Studying the Bible Around the WorldNov 01, 2021
Life is like an adventure going to the wilderness. To survive, you need to prepare the essential tools such as a map, a compass, and a lamp so that you will never be lost or in danger. Just like a lamp that can light your path, the Bible is your guide through this dark world. However, it is not just a guide, but it also develops and strengthens your relationship with God. His Word brings light, and this light brings clarity in your life. But for you to reflect that light into the world, you need to follow and study the Bible.
The Bible helps you understand and surpass each trial with a mindset of victory. Through God's power, you can become an overcomer despite the many trials, challenges, or tribulations in this world. John 16:33 (NKJV) says, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Dr. Ezequiel Serrato, the Undergraduate Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Grace School of Theology, is dedicated to teaching and educating individuals worldwide to grasp correct hermeneutics better. He provided the needed guidance one can follow on studying the Bible.
But first, what is hermeneutics? Dr. Serrato explained that Biblical Hermeneutics is both a science and art of Biblical Interpretation. As God has spoken, we must make sure we fully grasp and comprehend what He has said. The study of hermeneutics is at the heart of theology. God’s Word is what it is, and we need to know that the instructions of God should be followed without adding or subtracting anything. Despite the different cultures in this world, we should approach His word through its language, text, context, and own culture so that we can comprehend it accurately.
He also explained how important it is for teachers to be adequately trained to share God's Word correctly through hermeneutics. As people hear God’s Word, their lives are being transformed and it will exponentially impact their community. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, His Word will accomplish its purpose and it will never be empty or void. Second Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We are to exercise wisdom and responsibility when expounding nothing but the Word of Truth. We should not be ashamed to share God’s Word, because this brings life to those who are lost.
How should we read the Scriptures? Dr. Serrato mentioned that without the power of God, we cannot read the Bible properly. We should start to read letters as a whole from the beginning to the end. We must contextualize our interpretation of His Word. First by getting the big picture before going to the specific parts. You will look at each piece in the light of the whole letter or book. In hermeneutics, context is crucial. This shows us that reading the Bible as a whole letter is not just for scholars or seminary folks.
We need to dig deep into the Word of God on different levels. Children, for a time, would need milk to grow. But eventually, they would need solid food to mature. The same is true with our growth as followers of Christ. We should not be stuck in shallow teachings of His Word, but we must dig deeper and expound the Truth. However, many teachers and pastors are not trained to deliver solid sustenance. This is where training comes into the picture. The training starts with the leaders, teachers, and pastors being equipped with solid food that they can serve to their congregation.
As you understand the meaning of His Word, you will see its importance in your life. You get direction from Him—what He wants you to know, how you should live, and what promises can strengthen you in times of hardships. You will see the treasures that are far more important than earthly wealth—His timeless wisdom that will lead and guide you on the right path.
Do you want to be equipped to dig deeper into God's Word?
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