By Ken Blue
The first rule is that of right division. If we fail to discover the proper divisions of the Bible, we will always be using the Bible instead of correct interpretation. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
The second rule is that of the normal rules of grammar. The context will usually reveal if something is literal or figurative. It is also important to know who is speaking and to whom. Although the entire Bible was written and preserved for us, very little is written to us.
Finally, understand that a word has meaning by how it is used in context. It can mean one thing in one place and the opposite in another. A good example is Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” See Leviticus 1:17. “And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder…” Leviticus 1:17. Anyone can see that the two words have a totally opposite meanings.
We will point out some of the divisions not to be overlooked when reading Scripture. The first is called the Pentateuch, consisting of the first five books. These are called the Law. Within these are several divisions, but they must be considered in context of the five.
The next section covers Israel’s history in the land, and in captivity. These are from the book of Joshua to the book of Ester. There are several transitions in this section, but the reader should keep in mind the location and situation facing Israel.
The poetic books are five, covering Job through Song of Solomon. These deal primarily with the experiences, feelings, and expressions of the writers. One must be careful in founding a doctrine from these books. However, they may illustrate other doctrines in Scripture.
The prophetic books consist of seventeen books. Five are Major Prophets and the remaining twelve are minor. Some of these prophets were in the Land and were sent to Israel and Judah. Others prophesied during the captivity, and after the captivity.
Most of God’s people don’t have a clue as to these divisions and the proper application of God’s Word. It is the pastor’s job to study, rightly divide, and then make proper application. People need not be puzzled on how to understand the Scriptures. Start with the big picture then move to the smaller details later. If you will consider these things, it will aid in understanding God’s Word.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Ken Benes says
You know Ken the best rules in understanding the bible while you read it is to pray in spirit Jesus 1st before reading it and ask our lord to help us discern and understand what it means when we read it. Ask him (our lord Jesus) the in his holy spirit to interpret it to us so we can teach with the knowledge our lord has to giving us what we have learned from him. Ask him to give us the brains to understand his words and the ears to hear him and the eyes to see what he want us to see. Ask him with faith and ask in spirit in name in the name of Jesus. Sounds to me Ken like man made ways to learn the bible that you are telling us right off the bat. I’m suprized I did not read that in this article about praying to God to help us 1st before we read anywhere here. Any one who truleys believes in the Lord and reads the bible understands that Jesus Our lord the holy spirit is the only teacher that can teach us how to understand the bible (we need his spirit to understand it). And you have not mentioned none of this. Now I am no angel but I’m very very surprised. We do not learn the bible like a school quiz or a math test. this knowledge and understanding the bible comes from the holy spirit period and with that you are sure to understand it more and more the more you read when asking our Lord Jesus to help us in understanding the bible before we read it.
Ken Blue says
Perhaps I assumed to much. I would believe anyone who studied the Word of God and rightly divided would be a man or woman of prayer; my oversight.
Thanks for your response Ken and I hear ya. I know you mean well and i hope I haven’t offended you with my words. In Jesus Name
i use KAB sometimes for Kenneth A. benes
Ken Blue says