Basic Principles of Bible Study

How to approach your study of the Bible:

1. Trusting
2. Depending
3. Revering
4. Desiring
5. Expecting
6. Receiving
7. Praying
8. Observing
9. Exacting
10. Interpreting
11. Applying


The meaning of the passage Author’s Intention

The significance of the passage Application to Life
Apply yourself wholly to the text Meaning
Apply the text wholly to yourself Significance
To read a passage and get from it all of its worth, we must interpret what we read in harmony with the
nature and the purpose of the Bible, taking into consideration the following:

1. Canonical—Books of the Bible
2. Textual—Words
3. Grammatical—Understanding original words and how they are used
4. Context—What immediately and broadly surrounds the words or passage.
5. Literal—Face value of words in context
6. Cultural—Setting and what is going on
7. Sitz in Leben—Audience (setting or situation in life) to whom written
8. Theological—Passage in terms of God’s complete revelation
9. Purpose—God gave the Bible to equip us for ministry
10. Existential—Live the text after properly understanding it


EXEGESIS is the science of making clear what is obscure. It is “to raise up out of” to expose the
meaning by explanation, critical analysis, or interpretation of a word or passage. The purpose of
exegesis is to discover the author’s intended meaning. Exegesis, however, is not simply applying
principles. The interpreter must become fully involved in the meaning of the text. “Apply your whole
self to the text, and the whole text to yourself.”

Exegesis requires basic skills in syntax and grammar. Communication through language utilizes words
that have been assigned certain functions. One needs to recognize parts of speech, which are nouns,
verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions. Further recognition is necessary, for instance nouns have cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative; and verbs have person, number, tense, voice, mood. Parts of speech join to make phrases, main and modifying clauses, sentences, paragraphs, sections, books.

The OT was originally written in Hebrew and the NT in Greek. Several centuries before Christ, the OT
was translated into Greek (Septuagint (LXX)), which is sometimes quoted by NT writers. In-depth
exegesis of syntax and grammar requires a working knowledge of the biblical languages. Yet, there are
helpful tools for the English reader, such as interlinears, concordances and dictionaries that when
properly used will shed more light on the unit under study.

There are outstanding Bible programs that can be downloaded free for your computer, which provide
numerous versions, the Hebrew and Greek lexicons, parsing of words, definitions, textual criticism,
commentaries, dictionaries, etc. Simply type the following into your browser to get to their websites:

1. eSword
2. Online Bible
3. Bible Explorer 4
4. Net Bible

The basic unit of language is not the word but the sentence. Words find their meaning, as they are
associated with other words. Thus, the study of words must be related to sentences, the study of
sentences to paragraphs, and the study of paragraphs to the individual book as a whole.

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