The Bible is NOT like any other book.
1. The Bible is God’s Word, verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit, without error and authoritative.
God is the primary author. Human beings are the secondary authors.
2. Scripture interprets Scripture. God interprets His Word for us.
3. Scripture is in harmony with itself. It is one literary and theological unit. If an interpretation contradicts a fundamental doctrine, it is wrong. NT usage of OT passages gives us insight into understanding the OT.
4. Scripture is Christological. The main purpose of the Scriptures is to point us to Jesus and the salvation He won for us.
5. The Bible’s main teaching is justification by grace through faith.
6. In the Scriptures God speaks words of Law and words of Gospel. Each has a specific purpose and should never be confused.
7. The Scriptures are God’s revelation to us. God reveals Himself, His acts in history (salvation history), and His Son.
The Bible IS like other books in that it is written in the language of human beings. It is therefore subject to the same rules of grammar.
1. The meaning of words is important.
2. The historical setting is important in obtaining the “then and there” meaning.
3. The culture at the time of writing is important in obtaining the “then and there” meaning.
4. Check the literary form. Assume a literal meaning unless something in the text queues you otherwise (poetry, simile, metaphor, apocalyptic, etc.).
5. Keep within context (paragraph, chapter, book, other books written by author, testament, entire Bible).
6. Check translation footnotes and other translations for alternate translations.
7. There is almost always only one intended meaning.
• Focus on salvation in Christ, Law/Gospel and sin/grace.
• Be a discoverer and not an inventor.
• One intended meaning, many applications.
• Observe, interpret and apply it.