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Principles vs. Methods

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“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, what are principles Bible Study? And what is the difference between a principle and a method? In this book, we will show you many methods of Bible study. But we don’t want the reader to confuse methods with principles. The above quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson perfectly shows the difference between principles and methods. Bible Study Principles are an approach of Bible study that you will use with ANY Bible Study Method. The principles will guide you as you use the method to dig deeper into the subject matter. Principles are guidelines or rules that guide how to apply the method in a productive way. So I encourage you to grasp the principles well and then you can use them with any method you choose. In this chapter, we will discuss principles. In a different chapter, we we discuss the methods of Bible Study.

 

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Principles of Bible Study

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Three basic questions may be asked of any text:  What does it say? What does it mean? How does it impact me? — Edward L. Hayes

There are several principles of Bible Study. The most important will be covered in this chapter: Observation, interpretation, and application which are commonly referred to as the inductive approach to Bible study. In some circles, they these three principles are called the inductive bible study method. It is important to note that observation, interpretation and application can happen simultaneously (at the same time).

Observation

Interpretation

Application