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Tools for Studying the Bible

People ask me all the time about how to study the Bible, or what they need to know to really grasp the content of the Bible. Personally, I think my book The Unseen Realm addresses the second item pretty well. But some folks aren’t ready to jump into that just yet. Here are some principles that, over the course of nearly thirty years, I have found to be invaluable for Bible study.

Tools for Studying the Bible: Heiser’s Laws for Bible Study

But if you want something really fast, here’s my list of Bible study “laws” – principles of Bible study to permanently plant into your brain. They will frame and orient your Bible study for life:

  • There is no substitute for close attention to the biblical text.
  • You should be observing the biblical text in the original languages. If you cannot, never trust one translation in a passage. Use several and then learn skills for understanding why they disagree.
  • Tracking patterns in the text is more important than word studies.
  • The New Testament’s use of the Old Testament is the key to understanding how prophecy works.
  • The Bible must be interpreted in context, and that context isn’t your own or that of your theological tradition. The right context for interpreting the Bible is the context that produced the Bible (the history, culture, and religious worldviews of the ancient Near East / Mediterranean).
  • The Bible is not a divine book. It’s a divine-human book. Study it as though some person actually wrote it, not like it’s the result of a paranormal event.
  • If it’s weird, it’s important (i.e., the strange content is there for a reason; it is not random).
  •  You shouldn’t strive to let your theology filter the Bible. Rather, you should be letting the text produce your theology. The latter focuses your attention on that which is inspired. The other does not.
  • If, after you’ve done the grunt work of context-driven exegesis, what the biblical text says actually disturbs you, let it.

Listen to Dr. Heiser’s Naked Bible Podcast

What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, I want to follow Jesus

I am a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

How can I know God?

If you died, why should God let you into heaven?

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