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Explore Scripture

 …with reverence.

1. Let the words speak for themselves.

Put formally: exegesis, not eisegesis.

Informally: hush up and listen.

2. The original language provides the meaning.

Translations are a godsend, allowing people to directly learn Scripture. But studying God's words in their original language helps prevent error and can deepen understanding. Even we laypeople who don't know biblical Hebrew and Greek can benefit from sometimes using biblical language tools (available online or in books). This site's Resources page has a link to Bible Hub, one such website.

3. Consider the context.

Local context = the section immediately surrounding the passage. "Be afraid" in Matthew 10:28: local context = law, spoken to the sinful nature, tempted under persecution to deny God.

"Don't be afraid" in Matthew 10:31: local context = gospel, spoken by believers' Father—note verse 29—to the new self.

Larger context = the intent of the section or book: is it history? or a vision or a parable? etc.

History: the house in Joshua 2:15 is literally a physical house.

Parable: the house in Matthew 7:24–27 represents someone's life.

Prophecy: the house in 2 Samuel 7:11 signifies David's offspring through faith, all believers.

4. Scripture interprets Scripture.

God, unlike mortals, doesn't contradict himself. When he says something we don't understand, don't merely rely on an expert's understanding, for sixteen experts will provide sixteen different interpretations. Ask God! Look to other Bible passages for clarification. Asking a trusted parent/pastor/teacher/friend is a good start—but ask them to show where the answer is in Scripture. Use God's own words to verify if our human understanding is correct.

Proverbs 9:9, Isaiah 8:20,

2 Timothy 3:16

1. Let the words speak for themselves.

Put formally: exegesis,

not eisegesis.

Informally: hush up and listen.

 …with curiosity.

Curiosity toward God is a deeply biblical attitude.

Little children learn and grow because they are not afraid to ask questions (constantly!). Are we not our Father's dearly loved little children? Lovers yearn to know each other's hearts and thoughts. Is the Lamb not our bridegroom?

"One thing I ask of the LORD… to gaze on the beauty of the LORD… My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, LORD, I will seek."

― David

"Show me your glory."

― Moses

"When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed… Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

from Luke 2:17–19

"God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us."

Acts 17:27

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."

― Paul

"So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you."

― Jesus

So harness curiosity to reverence, letting it drive you to explore our amazing, all-fulfilling Lord ever further. Purposely look in Scripture for what you don't yet know. Seek to continually grow in grace, in knowledge, in love. Let yourself be small, gazing up at him whose name is Wonderful. He will fill you with eternal purpose, confidence, and joy.

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