bentley, Eddie Long, Joel Olsteen, Benny Hinn, and every other hustler would’ve been run out of town on a rail a long time ago.

    I was speaking with a brother today about the fear that many pastors have of their congregations learning too much biblical truth. Pastors rely on congregational ignorance to spin the tales that they weave from the pulpit, but a well-learned congregation will keep them honest.

    To that end, I guess it is simple…almost too simple.


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