To understand the scriptures like the Bereans did, I suggest these following methods: (A) Use a biblical text that provides the Hebrew and Greek words along with English to help understand the original message. (B) Verify the meanings using several sources. (C) Search out the original meaning of key words by discovering what they meant when God inspired them. To avoid misunderstanding what God inspired, do not accept customized, or enhanced word meanings. The original Hebrew was the language God inspired Moses and the other authors to pen the Old Testament. The New Testament was written in Greek that has its roots fully embedded within a pagan culture, practices and beliefs. When translating the Aramaic, spoken to and by people with a Hebrew background into Greek, all of the Pagan beliefs for a chosen word will not apply in a Godly Hebrew understanding. For instance, the word Sheol is a Hebrew word for the grave, a Greek word for grave is Hades, but not all the beliefs associated with that Greek word would apply in a Godly Hebrew understanding. A Godly Hebrew audience would ignore the pagan Greek beliefs about crossing the river Styx on a ferry, as well as Hades being ruled by King Hades and his wife Persephone. When translating the Greek words used we should be careful to not incorporate all the Greek beliefs about that word, only the meanings that would be included in a Godly Hebrew context. (D) The Bible has a lot to say about many subjects, let the Bible interpret its own subjects. Find and understand the verses that shine light on a topic of interest, then piece them together. They may seem contradictory at first glance, but through careful thought and meditation they will reveal the truths God has provided for us. Don’t leave any of the verses out of your conclusions, as the scriptures will not contradict themselves and by not including them all, you will be missing a part of God’s truths. Have you employed any of these techniques in your Bible studies? What are some words that have had their meanings change over the last few decades? What new words have been introduced over the last century? Are conversations from centuries ago easy to understand? Have references, idioms and words stayed common over time?
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 Evangelical Heritage Version
12 What we received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we might know the blessings freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak about these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual truths with spiritual words. 14 However, an unspiritual person does not accept the truths taught by God’s Spirit, because they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually evaluated.