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Sarah in Galations 4, but these are clearly recognizable.  Similes are common as well, such that when Christ says “I am the bread of life” we do not picture Him as a literal loaf of bread.

 

Figures of speech are used in our own conversation and we have no trouble understanding these -- even so with the Bible.

 

2.  INTERPRET IN LIGHT OF THE CONTEXT

 

Any writing, including the Bible, can be perverted by the use of isolated “proof texts.”  Lifting verses out of their setting and building a theology on these, without reference to the whole, is handling the Word of God deceitfully.  This will never result in the knowledge of God’s truth as He has set it forth.  This is a common failing of the false religions who often use the Bible in this way to prove their own false doctrines.  It is thus seen to be imperative when studying the scriptures to take time to read the context before deciding on its meaning.

 

3.  EXAMINE WORD MEANINGS

 

Words are the building blocks of thoughts.  Individual words must be clearly defined in our own understanding.  We cannot understand the whole without understanding its parts.  Bible Dictionaries and Concordances are Essential Tools!!!

 

4.  LOOK TO THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE AS THE FINAL AUTHORITY

 

Since the Bible is inspired and inerrant in the original writings, any final, authoritative interpretation must be based on the original language.

 

5.  COMPARE SCRIPTURE WITH OTHER SCRIPTURE

 

Many obscure passages will yield to the understanding when one views them in light of the clear teaching of other passages.

 

6.  OBSERVE THESE FACTS

 

a. Who is speaking?

b. To whom is he or she speaking?

c. The condition of each.

d. The circumstances surrounding the actions.

e. The historical and cultural background.

f. The literary mold.

g. The purpose for writing and the argument of the writer.

 

These factors can make a great deal of difference as to whether we get the intended meaning or a false interpretation.

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