One of the difficult tasks of theology is that it takes effort, devotion, and time. It is cheap and easy to take classes to learn what various men through the ages have said, and then decide which interpretation we enjoy the best. It is quite more costly to devote oneself to studying the Scripture. If we are to spend time in classrooms discussing the Bible and what others have said about it, what devotion and attention is there truly given to Scripture itself? Our first point of interest needs to be the Bible. I find it much more tolerable when dealing with someone who knows the Scripture well, but has misinterpreted it, than someone who has come to lofty wrong ideas because they have philosophically arrived.
What kind of study do we need to give to the Scripture to find truth? For myself, when I was young in the faith, I knew almost nothing about the Bible. I never went to church and came to Christ in my later teenage years. People would tell me what the Bible says, and I would take their word for it. I had very few occasions when I would completely disregard someone’s opinion as wrong. Because of this, those first few years of my Christian walk were painted by many different opinions. I listened to the Calvinist and I listened to the Open Theist. I listened to the Pentecostal and I listened to the cessationist. It came to a certain point that I had begun to wonder if God is indeed the author of confusion.
There are many ways to study Scripture. For those who are young in the faith, I would recommend start by reading it. Set aside thirty minutes daily as a minimum. Open up your Bible and begin reading it. On average, I read about 6-10 chapters a day. When I’m reading books with smaller chapters, like Ephesians or Ecclesiastes, I can read up to about fifteen chapters in a sitting. For other books with larger chapters, like Numbers or various chapters in the Gospels, I only read two or three chapters in one sitting. The difference is not in the content. For my personal devotion to reading, I spend quite some time simply reading the text for what it says.
Outside of simply reading the Bible, what are some of the principles of hermeneutics? I want to explore some of the various principles laid out by various denominations and branches. Often we don’t truly think too heavily about our hermeneutic. We have a niche that fits well with our personality, and that is all right. I’ll explore these various means of studying Scripture so that each might find the specific pattern that fits them best.