Interpreting Scripture for Personal Study 1
All believers can read and understand the scriptures through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Below you will learn a biblically-based process for interpreting the scripture for your personal edification, and to use for ministry.
Intently Read the Verse or Passage
Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Read the Verse and Passage
God’s Word Brings Light to the Mind
Read the Chapter
Read Intently and Purposely
I Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Don’t give up at first reading. Take time in the word
Ask Questions - like Jesus asked the Pharisees - Why did David in the spirit call the Messiah Lord? Jesus was paying close attention to the words of the text, and allowing it to inform his understanding, not bringing the traditional understanding to it.
Who is speaking? And speaking to whom?
What is it literally saying?
Matthew 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Psalm 119:97-99 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
Pray Concerning the Scripture
Repeatedly Think on and Read the Scripture
Focus in on Key Phrases and Words
Psalm 11:123 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
Receive the Spirit’s Revelation
Write down Initial Revelations, Glimpses and Illumination of the Spirit
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2. Continue Seeking God for More
I Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Connect to Larger Context
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Connect to the Chapter - What is the chapter speaking of?
The Chapter may explain a verse or passage further.
Example; Daniel 7:15-28 Gives the meaning of the vision in Daniel 7:1-14
Example; Ezekiel 37:11-14 gives the meaning of Ezekiel 37:1-10
Connect to the Book - What is the book largely about?
The book may expand on a verse or passage further.
For example, the book of Hebrews dwells on the better things we have now in Christ than in the Old Testament.
The purpose of the Book of Luke is found in Luke 1:1-4 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
The purpose of the book of John is found in John 20:30-31 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.
Connect to the Author - What similar things have the author said?
The author may address the same matter in different ways.
Example - Paul’s calls the church, a body, in Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 12; Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 3:15. He makes different points concerning the body. But in all of it he is speaking of the body as the church.
Connect to Biblical Teaching on the Matter - What does the Bible say on the matter?
Let Scripture interpret scripture
Example: In Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem
What word to Jeremiah? Well look at Jeremiah 25:11-12; I Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 29:10
Let New Testament Inform Old Testament
Seek for Christ in the Scriptures
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
2. Promises Fulfilled
Romans 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,
3. Foreshadows and Figures Fulfilled
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
4. Prophecies Fulfilled
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Receive from the Old Testament
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Patriarchs as People of Faith
Characters Examples of Faith
Warnings From the Fall and Judgment of Israel, and Characters