This is the examination of a particular Scripture to properly interpret it. This involves research and study to correctly understand what is written (2 Tim 2:15). Certain basic rules of language are followed. For example, the words are to be taken literally unless there is good reason to view it as a figure of speech. As the Bible does not contradict itself, the theological truth in one verse will

Live it out

be in harmony and confirmed by the fuller understanding in other verses, for good Bible interpretation relates any one portion of Scripture to the whole of God's written Word.

From that basis the truths of Scripture must then be applied to bring about the life changing results intended. Rather than being an intellectual exercise, the study of God's Word is to be a life-changing event. The knowledge gained is to affect the heart which is our control centre (Prov 4:23). Those put into practice what the Bible teaches will be blessed in what they do (Jas 1:22-25). The effectiveness of our Bible study is measured by the change in our attitudes and behaviour.

While there is legitimate freedom of viewpoints in minor issues where the Bible is not specific or the actual approach to it's outworking there should be agreement with other followers of Jesus in the fundamental truths of Christianity that are contained in the Bible.

See also: Bible study, controversial issues, hermeneutics, interpretation, outworking, viewpoint.