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Interpreting the Bible

By Chris Browne

10 Things to Remember when Interpreting the Bible

  • There are 66 books in the Bible. History, poetry, wisdom, myth, apocalypse, laws, correspondence are just some of the content we find in the Bible.

  • The Bible was written by around 40 authors. Some authors, such as Paul and Luke wrote more than one book.

  • To understand each book in the Bible it helps if we know something about its author.

  • It also helps us if we understand who the readers of each book were at the time it was written and the context into which it was written.

  • The Bible has many themes that run through it

  • The books of the Bible are not chronological.

  • Some authors wrote about the same events, often from a different angle.

  • It is useful to know something about the language each book was originally written in. For example, Hebrew has no vowels and Greek has four different words for love.

  • The Bible was written over a period of 1400 years.

  • Most of the Books in the Bible were written years after the events they are describing happened and the authors received their information by the oral tradition. In other words, the accounts were passed from one generation to the next by word of mouth.


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