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Principles that Should Govern Your Study of the Bible

Created: 20 Apr 2013 / Modified: 14 Sep 2013 As Christians, we are called to study our Bibles to show ourselves approved unto God, and to be able to rightly divide Gods Word. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, however, it is not possible to derive maximum benefit from studying the Scriptures, because spiritual things are spiritually discerned. This means that prayer is the first rule of Bible Study. It is also necessary to recognize and understand that there are key principles at the heart of effective Bible Study principles that if ignored, will lead to frustration in study, or to conclusions that are not in harmony with the overall theme of the Bible.

Table of Contents
What is the Purpose of the Scriptures ................................................................................... 2 The Scriptures are Inspired by God ...................................................................................... 3 Spiritual Things are Spiritually Discerned............................................................................... 4 The Bible is a Complete Collection ........................................................................................ 5 What Bible Did the New Testament Believers Use? ................................................................. 6 The Bible is its own Interpreter ............................................................................................ 7 The Bible is both Literal and Spiritual .................................................................................... 8 Symbols are Used Consistently in the Bible............................................................................ 9 In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses ............................................................................. 10 Repetition is Related to Importance .................................................................................... 11 The Messages of the Bible are Broadly Applicable ................................................................. 12 The Bible Balances Many Tensions ...................................................................................... 13 Understanding Context is Helpful ....................................................................................... 14 Instruction By Way of Principles and Commandments ........................................................... 15 Precepts and Instructions are Built Upon, Not Replaced ......................................................... 16 Are Things Ever Superseded in the Bible? ............................................................................ 17 The Future Is Manifest in the Past ...................................................................................... 19 Why isnt everything repeated in the New Testament? .......................................................... 20 How to Calculate Time Within Prophetic Writing ................................................................... 21 How Do I Deal with a Challenge to my Understanding? ......................................................... 22 Choosing a Bible Translation for Study Purposes .................................................................. 23

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

Page 1

What is the Purpose of the Scriptures


Psalms 119:105 KJV Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. John 5:39 KJV Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Luke 24:25-27 KJV Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Romans 15:4 KJV For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 2 Timothy 3:15 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Psalms 119:129-130 KJV Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. John 6:63 KJV It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The ultimate purpose of the scriptures is to point us to Jesus who alone can save. The Bible provides history, prophecy, doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, and good works but these are only useful within the context of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is the role of the scriptures to reveal the following to us: Who God is The need for a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God The way to obtain a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God The way to maintain a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Along the way, we get to see the history of our planet (from creation through the fall of man through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus through the spreading of the gospel), including good and bad life examples of many people on both sides of the great conflict; and all the prophecy which points to the eradication of sin and the final restoration of all things.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Scriptures are Inspired by God


2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Peter 1:21 KJV For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Jeremiah 30:1-2 KJV The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. Matthew 4:4 KJV But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Revelation 1:1-2 KJV The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
We are told that ALL scripture is given by inspiration not just some of it. The written word of God has been given to us for the purpose of our eternal salvation, and thus it contains everything we need to accept Jesus Christ and to live godly lives by the power of Gods Holy Spi rit. Because of how critical the Scriptures are to us, God not only went through a great deal of work to inspire those who would write down the great truths and instructions it contains, but He has gone through a great effort to preserve His Word from the constant and determined attacks of His enemy throughout the ages of earths history. Persecution, corruption, false teaching, and other means have been used in an attempt to silence and undermine the Word of God, but its testimony continues to stand fast and sure. Not even the power exerted during the Dark Ages was able to completely shut it from view. Over the course of approximately 1600 years, God inspired many men to convey the essential truths that He wanted us to have. These men possessed different skills, education, backgrounds, experience, and writing styles, yet God inspired their thoughts so that they could present His precepts, instruction, and reproof to us across the barriers of language, culture and time. The Bible contains the thoughts and ideas that God desired for us to have, expressed in the language of human beings. It is the writers that were inspired by God, who then converted their inspired thoughts to words. Because it was the men and their thoughts that were inspired, Gods Word can survive being translated to whatever language is needed to reach men who are in need of salvation. Indeed, Jesus Himself in His earthly ministry, along with all of the New Testament believers, relied upon the Septuagint as their Bible, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. While some translations are much better than others for deep Bible study and you are highly encouraged to make use of the translations that do not water down the divinity of God, or undermine the fullness of the Plan of Salvation Gods protection of His word means that it is possible to see Jesus and His ministry for us in any version of the Bible we are able to obtain to begin our studies. As we grow, we will likely find that our attention to Bible translations will also increase. The last section contains resources to help you evaluate the different Bible translations.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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Spiritual Things are Spiritually Discerned


