Recently, Aaron Armstrong at Blogging Theologically posted a short series about Bible study entitled “Getting Serious About Your Studies.” He focuses not so much on principles as tools, and you may find his recommendations helpful.
He concludes the series by reflecting on the crucial importance of our approach to the Bible. The results of our study are not arbitrary; our choices for how to read the Bible will affect what we end up seeing in the Bible.
Whether we realize it or not, we do this every time we pick up our Bible—and the rules and principles we hold to drastically affect what we believe the Bible says. For example:
- Whether you believe pastoral ministry is for men only or is open to women as well stems from the interpretive decisions you make.
- How you approach the “God-hates-yet-loves-sinners” paradox is heavily influenced by your hermeneutical approach.
- How you understand the world to have come into being and how this world will end is drastically affected by the principles you use for interpreting the text.
It’s a good warning to give careful though to our methods.