Monday, June 05, 2006

In Bible Study ... Interpretation Before Application

Bible Study: Observation before Interpretation before Application
Here is a good application (A.p.p.l.i.c.a.t.i.o.n.s) acrostic that I found at

  • Is there an Attitude to adjust?
  • Is there a Promise to claim?
  • Is there a Priority to change
  • Is there a Lesson to learn?
  • Is there an Issue to resolve?
  • Is there a Command to obey?
  • Is there an Activity to avoid or stop?
  • Is there a Truth to believe?
  • Is there an Idol to tear down? (That’s a big one.)
  • Is there an Offense to forgive?
  • Is there a New direction to take?
  • Is there a Sin to confess?
If you apply this to your interpretation it will help you be more intentional in your reading of the Scriptures. But this must coming with a warning: We must always remember that interpretation must precede application. It don’t matter what a passages of scripture means to me until we understand what it means from the author’s (human and divine) point of view (as if I was not alive). The same issue is true for any part of our bible study methods. We must not confuse steps in the process of Biblical hermeneutics: Observation is not interpretation is not application. While each of part or step in the process of of understanding scripture is separate we also see that each are necessary and interrelate to each other as well.

To learn more about how to study the bible, I would recommend A Workman Approved By God (34 Hours) DVD video series.

Episode 1 and 2: Becoming a Workman, The Ultimate Goal, & Who Can Interpret God's Word
Episode 3: Who's Teaching You?
Episode 4: Extra Biblical Writings
Episode 5: Re-stoking The Fire & The First Step
Episode 6: Bridging The Communication Gaps
Episode 7: Why Words Matter
Episode 8: The Error of Subjective Interpretation
Episode 9: Literal & Symbolic Interpretation
Episode 10: Context
Episode 11: Superficial Interpretation
Episode 12: The Grammar Principle
Episode 13: Selective Citing
Episode 14: The Need For Systematic Theology
Episode 15: Pros & Cons Commentaries
Episode 16: Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms

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