Proverbs 2:5-6 KJV Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 27 KJV For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Because it is the Holy Spirit of God that inspired men to write the Scriptures, it is essential that we seek wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit before we dive into the Word of God. Our own wisdom will profit us nothing. Without prayerful study, none of the other key principles outlined in this document will be of any value. With prayerful study, all of the principles outlined in the remainder of this document will be readily manifest. Always remember to start off your studies on the right foot, no matter how much you feel that you know about the topic that you will be studying from the Bible.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Bible is a Complete Collection


Proverbs 30:5 KJV Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. James 2:10 KJV For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Deuteronomy 30:9-11 KJV And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. Matthew 5:17-18 KJV Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Isaiah 28:10 KJV For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Although it was written in parts, by many different writers, God has always designed that the Bible be understood as a complete unit of instruction and guidance. Each new ray of light was simply added to the existing rays of light, building upon what was already provided. In order to fully appreciate and understand the many directives contained in the Bible, it is essential that its underlying principles be understood. Without exception, any single command or instruction that we find in the Scriptures must be considered in light of all the other commands and instructions already given on the same topic, for the Bible maintains holistic consistency. Scripture is to be studied by taking a little from here, and a little from there harmonizing all the precepts given across the various passages. Taking a single passage or instruction in isolation, will inevitably result in an incorrect view of what God has made known to us. Additionally, looking at only a portion of the passages that deal with a given topic will typically result in the formation or acceptance of a false doctrine. It is important that all of the texts related to a particular topic be studied to ensure that what God has to say about that subject is understood in its entirety. Line upon line; precept upon precept There are those who suggest that the Bible cannot be trusted completely as Gods inspired Word that it is inaccurate in one way or another. They do not believe that God has protected it since its very inception. Yet, they are willing to accept some parts of the Bible as being inspired and accurate. This is a very inconsistent stance: either the whole Bible is Gods Word, or it is not. It is illogical to conclude that He could only protect a portion of the scriptures. It is all or none.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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What Bible Did the New Testament Believers Use?


Matthew 22:29 KJV Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Luke 18:31 KJV Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. Luke 24:44-45 KJV And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Both before and after His resurrection, Jesus used the Old Testament scriptures to show what was supposed to happen to the Messiah. It was not until some 20-30 years after Jesus had ascended back to Heaven that the first few books of what we now call the New Testament were written. In other words, for a good portion of the first century AD, the New Testament believers were using as their entire scriptures, that which we now call the Old Testament typically in the form of the Greek Septuagint. Because they saw the NT as building upon the OT, rather than replacing it, the writers of NT scriptures made extensive use of OT references in their writings. The heavy dependence upon the OT by the Apostolic Church is seen in the number of direct and indirect references in the NT to passages from the OT. If only direct quotes are taken into account, a conservative estimate suggests that over 4.4% of the New Testament scriptures reference the Old Testament. If allusions are allowed, the estimates climb to upwards of 10%. See the following excerpt from New Testament Use of the Old Testament. The present writer has counted 224 direct citations introduced by a definite formula indicating the writer purposed to quote. To these must be added seven cases where a second quotation is introduced by the conjunction and, and 19 cases where a paraphrase or su mmary rather than a direct quotation follows the introductory formula. We may further note at least 45 instances where the similarity with certain Old Testament passages is so pronounced that, although no explicit indication is given that the New Testament author was referring to Old Testament Scripture, his intention to do so can scarcely be doubted. Thus a very conservative count discloses unquestionably at least 295 separate references to the Old Testament. These occupy some 352 verses of the New Testament, or more than 4.4 per cent. Therefore one verse in 22.5 of the New Testament is a quotation. If clear allusions are taken into consideration, the figures are much higher: C. H. Toy lists 613 such instances, Wilhelm Dittmar goes as high as 1640, while Eugen Huehn indicates 4105 passages reminiscent of Old Testament Scripture. It can therefore be asserted, without exaggeration, that more than 10 per cent of the New Testament text is made up of citations or direct allusions to the Old Testament. The recorded words of Jesus disclose a similar percentage. Certain books like Revelation, Hebrews, Romans are well nigh saturated with Old Testament forms of language, allusions and quotations. Perusal of Nestles edition of the Greek New Testament, in which the Old Testament material is printed in bold face type, will reveal at a glance the extent of this practice. These facts appear even more impressive when one remembers that in New Testament times the Old Testament was not as today duplicated by the million but could be obtained only in expensive handwritten copies. The New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled, not replaced.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Bible is its own Interpreter


