- Religion and Philosophy
How to Study Scripture to Find Truth
How to Study Scripture to Find Truth rev8/2017
Scripture Study Helps Tips on how to study and understand scripture properly
I just cannot understand how so many professing Christians can have a belief without any idea if it is truly scriptural. I suppose that part of the reason is the false teachings that are so prevalent in the church today. The lie that you are never to question the leaders, that they are there to teach you and you must accept what they teach. Interestingly there is not one scripture that says there are to be rulers in the new testament church. It talks about being an example and teaching, leading by setting an example, ruling his own house and “taking care of the church”. It says He has appointed men for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry etc. and this
Mark 10:42 but Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
I have seen so much damage in the body of Christ by the teachings of hirelings that do not teach the saints, to NOT believe ANYTHING that they are taught by ANYONE until and unless they have gone to scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit and proven it. If it does not pass the “truth” test it should be rejected no matter who wants you to believe it. The teacher will ultimately answer for what he teaches but you and only you are responsible to God for what YOU BELIEVE.
There is nothing wrong with admitting you do not know or that you are still waiting to be sure what the truth is. It certainly makes more sense then have to later say I used to believe that but now I believe this. Whether true or not it makes you look unstable to have to admit you had to change your stand on a scriptural issue. I learned this early on and it has served me well.
There are still many things I do not have an understanding that I am willing bet my life on so I do not teach them. I just say I do not have the full understanding on that yet, but this is what I see so far according to scripture, or I don't know yet.
With all the scriptural admonition to test all things to see if they be of God, and warnings about false teachers etc, how can one profess to be a Christian and not be able to show the scriptures taken in context that support his belief. And worse yet so many of these people try to teach others their opinion as gospel without scriptural backup. They have all the typical answers like, how can a just God do that, why would God, being love, allow that and so on. These are just excuses and should be a warning to beware the first time you hear such an excuse. Your reply should be “show me the scriptures taken in context to support what you are saying,” and if they cannot do so reject it. If the subject is one that you are interested in study it for yourself. The best way is to use scripture and study aids only, and let the Holy Spirit guide you to all truth as is His promise. I personally prefer to study for myself and get my understanding without reading what anyone else says. Once I have decided what scripture is saying I will then read a commentary or two, but remember they are not necessarily correct either. They are that mans understanding of the scripture. If you choose to do otherwise just be sure that you do not let any other person's “opinion” lead you without double checking context of their references as I find over half of all scripture references I check take scripture out of context or use it incomplete. We cannot do that to find truth.
One of my favorite resources which I highly recommend is the Interlinear bible. It gives a word by word translation without all the assumed verbage being added and also the Strong's numbers. I also recommend a good computer bible study program. There are quite a few free ones available on the internet but be careful as some are free because they want you to follow their teachings. An open source one is usually best. If they are from a denomination, “church” or “ministry” I would be probably not use them.
I believe the minimum in equipment whether on computer or book form would be the following.
A new King James bible, an amplified bible and an interlinear bible. A good concordance. A good bible dictionary, not a modern one. And a good commentary, not Matthew Henry's Commentary. Also a Greek/Hebrew word dictionary is handy. And one other that I consider a necessity is Manners and Customs of the Bible. This one helps understand the manners and customs of the bible period which are very different than modern customs. This can be downloaded free from the internet. And I recommend reading it before you start your study.
These are my suggestions that serve me well along with many others but use the ones that you prefer.
And if you do not have them all start with what you have and add the others as you can.
Suggested readings to begin:
First I will tell you that in order to understand much of the new testament you have to understand much of the old testament. The way I teach is to read and study Genesis and Exodus verse by verse from GENESIS verse one through Exodus 40 verse 38. This gives a good basis for starting the new testament.
Then read and study from the New testament, beginning with Matthew verse 1 thru Jude verse 25. I do not recommend Revelation the first time. Many people teach it but most of them do not really understand it they just repeat what they have been taught. And I believe that when God gives the real meaning Many will be surprised and embarrassed
As you study the new testament, when you come to a place that needs an understanding from the old testament, stop and go there, read and study necessary information to understand the new testament scripture then continue in the new testament study.
Once you have completed this you will usually find you have found your way and you will have more things you want to study than you have time.
