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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Common Interpretive Pitfalls

Paul’s pastoral counsel to his protégé Timothy was clear: “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). He told Timothy to read the text, explain the text (doctrine), and apply the text (exhortation). You don’t read it and jump right into application. You read it, then explain it, and then apply it. That’s what “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is all about. Otherwise, misinterpretation is the likely result, and misinterpretation is the mother of all kinds of mania.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Read Both Sides of the Bible

There is nothing more basic to Bible study than Bible reading. Imagine trying to interpret a middle chapter in the allegorical Pilgrim’s Progress without knowing the larger story, or studying the significance of World War II without a good understanding of World War I. Proper Bible study cannot be built on a scattered compilation of pet verses or a narrow study of a particular doctrine—it must be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of broad biblical themes and history. And the only way to obtain that is faithful, diligent Bible reading.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Recognizing the Glory of God’s Word

The tremendous access to God’s Word today has also bred a dangerous complacency. Bibles now occupy ornamental places in our homes. We would consider it foolish to find a treasure chest and never open it to see what’s inside. Yet in reality, that’s what happens when a Bible is relegated to decorative use.

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