Isaiah 8:20 KJV To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 28:10 KJV For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Acts 17:2 KJV And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Acts 17:11 KJV These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 28:23 KJV And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 2 Peter 3:2 KJV That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
What does it mean that the Bible is its own interpreter? It means that the key to understanding any given passage in the scriptures is to be found in some other passage in the scriptures. The meaning or definition or precept is to be found authoritatively somewhere within the pages of the Bible itself. There are many who primarily try to understand the Bible by means of external resources. By way of example, using modern dictionary definitions to prove that a Bible writer meant one thing or another is the wrong way to go about attempting to understand the Bible. It is the Bible which is the test of all understanding, not the other way around. If you want to know what a given statement, symbol or instruction in the Bible means, then the proper place to search is throughout the rest of the Scriptures to see how that symbol, statement, or instruction is used or applied. The Bible contains all of the information needed for us to decode its symbols, messages and instruction because God clearly intended that it be our daily bread a complete unit of study and not just some random collection of individual and disconnected writings. By prayer, honest searching and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all of the Bibles treasures may be rightfully discerned. This is not to suggest that we cannot use external resources such as Bible dictionaries and concordances as an aid to effective Bible Study. Rather, we must understand that these other resources are not the ultimate source for defining what Bible words, symbols and concepts mean that is the role of the Bible itself.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Bible is both Literal and Spiritual


Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Matthew 4:4 KJV But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Mark 4:10-11 KJV And when He was alone, they that were about Him with the twelve asked of Him the parable. And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
We have already shown that the overall purpose of the Bible is salvation. Thus, everything in the Bible is ultimately intended to have spiritual significance. God has chosen to use several different ways of communicating His truths to us, and so the writings of the Bible can be categorized in the following ways: Literal, Poetic, Parable, or Prophetic. The vast majority of the Bible is literal, and this should be considered the default way in which to view and understand all passages unless there are clear and compelling reasons to interpret a passage in one of the other forms. Just because a passage or concept or instruction might be hard to understand, or seemingly inconsistent with modern day norms, is not a valid reason to conclude that the passage in question is definitively poetic, symbolic or metaphoric in some way. Virtually every book in the Bible incorporates more than one of the forms in at least one passage. The poetic portions of the Bible are largely concentrated in the books of Job, Psalms and the works of Solomon (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon). Please note that the Psalms also contain many prophetic components, and also refer to literal events. Poetic is not equivalent to allegorical, nor should it be assumed that the depictions described are fabricated or constructed solely for the purpose of making a point. Parables are given primarily by Jesus and Old Testament prophets. Much of the instruction that Jesus gave was in the form of parables. A parable is a story which almost always depicts a realistic event or activity, and is intended to convey some spiritual lesson. Many, but not all of the parables found in the Bible are identified by the title of parable, but even the untitled parables can be discerned because of their consistent use of symbolism and imagery, as compared to other parables throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Prophecy consists of the almost entirely symbolic representations of literal people/entities, situations, and events. That is to say, a prophecy is often written in symbolic language, but all of the symbols actually correspond to some literal person, entity, place, situation or event. Just as with parables, the symbols and imagery used in prophetic utterances are consistently used throughout the entire Bible. Given all of the above, when studying the scriptures, always start from the perspective that the passages you are reading are to be taken quite literally, until there is a clear indication that a shift to a prophetic or figurative (parable) understanding is more appropriate.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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Symbols are Used Consistently in the Bible


Jeremiah 6:2 KJV I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. Revelation 12:1 KJV And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: Ezekiel 23:1-4 KJV The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. Revelation 17:1-4 KJV And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: Daniel 7:15-17 KJV I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. Revelation 13:1-2 KJV And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
God is consistent in every way, including the symbols that He provides for us throughout the entire Bible. Thus, it is not difficult to discern what lessons are being taught even in the heavily prophetic books which tend to rely upon symbols and symbolic language. When you find the Bible definition for a word or item or person that is used symbolically in one passage, you can be sure that the same definition applies to that symbol when it is used elsewhere in the Bible. Here are just a few examples:
Waters: multitude of people Beast: a nation Horn: a king Woman: a church or religious people (Revelation 17:15; Revelation 17:1; Daniel 12:7) (Daniel 7:17; Daniel 7:3; Revelation 13:1,11) (Daniel 7:24; Daniel 7:3; Revelation 13:1,11) (Jeremiah 6:2; Revelation 12:1; Revelation 17:3)

