302 – Psalm 15 – A Late Introduction?
The consistent Bible study method I find very useful could be called something like a consistent inductive hermeneutic. I know it seems like just throwing big words around but I think it would be useful to break the words down and come to some understanding of the methodology. Let’s look at each of the words individually, then in one or two sentences I’ll tell you what the process is, then I want to highlight just one of the steps in the process for today’s study.
Too often if and when Bible study is done it is haphazard in its implementation yielding a poor understanding of the passage being studied. Applying the simple steps in this method gives us a consistent method of study that is easy to understand leading us to the correct interpretation of the passage being studied. It takes work but when we correctly interpret (understand) the passage we can make correct applications to our lives. The method is never modified making it consistent each time we approach the Bible.
Consider the following paragraph from GotQuestions.org
Inductive Bible study is an approach to God’s Word focusing on three basic steps that move from a focus on specific details to a more general, universal principle. Through these three steps, we apply inductive reasoning, which is defined as the attempt to use information about a specific situation to draw a conclusion. The steps are observation (what does it say?), interpretation (what does it mean?), and application (what does it mean for my life?). Inductive Bible study is a valuable tool in understanding and applying the principles of God’s Word. Inductive Bible study can be done on many different levels. The shorter version is good for a brief devotional. The more extensive study is wonderful for digging deeper into the mind and heart of God.
In simplest terms I would say following an inductive method helps to prolong premature conclusions until enough facts are gathered. In contrast, the deductive method tends to encourage the student to reach premature conclusions – before all the facts are gathered.
This is going to be a short paragraph. Defined, hermeneutic is simply the theory and methodology of interpretation (especially biblical).
So why should we care about any of this? The answer of course is if YHWH thought it important enough to transmit His word to us, it should be important enough for us to study to understand His message. If we want to correctly apply it, we need to correctly understand it. So that’s the introduction.
The method I attempt to follow is Observation Interpretation Application (OIA). Make as many observations about the text as possible. Ask a lot of questions, then go looking for the answers. Once you’ve done your due diligence in the observation stage (and only then), interpret or compile the facts and let them lead you to the correct interpretation. You must spend enough time in Observation and Interpretation, only then can you decide how to apply what you’ve learned.
Now I’m ready to talk about one of the principles used in this methodology. The principle of correlation. If I were being honest, I would tell you this is the step I most often neglect. However, it is very important to know how other places in the scriptures influence our understanding of the passage we are studying.
Most Bibles will use letter superscripts in verses with margin notes pointing you to other scripture references. There are several such markings in Psalm 15. However, don’t limit yourself to the work someone else has done or you are likely to miss important references. For example, Hebrews chapter nine explains and expounds on the Old Testament Tabernacle, but no such reference appears in the text of Psalm 15 in the Bible.
I hope you’ll find time to read Hebrews 9 alongside Psalm 15. I think you find it fascinating. Next time we will look at some references and see if we can discover together how Hebrews 9 might influence our understanding of this little Hebrew song.
I know we didn’t talk specifically about Psalm 15 but hopefully, this serves as a little reminder to carefully study the scriptures.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
YHWH truly is worthy of all Praise, Worship, Adoration, and service!
Got something to say?