In our Bible study we should be very careful to understand what we are reading. By this I mean, what we study is made up of words.
Okay, maybe I should explain. Words are like our vehicles. They carry thoughts, emotions and feelings from the author to you. I looked it up and there are about 8,674 different Hebrew Words in the Old Testament. When we look at the Greek we have a total of about 5,624 different Greek Words. And when we translate that into English we end up with only 6,000 words.
For you math majors out there that is quite a reduction from the original to English we have today.
And all words were necesssary. God used different people to convey the message He wished to convey. Peter wrote like a fisherman. David wrote in his style. Paul wrote from the prospect of an highly educated person. The prophets in the Old Testament wrote in their own style.
Therefore we must observe some rules or principles. As far as possible we should take words in their usual sense. When the Bible talks about Israel it is not talking about the church nor the gentiles. The principle to follow is that if the literal sense makes snese, don't look for any other meaning.
Also we should look at the whole passage. This is known as context
Thridly, the Bible is its own best Interpreter. See the Bible as a whole. The more you study the richer your understanding. As you read you will find the Bible will explain itself more throughly than any other book does. Often in the very same passage.
Often you will find that when comparing spititual with spiritual you will see parallell passages. I discover three kinds of parallels. 1) parallels of Words 2) Parallels of ideas or incidents 3) parallels of general teaching.
Consider the general meaning of the passages. Sometimes the same words are not used when the same idea is involved. Sometimes you may find the passage is obscure, debateable, or uses figurative language. In this case you should look at a parallel in the same book or in the writings of the same autor. You should also look at the period of history the passage is written.
There are tools out there to help you in your study. There is the concordance. For KJV there are Strongs, Youngs, and Crudens. You use these to find out the word used in the origianl language. Thgere are also concordances in the New American Standard version, The New International Version, and I am sure the English Bible version. You don't need to be limited only to the King James.
You can use a reference Bible. Also a Bible Dictioanry is helpful as it summerizes each book of teh Bible. It aslo defines terms and customs.
Please comment and tell me how I am doing. Tell me what questions you have. Is there an area I should comment on? Feel free to be as honest as you wish. I can take it. I will answer all messsages.