R.C. Sproul Read Knowing Scripture

Free download Knowing Scripture

R C Sproul helps us dig out the meaning of Scripture for ourselves He lays the groundwork by discussing why we should study the Bible and. Despite only giving it four stars I think this book is important and should be read by anyone seeking to understand the Bible Sproul gives priceless guidelines to reading which could preclude a great deal of doctrinal confusion for many readers My reservation is due to the brevity of the treatment of some things such as his take on various bible translations He mentions that some are liberal for instance without a clue as to what the term means to him Does he mean liberal in the way they translate certain words certain doctrines or liberal in their commentary We are left to guess I suppose his many students over the years would understand what he means by the word but most readers will not There was uite a bit of similar short treatments which left much to be desired Nevertheless what he does explain with detail he explains extraordinarily well I highly recommend this book to any serious student of Scripture both Old and New Testament I ll be reading it again to make sure I ve got the good parts down for my own Bible reading

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Knowing Scripture

Cal guidelines for applying this science Here is a basic book for both beginning Bible readers and those who have been at it for a long ti. From the foreword IF I were the devil please no comment one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the BibleFrom chapter one Why study the Bible It may seem odd and foolish to raise this uestion since you probably would not be reading this book unless you were already convinced that Bible study is necessaryKnowing Scripture is a practical how to STUDY the Bible book by RC Sproul first published in 1977 It has been republished but I haven t bought an updated edition I m not sure if Sproul has added extra contentIn the first chapter Sproul addresses two myths concerning the Bible The first myth being the Bible is SO difficult that only highly skilled theologians with technical training can deal with the Scriptures The second being the Bible is boring He argues that the Bible is not difficult to read for the most part Does it contain a few difficult passages that reuire study and unpacking Yes But For the most part the basic essential message of the Bible is straight forward and clear Sproul does not uote Mark Twain here but I will Most people are bothered by those passages of Scriptures they don t understand but for me I have always noticed that the passages that bother me are those I do understand Mark TwainHe also argues that the Bible is NOT dull or boring Though he adds that if it were the world s most boring book it would still be our duty to read it because we re commanded to know the Book The preponderance of boredom that people experience with the Bible came home to me several years ago when I was hired to teach the Scriptures in reuired Bible courses at a Christian college The president of the institution phoned me and said We need someone young and exciting someone with a dynamic method who will be able to make the Bible come alive I had to force myself to swallow my words I wanted to say You want me to make the Bible come alive I didn t know that it had died In fact I never even heard that it was ill Who was the attending physician at the Bible s demise No I can t make the Bible come alive for anyone The Bible is already alive It makes me come alive 14He concludes that the reason people don t study the Bible has nothing to do with either myth Not reallyWe fail in our duty to study God s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand not so much because it is dull and boring but because it is work Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion Our problem is that we are lazy 15He includes this startling fact If you have read the whole Bible you are in a small minority of Christian people If you have studied the Bible you are in an even smaller minority 18 Sproul isn t saying that only Christian laypeople are lazy when it comes to reading or studying the Bible the whole Bible He s also saying that it s a problem among the clergy as well Countless times I have heard Christians say Why do I need to study doctrine or theology when all I need to know is Jesus My immediate reply is this Who is Jesus As soon as we begin to answer that uestion we are involved in doctrine and theology No Christian can avoid theology Every Christian is a theologian Perhaps not a theologian in the technical or professional sense but a theologian nevertheless The issue for Christians is not whether we are going to be theologians but whether we are going to be good theologians or bad ones A good theologian is one who is instructed by God 22He includes many reasons WHY Christians should study the Bible One of my favorite uotes is But what happens when there is a conflict between what God says and what I feel We must do what God says like it or not That is what Christianity is all about That is Sproul telling it like it is Not tickling anybody s ears for sure There is a follow your heart follow your conscience define your own truth mentality that has even found its way into modern pulpits We were not created to be happy Let me clarify We were not created to pursue our own version of happy Our version of happy is far removed from what we were created for because of the fall because of our inborn sin nature We were created to glorify God we were created to enjoy HIM forever When God is at the center of our happy when God is our one thing then we are fulfilling his design for us We are in God s will and not outside of itKnowledge of God s Word does not guarantee that we will do what it says but at least we will know what we are supposed to be doing in our uest for human fulfillment The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God but whether we believe the God we believe in 30In chapter two Sproul discusses personal Bible study and private interpretation He argues that it is important to balance private interpretation with the church s teaching The text has a definite meaning A text can have than one application but it can only have one meaning We re not free to read MEANING into a text and build our theology around a misinterpreted passage Free perhaps being the wrong word We are of course free to be bad theologians But TRUTH should matter to us And we should care about what the scripture actually means than what we want it to mean Should In this second chapter Sproul talks about objectivity and subjectivity He defines the terms EXEGESIS and EISOGESIS At the heart of every bad sermon is eisogesis Exegesis means to explain what the Scripture says The word comes from the Greek word meaning to guide out of The key to exegesis is found in the prefix ex which means from or out of To exegete Scripture is to get out of the words the meaning that is there no and no less 39Eisogesis has the same room but a different prefix The prefix his also coming from the Greek means into Thus eisogesis involves reading into the text something that isn t there at all Exegesis is an objective enterprise Eisogesis involves