Sunday, July 11, 2010
Our Scripture Heritage
Some work done by Chadi Moussi and me as we work to illustrate the teaching of inspiration in Scripture.
HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE
The Bible we have is inspired by God. The word inspiration comes from a Greek word meaning “God-breathed.” ( 2 Timothy 3:16). Words that are inspired by God are exactly what God wanted to be said. God the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture, not people. The authors of the Bible were moved by the Holy Spirit so that they wrote the exact words that God wanted them to write within their own styles. ( 2 Peter 1:20-21) The scope of the Bible’s inspiration is plenary verbal inspiration, which means that every single word of Scripture was exactly as God intended.
God is the source of this process of inspiration, causing the original autographs to be inerrant. Scribes and others copied the Bible, producing copies that were accurate. These copies were then taken, copied repeatedly, and translated. People since then have preached and taught the Word, are illuminated and then apply biblical principles into their lives. This entire process produces an infallible Scripture which will never lead astray those who trust in it. We can say without apology “I have an accurate English translation of an accurate copy of God’s written, inspired Word.”
THREE STEPS TO BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER’S IMPORTANCE
The first step of Bible study is Observation. Observation is when you ask the question What does it say?. When doing observation, we find out what is in the text and ask a lot of questions in order to better understand it. The second step of Bible study is Interpretation. Interpretation is when you ask the question What does it mean? We must make sure to have a correct interpretation of the Bible; otherwise, we can mislead ourselves when we go to apply it. The third and final step of Bible study is Application. Application is when we ask How does it apply to me? We cannot just be satisfied with knowing what there is to know; we must take what we study in the Bible and apply it to our lives.
What is prayer? For true Christians, prayer is “communion with God”. Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God. Prayer is talking, listening, and enjoying the presence of God. We pray because we love God, because we depend on God in order to resist temptation and most importantly because He commands us to. Before studying the Bible it is vital that we pray for God’s guidance since He is the author of the text.
WRONG VIEWS OF BIBLE STUDY
There are many reasons why people don’t study the Bible. Some might say, “I need something that works”. The problem of relevance may be the number one reason that people are not studying God’s Word today. God’s revelation is as alive and working today as it was when it was first delivered. Some say “I don’t know how”. The problem of technique is also common; we’ve been saturated with visual images, and we’re losing our ability to read. Studying the Bible can be easy if you put forth time and effort; if you don’t know how, then learn. Another response is I’m just a layman. Many people think they understand the basics, but don’t work on uncovering His truths. They think they can’t do it because they aren’t preachers. You don’t need professional training to understand the Bible. A very common excuse is I just don’t have time. If we find ourselves saying this, then ask yourself where the Bible fits on your list of priorities. We must learn that the study of the Word is not an option - it’s an essential. Others say I have my doubts about the Bible. These people ask if the Bible is reliable and authoritative; we must learn that it is completely reliable, and the more we study it, the more consistent and reasonable it turns out to be. One last wrong view is I can’t seem to make it interesting. It is very difficult to get people excited about one’s own insights into the Word.
An excellent resource for Bible study is the web site http://preceptaustin.org/ Here you will find helpful word studies, commentary and resources to enrich your personal Bible study.
Posted by AVU at 9:40 PM