Ten guidelines for rightly dividing the Word of God

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Pre-suppositions

  • The Bible is the inerrant Word of God
  • The Bible can be understood by us today
  1. Doctrine must be established solely upon Scripture, not on tradition or human experience.
  2. Correct scriptural interpretation never contradicts other scripture or doctrines.
  3. Scripture can only be correctly understood within the context of the author’s writing.
  4. The clear must interpret the unclear.
  5. Distinguish between what the Bible records and what it commands, commends, or promises, rather than possible inferences (something that could or might be true, but not something actually stated by the text).
  6. Establish doctrine on necessary inferences (The conclusion is unavoidable from the text) rather than possible inferences (something that could or might be true, but not something actually stated by the text).
  7. The Bible has a definite message and meaning. Our job is to study to allow scripture to bring us to that message.
  8. Don’t build a doctrine upon a single verse or an uncertain textual reading.
  9. Be alert to figurative language, parables, symbols , etc.
  10. The Progressive nature of scripture reveals that later scriptures can reinterpret earlier scripture.

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