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Session 1a Session 1b
Session 2a Session 2b
Session 3a Session 3b
Session 4a Session 4b
Session 5a Session 5b
Session 6a Session 6b
Session 7a Session 7b
Session 8a Session 8b
Session 9a Session 9b
Session 10a Session 10b
Session 11a Session 11b
Session 12a Session 12b
Bible Books Summary

Session 1: Section 2

The Bible Interprets itself

We need to realize that the key to easier (not easy) understanding of the Bible is found in its own pages. Our tendency is not to look far enough for answers inside the book when we find something that we do not understand. A basic principle in reading the Bible more effectively lies in the simple fact:-

Your questions about what the Bible teaches are answered in the Bible.

This cannot be emphasized too much. Sometimes, instead of looking to the Bible, we ask others for help. This can lead us in wrong directions. Remember, the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Bible commentaries and other books are not inspired and so we should not give them the same respect as the Bible.

The explanation of a problem is sometimes to be found in the same chapter in which it occurs, or in a chapter nearby. Let’s look at a couple of examples:-
 

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Look at Matthew 13 v 1 to 9

In this chapter we are presented with the parable of the sower. If you keep on reading, starting at verse 18, you find that you are given a complete explanation of the parable.

Another example of the Bible explaining itself is found in the prophecy of Isaiah.
 

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Look at Isaiah 14 v 12

Many statements have been made about this verse, but if we just look at verse 4 of the same chapter, which introduces the section, we see that, clearly, it is talking about the king of Babylon.

Sometimes the answers or explanations are to be found in different books of the Bible.

Bible Echoes

One very good way of reading the Bible effectively is to listen for "Bible echoes". Whenever you read the Bible keep asking yourself, "Where have I heard that word or phrase before?" When you have difficulty in understanding a section, look for these "Bible echoes" in other parts of the Bible. We will show you how to track down these "echoes" when we look at the use of a concordance later.

One chapter in the Bible that has "echoes" throughout the rest of the Bible is Isaiah 53.  

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Isaiah 53

On first reading it is clear that the whole chapter is describing someone who was to suffer terribly. Verses 4 to 6 would seem to indicate that these sufferings are relevant to us. If we look at the "echoes" in the rest of the Bible it becomes clear who this chapter is talking about.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Matthew 8 v 14 to 17

The last verse of this passage clearly tells us that when Jesus healed people he was fulfilling the first half of Isaiah 53 v 4.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read 1 Peter 2 v 21 to 25

Verse 22 of this passage "echoes" the second half of Isaiah 53 v 9.

The first half of verse 23 "echoes" Isaiah 53 v 7.

Verse 24 "echoes" Isaiah 53 v 4, 5 and 11.

The first half of verse 25 "echoes" Isaiah 53 v 6.

These references again tell us that Isaiah 53 is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Matthew 26 v 62 and 63
   Mark 14 v 60 and 61
      John 19 v 9

These passages "echo" the fact that Isaiah 53 v 7 talks of remaining silent despite provocation.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Acts 8 v 29 to 35

Again there can be no argument that verses 7 and 8 of Isaiah 53 are talking about Jesus Christ.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Matthew 27 v 57 to 60

The events described here "echo" the phrase "they made his grave... with the rich at his death" in Isaiah 53 v 9.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references Read Romans 8 v 34

The end of this verse "echoes" Isaiah 53 v 12 in the reference to "making intercession".

All of these "echoes" point clearly to the fact that Isaiah 53 must be talking about Jesus Christ. This is just one example of how listening for "echoes" lets the Bible explain itself.

There are in fact many more "echoes" in this chapter. We will show you how to find "echoes" in the "Concordances" and "Cross references" sections.

Summary of Do’s and Don’ts

Do:-

  • Look first to the Bible for answers to your questions.
  • Listen for “echoes” to find answers to your questions.
  • Write down your questions that you cannot answer immediately (It may be a while until you “hear the echo” giving the answer).

Don’t:-

  • Expect quick answers.
  • Look at isolated passages and draw conclusions.

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