A note from the author

The scholarly term often employed for how to study the Bible is hermeneutics, which is concisely defined as “the art and science of interpreting the Bible.”

The purpose of this book is to explain and illustrate the various principles of Bible interpretation that must be followed in order to understand correctly the teachings of God’s Word. Unless sound and consistent principles of hermeneutics are employed by the reader and student of Scripture, it truths become blurred and confused.

Biblical interpretation, or hermeneutics, has had a long and checkered history. The way in which almost all Christians today read and interpret the Bible only gradually developed. It was not until the era of the Renaissance and Reformation that the science of biblical interpretation was clarified. Today, we follow literary, grammatical and historical methods to interpret the Bible, which have been tested and proven
valuable for grasping accurately the message of God’s Word.

My ultimate goal is to present principles and methods of studying of the Bible that will enhance the student’s understanding and enjoyment of it.

There is no graduation from this course of study—it is a lifetime curriculum, which is an impossible task without the indwelling teaching ministry (illumination) of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16).  The Bible is a mine of God’s wisdom, infinitely deep, always inviting us to dig deeper for its riches. Like mining, “Bible Study” is hard work! There are no shortcuts to knowing the whole counsel of God.

The selected bibliography is comprised of books that teach effective Bible study methods. Though many are old by their copyright dates, I consider them among the best at the time of my writing. Besides these writers, I am indebted to authors and teachers, which are too many to mention, for the insights and content in this book.

Therefore, I make no claim of originality or comprehensiveness for many of the hermeneutical principles and Bible study methods covered, which I have abstracted, rewritten, synthesized. Yet, I have contributed scores of my own insights to the task of how to study the Bible.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness . . . Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2:15, NIV).

My prayer is that your enjoyment of God’s Word will increase and that you will grow in the grace and knowledge of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Robert P. Conway