About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

    How I Study The Bible

When I study any Bible passage, this is what I do. 


First; I study the original text, whether Greek in the New Testament or Hebrew in the Old Testament, to see what I can learn.  The grammatical construction of a sentence is vital in understanding the sentence.  For example, verb tenses are important, especially in Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament.  Verb tenses are much more detailed and colourful in Koine Greek than they are in English.  Another simple example is knowing whether the word "you" is singular or plural, something you can't always easily see in English, but you can easily see in Greek.    


Second; I check out the immediate context of the passage.  Beyond that I consider the passage in light of the context of the book or letter it was written in, the context of the author's life and other writings, and then the context of the rest of the Bible. 


Third; I see if there is any historical or cultural information that is relevant to the passage, and there usually is.  One mistake we make today when studying the Bible is that we impose our 21st century culture and definitions of words into the Biblical text that was written centuries ago in a culture and language that has little to no relevance to our world today.  Knowing some history and the cultural setting of any passage helps us understand the passage.


Fourth; I check out Bible commentators to see what I can learn from others.  If I'm the only one in history that has come up with a particular comment on a verse, I'm probably wrong. 


Fifth; I try to keep in mind all of the hermeneutical (art of Biblical interpretation) rules I've learned over the years.    


After all of this, I remain open to learn more.  I'm always learning.        


Home Page