How to study Biblical Theology
"The Bible is the Word of life. As such, studying the Bible is crucial to the life and growth of every believer. In this revised work, John MacArthur examines various Scripture passages in the Old and New Testament to answer both the "why" and the "how" questions of Bible study.
How to Study the Bible can be used alongside or apart from the audio series available from Grace to You in either a personal or group study.
Corresponds with the audio message series available from Grace to You
Features revised content and study questions
For personal or group study use"
It's very difficult for many to understand the bible's most complicated passages. Few can comprehend Theology or the principles regarding it. We are living in a society where Christians disregard all logical thinking and discernment. Many rely on what their church leaders or parents teach. Various denominations with conflicting doctrines exist because of a lack of Biblical knowledge. With a strong theology, you will have a foundation free of human error focusing on what God's word truly says, instead of relying on feelings or traditions. Discipline and an open mind is necessary to receive bountiful Revelations of God's Word. It's not enough to take the bible literally. The word "Theology" strikes fear in the hearts of many, but this article will attempt to explain critical principles in simpler terms.
1) Begin with prayer and an open heart - Ask The Holy Spirit for his divine guidance in understanding Theological doctrines in Scripture. There are many who claim that God has already made his Word clear for all people, so It can be interpreted literally. This isn't necessarily true. Genesis chapter 11 tells the story of the origin of human languages. Verse 7 says "7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.” As you can observe, this is still in effect today. The Old testament was written in Hebrew and the new testament was written in Greek. The original languages used words differently from modern English, so understanding these languages is critical to decoding a hidden message.
2) Get A reliable Study bible - I would highly recommend one with archaeological findings instead of notes based on the doctrine since the author may be presenting a biased viewpoint depending on his denomination or set of unbiblical belief's. It's more difficult to challenge key historical facts than opinions.
3) Get an Accurate Concordance - You don't necessarily have to know ancient Hebrew or Greek to understand the original language of the authors. Concordances such as Strong's should be enough to learn about the original words used in specific passages.
* If you want a better understanding of the ancient scriptures, learning ancient Hebrew and Greek would be the best idea. There are great resources online to help you.
4) Get a detailed Dictionary - A Dictionary with encyclopedia-like entries concerning cultural information should be more than enough to see why certain events or phrases were said surrounding the passages you are studying.
5) Study key terms within passages - Look up words such as "Eternal", "Lust", and "Watch" in a concordance. Write down the definitions if you must and study them within the context of surrounding verses.
6) Look at historical notes - Go to a bible dictionary or your study bible and look at articles under words such as "Ornaments", "Parables", and "Gods" as well as anything concerning practices or belief's in a certain passage.
7) Study the context - Learn about hyperbole's, similes, metaphors, allegories, symbolism, etc. and focus on these questions:
* Who is the author?
* Who is he speaking of and to who?
* What is he saying?
* Why is he saying it?
* When is this taking place?
8) Take notes - Write your observations on paper and read over them. Keep them organized, It will make it easier to meditate on.
9) Pray and meditate on the meaning of obscure scripture - Read and revise your study notes if needed. You should eventually understand very clearly, thus finishing your study.
You should now have experienced the abundance of god's blessings in his Word. Learning about biblical topics will effectively enrich your life. It will enable you to see the bible in a way that no one has ever seen before. When you diligently study Scripture, you will never look at the World the same again.
This guide provides a brief, concise overview of personal Bible study for the layperson. Long-time Bible teacher Robert West gives insight into the types, tools, and techniques of personal study, offering both practical guidance and encouragement to pursue the command of 2 Timothy 2:15 ("Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth"). Covering topics such as the inductive method, word studies, commentaries, dictionaries, and concordances, How to Study the Bible also emphasizes the personal benefits of private Bible time.