Life Together - Fall 2008
Crosspoint, Lynnwood
Dusting Off The Good Book:
A Class in Bible Interpretation
by Barry McWilliams
Part 12
Building a Bible Study Library
"SCRIPTURE INTERPRETS SCRIPTURE."
Reading the Bible “Literally!”
•1. Not all passages of Scripture are equally clear.
•2. The clearer passages should interpret the less clear passages.
3. There is one meaning per passage and per word. "Interpretation is one,
application is many."
4. Meaning should be ''literal"' (the plain sense) unless shown to be
0therwise.
5. Meaning is determined by careful consideration of both
historical contexts; and the literary/ logical contexts within the
book.
6. The Analogy of Faith: The teaching of the whole Bible determines
specific interpretations.
7. The final authority of competent interpretation must be the
original languages.
8. It is the Bible as a whole, and not the church, or any authority
outside of Scripture that has the final authority.
The All Important Circles of Context
Hermeneutics:
“The Science and Art of interpreting the Scriptures guided by the Holy
Spirit”
1. Grasp the Text in its biblical town.
2. Measure the distance to be crossed
3. Cross the Principlizing Bridge
4. Grasp the text in our Town
What did the text mean to them?
What does it mean to me?
How can I share what it means to me to you?
Building a Bible Study Library


Have a Plan!!
Be systematic
Add books gradually as you develop your

Bible Study Skills
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or to supplement other studies.
Read Reviews – Look books over
If in doubt about a book or author, ask
Look for used books on Amazon.com or
Abebooks.com – lots of bargains
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Should be
your first
priority!!
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
Other good Study Bibles include The NASV and NIV
Study Bibles, MacArthur’s Study Bible, and The
Thompson Chain Reference.
The ESV Study Bible
•2,752 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources
•20,000 notes—focusing especially on understanding the Bible
text and providing answers to frequently raised issues.
•Over 50 articles—including articles on the Bible’s authority and
reliability;
on biblical archaeology, theology, ethics, and
personal application.
•Over 200 full-color maps—created with the latest digital
technology,
satellite images, and archaeological
research; printed in full color.
•80,000 cross-references—to encourage easy location of
important words, passages, and biblical themes and an
extensive concordance.
•200 color charts, located throughout the Bible, provide clear,
concise
presentations of essential information.
•40 all-new illustrations—including full-color renderings and
architectural diagrams of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant,
Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple, the city of Jerusalem in Jesus’
ESV Study Bible Online
Purchase of the ESV Study Bible gives free access to the
complete Online Version which has the full content of the
print edition, plus additional features including the ability to add
personal notes and textual highlighting, the ability to search
and follow interactive links between all the notes, charts,
articles, etc. contained in the print version, and you can listen to
audio readings of the Scripture texts as well.
Using a Study Bible
•
Read the text of the Bible first. Meditate upon the text and
read it with care. Apply your own knowledge of the Bible in
order to understand the particular text within its context and
place in the biblical story-line. A first principle of interpreting
the Bible is to interpret the Bible by itself text by text.
•
Look carefully at the cross-references linked within the
study Bible to this passage. Read the referenced verses. This
assistance is still the main contribution of the Study Bible -making related and parallel passages more accessible.
•
Use the Concordance for word studies and to find other
related passages.
•
Take full advantage of the notes, articles, maps, charts
and other helps. A Study Bible functions as a basic Bible
dictionary or encyclopedia. Most study Bibles offer some level
of commentary within the notes. Remember that it is the Bible
that is inspired, inerrant, and infallible -- not the study
materials. Therefore, judge the notes by the biblical text, and
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
in the version of the Bible
you
use for Study is
valuable. It should be
keyed to Strong’s numbers.
It can help you to see how
the original Greek and
Hebrew words are
translated and their range of
meanings and contexts.
Other useful Concordance works include Nave's Topical
Bible, Torrey's Topical Textbook, and The Treasury of
Scripture Knowledge.
Determining Meaning:
Words
The basic bricks of language are words. Word meaning is very important.
It must be remembered that words do not always have the same meaning in
different contexts, they change in meaning with time and culture changes.
And Translated words frequently do not have the same group of meanings
as their original counterparts.
Ways to determine meaning include
Examination of the etymology of a word (roots, prefixes, suffixes,
compound words, etc.)
Comparatively (ways it is used in various contexts)
Comparison with synonyms
Determining its cultural usage as opposed to classical meaning.
There are all sorts of lexical aids available for Bible student.
Exploring the Range of Word Meanings with a
Concordance
Words in one language do not have exact correspondence of meanings as the
words used to translate them. A Greek or Hebrew word may require several
difference English words to cover its meanings and an English word may have
meanings not included in the Original word.
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
A Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Vines Expository Dictionary is one of the best
ways to get access to the original vocabulary of the
Commentaries
Bible for those not familiar with Greek or Hebrew. It
is keyed to Strongs as well.
Vincent’s Word Studies and Robertson’s Word Pictures are also
helpful NT Refs.
Biblical Theology
Determining Meanings:
Basic Units
•The basic unit of speech is the sentence, with its basic parts the words.
•However it is best to consider the basic unit of the concept or meaning to be the
paragraph. The paragraph is the context of the sentences in it.
•Different literary Genre have their basic literary units too:
Episodes in Narrative, Strophes in Poetry, Oracles in Prophecies
1. Simple "diagramming of sentences
2. Always look to the preceding and following verses.
3. The more complex the grammar, the more precision is possible in meaning.
4. Always take in consideration the passage’s Circles of Contexts
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
helps to unlock,
understand, and gain
further revelation
about the history and
culture of biblical
times.
