Monthly brief archives
December 2008: What to do with a stumper passage in scripture
Over the years, I have came to learn a lot about the Word of God. Time and time again, I trip across something that leaves me with my head scratching at first, but once I dig deeper, it amazes me how accurate and reliable the Bible really is. I want to share with you a few helpful tips that you can use when researching passages in the Bible.
1. Context - ALWAYS check the context for whatever you're reading. It can change the meaning in a moment's notice to something entirely different than what it first appears. There are two types of context that I like to check: (a) the surrounding context in that chapter or at least nearby verses, and (b) the context of the rest of scripture.
2. Hebrew and Greek - Looking up passages in the original languages is a key to unlock many mysteries in God's Word. If you get stumped, you might also take that Hebrew or Greek word, and check out other verses that make use of the same word, and then you might get a better feel for what that word means in the Bible age.
3. Chain reference - This is a powerful tool to help build a case with scripture. If you can find 5 scriptures that say the same thing, you're likely going to have a solid foundation to build from that cannot be easily twisted or taken out of context.
I highly recommend the KJV for any type of serious Bible study. The modern translations are full of errors (the NIV I heard has tens of thousands of errors compared to the KJV!), and I haven't had to look far to find quite a few serious flaws myself. If you are more comfortable reading the NASB, then don't let me discourage you from reading it; just don't rely on it for any serious Bible study, because it isn't near as reliable as the good old King James!
Another tool I find very helpful is the Strong's Concordance. This gives you the ability to look things up in the Hebrew and Greek. You can also download a free Bible program called E-Sword, along with their KJV+ plugin (which gives you the Strong's Concordance references).
For an example of how important it is to research stumper Bible passages, I encourage you to read the teaching Wicked Made for Punishment? which paints a perfect picture of how important it is to properly research and understand what the scriptures are actually saying.
Blessings in Christ,
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