Top 10 Common Bible Study Mistakes To Avoid (Part 2)

Top 10 Common Bible Study Mistakes (Part 2)

No matter where you are in your Bible study, Logos Cloud is here to help you find your way faster, engage with scripture easier, and experience powerful Bible study at a whole new level. Previously, we examined five of the most common mistakes made when studying the Bible. Now, we’re going to cover five more.

This article was originally posted on the Faithlife Blog

Below you will find the second set of five common Bible study mistakes Christians make, and exactly how to avoid them:

6. Missing the historical setting

The Bible was not written to twenty-first century Americans. Each book of the Bible was written by a specific person, to a specific group of people, in a specific culture, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose. If we miss these details, we are likely to misunderstand much of what we are reading.

The best way to understand the historical setting of a scripture passage is to do some research. Pick up a commentary on the specific passage you’re reading, or simply skim the study notes in your Bible. Even better, it’s easy to get deep historical context on any passage in Logos Cloud.

 

7. Assuming modern definitions of biblical words

Very few Greek or Hebrew words have an exact English equivalent. So, we have to remember that the English words in Greek or Hebrew may not mean exactly the same thing as the original language.

One way to get around this obstacle is to do a Biblical word study, examining every occurrence of a particular word in the Bible to see how it is used therein. However, this method is time consuming. A faster method is to use a resources such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. This dictionary is a collection of studies on almost every major word in the Bible and provides easy-to-understand language for words that are used in the Bible. Add it to your Logos Cloud subscription for easy referencing.

8. Failing to understand the genre

The Bible is made up of 66 different books, and they include many different genres of literature. There are epistles and narratives, poems and parables, instances of wisdom literature and apocalyptic literature, plus a host of other specific styles. Keeping them straight can be confusing, but it’s a vital part of understanding what we read.

Thankfully, there are resources to help us here as well. One great resource to utilize is How to Read the Bible Book by Book. It provides an overview for each book of the Bible—including the genre—along with a number of other important details.

9. Ignoring biblical context

All too often, we read the Bible as if it were a collection of unconnected verses. A single verse taken by itself can appear to mean something totally contrary to the author’s intent. We wouldn’t skip to a sentence in the middle of Moby Dick and expect it to make sense, so why do we do this with the Bible?

One example is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This verse is frequently claimed as a promise for God’s specific blessing on an individual. But when we look at the context, we see that God was talking to the Israelites, whom he had sent into exile for their sins. Only after being in exile for 70 years would God bring them back to prosperity. According to Jeremiah’s full context, 70 years of exile is really “the plans I have for you.”

10. Studying for the wrong reasons

It’s easy to view Bible study as an intellectual exercise. But acquiring information about the Bible is not a proper end. Paul described the purpose of Scripture: “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” in 2 Timothy 3:17. If our studies do not equip us for good works, then they are unprofitable studies. As we read the Bible, our goal must be to encourage our hearts and ultimately apply the Word to our lives.

What are you learning about Bible study this week? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. […] What mistakes have you made when studying the Bible? What study tips do you find helpful? Share your ideas in the comments below, and be sure to come back soon to see five more common Bible study mistakes to avoid. […]