How to Study the Bible
By John Thiel
Why study the bible? So we can see eye to eye.
Isaiah 52:8-11 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
God is leading out a people, and bringing them into the unity of the faith, that they may be one, as he is one with the Father. Various views and differences of opinion must be yielded, that all may come in union with the body, that they may have one mind and one judgment. RH May 6, 1862, par. 3
John 17: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
To be at one.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
Take each statement on it’s own, none need a mate. Whatever you read, take it as it reads. You don’t always need to cross reference.
Proverbs 30:5,6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Just read and don’t add your own opinion.
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
What I command, don’t add. My mouth has commanded, it doesn’t need it’s mate.
Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Taking each statement as it reads, don’t add, don’t take away. If you do that, then compare scripture with scripture.
Isaiah 28:9-12 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Stammering lips, not all at once, bit by bit. The bible is a library, use it as a reference library. That is how you will teach knowledge and get understanding as that is the way god gave it. Here a little and there a little.
Isaiah 29:9-13 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
This is pointing out people aren’t reading the bible right. Yet you would not. He is alluding to that fact that you are drunken with the wine of false doctrine. You are not taking it as it reads. You are thinking it’s something complicated. It’s not. It’s straight forward. It alludes to the wine of the wrath of fornication, drunken with false doctrine.
Because Isaiah 28 tells us it’s here and there a little, God instructs through 2 Timothy, the correct way of reading the bible. That is how a student of the bible does it according to Gods goods pleasure – approved of God. It’s like a library.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Don’t just read it, but eat them.
What to do when you study to get the real thing. You need to ponder upon it. Digest it in your mind.
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Where will you find him? In his word and follow the instruction in the bible of how to read it.
Taking the word of God as it reads, Sr White speaks of it very clearly in Selected Messages Book 1. This understanding is important to convey to people, we have read it in the bible, now we are going to expand it.
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers. 1SM 21.1
Holy men of God wrote the bible moved by the holy spirit – bible verse. They wrote it in their language. The bible is communicating Gods thoughts. We are picking up the thoughts that the words are communicating. You can use the word in many different facets. You have to pick up the thoughts that are communicated. The moment you start to pick apart words, you are in trouble. We are not to argue the words but to pick up the thoughts. The holy ghost was imbuing them with thoughts.
It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words and thoughts receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.—Manuscript 24, 1886 (written in Europe in 1886). 1SM 21.2
You are trying to understand the thoughts communicated in the word.
The Lord gave His word in just the way He wanted it to come. He gave it through different writers, each having his own individuality, though going over the same history. Their testimonies are brought together in one Book, and are like the testimonies in a social meeting. They do not represent things in just the same style. Each has an experience of his own, and this diversity broadens and deepens the knowledge that is brought out to meet the necessities of varied minds. The thoughts expressed have not a set uniformity, as if cast in an iron mold, making the very hearing monotonous. In such uniformity there would be a loss of grace and distinctive beauty…. 1SM 21.5
The Creator of all ideas may impress different minds with the same thought, but each may express it in a different way, yet without contradiction. The fact that this difference exists should not perplex or confuse us. It is seldom that two persons will view and express truth in the very same way. Each dwells on particular points which his constitution and education have fitted him to appreciate. The sunlight falling upon the different objects gives those objects a different hue. 1SM 22.1
These are the thoughts that are to be picked up from the bible as it reads. The words are conveying thoughts intended by the writer.
His spirit is the one who communicates the thoughts.
You come to the study of the bible, what are you going to do as you follow this instruction?
In daily study the verse-by-verse method is often most helpful. Let the student take one verse and concentrate his mind on ascertaining the thought that God has put into that verse for him, and then dwell upon the thought until it becomes his own. One passage thus studied until its significance becomes clear is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. CT 461.3
The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole and to see the relation of its parts.. CT 462.1
Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament, no less than the New, should receive attention. As we study the Old Testament we shall find living springs bubbling up where the careless reader discerns only a desert. CT 462.2
This tells us how to study the bible. Research the scripture to see what the thought is in it, when you have picked up the thought, meditate on it till you make it your own.
We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.” DA 390.4
The prophecies of Jesus is a good study.
How Jesus was to be born on earth.
Joel 2:23 – 28 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God:
for he hath given you the former rain (teacher of righteousness) moderately, (according to righteousness) and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
My doctrine shall fall as the rain.
Some people understand the outpouring of the holy spirit is the falling of the rain.