Reading the Bible Requires Rules We Already Know

Reading the Bible Requires Rules We Already Know

“It’s easy to misinterpret the Bible when you don’t follow basic rules of interpretation. Therefore, I’ve offered the approach of asking three questions when reading any passage:

  1. What is the author talking about in the surrounding text (context)?
  2. What is the historical occasion for why the author wrote (history)?
  3. What literary style is the passage written in (genre)?

On occasion, I’m accused of making Bible study more complex than it needs to be. People suggest I’m creating rules to interpret Scripture and, consequently, making the bar higher—not lower—for people to digest God’s word.

I’m sympathetic to that concern. I don’t want believers to think the Bible is a cryptic book that requires specialized skills to decipher. In fact, I think the Bible’s message is straightforward and clear. Anyone can understand it.”

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