By Eugene Britnell
1. Realize that the Bible must be rightly divided. (2 Tim. 2:15)
2. Realize that the Bible contains the mind and will of God. (2 Peter 1:21)
3. Approach the Bible reverently and humbly. (1 Thess. 2:13)
4. Have profound faith in ALL it says. One cannot accept only a part of the Bible as being inspired. We must accept it all or reject it.
5. Let it speak to you—not you to it.
6. Study for profit to know more of God's will ,and not just to argue or endeavour to justify self.
7. Be willing to obey implicitly what God commands. (Matt. 7:21)
8. Use common sense in your study. For example, some contend that the word "water" in John 3:5 does not mean water, but common sense will convince us that it does. The letters water spell water in any other book and there is nothing to indicate that it is used figuratively here.
9. Observe who is speaking. All of the Bible was written by inspiration but that does not mean that all statements recorded therein were spoken by inspired persons. Example: Job 2:9.
10. Observe to whom each statement is addressed. Whether to the alien sinner, Christian, unfaithful, etc.
11. Observe why each book was written. For example, the first four books of the New Testament were written to show that the law of Christ has superseded the law of Moses and the superiority of Christianity over Judaism.
12. Study and interpret each passage in light of its context or setting. Failing to do this, some have argued that Paul teaches in Cor. 1:17 that baptism is not essential, but the context shows that he did baptize some, and the reason he was glad he hadn't baptized more was "lest any man should say that ye were baptized into my name."
13. Realize that there has been three distinct dispensations of religion—the PATRIARCHAL (from creation to Sinai), the JEWISH (from Sinai to the cross) and the CHRISTIAN (from Pentecost of Acts 2 until the coming of Christ). The New Testament is our guide in this dispensation.
14. Study the meaning of the titles of the books of the Bible.
15. Consider the history and chronology of the events of each book of the Bible.
16. Do not interpret one passage of scripture so as to contradict the teaching of another. For example, one cannot interpret Romans 5:1 to teach salvation by faith only for that would contradict James 2:24.
17. Determine if the language is literal or figurative. Take all passages as literal unless the context forces a figurative interpretation. To illustrate, it is clear that the "water" of John 3:23 is literal, while the context an wording shows that the "water" of Rev. 22:17 is figurative.
18. Don't read something into the text which is not there. Be content with taking only what it says.
19. Harmonize the Scriptures, taking ALL God says on any subject, letting all obscure passages be understood in light of the plain.
20. Don't be satisfied with your knowledge. Desire more and study the Bible daily.