The Study of the Bible

(An extract from a book entitled: "The Study of the Bible,"
published 1862. Author unnamed).

"Why is it that Christian people read the Bible so differently?"

"In searching for an answer we have been led to conclude that the true explanation will be found in that prevailing neglect of the Bible as a whole, which arises from its being always read in mere fragments;

  • in the forgetfulness of the particular purpose for which the Book was given;
  • in errors relating to the Holy Spirit;
  • in bias of one kind or another;
  • in reading either for 'edification' or for kindling a devout feeling, without first ascertaining the meaning of that which is read;
  • in the habit of accommodating Scripture, or of perverting it, by exaggeration, projection, or other misapplication of texts;
  • in the abuse of parallel passages and references, in the darkening of the sense which is frequently occasioned by injudicious division into chapters and verses;
  • in the acceptance of interpretations drawn from Hymns;
  • in the neglect and consequent abuse of unfulfilled prophecy;
  • in inattention to the character of the particular dispensation under which we are living;
  • in errors as to church authority, and the value of tradition;
  • in turning helps into hindrances;

and above all, in habitual indifference to the demand Scripture makes on every man for prolonged study, as an essential pre-requisite to the elevation by its means of moral character."