an exercise in subjectivism 40Subjectivism takes place when the truth of a statement is not merely expanded or applied to the subject but when it is absolutely determined by the subject That s your interpretation and that s fine for you I don t agree with it but my interpretation is eually valid Though our interpretations are contrary and contradictory they can both be true Whatever you like is true for you and whatever I like is true for me 39 40In the third chapter Sproul introduces hermeneutics the science of interpretation What should be the means of interpretation How should the Bible be interpreted The Reformers argued stood for and in some cases died for the notion that Scripture should interpret Scripture That the Bible was all one needed He writes No part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture 40He spends a good deal of time in this chapter discussing the importance of reading the Bible literallyThe term literal comes from the Latin litera meaning letter To interpret something literally is to pay attention to the litera or to the letters and words which are being used To interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature That is the natural meaning of a passage is to be interpreted according to the normal rules of grammar speech syntax and context The Bible may be a very special book being uniuely inspired by the Holy Ghost but that inspiration does not transform the letters of the words or the sentences of the passages into magical phrases Under inspiration a noun remains a noun and a verb remains a verb uestions do not become exclamations and historical narratives do not become allegories 49To be accurate interpreters of the Bible we need to know the rules of grammar and above all we must be carefully involved in what is called genre analysis The term genre means simply kind sort or species Genre analysis involves the study of such things as literary forms figures of speech and style 49The third way of interpreting the Bible which he addresses in this chapter is the grammatico historical method Here is where context and original meaning come into play The fourth chapter is the PRACTICAL chapter He includes rules for biblical interpretationsRule 1 The Bible is to be read like any other bookRule 2 Read the Bible existentially He adds a disclaimer here What I mean is that as we read the Bible we ought to get passionately and personal involved in what we read I advocate this not only for the purpose of personal application of the text but for understanding as well What I am calling for is a kind of empathy by which we try to crawl into the skin of the characters we are reading about 66Rule 3 Historical Narratives are to be interpreted by the didacticRule 4 The implicit is to be interpreted by the explicit Not only do we have problems when we draw too many implications from the Scripture but we also face the problem of suaring implications with what is explicitly taught When an implication is drawn that is contradictory to what is explicitly stated the implication must be rejected 77Rule 5 Determine carefully the meaning of words Rule 6 Note the presence of parallelism in the Bible There are three basic types of parallelism synonymous antithetic and syntheticRule 7 Note the difference between proverb and lawRule 8 Observe the difference between the Spirit and the Letter of the Law Rule 9 Be careful with parablesRule 10 Be careful with predictive prophecyThe fifth chapter is all about culture Not only should we be mindful of the original cultures of the Old and New Testaments but we should be must be mindful of our own culture Difficulties can arise when we ignore our own culture and bring our own cultural bias or understanding into Scripture He writes We need to become aware that the perspective we bring to the Word may well be a distortion of truth I am convinced that the problem of the influence of the twentieth century secular mindset is a far formidable obstacle to accurate biblical interpretation that is the problem of the conditioning of ancient culture 105The sixth chapter is about Bible study tools This chapter is without a doubt the most dated section of the book In a way Commentaries are still commentaries Atlases are still atlases Dictionaries are still dictionaries But This is the chapter where he analyzes various translations and gives recommendations So many BIG translations were not published yet in 1977 For example New King James Version New International Version New American Standard Bible Update English Standard Version New Living Translation Holman Christian Standard Bible and Christian Standard Bible He would later go on to publish study Bibles in the New King James Version and the English Standard Version so one can only assume that he approved those translationsThis section also includes a Bible Reading Program for BeginnersWhy have Christians been so derelict when it comes to biblical study Is it merely a lack of discipline or devotion That may be part of the problem and conseuently produces much guilt among Christians for leaving undone those things that should have been done I think however that than a problem of discipline it is a problem of method We begin our Bible reading in a spirit of grim determination and diligently read the book of Genesis Genesis provides important information about the foundations of biblical history and moves smoothly through the narrative history of the patriarchs So far so good Exodus is full of drama with the exploits of Moses and the liberation of Israel from the tyranny of the Egyptians Cecil B DeMille and Charlton Heston have given millions of us a sense of familiarity with these events Then comes Leviticus Here the attrition rate of interested readers begins to accelerate Many of us who wade through Leviticus are finished off by Numbers A few die hards make it through Deuteronomy and even a persevering few make it through the whole New Testament Actually I have discovered that the majority of people who read the first five books of the Old Testament will make it through the whole Bible Most people fail to read the Old Testament by getting bogged down in Leviticus and Numbers The reasons are obvious These books deal with detailed matters of the organization of Israel including lengthy lists of case law So much of the material is foreign to us and makes difficult readingYet the information contained in these books is of crucial importance for understanding the scope of redemptive history An accurate understanding of the New Testament depends on an understanding of these books In fact once a person acuires a general understanding of the whole scope of Scripture he usually discovers that Leviticus and Numbers are fascinating and delightfully interesting But without the general understanding the details seem somewhat unrelated To overcome the problems so many people have with reading the Bible I suggest an alternate route to our goal Read the biblical books in the following orderGenesisExodusJoshuaJudges1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 KingsEzraNehemiahAmosHoseaJeremiahEcclesiastes and Song of SolomonPsalms and ProverbsThis list of readings gives an overview of the Old Testament and provides the framework for understanding it 121 22