Other good Dictionaries include The New
International,
The Tyndale, The Zondervan
Pictorial Encyclopedia,
and the
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
The difference between a “Dictionary” and an “Encyclopedia” is the length and
(ISBE)
Commentaries
(sometimes) the depth of the articles. A“Handbook” is a condensed dictionary.
Determining Meaning:
Gospel & Acts
Witnessing Jesus'
teaching
Styles
Poetry
Emotions poured
out
Epistles
Parables
Reading a letter
Law
Principles for Living
& Figures of speech
Prophets
Narrative:
Forthtelling His Character
Listen to His story
Wisdom
Types & Symbols
God's Pictures
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
These are very useful for grasping three key issues:
the historical background, literary analysis, and the
theological message of particular books of the Bible,
and also help provide understanding as to the
different ways they have been interpreted.
Determining Meanings:
Contexts
The Logical/ Literary Context requires consideration of the passage in its
immediate context as well as within the literary structure and argument of the book of the
Bible in its sections and as a whole. Break down the whole into its sections or
paragraphs, summarizing each one briefly. And then try to determine how your passage
fits into these.
The Historical Context : the author, his audience, historical and cultural
situations – anything outside the text that will help you to better understand it. Bible
Handbooks, Introductions, Surveys, Histories, Commentaries, Dictionaries and
Encyclopedias are helpful here.
Every text without a context is a pretext!
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
Biblical Geography does more than show us “Where?” It puts Biblical events
into their historical, ecological and socio-cultural contexts.
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Studies : Vines
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
These basic guides summarize the
Bible’s teaching on particular doctrines
and point you to where they are taught
in the Bible.
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Study Dictionary
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
Commentaries
These books help us understand how the Bible’s teaching
progressively develops and comprehend the unity of what
the Bible reveals to us about God and His works.
Building a Bible Study Library
A Good Study Bible
There are good One Volume
Commentaries
An Exhaustive Concordance
A Bible Dictionary
Word Studies : Vines
Introductions
Geography and Customs
Do
your
own
study
first!
Bible History
Doctrinal Reference
Biblical Theology
There are several paperback Study
such as The Bible Speaks
Today, The Tyndale
OT/NT
Commentaries
on individual
books can be
purchased
as neededetc.
for your study.
Commentaries,
Commentaries? Guide series
Remember that “Every Commentator is guilty until proved innocent!”
Bible Software
Online Study Bibles
Bible Explorer
WordSearch8
Logos
Bible Software should
never replace the basic
tools tools of Bible Study,
an open Bible, and pen
and paper!!
Bible Works
Essential IVP Reference Collection: 18 Reference Works
EECL
Ages Software
A good way to add to
a Bible Study Library
With Bible Explorer it's easier than ever to access trusted
commentaries, compare several translations
simultaneously, and even write your own books and notes
- and share them too! Bible Explorer 4 Premium Edition
features 13 Bible translations (including, the NIV, NASB,
HCSB and ESV) and more than 70 other reference
resources.
WORDsearch Corp., based in Austin, Texas, has been
producing software and electronic books for the Christian
market since 1987. WORDsearch offers over 2400
volumes of electronic books in the CROSS format for
Christian pastors, teachers, and laypeople through its
WORDsearch™, Bible Explorer®, LESSONmaker™,
WORDsearchToGo, and InstaVerse software products.
Since its inception in 1992, Logos Research
Systems, Inc. has grown into the largest
developer of Bible software and a worldwide
leader in multilingual electronic publishing.
They partner with more than 100 publishers to
make more than 9,000 electronic Bible study
resources available to customers around the
world. Logos is headquartered in Bellingham,
Washington,.
BibleWorks is a tightly integrated collection
of Bible software tools designed specifically
for scholarly analysis of the Bible text. More
than a mere Bible search engine, BibleWorks
comes with a variety of Bible search tools,
lexicons, dictionaries, and morphology
analysis.
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) seeks to build up the
church by making classic Christian literature widely available and
promoting its use for edification and study by interested Christians,
seekers and scholars. The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has a digital
library of hundreds of classic Christian bookdistributed through the World
Wide Web and other media located on Calvin College's servers.
Essential IVP Reference Collection: on CDRom
The Essential IVP Reference Collection includes 18 reference works
from the best of today's biblical and theological scholars.
IVP's award-winning New Testament dictionary series (Dictionary of
Jesus and the Gospels, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, Dictionary
of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, Dictionary of New
Testament Background), the immensely popular Bible background
commentaries (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament,
IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament), and the New
Bible Dictionary and New Bible Commentary, which have set the
standard for Bible reference books for over a generation.
Hard Sayings of the Bible gives in-depth explanations of over 500 of
the most difficult passages in the Old and New Testaments. The
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery will aid your exploration of the
themes, metaphors, imagery and patterns of Scripture. New Bible
Atlas, New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and New Dictionary of
Theology will help round out your study of the places, peoples,
interpretations and implications of biblical teaching.
AGES Bible Software
Ages' Bible Software product line includes many important
resources such as the
the Classic Bible Sermons collection,
Expositer's Bible,
Biblical Illustrator,
Pulpit Commentary,
Ultimate Christian Library,
and several bundles.
Ages' Bible Software product line also includes historic works by
men of God such as Spurgeon, Calvin, Pink, Owen, Edwards, Carroll,
Warfield, Classic, Wesley, Dwight, McClintock, and Barnes.
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Building a Bible Study Library