JD: There’s a technical interpretation and or a spiritual application to each of these verses we’re looking at. I think it might be helpful to give a few of the principles that you and I use when we study the Bible and when we try to interpret and apply it correctly.
DJ: Proper Bible study is made up of three main parts. That’s observation, interpretation and application. So the very first principle is that we must carefully observe the text before we do any interpretation. I would say that most of the Bible really doesn’t need to be interpreted it just needs to be observed, accepted and applied.
Another principle is that the main question is not what does this passage mean to me. That’s the application question. The right interpretation question is what does this mean to God and when we get that right we can apply the text correctly. You know a common mistake that many make is thinking that everything in the Bible is to us. Now the Bible definitely is for us but not everything is directly to us. So for example, some things were to Israel or just to specific churches or to specific individuals. So we need to be careful how we handle the word of God. You know it would be like reading a letter written to someone else and thinking it applies to us in the same way it does to them. If we know the author of that letter then we can learn something about them from that letter that we might be able to apply directly to our relationship with that person but that’s different then if that person wrote that letter directly to us.
So the most important thing in studying the Bible is to study the context of the passages themselves. The text means what it means whether we see it or not. Then the historical context is sort of like using a flashlight when we’re walking in the dark. It helps us to see what we might otherwise miss and that’s what the historical context does for the Biblical passages that we would be studying.
JD: David James with Bible in hand explaining the three main principles for proper Bible study.
We report this information because it is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
David’s three principles for a proper Bible study of God’s word are key. Let me repeat them for you: observation, interpretation and application. The apostle Paul exhorted all of us to study the word of God rightly dividing this word of truth, that’s II Timothy 2:15. God said that and then He added that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. God breathed into man what He wants these Biblical authors to write down, that’s II Timothy 3:16. In Paul’s last book II Timothy he encouraged all of us to study his inspired book in these the last days, that’s II Timothy 4:1-4.