R.C. Sproul Á 2 Free download

How our own personal study relates to interpretation Then he presents in simple basic terms the science of interpretation and gives practi. RC Sproul has easily become one of my fave author this month This book was truly a gem and will definitely be one that I draw from repeatedly


10 thoughts on “Knowing Scripture

  1. says:

    A useful guide to studying the Bible providing rules of interpretation and study tools I've learned much from Sproul over the years so I enjoyed hearing how he studied the BibleSproul saysMy prime motivation is to offer basic “common sense” guidelines to help serious readers study sacred Scripture profitably the book seeks to emphasize

  2. says:

    Despite only giving it four stars I think this book is important and should be read by anyone seeking to understand the Bible Sproul gives priceless guidelines to reading which could preclude a great deal of doctrinal confusion for many reader

  3. says:

    SummaryFrom the back cover of the book The theme of this book is not how to read the Bible but how to study the BibleThe later part of the uote is probably the most ignoredChristians who do read the Bible are not aware of how to rea

  4. says:

    RC Sproul has easily become one of my fave author this month This book was truly a gem and will definitely be one that I draw from repeatedly

  5. says:

    This was a great introduction into the science of interpreting scripture objectively and intelligently Even though it was short there were many helpful details that I would like to explore again for sure

  6. says:

    This is a short book but full of good guidance We read this book with our ABF class and it prompted much helpful discussion I recommend it

  7. says:

    Excellent I should have read many years ago a book like this Expanded Edition

  8. says:

    This book is a great help in a foundational and basic understanding of reading and knowing Scripture

  9. says:

    From the foreword IF I were the devil please no comment one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the BibleFrom chapter one Why study the Bible? It may seem odd and foolish to raise this uestion since you probably would not be reading this book unless you were already convinced that Bible study is necessaryKnowing Scripture is a practical how to STUDY the Bible book by RC Sproul first publ

  10. says:

    RC Sproul has a passion for the word of God and I will always enjoy reading his book with the expectation of having a hunger for the word of God The importance of the word in my daily life and the application to