How to study the Bible accurately
This has been something on my heart for a while now, I have been desiring to give the tools as toward how you study the bible accurately, the reason being is because there are wolves out there, that can make pretty convincing arguments, and if you are not prepared, they will tear you apart, and you will not have a leg to stand on. So this document that I am producing here is going to give you the keys to study the word without me giving the answers all the time. Now after this document you will not be at my level of study, however you will be able grasp some of the concepts that I see in the Bible, and you will be see if I am right or wrong.
Things we will go over
1. The anchors to your studies
2. Topical studies
3. Pardes studies
4. Thematic studies
1. The anchors to your studies
A. The first anchor of your study is the torah, the reason being is Deuteronomy-4:2-“Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it, so as to guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim which I am commanding you.
Also Deuteronomy-12:32- “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.-
The reason being is because YHVH is God, and he commands us, we are not allowed to make up commands, or to take away from the commandments, ultimately if you find something that looks like a command outside the torah, it does not carry the same weight as a command in the torah, unless YHVH himself commanded it.
Another thing YHVH himself could also test a person see Deuteronomy-13:1-4-“When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.
We see the same thing in Acts-10:9-16- And on the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Kěpha went up on the house-top to pray, about the sixth hour. And he became hungry and wished to eat. But while they were preparing, he fell into a trance, and he saw the heaven opened and a certain vessel like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth, in which were all kinds of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping creatures, and the birds of the heaven. And a voice came to him, “Rise up, Kěpha, slay and eat.” But Kěpha said, “Not at all, Master! Because I have never eaten whatever is common or unclean.” And a voice came to him again the second time, “What Elohim has cleansed you do not consider common.” And this took place three times, and the vessel was taken back to the heaven.
Another place is Genesis-22:1-2-And it came to be after these events that Elohim tried Aḇraham, and said to him, “Aḇraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Take your son, now, your only son Yitsḥaq, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriyah, and offer him there as an ascending offering on one of the mountains which I command you.”
Also my final argument I have is Deuteronomy-5:29- Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
Ultimately if your going to discern the text accurately, you need to go by the basic commandments that YHVH gives, however if you find them inside or outside the torah, and they contradict, it is a test.
B. The next anchor is scripture interprets scripture, if you find a scripture that doesn’t fit, then it is your interpretation, now I do have to say scripture itself it is the Tanakh, which is classified as the old testament.
Now as toward scripture interpreting scripture, to give you an idea
here is an example in Deuteronomy-12:15- Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.- Here is an example of King James, now notice the part I have underlined, and highlighted:
But we know you are not allowed to eat unclean at all, see Leviticus-11, and Deuteronomy-14
So what is going on here? Well this is an issue with translation:
הטמא והטהור יאכלנו – The unclean, and the clean will eat of it- now my point is the Hebrew is defining both the clean and the unclean, as if they are people
Also the part I have highlighted usually gets translated “we will eat,” however the grammar is weird it is 3rd person masculine singular.
Also since people can become unclean its fair to say that Mosheh’s original intent was that the unclean and the clean are able to eat of tithe.
C. Another thing to point out is you cannot interpret from 1 witness, a witness in this case to cite an example:
Deuteronomy-21:10-14- “When you go out to fight against your enemies, and יהוה your Elohim shall give them into your hand, and you shall take them captive, and shall see among the captives a woman fair of form, and shall delight in her and take her for your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails, and put aside the mantle of her captivity, and shall dwell in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a month of days. And after that you shall go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. “And it shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go at her desire, but you do not sell her at all for silver. Do not treat her harshly, since you have humbled her. -
Now I have encountered that this was about rape, but you would know that isn’t condoned at all if you saw the command in Deuteronomy-22:25-27-“But if a man finds the girl who is engaged in the field, and the man takes hold of her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. “But you shall do no matter to the girl. The girl has no sin worthy of death – for the matter is like a man who rises against his neighbour and murders him – a being – for he found her in the field, and she cried out, the engaged girl, but without anyone to save her.
Also it is implied in Deuteronomy-22:23-24-“When a girl who is a maiden is engaged to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and shall stone them to death with stones, the girl because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he has humbled his neighbour’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Plus in Genesis-24:55-58-But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten, then you go.” And he said to them, “Do not delay me, since יהוה has prospered my way. Let me go so that I go to my master.” And they said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” So they called Riḇqah and said to her, “Are you going with this man?” And she said, “I shall go.”
