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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

How to Study the Bible

Release date:

April 19, 2020



In light of the fact that there are so many interpretations to choose from, how do we properly read and study the Bible? On this program Shane Rosenthal and Mike Brown, co-author of Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored, discuss a number of approaches to avoid when reading and applying Scripture, and also recommend a variety of helpful tools and concepts that will make your study of the Bible much more effective. At the beginning of the program, Mike also gives us a brief update about his church’s situation in Milan, Italy.


It’s easy to take a text that was directed toward the nation of Israel, dealing with Israel’s failure, for example, in the Mosaic Covenant. If we just hop in or pull things out wherever we want, you’re going end up with a different religion. The most important thing is to read through the text over and over again, because otherwise, it’s easy to end up with an approach where I’m looking for some experience to validate the verse I read this morning. It’s sort of like a fortune cookie.

We need to remember from the get-go that the Bible is not a how-to manual. It’s not a manual of any sort. It’s not the acronym “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” (B.I.B.L.E. That’s the book for me).  It’s God’s special revelation to us that is written on the stage of redemptive history over thousands of years, through forty authors, given to us in 66 different books, different genres, but altogether giving one basic theme, that God redeems people for himself through Jesus Christ. If we don’t start there, with what the Bible is about, we’ve already embarked on the wrong course.

Mike Brown


“How to Study the Bible”

The study of the Bible must be done with the recognition that Jesus Christ, His life, death, and resurrection, is the key to the understanding of the whole Scripture. In Christ, God’s redeeming love is preeminently revealed, the testimony to which is the heart of Scriptural revelation. This is to say that the Bible alone tells us about a God who loved the world so much that He determined to save it through His Son Jesus. We can learn much about God’s power and greatness by studying the natural world around us because He made it and His glory is reflected in it. But God’s grace, His saving mercy toward a lost world is revealed to us only in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, the knowledge of God as revealed in the Christ of the Scriptures is an absolute necessity for the understanding of God as revealed in the natural order.

(Taken from Derke Bergsma’s Redemption: The Triumph of God’s Great Plan, p. 3)