Sometimes, as in the prophetic book of Daniel, the explanation of the symbols used is given in the general vicinity of the prophecies in which they are used. At other times, such as in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to search through other parts of the Bible (such as the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) in order to find the definitions of the various symbols which are used.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses


Deuteronomy 19:15 KJV One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Matthew 18:16 KJV But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 2 Corinthians 13:1 KJV This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
The principle of requiring multiple witnesses to establish every matter is of vital importance to the true Bible student. Jesus made extensive use of this principle in His debates and discourses with the Jewish leaders during His earthly ministry. Every doctrine which we believe that the Bible teaches is presented in more than one place, and often by more than one person. This is one of the reasons why God used different writers to cover the same ground already addressed by other writers. Not only do the styles of the different writers help make things more clear, and help to reinforce key points, but they also ensure that there are sufficient witnesses to every doctrine or teaching. Because of this principle, we must insist that any teaching or doctrine must have support from more than one witness, and from more than one passage of scripture. If you have a doctrine that can only be supported by a single text or passage, then you might want to re-evaluate if the Bible is actually in support of that doctrine, or if you have simply misunderstood that passage. If you search throughout all of the scriptures for all of the information you can on a given topic, and you find that some of your witnesses are not saying the same thing as the others, then you cannot just throw out the ones that dont support your premise. You must search more diligently to determine what the connecting link is. It is often the case that the true principle being taught is broader not narrower than we are prepared to believe or accept. Again: If there is any doctrine that you believe the Bible teaches, you should be able to support it using more than one passage in the Scriptures.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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Repetition is Related to Importance


Deuteronomy 6:6-8 KJV And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. Jeremiah 35:15 KJV I have sent also unto you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto Me. Matthew 23:37 KJV O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Generally speaking, repetition is one of the key measures of the importance of a message. This is just as true in the Bible as it is elsewhere in life. Each thing found in the Bible is mentioned a different number of times, for a variety of reasons. If you think about it, this apparent discrepancy is not that hard to understand or explain. For one thing, the more important God deems a particular bit of information or instruction, the more often we find it mentioned throughout the Bible. Even though everything in the Bible is important in some way or another, even a casual reading of the scriptures makes it plain that at different times, God views/viewed certain things of more significance than other things. Another factor that contributes to the amount of repetition that we see in the Bible is the level of obedience or understanding of Gods people. The more often Gods people failed to understand, accept or implement a particular set of instructions, the more often God had to send additional messengers to reiterate that set of instructions or discuss that particular topic to His people. While I am not trying to suggest that there is anything in the Bible that can be safely ignored, I believe it is entirely appropriate to say that the things in Gods Word that are mentioned more often and in greater detail than other things, are the things that require more attention and focus from us. Here are some basic reasons behind the repetition of instructions or information that we see in scripture: Emphasis: It is of vital importance, especially spiritual importance Violations: Something is being violated, ignored or overlooked and correction is needed Perspective: Something needs to be looked at from an additional or different angle

The entire Bible is a revelation of God and His will, and there are so many facets of both that God wants us to understand, that He takes His time approaching it from many different angles, using a variety of writers with differing educational and socio-economic backgrounds. We should give due heed to information that is especially repeated throughout the Bible.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Messages of the Bible are Broadly Applicable


Deuteronomy 6:6-7 KJV And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Mark 14:9 KJV Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Romans 15:4 KJV For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Isaiah 28:10 KJV For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Nehemiah 8:8 KJV So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. Deuteronomy 6:2 KJV That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 2 Timothy 3:15 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
There are many parts of the Bible that people feel like they can ignore because the instructions appear to be targeted to a specific group. A careful look at the scriptures will readily reveal that the vast majority of the Bible was written largely to a specific group, or nation or church congregation. However, because we know that the Bible was designed by God for instruction, doctrine and reproof for all His people across time, we must accept that these instructions are not limited to a specific time or space. This is, after all, the everlasting gospel, so it would only make sense that God always intended that both the direct instructions and the underlying principles would be vital to His people of all ages, locations and customs. It must also be accepted, then, that every message has import for us today.

