Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
The Exegetical Task
Because we believe that the Bible is God’s Word to us we tend to read Scripture in our a way that makes sense to us. We bring everything we are to the text: our experiences, culture, former teachings, etc. Unless we learn the actual intent of a Scriptural passage, to whom and why the words were written, we may end up with an interpretation that is quite different than the actual meaning.
Three important definitions we need to understand are: eisegesis, the practice of reading our own preconceived notions, biases, and understanding into Bible text; exegesis, the study of God’s Word to discover the writer’s original and intended meaning; hermeneutics, bringing contemporary relevance to ancient texts, the Bible’s meaning for today.
Before you begin, please read the course manual to get an understanding of the format. It is our desire that the tools given in the following lessons will enhance your ability to better understand God’s Word, the Bible.
LESSON 1 Basic Background of the Bible
Memory verse: Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
LESSON 2 The Exegetical Task – Basic Rules For Biblical Interpretation
Memory verse: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
LESSON 3 Context – Correct and Incorrect Methods
Memory verse: 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
LESSON 4 Figurative Language – Parables and Allegories
Memory verse: Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
LESSON 5 The Epistles – Interpreting New Testament Letters
Memory verse: Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
LESSON 6 The Law and the Prophets – The New Testament Conversion of the Law
Memory verse: James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
- Reading the Bible For All Its Worth
- How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour
- Understanding Scripture