CA8 – My own approach to studying the Bible
© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 11 May 2020
My approach is to pray for God’s help, then have a go on my own FIRST at interpreting what a Bible passage means Psalm 119:27,147-8. The method I use begins with writing rough summarising notes, verse by verse. This initial attempt then serves as a mental “frame of reference” for all that I read elsewhere later.
I usually encourage others to use this same approach. Otherwise they may not get familiar with the Bible itself or experienced in trying to interpret it. If they go straight to the secondary sources they will be studying the ideas of others about the Bible rather than forming their own views directly from it.1 This becomes confusing when the opinions of others differ! Ultimately each person’s own judgment as to the meaning of any Bible passage has to be made. This should be based primarily on the Bible passage itself, although reading the insights of others can assist in this.
So my detailed explanations of the Charts are really my own “best first draft.” They are drawn from my personal direct study of the biblical passages in the light of all my previous reading and formal theological studies. They have only a few references to scholarly resources. My aim has been simply to get the basic purpose-centred theological charting done for the whole Bible (commenced in 1995!). I also was concerned not to drift into using heavy theological words and ideas that can be off-putting for others.
I hope to come back later (if I live that long!!) and do a more thorough job using secondary resources. However, I also hope to get into a continuous “peer review” process by interacting with feedback from readers using the website. I know you will produce insights I have missed and certainly make me dig deeper. Hence there will be an ongoing interactive process of improvement.
1. This even applies to your studying of these Charts and notes! For this reason I would urge you to at least read the relevant Bible sections FIRST before these notes. Then also open many of the RefTagger biblical verse references as you work your way through the notes. This is just to keep yourself “close to the biblical text” in your thinking. (Return to reading).