Key Principles of Bible Study v8 by Andrew S. Baker

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The Bible Balances Many Tensions


Romans 11:6 KJV And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Galatians 2:16 KJV Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. James 2:14-18 KJV What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Titus 3:8 KJV This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Revelation 22:12 KJV And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
We have a tendency to pull to one extreme or another, but the Bible is full of balance. God perfectly balances judgment and mercy. We are told that faith and works both have a role to play in the life of true believer. We are not saved by works, but will be judged by them. We have to be very careful that we look at all of the scriptures that pertain to a topic and strive to see how the apparent opposites are neatly balanced in between both extremes. God is love, but He is also just, and His dealings with mankind and the universe in general show both sides. The Bible does not teach that God is so loving the He cannot implement justice, or that He is so just that He cannot show mercy. When studying about these types of topics, be prepared to embrace a view that integrates elements of what would otherwise appear to be diametrically opposed positions.

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Understanding Context is Helpful


Matthew 16:6-12 KJV Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. John 21:21-23 KJV Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
Understanding the context of a message in the Bible often greatly aids in understanding how it should be applied to us. In order to gain the import of every message, every instruction, every story found in the Bible, we need to understand as much as we can about who said it, to whom, and for what purpose. More than that, we need to understand how the original recipients of the message understood it. Many of the metaphors used by Jesus and the prophets were instantly recognizable to the recipients because of their way of life, and by having a proper understanding of how they lived, we will have a better appreciation and understanding of the information given, and be able to see the underlying principles more clearly. We often miss the full impact of symbols such as those relating to the Early/Latter Rain or to wedding and marriage, because we dont realize how/when rain fell in that area of the world, or how they conducted their courtship and wedding ceremonies at that time. If we are only willing to match the illustrations used in the Bible by the modern manifestations that we see today, we will not only miss many of the key lessons that the Bible holds for us, but we will likely come to some incorrect conclusions about what is being said. Finally, many of the apparent contradictions that we come across in the Bible are due to the lack of contextual understanding on our part. Why is Paul emphasizing grace and faith over works? Why is James pointing out the necessity of works that are an outgrowth of a true Christian relationship? Knowing what issues the listeners were going through, and what problems the apostles, prophets and other Bible writers were inspired to address would go a long way to harmonizing supposed contradictions. One other aspect of context to consider is that the Bible wasnt always divided into chapters and verses. The scriptures were originally written as letters or communication that did not necessarily align with where our chapter/verse divisions are today. One thing we should not be too quick to use context for, is to prevent the instruction or principles of a particular passage from applying to us today. A quick look at 1 Corinthians 10, for example, will show that the Apostle Paul saw many, many ways in which the experien ces of Gods ancient people could and should be applied to us. Remember: the lessons, principles and instructions in the Bible are broadly applicable to us.

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Instruction By Way of Principles and Commandments


Psalms 119:105 KJV Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Proverbs 1:7 KJV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Romans 15:4 KJV For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Proverbs 1:5-6 KJV A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
God provides instruction and guidance to us using multiple mechanisms in the Bible, including commandments (and statutes, and judgments) and principles (via precept and example). Direct commands in the form of Thou shalt and Thou shalt NOT make up only a small portion of the scriptures. The greater portion of Gods instruction and guidance to use comes in the form of principles and examples as recorded throughout the Scriptures. There is much that we can learn about what we should do, and what we shouldnt do based on what people in the Bible record did or didnt do, and what the results were. We shouldnt need to see a Thou Shalt Not Sell Your Savior for 20 Pieces of Silver commandment to know that it violates Gods principles. Similarly, issues like smoking, gambling, and pornography can be rightly understood as being against the will of God because they each violate one or more principles including those related to health, stewardship, and purity, respectively. One of the most profound things that Jesus took the time to point out in the Sermon on the Mount was that God is concerned about the underlying principles of His Law, and not just the mere wording of that Law.