Then at some point you will need to read all the rest of the bible in whatever sequence you feel the
Important things to Remember as you study.
There are some very important things to understand about studying the scriptures. Some of which are listed here.
Is a TRANSLATION of the original scripture from their original languages. It was written in Hebrew and Greek.
The sub-headings are not a part of the scriptures, they are the product of the translators and reflect their opinions. Many of them are incorrect and will lead you astray. I recommend that you ignore them. I usually block them out
The Chapters and verses are not part of the scripture they were added to make it easier to find and follow when quoting scripture.
The Truth about the New Testament
There is a Major misunderstanding caused by thinking that the beginning of the new testament takes place in the new testament age. It does not, most of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John take place under the old testament age. .
Many professing Christians do not realize this and believe that the new testament age begins at the 1st chapter of each of these books. But that is simply NOT SO! The events necessary to enter the new testament age take place in the beginning of the new testament in your bible.
The New testament age, the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth begins when Jesus dies, the veil is supernaturally rent, Jesus is resurrected from the dead and He commissions the apostles by giving them the Holy Spirit . The new testament age is fully implemented, opening access to the Holy Spirit to all, on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is openly given. See acts 2:4
Using the NKJV chapter and verse system we will look at The four Gospels and see what is truth
This chapter 28 verses 18-20 is the first verse of Matthew in the New Testament age and the actual beginning of the new covenant.
Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Mark 16:14-18 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
These verses Chapter 16 verse 14-18 are the first verses of the new testament age found in Mark and are the actual beginning of the New Testament age.
Luke 24:44-53 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." 50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
This chapter 24 verses 245-53 are the first verses of Matthew in the New Testament and the actual beginning of the new covenant age.
John 20:21-23 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
This chapter 20 verses 21-23 are the first verse of Matthew in the New Testament and the actual beginning of the new covenant age.
Every thing prior to these verses is part of the old testament age, not the NEW testament age.
Just another helpful aid to show you that things are not always as they appear. That is why it is imperative you NOT believe anything any one wants to teach you until you have the confirmation of Holy Spirit that is the truth.
Most Important is context, context, context.
Every false doctrine and every cult exists because of scripture being used out of context or incomplete. One false doctrine I investigated at the request of a friend whose mother was involved had 150 plus scriptures that they used to prove their doctrine. I studied the first 78 and stopped because every single one was either taken out of context or incomplete. If you are going to err in checking context then check more than is necessary. Many times you have to read a whole chapter and even for some a whole book to establish proper use and context. Read forward and back as much and as many times as necessary to establish contextual usage. And always use the complete verse(s) as needed to establish context. Remember context is everything in use of scripture as proof of a point or doctrine.
The bible never contradicts itself. If it seems to then you have something wrong and must keep looking until what you believe can be proven and cannot be contradicted with scripture in context.
You must Understand that Christianity is found in the NEW testament. In the old testament we learn the character and nature of God and the history of natural men reacting with Him. Christians are spiritual persons in natural bodies no longer of this world but still living in it temporarily. In the new we learn about Jesus ( who the whole old testament points to) and How He expects us to live. You must also understand that the old testament law does not apply to us. The law of Moses that controlled the people has been fulfilled by Jesus and is no longer in effect. You will see this as you study.
Be aware that there are several places in the bible where it is the same information from a different view or with additional information. For example, the four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Are not 4 different stories and do not contradict each other, they supplement each other. They are the same story from the perspective of 4 different men and you know that each of us sees different things in manner of importance so our recollection of any situation will be different, So they are 4 versions from 4 different views of the same time period. Another parallel is Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. And there are more.
Man vs Man
When the scriptures use man in reference to mankind. It means man – male and female. When it is referring to an individual or a number of individuals it means a male man,
Contrary to what many seem to believe and even teach, the bible is an easy book to understand (if you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit ) and is to be taken quite literally.
Understand this is intended to help someone with a desire to know the scriptures to really understand them and is a basic plan, a place to begin. It is a suggestion and certainly not the only way. BUT, the how to study scripture section is imperative if you are desiring scripture truth no matter how you go about it..
God bless you as you follow Him. Remember JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY!
TrueChristianity.org Charles LaFoe