This is part one in how to study the Bible to learn its actual message. To do this right, you have to be a type of good detective, who is thinking and examining the evidence unbiasedly! Of course, scripture can be twisted and distorted to come up with basically anything you want it to say. A prime example is the following misuse:
Judas went out and hanged himself (Mt. 27:5). Go ye and do likewise (Lk. 3:11). Whatever you do, do quickly (Jn. 13:27)!
How To Study The Bible — Who Is Speaking
You must consider who is speaking when examining a particular text in question! The Bible is TRUTH, as it occurred, but sometimes the speaker is a deceiver or a liar distorting the issue/s.
The devil LIED to Eve about the seriousness of sin and his wicked lie is recorded in the Bible:
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Gen 3:4)
The serpent (or devil) LIED to Eve, as we know from other verses and the character of the devil. Hence, the speaker is NOT trustworthy in that case. This is obvious with him, but the same is shown here with a false prophet:
In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people: “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'” (Jer 28:1-4)
We should ask ourselves, Who was Hananiah? Additional scriptures show he was a false prophet, one who opposed the message Jeremiah (a true prophet of God) was speaking. So although Hananiah said, “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says” he was LYING! God didn’t send him with that conflicting message!
A third example is found in the NT:
“We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” (Acts 6:11)
The surrounding verses to Acts 6:11 show that was a false accusation against Stephen, the man of God. His enemies couldn’t stand up to his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke as he taught about JESUS and refuted their false doctrines! Stephen was not a blasphemer, though he is described as such; and as the bible says in Acts 6:11 that he was guilty of! He was a powerful man of God, who was filled with grace (Acts 6:8).
Remember: A good bible detective will examine all related evidence from scripture. He will answer for himself, among other things:
- WHO IS SPEAKING and WAS HE/SHE TRUSTWORTHY or NOT.
Remember that truth to learn how to study the Bible the right way.