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Precepts and Instructions are Built Upon, Not Replaced


Malachi 3:6 KJV For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Deuteronomy 13:1-4 KJV If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him. Genesis 17:7 KJV And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Psalms 119:152 KJV Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Revelation 14:6 KJV And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Because God knows the end from the beginning, the generally establishes precepts and ordinances that are permanent, or that foreshadow permanent precepts and ordinances. Anything that God establishes remains in place until a definitive statement is made regarding a change. This is very similar to way in which speed limit signs are used: the last posted speed limit is intended to be the current speed limit. The speed limit doesnt just become 0 or 100 when you dont see a sign for a while. Instead, the last posted sign remains in force until further notice, and unless superseded by an already established rule (e.g. the speed limit in within city limits). As an indication of how long God expects that things will operate once He has put them into place, let us consider how Jesus responded to questions that were raised during His earthly ministry which pertained to mans salvation. When anyone asked Jesus about the pathway to eternal life, He would point them back to the laws and statutes given to Moses, some 1000 years prior to Jesus earthly ministry. This instruction was clearly intended to last. Also, consider this: The patterns of human behavior that were recorded in the Old Testament are the same ones that Jesus instructed us to watch out for in the end times. As it was in the days of Noah/Lot When studying the scriptures, we can rest assured that every new instruction builds upon previous instructions, and that any instructions which are not mentioned for a while are still in force until they are explicitly indicated as being replaced or fulfilled in some fashion. Each new command, directive, principle, precept and example is to be understood as building upon the ones that came before, and therefore will not be in opposition to them. By knowing what we have already been instructed, we will know how to assess and understand every new bit of guidance that comes our way, and we will be able to discern truth from falsehood. We will never be given new directives by any means that contradict previously given directives from the Word of God.

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Are Things Ever Superseded in the Bible?


Malachi 3:6 KJV For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Genesis 17:7 KJV And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Psalms 119:152 KJV Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Revelation 14:6 KJV And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Numbers 21:8-9 KJV And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. John 3:14-15 KJV And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
This is a very good question. The Bible tells us that not only is God unchanging, but His law, precepts and testimonies are unchanging. Yet, it is almost universally agreed that the sacrificial system as practiced by the Levites was ended when Jesus died upon the cross. So is there a consistent principle for determining what can change? Or is the change arbitrary? The Bible operates under a system of types and antitypes. An antitype is a literal person or thing or activity that is foreshadowed by a type (a symbol). While the definition found at The Free Dictionary suggests that the types are always in the OT and their antitypes are always in the NT, be advised that there are a few types found in Revelation where the antitype is yet to come. Thus, in this context, someone or something is said to be typical when it is a symbolic representation of someone or something more substantial. Likewise, someone or something is said to be antitypical when it is the fulfillment that removes the need for the symbolic person or activity. Its not so much that things get replaced, than that placeholders give way to the full and proper manifestation. While the scope of overlap between a type and antitype can be fairly extensive, in other cases, the scope can be fairly narrow. One example of a limited scope is with the serpent of brass that Moses was told to make to save the Israelites from death as recorded in Number 21:8-9 and referenced in John 3:14-15. The overlap between the brass serpent and Jesus is very narrow, focusing only upon the crucifixion. This is in contrast with the most prominent type/antitype pair in the Bible: Jesus, the Lamb which taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Here, the nature of Jesus is routinely and consistently compared with that of a peaceful lamb both in His life and in His death.

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Not surprisingly, the Bible follows a consistent pattern in its use of types and antitypes, making it fairly easy to identify them. The pattern is as follows: The type and its purpose are identified The arrival of the antitype is prophesied Once the antitype has arrived, the replacement of the type is indicated

Introduce. Look forward. Confirm in hindsight. In almost every case, the above elements are repeated in more than one passage the more important the antitype, the more pronounced the messages for the type and antitype. As previously indicated concerning the permanence of everything that the Bible introduces, a type is enduring right up until the moment that its mission has been accomplished by the antitype that it was foreshadowing. Using this principle, we can look at the sacrificial system and see what it was designed for, and what it pointed to, and when its fulfillment was indicated. Establishment of the sacrificial system Genesis 3:15; Genesis 4:4; Exodus 12:1-11 Foreshadowing of a more complete sacrifice Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:24-27; John 1:29; Luke 9:22 Confirmation of the prophesied change to the sacrificial system Luke 24:46; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:22,28

Thus, now that the antitypical sacrifice has occurred, the typical (or symbolic) sacrifices are no longer necessary or meaningful. This same principle can also be applied to the changing of the priesthood, as follows: Establishment of the Levitical priesthood Exodus 28; Leviticus 8 Foreshadowing of a different priesthood Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4 Confirmation of the prophesied change to the priesthood of Melchizedek Hebrews 5:10; Hebrews 6:20 8:6; Hebrews 9:11 Now that the antitypical sacrifice has occurred, the type is no longer necessary Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45; Hebrews 8:13; Hebrews 10:4

Of course, given that the Levitical priesthood was established for the express purpose of pointing Israel and the world to the antitypical sacrifice of Christ, it makes perfect sense that it would only need to exist until it had managed to complete the purpose for which it was ordained. The purpose of the Levitical priesthood was fulfilled when Jesus died as the antitypical Passover Lamb. You will find that every instruction or command or activity in the Bible which God intended to have a limited shelf life follows this principle. Anything that is legitimately changed in the Bible from one phase to another will be identifiable by this pattern of initial establishment, foreshadowing of future change, and clear confirmation of replacement, with references to the relevant prophecies.

