L-I-G-H-T-S to the Word of God
- Monday, July 23, 2001
The H in LIGHTS will remind you that the Christian faith is historical and evidential (Luke 1:1-4). The biblical text is best understood when one is familiar with the customs, culture, and historical context of biblical times. Thankfully, there are a host of excellent Bible handbooks and commentaries to aid us in the process of understanding the people and places of the Bible.
The T in LIGHTS will remind you that even though the illumination of Scripture ultimately comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God has also provided the church with uniquely gifted human teachers (Eph. 4:11). Therefore, as we seek to rightly interpret God's Word (2 Tim. 2:15), we would do well to consult those whom God has uniquely gifted as teachers in the church (cf. Tit. 2:1-15). Of course, following the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11), we should always make sure that what human teachers say is in line with Scripture (cf. 1 Thess. 5:21).
The S in LIGHTS will remind you of the principle of Scriptural harmony. Individual passages of Scripture must always be in harmony with Scripture as a whole. The biblical interpreter must keep in mind that all of Scripture - though communicated through various human instruments - has a single Author (God). And, of course, God does not contradict Himself.
Studying the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits, and rightly understanding it, the highest of all goals. The six principles listed above can help you attain this goal. And as the science of biblical interpretation continually LIGHTS your path through Scripture, you will find yourself growing in your understanding of Him who is the Light of the world — Jesus Christ (John 8:12).
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