How to Properly Interpret the Bible

Do you want to know how to correctly interpret the Bible?  There are many helpful tips and suggestions on how to “rightly divide” God’s Word, but I’d like to point out one you may not have thought about before:

interpret the BibleYou have never found the full interpretation of any portion of scripture until you have found somewhere in it a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. When you’ve found Jesus in the passage, you’ve found the deepest and greatest interpretation of that passage!

The last book of the Bible opens with the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”  This is not only the title of the last book of the Bible, but it may as well be taken as the title of all the books of the Bible – for the entirety of the Bible is the revelation, or unveiling, of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, Himself, made this claim In St. John 5:

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39)

 “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. (John 5: 46)

Jesus Christ is the theme and subject of every part of Scripture. The interpreting the BibleLiving Word is enshrined in every section of the Written Word – in Genesis as much as Matthew. If we search long enough we shall find upon every page of scripture the outline of the central Person of the Book – the Lord Jesus Christ – who is both the object and end of all scripture.

If you search diligently, you will find Him standing somewhere in any segment of scripture. Sometimes in the background, sometimes clearly and unmistakably and sometimes faintly and dimly. But rest assured, He is there. Every Chapter, verse and line, in some way, points to the Savior!

In Genesis, He is the Word through which the worlds were framed, the coats of skins that covered Adam & Eve’s nakedness and both Isaac and the ram caught in the thicket on Mt. Moriah.

In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb, the manna from heaven, the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Rock that followed them in the desert, and the cloud and pillar of fire that led Israel on their journey.

In Leviticus, He is our High Priest.

In Numbers, He is the Brazen Serpent that was lifted up on a pole

In Deuteronomy, He is the City of Refuge where the condemned find safety.

In Joshua, He is the Captain of our Salvation.

We could go on and on through every chapter of every book and find Him. He is there! Because the Bible is the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Do you know why there is such a relentless attack in our culture against the validity and infallibility of the Bible? It is more than an attempt to discredit the Written Word – it is an attempt to discredit the Incarnate Word – Jesus Christ! That’s why the devil, the world and our flesh hate the Word of God – because it is a revealing of Jesus Christ.

As you study, keep these suggestions in mind to help you better interpret the  Bible:

  1. Before you begin, pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to you in the passages you are about to study.
  2. Look for Him in the passage. The passage may make an obvious reference to Him or He may be veiled in typology or prophecy.
  3. Ask the question, “What do these Bible passages teach me about Jesus?”
  4. Look at the characters in the story. Could one or more be symbolic of Jesus and His ministry?
  5. How does the passage you’re studying Testify of Him? (John 5:39)

More than anything else that you find in your study of God’s Word, I pray, first and foremost, you find the Lord Jesus Christ!

~Matthew Ball

Please share a comment about where you have found Him in the scripture!

God’s Word: Is It In You?

What does God’s Word have to do with a sports drink slogan? In the mid 1960s, researchers at the University of Florida developed a drink to replenish electrolytes, sugars and mis it in you, bible study, God's Wordinerals that their athletes lost during strenuous physical activity. The drink, which became a mainstay on the sidelines of Florida Gators football games, soon became known as Gatorade. This idea that started in research labs at the University of Florida grew into an entire industry. Gatorade has become the most scientifically researched sports drink on the planet and has grown to a multi-billion dollar business. One of Gatorade’s most well-know slogans is the simple question, “Is it in you?”

The subtle message behind this genius advertising campaign is: If you drink gatoradeGatorade – if you get it in you – you will excel at what you do. You will win. You will be a champion. You will triumph over your opponents.

Let me ask you a much more important question than the question asked by Gatorade marketers. Is God’s Word in you? Have you hidden God’s Word in your heart? Have you drunk from the well of the scriptures until the Living Word flows through you?

Gatorade claims that if you get it in you, you will excel in athletics. I want to remind you that getting God’s Word in you is critical for you to excel spiritually. Is it in you?

Don’t just read your Bible occasionally. Don’t be a casual, sporadic student of the scripture. Get. It. In. You. Get it in your spirit. Get it in your mind. Get it in your heart. Get it in your life.

God's Word, Bible, Bible study, Study tipsThere is power in the Word of God. Get it in you and there will be power working through your life! By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the Word of God. (Hebrews 11:3) That’s how powerful the Word is. It’s so powerful that God stepped out of absolutely nothing and said, “Let there be…” And matter came into being and began to clamor together at the Word of the Creator who caused molecules and atoms to coalesce together in some incomprehensible way. And all of a sudden trees, and earth, and sun, and rock, and moon, and stars responded to the dictates of the Word!

…Not a hammer…Not a nail…Not a saw…Not a rake…

With nothing but His Word, He spoke and it was done. He opened His mouth, cleared His throat, spoke what He thought and it became what He said! That’s the power of the Word of God.

The Creation of the universe reveals to us the power of God’s Word. If the Word of God can bring the worlds into order, what can it do if it gets in you?

Get it in you! God’s Word has the power to heal you, both physically and spiritually. The Centurion told Jesus, You don’t even need to come to my house – just speak the Word and my servant will be healed!

Get it in you! God’s Word will keep you from sin. David said “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Get it in you! God’s Word will sustain you! Isaiah said “The grass withereth , the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” God’s Word is the only thing that will last – get it in you and you will be able to endure!

Get it in you! God’s Word brings things to life! After Lazarus died, Jesus simply stood at the entrance to the grave, spoke the Word and the Lazarus was raised up. Get the Word in you and it will bring your spiritual dreams, ambitions and passion alive again.

Get it in you! God’s Word will be a weapon in your hand that brings you the victory. When Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He countered the devil’s attacks with, “It is Written…” God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit that gives us victory over the fiery darts of the wicked.

Is It In You?

~Matthew Ball