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The Future Is Manifest in the Past


Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 KJV The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. Amos 3:7 KJV Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets. Deuteronomy 29:29 KJV The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Romans 15:4 KJV For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Luke 17:26 KJV And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
God has promised that He will reveal to His servants those things that they need to be prepared for the future. In addition to prophecy, history is one of the methods by which God accomplishes this revelation. This principle is closely related to the type/antitype principle. The patterns of activity and behavior in both the Old and New Testaments, help us to see how God will act and how He wants us to act in the future. While God is capable of operating in any manner of His choosing, the Bible record reveals to us that He has chosen to operate in a consistent fashion throughout history such that we can understand His dealings with us. Paying attention to these patterns enables us to discern when God is actually involved in something in our lives, and when He is not. This was the same principle that Jesus was using when He made the following statements: As it was in the days of Noah As it was in the days of Lot (Luke 17:26) (Luke 17:28)

Do you want to understand some of the challenges that Gods people will encounter just before the end of all things? Then take a close look at what the Israelites faced just before they crossed the Jordan River and entered Canaan. (Numbers 24-26) Do you want to understand who the 144,000 of Revelation 7 are, and what their role might be? Then take a close look at Gideons army (Judges 6-7), and at all of the other instances in the Old Testament where God numbered His people. There are many aspects of the future that God intends for us to know, and He uses both prophecy and history to show them to us. Thus, we should be willing to seek out patterns that help us better understand the principles of the Bible, so that we are prepared.

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Why isnt everything repeated in the New Testament?


Matthew 5:17-18 KJV Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Psalms 33:9 KJV For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. John 9:27 KJV He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? John 18:20-21 KJV Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou Me? ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
It is no more necessary for the NT to repeat every instruction of the OT than it would be for every book in the OT to repeat every instruction given in the other books. As an example, let us consider Genesis and Exodus by themselves for a moment. The written and audible pronouncement of the Law of God is first recorded in Exodus 20. Are we then to conclude that people in Genesis were able to do whatever they wanted without repercussions? Does this mean that there was no possibility of sin until the time of the Moses? If so, how then does Joseph make the following statement?

Genesis 39:9 KJV There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Clearly, the principles of Gods Law were known to Gods people sinc e the time of Adam, and passed on from generation to generation even though the 10 commandments werent committed to stone tablets until the time of Moses. It is in the time of Moses that the Written Word comes into being, so it stands to reason that everything would get mentioned at least once at this time. As we covered earlier, there are times when God repeats certain instructions, and they tend to correspond to situations where the recipients of His message had forgotten or overlooked the instructions in question. This will be a familiar concept for parents. So, which parent repeatedly discusses the household guidelines that are not being ignored? It is only necessary to harp on the garbage being taken out if it is not, in fact, being taken out regularly. Because the NT Scriptures provide continuity for the OT Scriptures as opposed to being a replacement for the OT Scriptures there is little need for wholesale repetition of instructions. As mentioned before, any repetition we find in the Bible tends to fall into one of the following categories: Emphasis: It is of vital importance, especially spiritual importance Violations: Something is being violated, ignored or overlooked and correction is needed Perspective: Something needs to be looked at from an additional or different angle

This is just as true for the New Testament as it is for the Old. Any instruction, doctrine, or principle from the OT that was not a shadow or type is still in force in the New Testament.

