Summary: In this message we will talk about the principles of observation and genre.

The Principles Of Observation And Genre

OKAY - I want us to start off our time of study by reading some powerful 3000 year old God-breathed words that express the great passion that the writer of Psalm 119 has for God’s word.

We will take turn reading the verses that come up on the screen and I will let you all go first.

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations you established the earth, and it endures.

Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.

Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.

I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD, and I will obey your decrees.

I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.

I rise before dawn and cry for help I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. – Psalm 119


Okay MGCC - we are in week nine in our series ‘Understanding The Bible…’ And currently we are looking at various principles of Hermeneutics (principles for understanding and interpreting the bible).

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15

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make every effort, endure, labor, be diligent, to exert oneself, to use speed, make haste

NOW – so far we have talked about…

• A.I.M. – the author’s intended meaning

• Context – and we said last week the when it comes to correctly understanding a passage of Scripture that context is what? Context is King!

NOW – we have been in this series for 9 weeks and we are going to wrap it up next week…

By looking and several more principles like, the principles of…

• Consistency

• Priority

• Caution

• Application

Everything we have talked about is online…

And I have some great resource sheets for you.

NOW – as you can see from the title this morning we are going to unpack two keys principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible… The Principle of Observation and Genre…

I. The Principle Of Observation

OBSERVATION – is a very basic and a very important principle in understanding the bible.

IN FACT – it is foundational.


The better the observation, the more accurate the interpretation

The more correct the interpretation the better the application

NOW – at it’s root observation is about not forcing your ideas onto the bible… INSTEAD – it’s about letting the bible speak for itself…

UNDERSTAND – when you start to study a passage of scripture; Don’t be in such a hurry to say, ‘here is what it means.”

Slow down, listen, think, reflect, observe…

YOU SEE – in a very real way understanding and studying the bible is a lot playing detective. SO YOU – need to grab your pen and notebook, rope off the area…

AND THEN - carefully & systematically look at the scene.

(note – this is different than reading the bible devotionally)

3 keys to good observation…

A) Beware Of Your Presuppositions

NOW – I am talking about the things you already - think, know or want to be true.

AND – the truth is everyone of us has presuppositions

WE ALL - carry baggage that gets in the way of our understanding of the text…

AND – just where do these presuppositions come from?

• Other people (pastors, teachers, parents, books…)

• Culture

• Life experience

• Our previous times studying a passage

FOR EXAMPLE -in Jesus day nearly every Jewish person had the same presuppositions about the Messiah…

THAT - He would be a powerful earthly king who would establish a Jewish world empire.

AND LISTEN – living under foreign rule for centuries, being occupied by the Roman army and living 1,000 years removed from the glory and power that they had under David and Solomon fueled much of this misunderstanding of what the bible really said about the Messiah.

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