Each week Bill and Bernard get together to discuss certain chapters and topics of the Bible in an online Bible study atmosphere. You can follow along with our reading plan as we progress below.
To the left are some helpful tips on how to read your Bible from a very popular pastor and author, John MacArthur. You can find more in his study bible BUY NOW.
As you interpret Scripture, several common errors should be avoided.
Do not draw any conclusions at the price of proper interpretation. That is, do not make the Bible say what you want it to say, but rather let it say what God intended when He wrote it.
Avoid superficial interpretation. You have heard people say, "To me, this passage means," or "I feel it is saying..." The first step in interpreting the Bible is to recognize the fours gaps we have to bridge: language, culture, geography, and history.
Do no spiritualize the passage. Interpret and understand the passage in its normal, literal, historical, grammatical sense, just like you would understand any other piece of literature you were reading today.
Gaps to Bridge
The books of the Bible were written many centuries ago. For us to understand today what God was communicating then, there are several gaps that need to be bridged: the language, cultural, geographical and historical gap. Proper interpretation, therefore, takes time and disciplined effort.
Language. The Bible was originally written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Often, understanding the meaning of a word or phrase in the origi9nal language can be the key to correctly interpreting a passage of Scripture.
Culture. The culture gap can be tricky. some people try to use cultural differences to explain away the more difficult biblical commands. Realize that Scripture must first be viewed in the context of the culture in which it was written. Without an understanding of first-century Jewish culture, it is difficult to understand the Gospels. Acts and the epistles must be read in light of the Greek and Roman cultures.
Geography. A third gap that needs to be closed is the geography gap. Biblical geography makes the Bible come alive. A good Bible atlas is an invaluable reference tool that can help you comprehend the geography of the Holy Land.
History. We must also bridge the history gap. Unlike the scriptures of most world religions, the Bible contains the records of actual historical persons and events. An understanding of Bible history will help us place the people and events in it in their proper historical perspective. A good Bible dictionary or Bible encyclopedia is useful here, as are basic historical studies.