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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Studying A Book of the Bible

There are just a few things that you have to keep in mind when you start to study a book of the Bible. These three things, in my opinion, are as follows: context (political, social, time period), purpose (why the text was written), and intended audience (who the text was written to). You can't fully study or appreciate a book of the Bible till you're willing to do all three of these things.

With all this in mind, there are also a few words that you need to keep in mind as you begin to study a book of the Bible. There are without a doubt more words that are important to the full exegetical studying of a text, but I think that these are the ones of prime importance.
  • Exegesis – the critical explanation or study of a text; this text is typically a religious text.
  • Hermeneutics – the study of how texts are interpreted and the methods with which to do so.
  • Canon/Canonical – a canon is a accepted group of books. Canonical means a book that is accepted into a given canon.
 As you go through a book of the bible, chapter-by-chapter, it's important that you journal your thoughts on the matter and your opinions about it. If something stands out in particular, you should write the verse down, so it's easier to find at a later point. Additionally, try not to single out any particular part of the text as special, but try to view the text as a whole with one unified theme. Admittedly, most texts have multiple themes that are presented in a complicated manner, but if you tie these themes back into the audience they're written for in the context of when it was written, they're normally easier to understand.

With all this in mind, I think we're ready to delve into the complicated but interesting text that is Revelation.

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