Rules for the Study of the Bible

II.  Rules for Study of the Bible
     A.  Read the Bible With the Mind Open to its Truths
           1.  This is an essential rule to observe
           2.  The Bereans were noble because they had open minds and
                 open Bibles (Acts 17:10-11)
               3.  The reader must have the right attitude of mind
           4. The student must accept all of the Bible, not just the part that
                 agrees with him
     B.  Determine the Following When Reading any Scripture
           1.  Who is speaking?
           2.  To whom are they speaking?
           3.   In what time period are they speaking?
           4.   For what reason are they speaking?
                 a.   Always remember these questions when studying the Bible 
                 b.  There are Scriptures where God speaks, where man speaks
                       and where Satan speaks
                       1)  It is important to know WHO is speaking
                       2)  The writers were inspired but at times recorded
                             uninspired sayings
                 c.  God may be speaking to the saint, the sinner, or to past or
                       future generations
                 d.  The statement in Scripture may be inspired or uninspired
                 e.  It may be for the Jewish nation or the Gentile
                 f.   It may be a commandment to be obeyed or a principle of life
                 g.  There are Scriptures for specific times and conditions
     C.  Descriminate Between the Testaments
           1.  There is an Old Testament and a New Testament
                 a.  If the Old was sufficient for God's revelation there is no
                      place for the New
                 b.  The fact that there is a New shows that the Old was
                       not enough
           2.  The word 'Testament' means 'will' or 'covenant'
                 a.  The New Testament is the new will, covenant or contract
           3.  The Old Testament was for the Jewish nation and age
           4.  The New Testament is for today's world and the Christian
                 Gospel age
           5.  We are living under the age of the Gospel, not the Old
                Testament law
           6.  The Old Testament is Bible, from God and has many great
                 a.  The Old Testament contains the history from Creation and
                       prepares for the coming of the New Testament
                 b.  The Old Testament is the New concealed, a school master
                       to bring us to Christ
           7.  The New Testament tells us about Christ
                 a.  It only tells us how to become a Christian
                 b.  It tells us how to live the Christian life
           8.  The Old was written with the New in mind
           9.  The New Testament is the completion of God's revelation,
                 God's plan
         10.  The New Testament takes the place of and superceeds the
                 Old Testament
     D.  Allow Scripture to Explain Scripture
           1.  This is the doctrinal rule
                 a.  Take all the verses in the Bible on a subject
                 b.  Get the meaning of all the verses
                 c.  Organize them logically, in order, and you will have the
                      Scriptural teaching
           2.  Let the Scriptures speak for themselves
                 a.  It is dangerous and meaningless to take a verse out
                      of its setting
                 b.  No Scripture is for private interpretation (II Peter 1:20-21)
                 c.  Great truths of the Bible can be interpreted only after all
                      Scriptures have been examined on the subject
           3.  All passages of Scripture are perfectly clear and distinct when
                 rightly understood
           4.  Hard passages can be explained in the light of easy ones
           5.  Concerning the subject 'What Must I Do to be Saved?'
                  a.  One is told to 'believe', another 'repent and be baptized',
                        another 'arise and be baptized'
                  b.  Each one was told to take the next step that he needed
           6.  Things were not put into the Bible to confuse people
                  a.  The more a person uses his Bible the more he will
                        understand God's Will
           7.  Know the background of the Scripture
                 a.  The geographical, social and economic
                 b.  The verses before and after the passage
                 c.  Learn the general teachings of the Bible, the book, the author
           8.  It is impossible to misunderstand Scripture if a person will allow
                 Scripture to explain Scripture
     E.  Read a Book Through at a Setting
           1.  If a person has a certain time each day, he will easily read the
                shorter books at one setting
           2.  It is easier to get the purpose and message of the book
           3.  The person should pay little attention to the chapter and
                 verse division
           4.  Read the book several times until you understand its purpose
                 a.  Read closely and listen to what it is saying
                 b.  Live in the atmosphere of the book
           5.  It may take more than one setting for the larger books
                 a.  Do not neglect them
                 b.  Read as much as time permits, then read some more when
                      you have the time