Wow! That should get some people’s attention. But wait, the Bible does say that two places (Psalm 14; Psalm 53). Before you say something, this phrase was taken completely out of context. Go look it up!
But this brings up something very important, how to read one’s Bible, and for that matter, how to read anything. Let’s look at a few reading principles. The below principles on how the read the Bible were used to find the definition of biblical unity. You have seen the first principle, read in context.
This is when one looks at the big picture, such as the main topics of the book, who it was written for and why it was written. Then one keeps narrowing down to the specific chapter, paragraph and then verse and words that are in question. Arbitrarily selecting concepts from Scripture passages and trying to make logical conclusions is poor exegesis. You can see what happens when one does just that, the argument that “there is no God.” Sounds silly doesn’t?
While the chief principle for proper exegesis is context, another one is correct definition of words. This might go hand-in-hand with context. Many times we can find the definition by the context. Another way is using a lexicon like Strong’s or Thayer’s. The dictionary could also be used, especially for newer Bible translations, however, for the 1769 version of the KJV, this is not the best because words and definitions have change meaning.
Third, read the passage, paragraph, sentence, or verse with a blank slate. This means that one should try to separate one’s self from one’s preconceived thoughts on what that passage is saying. Preconceived beliefs are a wall for truth seekers. What we believe or want to be true does not change actual truth.
Forth, give each sentence or paragraph its literal or most straight froward meaning as a whole. Don’t add anything or subtract anything. Don’t read anything into the text, don’t make assumptions. Just read it for what it says.
Fifth, look at every place in the Scripture that applies or even could apply to the concepts that you are looking at.
Sixth, simplify what you learned. Is there any way one could say it simpler? Maybe try using synonyms for some of the words in the text, it might give a slight different perspective on what is being conveyed. Once what was your question will now be an answer, and it will be yours forever.
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