First Principles of Bible Study
The Bible alone and in its entirety is the Word of God. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyone who does not follow this principle follows another gospel. He will be under a different authority than that related to the true Gospel. His doctrinal conclusions will be in error, and he will not relate to the salvation that leads to eternal life.
The Bible is its own interpreter. In the measure that we are able to view a particular verse of Scripture or a particular doctrine in the light of the entire Bible, is the measure we will be on the path to accurate interpretation.
The Bible frequently has three levels of meaning. The first is historical; the second is moral or spiritual; and the third is that which relates to the essence of the Gospel of salvation. For these reasons, a Bible translator must be exceedingly careful that, in his desire to make plain the historical or moral teaching of a verse, he does not obscure or remove the spiritual or Gospel meaning.
In relation to the third level, any spiritual meaning found within a passage must be in agreement with these three principles:
1. The deeper, spiritual meaning must relate to the Gospel of salvation.
2. The spiritual identification of elements within the parable or historical account must have biblical validation.
3. The spiritual conclusion must be in total agreement with everything in the Bible that clearly relates to the nature of salvation.
Finally, the Bible is the ultimate authority. It is to be obeyed. Read it with a view to being obedient to everything found within its pages.
When the nature of biblical writings is understood, rich and wonderful truth is found hidden within the pages of the Bible. May it be the experience of each of us to learn from the Bible, which is the repository of truth.