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How to Calculate Time Within Prophetic Writing


Numbers 14:34 KJV After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise. Ezekiel 4:5-6 KJV For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
One prophetic day = one literal year This is a key principle for understanding how to calculate time in Bible prophecy. As you can see, this principle has two witnesses (Moses and Ezekiel) and is clearly defined so that we need not be arbitrary in its application. What this principle says is that whenever we see a day mentioned as a unit of definite time within a prophecy, we convert that prophetic day into a literal year. Likewise, when a prophecy contains a longer period of time, such as a week, month or year (noted as time or times), we convert these longer periods into days, as per the Jewish calendar, and then convert the new number into a total of years. In the Jewish calendar, each month had 30 days, and each year had 360 days. They did have a leap year type adjustment where they added an extra month to the year ever so often, but for purposes of prophetic interpretation, only standard years are ever used, making the math very straightforward. The word used for a prophetic year is Time (1 year) or Times (2 years). Some of the most famous prophecies that employ the day/year principle are: Daniel 7:25 Daniel 8:14 Daniel 9:24-27 Daniel 12:6-7 Daniel 12:11 Daniel 12:12 Revelation 11:2 Revelation 11:3 Revelation 12:6 Revelation 12:14 Time, Times and the Dividing of Time (3- years or 1260 days) 2300 Days 70 Weeks (490 days) Time, Times and an Half (3- years or 1260 days) 1290 Days 1335 Days 42 Months (1260 days) 1260 Days (1260 days) 1260 Days (1260 days) Time, Times and a Half a Time (3- years or 1260 days)

Because of the day/year principle, each of the prophetic times indicated above represents a literal year. That is to say: 1260 literal years, 2300 literal years, 490 literal years, etc. PLEASE NOTE: You many have noticed that the 1260 day (year) prophecy is mentioned quite often in the Bible. Based upon the already established principle of repetition, we should consider that the what and who these prophecies define are of critical importance to our understanding.

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How Do I Deal with a Challenge to my Understanding?


Proverbs 1:5 KJV A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Acts 17:11 KJV These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
At some point in the life of every Bible student, there comes a moment of challenge or conflict. Sometimes the challenge is internal, and sometimes it is external. An internal challenge is defined as one that comes about as you study a section of the Bible or a topic in the Bible and the Holy Spirit reveals to you an understanding that is different from what you might have had previously. An external challenge is defined as one that comes about through a discussion with other believers (or even non-believers) pertaining to Bible truths and doctrines. Whatever the source, it has to be dealt with properly. Outright rejection of a new idea or different perspective is not necessarily a good thing, as it pretty much closes down the avenues that God can use to improve our understanding. Blind acceptance is also not the way to handle these situations, either, as that opens up the door to false doctrines. Lets look at a better, more systematic way to review these challenges: If you are presented with some verses which appear to contradict your current understanding of a Bible doctrine, and you do not agree with the new view, then it is vital that you be able to explain how these new texts should be rightly understood. Simply rejecting or ignoring the troublesome verses without providing an alternative perspective will not lead to enlightenment. Your current understanding can be right, or it can be incomplete, or it can be incorrect. There are several ways to determine where you stand, and Id like to offer three valid approaches for you to take to resolve the challenge appropriately: 1. You believe you are right: Show how the new verses have been interpreted incorrectly, and how your current understanding is therefore still correct. 2. You accept that you are wrong (or that your knowledge was incomplete): Accept that the new verses change the way that you should understand the older verses that you are more familiar with, and grow in your understanding. 3. You are not yet sure of the right answer: If you conclude that you do not yet have enough information to accept or reject the new understanding, then commit yourself to prayerful study to establish the correct answer. This is how we grow spiritually. Anyone who has been studying the Bible for some time knows that God will use both internal and external challenges to increase, correct and solidify our understanding of His Word. To reject these challenges indiscriminately is spiritual suicide. May God bless you as you prayerfully seek to apply these principles in your own Bible studies.

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Choosing a Bible Translation for Study Purposes


Jeremiah 29:13 KJV And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. Matthew 13:44-46 KJV Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 2 Kings 22:8 KJV And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. Acts 17:11 KJV These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
There are many, many translations available today, but they are not all equal when it comes to deep study of the Scriptures. The following external articles are provided to aid the diligent student in understanding why there are so many Bible translations available, and how they compare with one another. Most Bible students find that using a small collection of translations is best, even if they have a favorite translation.

AmazingFacts: The Faithful Witness http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/65/t/the-faithful-witness.aspx http://bit.ly/YQRnue (PDF Version)

What's the Difference between Versions of the Bible? http://www.ucg.org/bible-study/whats-difference-between-various-bible-versions/ http://bit.ly/125R4Iq (PDF Version)

Translation Comparison Charts http://www.notjustanotherbook.com/biblecomparison.htm http://www.apbrown2.net/web/TranslationComparisonChart.htm http://bit.ly/165XAFG (PDF Version)

It is my prayer that you will always seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you diligently study the Word of God, and seek to apply what you have learned to your daily life.

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