F B Meyer has an interesting suggestion if your "appetite" for the Word is at "low tide" Do not always read your Bible because you like to do so, or desire it, but because it is right to do it, and as a matter of simple duty to your own life. Study the Word under the light of the Holy Spirit, as the ancient saint, when blindness was setting in, was wont to carry his Bible to the window, and place the open page in the full beams of the western sun.
And slowly the appetite will re-assert itself, and you will come to esteem the Word of God more than your necessary food Job note. Begin with and maintain an attitude of prayer. Go to the Author of the Book before you go to the Book. And think about this - How many books have you ever read where you had the benefit of the author's presence to help you discern his original intent?
The Bible is not men's truth but God's special revelation of Truth.
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We must always begin by conversing with the Author, beseeching Him to open the eyes of our heart to see, understand put together the pieces so to speak and illuminate His supernatural "love letter" to us see Col , 10, 11f- notes , Ps note , Ep note ; Ep , note. The psalmist recognized his dependence on the God of the Word for illumination of the Word of God and cried out Open my eyes, Remember to ask 5W's? How important? Ps Spurgeon note. George Sweeting once said "Prayer is the "open sesame" to the Bible. Always begin your Bible reading with prayer for divine guidance.
All of us in reading some current book have wished the author were present to answer and explain some things, but this is rarely possible. Amazing as it seems, this is possible when reading the Bible. Spurgeon comments : Open thou mine eyes. This is a part of the bountiful dealing which he has asked for; no bounty is greater than that which benefits our person, our soul, our mind, and benefits it in so important an organ as the eye.
It is far better to have the eyes opened than to be placed in the midst of the noblest prospects and remain blind to their beauty.
That l may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Some men can perceive no wonders in the Gospel, but the psalmist felt sure that there were glorious things in the law: he had not half the Bible, but he prized it more than some men prize the whole. He felt that God had laid up great bounties in His word, and he begs for power to perceive, appreciate and enjoy the same.
We need not so much that God should give us more benefits, as the ability to see what he has given. The prayer implies a conscious darkness, a dimness of spiritual vision, a powerlessness to remove that defect, and a full assurance that God can remove it. It shows also that the writer knew that there were vast treasures in the Word which he had not yet fully seen, marvels which he had not yet beheld, mysteries which he had scarcely believed.
The Scriptures teem with marvels; the Bible is a wonder land. It not only relates miracles, but it is itself a world of wonders. Yet what are these to closed eyes? And what man can open his own eyes, since he is born blind? God Himself must reveal revelation to each heart. Scripture needs opening, but not one half so much as our eyes do: the veil is not on the book, but on our hearts. What perfect precepts, what precious promises, what priceless privileges are neglected by us because we wander among them like blind men among the beauties of nature, and they are to us as a landscape shrouded in darkness!
The Psalmist had a measure of spiritual perception, or he would never have known that there were wondrous things to be seen, nor would he have prayed, " open Thou mine eyes " but what he had seen made him long for a clearer and wider sight.
This longing proved the genuineness of what he possessed, for it is a test mark of the true knowledge of God that it causes its possessor to thirst for deeper knowledge. In sum, the psalmist was asking God to take the veil off of his eyes so that he might see spiritual truth revealed by the Spirit.
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He was acknowledging his inability to observe spiritual truth without the Spirit's illumination cp 1Co , Acts , Jn , Lk Skip Heitzig commenting on Psalm as it relates to inductive Bible study suggests that we might consider beginning our study with a prayer something like this Lord, I submit myself to You as Your servant Ro note. I pray that You would speak to me personally as I now open Your Word. Sharpen my powers of observation and open my eyes to what the text is saying. Give me wisdom and insight as I seek to interpret what the text means. And help me to apply Your truth to the specific areas in my life that need Your touch.
Gently convict me of any issues I'm neglecting or trying to hide. Lord, I give You complete permission to search my heart to see if there is anything in me that is contrary to Your will Ps , note. Challenge me with Your holiness and comfort me with Your promises, in Jesus' name. How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It. Dale quipped that "Study without prayer is "atheism," and prayer without study is presumption. Luke teaches that after His resurrection Jesus " opened open thoroughly what had been closed [His disciples'] minds to understand suniemi - see also related noun form sunesis the Scriptures.
