Day 2, Talk 3: Bible Study with open minds

So the detective has collected all the clues, now he sits down and reflects. He sees one set of fingerprints keep coming everywhere, who is this person, does he have anything to do with the crime? Answering these questions require him to interpret the clues. This is the second step of Inductive Bible Study where we interpret (understand) the meaning and significance of the observations.

The aim of interpretation is to understand what the original author is trying to communicate to his initial audience. We have also subsequently become his audience but we are separated by time and space. We belong to a very different time and culture. This makes it hard to understand what's happening. Who are these "pharisees", what's this "feast of tabernacles", what's "sabbath", I am sure you've come across such unfamiliar things.

Good interpretation helps us bridge the gap of unfamiliarity to discover the central message of the text. This is done by reflecting on the observations and asking questions. "Why did he do that" or "what does it mean", questions like these help us dig deeper.

But what if I make a mistake? It's okay, we've got your back. Remember, studying the Bible is a lifelong process and so we learn and prefect the art along the way, so don't worry about making mistakes. The more you practice the better you get. Having said that there are some principles of interpretation that help us stay on track, more of that will come in live talks but let me mention them here.

  1. Know the background

  2. Keep the literary style in mind

  3. Context matters!

  4. Scripture interprets Scripture

Check out these videos by Bible Project and then write down what you learnt about interpretation (Bible Study) from these videos in the comments below.

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