My point is Marriage and sex is done through “free will.” So in Deuteronomy-21:10-14- It is going up against the weight of all this scripture, and also in that account she is given a month to mourn her parents, so she can leave at any time, it also goes on later to say in verse-14- that she is free to leave. It also says in verse-13- that you have to weight 30 days before you have sex with her, so there is no indication that rape is going on.
So what I was demonstrating with small study was that is it is very easy to miss interpret things when you have 1 witness of 4 verses or less, it needs to fit the whole context of scripture otherwise it is miss interpreted.
D. Your next anchor is exegesis, which is just reading the text for what it literally says and not reading into it. Now if you find something that contradicts the torah then it is either false or has to be read into because it is not meant to contradict the torah, or the prophets.
E. Your next anchor is context, context, and finally context! If you read a passage and you see something that seems off, read the entire chapter, and the chapter before in order to gain the appropriate context. Because in Ancient times they didn’t have chapters, they had paragraphs.
F. Your next anchor is to find a practice regarding what you are studying, in other words if you study something and you are finding that scripture is interpreting something the way you think its going, then find an action that supports your claim, this is only in regards to wisdom/ obedience, or finding out if someone was doing an act.
G. Your next anchor is ask critical need to know information, the point I am coming to is the Who’s, the what’s, the where’s, and the How’s, and sometimes the why’s? If you have any of these questions regarding a law or a passage, use the tools that I have given you here.
H. Your final anchor is read the original language, if you cannot read the original language, use a dictionary/ Lexicon it will provide you with an accurate definition of the word, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE STRONGS AS A DEFINITION GIVER! Because strongs is only concordance that tells you how King James translators translated a word.
2. Topical studies
In regards to these types of studies, you would either take an action, or a law, or something you wish to study, and get all the surrounding area’s that you need to study a particular topic. For example, I am going to do a mock study on adoption in the Torah.
According to rabbinic commentaries that I have heard that make sense, a person who gets adopted is found in Genesis-16:2-And Sarai said to Aḇram, “See, יהוה has kept me from bearing children. Please, go in to my female servant. It might be that I am built up by her.” And Aḇram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Also according to more rabbinic commentaries a man can adopt a son, and he can obtain an inheritance from that adoption- Genesis-15:2-4-And Aḇram said, “Master יהוה, what would You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eli‛ezer of Dammeseq?” And Aḇram said, “See, You have given me no seed, and see, one born in my house is my heir!” And see, the word of יהוה came to him, saying, “This one is not your heir, but he who comes from your own body is your heir.”
So a person who is adopted has the opportunity to have the inheritance rites.
3. Pardes studies
Pardes is a method of study that illustrates that there are multiple different understandings to a verse, or a passage, however it will never conflict with the plain literal meaning of the text, there are usually 4 understandings to one passage or verse, inside the Talmud they teach that there are 70 faces to the torah.
For instance Deuteronomy-25:4-“Do not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.-
In ancient near east understanding an animal can be a type of person see Daniel-7:17-These great beasts, which are four, are four sovereigns which rise up from the earth.
Or Deuteronomy-23:18-“Do not bring the harlot-fee of a whore or the pay of a dog to the House of יהוה your Elohim for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to יהוה your Elohim.
Anyways one understanding is that that you have to reward a person who does a job for you this is also the intent of blessing those who bless you- Gen-12:3-“And I shall bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you. And in you all the clans of the earth shall be blessed.”
4. Thematic studies
Here this study, was employed by the vilna of goan a lot, his wisdom was unmatched.
In this type of study you would connect passages together using the same words, and phrases, and actions, and they would need to be in the same themes as well. To give an example of what I am talking about, I will connected 2 passages together, and that will give you an idea.
Deuteronomy-30:15- “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil,
In this section I have highlighted 4 words and they can be thematically connected to a passage in the Torah, that passage is Genesis-2:9-17- And out of the ground יהוה Elohim made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Ěḏen to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four heads. The name of the first is Pishon, it is the one surrounding the entire land of Ḥawilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium is there, and the shoham stone. And the name of the second river is Giḥon, it is the one surrounding the entire land of Kush. And the name of the third river is Ḥiddeqel, it is the one which goes toward the east of Ashshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. And יהוה Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Ěḏen to work it and to guard it. And יהוה Elohim commanded the man, saying, “Eat of every tree of the garden, but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die.”
Now in both sections the children of Israel have to make a choice between these choices, so did Adam and Chavah.
In both sections if they chose right, they lived, but if they didn’t they died. So the thing that you are to choose is life if you want to live, don’t choose good, and don’t choose evil, or death.
I pray these tools bless you.