This article was inspired by a book by E. W. Bullinger called How to Enjoy the Bible, it was written in the early 1900's and has inspired me to devote a lifetime of research to the Word of God, I hope this will inspire you too.
There are a few basic elements we must state before we get in-depth on how to study God's wonderful Word. First we must know that there is only one requirement that is written in the Word pertaining to studying the Word. We must rightly divide it.
II Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
It matters little what people have thought or said the Bible says. There have been volumes that have listed the names and views of what people have said the Bible says and we would learn very little if we were to study it all we would only become confused. We need only to stay in the Word and leave not the pages of the Bible to understand the great truth that God has revealed.
Secondly we must know the object of the Word of God and that is to reveal the Father and the Son. Third we must know what the subject of the Bible is; Jesus Christ the promised seed of Genesis 3:15
Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The Bible must therefore be seen and arranged with reference to Christ. The words, commandments and purposes of God are all centered in Christ. The thread from Gen 3:15 through Revelation is Christ and we must keep this first in our minds to truly know God's Word.
The literary form of the Bible: "THE WORD OF GOD" as a whole comes to us in two separate parts: one written, originally, in Hebrew; the other in Greek. Only in the Versions are these two combined, and bound together in one Book. This division, of course, is not human, though the names by which they are commonly known are. Up to the second century the term "Old Covenant" was used by the Greeks to describe the Hebrew Bible. This passed into the Latin Vulgate as "Vetus Testamentum," from which our English term "Old Testament" was derived. The name New Testament is a one off of that.
Fourth we must adhere to whom the scripture is written. This is the subject matter of the Bible. We have said that Jesus Christ is the subject of the Bible but the subject matter of the Bible is the people to whom the scripture is written. For example, there are the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God.
Fifth we must know what God is saying in reference to the subject, subject matter and the times that the scripture is referring to. These are sometimes called dispensations in the Bible. The Greek word for Dispensation is oikonomia and refers to the act of administering by the Figure Metonymy, the act of administering is transferred to the time during which that administering is carried on.
The present dispensation called Grace; is not in Law, Judgment, or Glory. It belongs to the time which is called "the Administration of the Mystery" that Secret (as the word Mystery means in the Greek) "which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men" (Eph 3:5). It was "hid in God from the beginning of the world" (Eph 3:9). It "was kept secret since the world began" (Rom 16:25). But Paul was made the special administrator of all the truth connected with it. It was committed to him by God: and the Word of God could not be "fully preached" without it (Col 1:25, margin). The Word of truth can be preached today, but it cannot be "fully preached" without the truth connected with this Mystery.
We have seen five principles which are required for Biblical study to "rightly divide" the Word of God. One, the requirement, we must rightly divide the Word. Two, we must know the object of the Word; to reveal God and His will to us who believe. Three, we must know what the subject of the Bible is; Jesus Christ. Four, we must adhere to the subject matter of the Bible; to whom it is written. Five, we must know what is written in reference to one through four which is time. When were the scriptures written and what times are the scriptures referring to?
When we apply these five basic steps to studying the Bible, the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened that we may know what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints is to us.
Paul Griffitts has been a Bibical Researcher for over 30 years
Currently Paul is the Editor of The Good News Letter for Believer.com.
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