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Resources For Learning to Interpret the Bible

This evening we’re going to be starting a new Wednesday night series called “How to Study the Bible.” Over the course of the next several Wednesday evenings, we will be covering a wide range of topics related to interpreting God’s Word. Unfortunately, we won’t have time to go as in-depth as I would like, so I’d like to provide you with a list of recommended resources that will help you learn to study, understand, interpret, and apply God’s Word. Though this list is by no means exhaustive, it does contain some of the best resources for learning to interpret God’s Word.

Grasping God’s Word by Duvall and Hays is a fantastic resource that provides readers not only with information about how to study the Bible but also provides helpful worksheets for readers to put what they’ve learned into practice. This was the hermeneutics (the study of interpreting the Bible) book I used during my undergrad work.

Seven Arrows by Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis is another incredibly helpful book that teaches readers how to ask good questions of the Bible, answer those questions, and apply those answers to the their lives. This book is one of the most accessible, yet informational and practical, hermeneutics books available today. I have met both authors and know Dr. Donny Mathis personally (he was one of my professors at NGU). Both men are pastors at the Church at Cherrydale in Greenville. They love the Lord, they love the church, and they want to help people be able to grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord through learning to study His Word.

Getting the Message by Dan Doriani covers a wide range of topics related to studying God’s Word. Doriani begins by teaching readers how to be good readers of the Bible by carefully observing the text of Scripture and walks readers through the steps of interpretation from observation to application.

If you have questions about interpreting the Bible, then this is the book for you. Dr. Rob Plummer, an expert Greek Scholar, helpfully answers 40 of the most common questions about interpreting the Bible such as: “What are some of the general principles for interpreting the Bible?”; “How can I improve as an interpreter of the Bible?”; “Can a text have more than one meaning?” and many more.

The goal of reading the Bible is not simply head knowledge. The goal is to put understanding to practice, to apply the truth of God’s Word to our lives that we might grow in our knowledge of Him and His plan, our love for Him, and our obedience to Him. Therefore, I highly recommend this book by Dan Doriani, in which he focuses the whole book on the application of God’s Word. We’re used to hearing applications of Scripture in terms of “do this” or “don’t do that,” but Doriani takes the reader further, showing how application involves not just actions but also thoughts, motives, desires, and goals. This book will help you learn to see the wide variety of applications that God offers in His Word.