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 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.