Methods to study the Bible

image_pdfimage_print[1] it can be approached to the Bible in various ways. The best would be to study a book at a time. However have taken into account some important factors that, if properly applied, make the study itself not only more interesting, but also more secure. Of each book of the Bible first of all you should try to know who wrote it, when it was written, which it was composed, under what circumstances and why, and finally to those who were directed

Who wrote it?

The first and most natural looking obviously concerns the authorship of a paper. Each author enters into his work a personal characteristic that makes him choose words and images, But the most compelling reason to identify the author should not be the fulfillment of a curiosity, but the reconstruction of the character whose history can be much more informative script itself. An example: to better understand the complex problem of difficult relations between the Christians from Judaism and Christians of Gentile, as evidenced in the Letter to the Romans, avail to know the personal stories of the author (the apostle Paul). Even if Paul did not share the approach given by the Judeo-Christians, that stiffened Old Testament priority acceptance for the admission of proselytes from the pagan religion, He knew very well the problem, as he himself had been a member of the Pharisees (Philippians 3:4-11; cf.. proceedings 22:3-5).

Pietro, instead, not having been Pharisee, does not let in his writings a great interest in the issue. Similarly, each Bible student, knows that Luca, pay of birth, It reflected in his writing style and mentality of the greek world. Each book of Scripture is characterized by the peculiarities of the vocabulary of its author

When it was written?

Since the collection of 66 books we call the Bible is collected in a single volume, many forget that it was composed during several centuries. The time element assumes pad remarkable also for the understanding of the whole that is of a single book. Eg, the very first match of Paolo (the letters to the Thessalonians) It reveals a particular emphasis on the return of Christ as imminent, which is not reflected instead in the later epistles (to the Corinthians and to the Philippians). in the first, indeed, It feels almost a sense of Paul that you are still alive when the end will (1Tessalonicesi 4:15), while in the second he has already mitigated this feeling (Philippians 1:19-26). As it regards the Revelation, written towards the end of the first century, when there had been numerous attempts to overthrow the Christian movement, we find the diminished intensity of exhortations to obedience to authority, accompanied by a stronger requirement of fidelity to Christ. The worrying turn that they were taking the persecution of God's people pushed the sacred author to mitigate the usual expressions of loving calmness, Ie favoring complicated visions of heavenly conflict and decisive battles. Seen in this light the Book of Revelation tells us not only a hope of final victory by Lamb, but also the tremendous responsibility that weighs on each child of God, He called to express an absolute fidelity as a condition for the final premium

Where was composed?

The place where some script originated is of great importance for the understanding of certain expressions. Eg, When the apostle Paul declares “the prisoner of Christ” it is useful to recall what could be his state of mind on a cold and dark Roman prison (Filemone 1). Even more important than the specific location is the environment. Let's take an example dall'A.T.: the prophet Amos announced the imminent collapse of Judaism, but he did talking to Bethel, The royal sanctuary of Israel. Since that sanctuary was emblematic of the rebellion, immorality and corruption is the real home of the priestly caste, what better place to Bethel could have received the divine message? Amos was called to warn Bethel (= God's house) that the Lord would appear to your home and would hit the Temple! When those who read the Bible found certain similarities between Corinth and then any metropolis today, where culture, religion and trade meddle, It will have no difficulty in understanding the seemingly incredible problems that Paul faced in his two letters. Corinth was a pagan city where he used to take part in the subsequent feasts to meat sacrificed to idols (1Corinthians 10:14-30) believing to acquire the nature and power of the idol itself. The individualism of the greek world explains the existing divisions in the church, with preferences for this or that preacher (1Corinthians 1:10-17). Each Bible student can obtain such information from the specialized subsidiary.

Under what circumstances it was written, and why?

Unlike today, that with relative spending anyone can make print a book, in the ancient world even a letter was written only for specific reasons. The books were not an every day; each Bible writer wrote for a reason. Someone did it to gain proselytes (Gospel of John) others to correct deviations of the community to which the author was most directly affected (Galati, Corinthians, etc.) or to impart specific provisions. Others were forced to write down the history of the Church (proceedings). The reason that prompted one author to address a particular message must not arouse in the reader a false impression or suggest misinterpretations. And when you come to understand that John wrote the Apocalypse with a clear aim to encourage believers to persevere in faith, sure of final victory, you can not foolishly trying to attribute the identity of the Antichrist to people like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, or who knows who!

To whom it was directed?

Beyond the immediate recipient, individual or congregation, It goes explored every possible application to other unspecified recipients. The Letter of James, eg, live “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” shall be deemed addressed to all Judeo-Christians who lived far away from Palestine, which explains the reference to the pilgrim's faith Abraham (Giacomo 2:21-24). Paul wrote to some believers who did not know personally (Letter to the Romans), it is also understood his determination to present himself as a messenger of the gospel of salvation. He also wrote to Christians who knew him very well, but appealed to them as a father would do with the children (2Corinthians 6:13), while those who knew relatively took a more detached tone (Tessalonicesi). In some cases, the writer of a book he adopted two different tones. Geremia, eg, began his book threatening disasters against the superb and unequal Jerusalem (5:12-15), but after the successful affliction, when the people had been deported to Babylon, He spoke to the sons of God contrite and desperate the heartfelt messages of hope (31:29-34).

The Bible's View

One of the decisive elements that make fruitful or useless the study of the Bible is the ability to see things from the point of view of Scripture. Our vision of things is undoubtedly decisive when we read any book, but when it comes to the Bible does not always our preconceived ideas recombine with those of the sacred writers, and are certainly not the latter must adapt to our, but conversely! If the Bible is the Word of God, it should follow a logical adherence to what has been revealed. If an individual has already formed in his mind the idea of ​​the natural world, when you begin to read the scriptures immediately discover a great divergence of concepts. According to the Bible, indeed, Nature does not have its own independent existence, but it is subject to the will of God, so that reader will have difficulty accurately transpose the rectum message. The views are as many as there are individuals, and vary from vintage to vintage. The naturalistic view of life, without regard to the deity, It is not a discovery of our time, as well as it is not of the opposite vision today, who sees God in everything and everything is God. Visions of this kind are ill-adapted to the reception of the biblical language about God the Creator and Rector of creation.

One of the areas in which perhaps better than in the other you can see the diversity of points of view is the creation. In the history of religions have been various responses offered: Nature and natural phenomena, mystical experience, reason and philosophical investigation, the perspective vision of Revelation. This last concept explains God and reveals it: rather, is God to remove the veil that hides the man the knowledge of divinity.

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