Author: Ron Graham
—Interpreting the Bible
These lessons address the principles of Bible interpretation, and how one derives authority for what is taught and done in the name of Christ. Tap any title next to an arrow in the list below.
➤ How the Bible is Put Together —Lesson and chart showing the theme of the Bible and the arrangement of its various parts.
➤ The Main Way God Speaks —Comparing the advantages of the written word over oral revelation.
➤ How Timothy Knew the Truth —Examining how or by what means Timothy knew the truth.
➤ Untruths About God's Truth —Looks at some of the untrue statements people make about the Bible.
➤ Applying the Bible to Self —The first thing we must learn to do with the Bible is to make self application. To this end, there are at least six simple questions we can ask of any portion of scripture we read.
➤ Handling the Word Aright (1) —The first three of six simple principles to help us interpret and understand the Bible properly. These first three are things we need to do.
➤ Handling the Word Aright (2) —The last three of six simple principles to help us interpret and understand the Bible properly. These last three are the don'ts.
➤ Authority and Scholarship —This lesson examines whether scholarship has any value as authority from God. When scholars and theologians hold something to be God's truth, is it?
➤ Authority and Tradition —This lesson examines whether longstanding religious tradition and custom have any value as authority from God. When tradition holds something to be God’s truth, is it?
➤ Authority and Conviction —This lesson examines whether our personal innermost feelings and convictions have any value as authority from God. When our own heart feels something to be God’s truth, is it?
➤ Comparing Scripture with Scripture —We look at three instructive examples of a failure to compare scripture with scripture. These examples are recorded by John. They occurred during the ministry of Jesus.
➤ Testing Things which Differ — In Philippians 1:10 Paul states one of the great skills we all need. Without this skill, we won't have a proper sense of values, a sensible view of the world, or a correct understanding of God’s word.
➤ Book in Your Hands, Head on Your Shoulders —A study of reason and revelation, the relationship between our thoughts and divine thoughts, human judgment and scriptural authority.
➤ Is It Scriptural? —Many Christians wish to ensure that all they do and believe has the Lord’s authority. Here's how.
➤ Constants and Variables —A Bible study about matters of faith as distinct from matters of judgment. It's a distinction necessary to correctly decide whether an action or idea has divine authority or is only human opinion.
➤ The Meaning of Words —Many arguments about what the Bible means only happen because people lose sight of these simple principles.
➤ What is This Thing Called Context? —About "taking scripture in context." What does this mean?
➤ Dynamic Equivalence in Translation —An advanced lesson about dynamic equivalence in translation, using the example of Acts 20:7
➤ Words and Thoughts in Translation —What should a Bible translator convey primarily? The words of the original or the thoughts intended?
➤ Using Our Brains —The role of the human mind in using the scriptures as our authority and applying the scriptures to self.
➤ Just Play Ball —Some people have difficulty understanding the Bible. In most cases, there is a simple reason and a simple solution.
➤ Interpreting the Bible —This lesson is a digest of four articles I wrote some years ago for a church bulletin. Each relates to the theme of scriptural authority and interpretation of the Bible.
➤ The Apostles’ Creed —A discussion of the Apostles' Creed and creeds in general, and why churches of Christ have no creeds.
➤ No Creed But Christ —A Bible discussion about creeds and confessions of faith.
➤ Who Has the Truth? —About the source and repository of truth, and about departures from it.
➤ Relative and Absolute Truth —A short but informative discussion of relative and absolute truth from a Biblical perspective.
➤ Why I Believe the Bible —This lesson explains my faith in the Bible based on the three tests of truth that I apply to the Bible.
➤ Did Jesus Preach the Law of Moses? —Did Jesus preach the gospel or were his teachings an exposition of the Mosaic Law? Get this wrong and you won't understand the Bible.
➤ Is the Gospel for the Church? —Ten arguments showing that the gospel of Christ is not just for aliens and sinners, but includes Christ's doctrine for Christians.
➤ The Authority of Jesus —Authority makes doctrine true. No doctrine is the truth unless it has the right authority, and no authority is valid unless it is based squarely on truth. Jesus Christ passes this test.
➤ The Humility of Jesus —Did Jesus have the same authority while on earth, when humbled in the flesh, as he had beforehand as the eternal Word, and has now as Jesus Christ exalted to God’s right hand?
➤ Was God’s Word Fully Revealed? —Scripture chain lesson. Latter day revelations versus God's revelation completed in the days of the apostles.
➤ Your Pet Project (Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?) —A project is designed with vision to fill a great need. Yet the churches may give it thumbs down. Why?
➤ Instrumental Music in Worship —Discusses whether musical instruments (other than the human voice and heart) are allowable and desirable in Christian song worship. An exercise in applying scriptural authority.
➤ History of Instrumental Music in Worship —The implications of the history of instrumental music in the worship of God, from patriarchal times until today.
➤ Chain Thinking to Understand the Bible —Chain thinking is something we all do constantly. There are three kinds of chain thinking. All three have an important place when we are trying to understand and follow the Bible.