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Lk , 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, cp Ex Here Luke uses the Greek word for understand which describes the assembling of individual facts into an organized whole, as collecting the pieces of a puzzle and putting them together. Martin Luther wrote the following on our desperate need for prayer when we study God's Word - You should completely despair of your own sense and reason, for by these you will not attain the goal Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God through His dear Son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding Since the Holy Writ wants to be dealt with in fear and humility and penetrated more by studying with pious prayer than with keenness of intellect, therefore it is impossible for those who rely only on their intellect and rush into Scripture with dirty feet, like pigs, as though Scripture were merely a sort of human knowledge not to harm themselves and others whom they instruct.
As you begin your inductive adventure through the Bible, may a determined effort to stick close to the Author with an attitude of prayer Begin your study by careful observation with the goal being to establish the context which will lay the foundation for accurate interpretation. Accurate interpretation is almost certain to be compromised if one fails to carry out careful accurate observation see example of misinterpretation of a well known verse.
Thus even the derivation gives us a picture of the value of context in accurate interpretation -- it "weaves" the text together in an orderly, logical flow, a flow inspired by God intended to convey His message.
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Context is the setting in which a passage occurs or simply what precedes and what follows the text you are studying. Thus context includes those verses immediately before and after the passage, then the paragraph and book in which the passage appears, then other books by this author, as well as the overall message of the entire Bible. Picture a set of concentric circles with the text you are observing in the center and surrounded by the next circle which is the paragraph or subdivision in which that text "lives.
Never observe a passage without looking at the "circles", especially the immediate paragraph, which means you need to not rush, but be willing to take a moment and do some more reading. Establishing the context forces the reader to examine the biblical writer's overall flow of thought. The meaning of any passage is nearly always determined, controlled, or limited by what appears immediately beforehand and afterward in the text.
Context is "king" in interpretation. Since context always "rules" in interpretation and Scripture must always be interpreted in light of its context, the first step in the study of any book of the Bible is to get an OVERVIEW of the book you are studying. Because when you get an overview of the entire book, it will help you discover the context. While there may be a certain value in hanging up texts on the walls of our homes or reading a collection of texts in a book like Daily Light, let us never forget that such practices can be dangerous, because there is a balance in Scripture, and the context of each and every verse is always important It is the simple truth to say that most of the heresies that have troubled the Church throughout her long history have arisen because men and women have forgotten this simple principle.
They have taken a text out of its context , and have formulated a doctrine out of it. If they had but taken it in its context they would have been saved from the error they have embraced. Christian Unity - Studies in Ephesians. You should scrutinize it with what Ruskin calls "the innocence of the eye"—as if you had never seen it before.
As you weigh each part, there should be calmness, deliberateness, and extreme care in concentration. You breathe the air of expectancy and cherish your eye as an honest servant of the mind. What you should desire above all else, in a true scientific approach, is to see things as they really are. Irving Jensen. Independent Bible Study. Everything in a given book must be considered and analyzed within its setting, which means we can never isolate one verse or portion of the book from the rest of what is written.
Setting is context and context is central if you are to arrive at a correct understanding of the text. Two other sources of context to always consider and which may shed significant light on the understanding of a passage are the cultural environment when the passage was written and the historical when the passage was written e. As discussed in the section on " Interpretation ", " context is king " and vital for accurate interpretation.
Most misinterpretation and subsequently misapplication of Scripture is the result of taking the text out of its proper context. So the first task is to carefully observe the passage to establish the context. The natural tendency for most of us is to take a verse or verses out of context in order to support some point of view that we espouse or favor. This is called "proof-texting" and represents our attempt to make the Bible say what we want it to say or what we want to hear, rather than letting the Scripture say what God intended the passage to communicate.
It is probably not an exaggeration to say that the most common failure in interpretation is to violate basic principle of allowing context to control how the passage is interpreted. The simple answer is that one needs to read, re-read and carefully observe the text for repeated facts and truths. As one observes what is said, giving special attention to repeated words, phrases, or ideas, he or she should begin to understand the context.
eywaapps.dk/I/wp-content/writers/family-kinship-and-sympathy-in-nineteenth-century-american-literature-cambridge-studies.php But careful observation is "easier said than done" for we live in a society which continually promulgates "instant gratification" and the "natural" approach to studying Scripture is to want to know immediately "What is in it for me? Since most of us don't really know the basic principles of observation, we may read through the chapter or book without truly "observing" the text. How many times have you read a chapter in the morning and by noon you can barely remember what you read? The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions. We must approach God's Word as if our lives depended on it--because they do cp Deut , 46, Job , 11, Job , Joshua note.
However, left to our human nature, we all tend to read the Bible more like Dr.