Knowing Scripture, By R. C. Sproul alt

Knowing Scripture

Expanded Edition

by R. C. Sproul
Foreword by J. I. Packer

Knowing Scripture
  • Length: 153 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: December 02, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9329
  • ISBN: 9780830893294

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An Expanded Edition of the Commonsense Approach to Studying Scripture

The Bible is the written Word of God, and it is treasured by many. But it is also an ancient book about people and cultures very different than us. Thus, while we know we should read it, many of us have a hard time understanding the Bible.

In this expanded edition of Knowing Scripture, R. C. Sproul helps us dig out the meaning of Scripture for ourselves. The author says, "The theme of this book is not how to read the Bible but how to study the Bible." He presents in simple, basic terms a commonsense approach to studying Scripture and gives eleven practical guidelines for biblical interpretation and applying what we learn. With a minimum of technical jargon, Sproul tackles some of the knotty questions regarding differences of interpreting the Bible, including

  • discovering the meanings of biblical words
  • understanding Hebrew poetry, proverbs and parables
  • approaching historical and didactic passages
  • being careful with predictive prophecy
  • discerning how culture conditions the Bible
  • choosing and using Bible translations, commentaries, Bible software and other helps

Now with a new preface, Knowing Scripture is a basic book for both beginning Bible readers and experienced students of Scripture.


Foreword by J. I. Packer
Preface to the Expanded Edition
Preface to the Original Edition

1. Why Study the Bible
Two Myths
The Clarity of Scripture
The Problem of Motivation
The Biblical Basis for Bible Study
The Bible as Revelation
Theory and Practice
The Sensuous Christian
A Matter of Duty

2. Personal Bible Study and Private Interpretation
Martin Luther and Private Interpretation
Objectivity and Subjectivity
The Role of the Teacher

3. Hermeneutics: The Science of Interpretation
The Analogy of Faith
Interpreting the Bible Literally
Literal Interpretation and Genre Analysis
The Problem of Metaphor
The Medieval Quadriga
The Grammatical-Historical Method
Source Criticism
Authorship and Dating
Grammatical Errors

4. Practical Rules for Biblical Interpretation
Rule 1. Read the Bible Like Any Other Book
Rule 2. Read the Bible Existentially
Rule 3. Interpret the Historical Narratives by the Didactic
Rule 4. Interpret the Implicit by the Explicit
Rule 5. Determine Carefully the Meaning of Words
Rule 6. Note the Presence of Parallelisms
Rule 7. Note the Difference Between Proverb and Law
Rule 8. Observe the Difference Between the Spirit and the Letter of the Law
Rule 9. Be Careful with Parables
Rule 10. Be Careful with Predictive Prophecy
Rule 11. Interpret the Bible with a Spirit of Humility

5. Culture and the Bible
Cultural Conditioning and the Bible
Cultural Conditioning and the Reader
Principle and Custom
Practical Guidelines

6. Practical Tools for Bible Study
Bible Translations
Study Bibles
The King James Version
Concordances, Bible Dictionaries and Atlases
Word Studies
Foreign Translations
What About Greek and Hebrew?
Bible Software
Bible Reading Program for Beginners



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R. C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul (1939–2017) was founder Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization located near Orlando, Florida. He was also copastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online. Sproul contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, spoke at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and wrote more than one hundred books, including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also served as general editor of the Reformation Study Bible.