Nathan Pearl:  …the intent of this is to show you how you can study your Bible in a scientific, careful, thought out way to find out what the Bible says about any topic. You don’t have to have a particularly exciting degree, or field of study, or be even particularly intelligent, you can be dumb like me, and still study and find out exactly what the Bible says. These three guys are going to show you how. Here’s the…


Nathan Pearl:  The first thing that you have to do is understand where you are at when you are studying. The context of where you are at. You guys all know how to read maps. As you can see, I’ve marked out here the absolute best croissants in the world. These are phenomenal croissants. The butter just melts in your mouth. Now, how do we get there?

Man 2:  Where are we at?

Nathan Pearl:  We’re here, and we are going to where the croissants are. Do you guys like croissants? I like croissants. They are going to show us how to get to where the croissants are.

Man 3:  Where is north?

Nathan Pearl:  I’m just saying those are the croissants. How do we get there? I will say north is up.

Man 2:  I need to know where we are at on the map.

Nathan Pearl:  You say we need to know where we are at on the map.

Man 2:  Yes.

Nathan Pearl:  We’re here, and that is where we are going.

Man 2:  The map needs to be probably we’re at.

Nathan Pearl:  The map needs to come where we are at?

Man 2:  [inaudible 01:36] map.

Nathan Pearl:  Do you think we need more detail?

Man 2:  Yes.

Nathan Pearl:  We need more detail? This is a pretty detailed map.

Man 2:  We need a bigger map that covers both places.

Nathan Pearl:  You guys all can read maps, but we don’t know how to get there.

Man 2:  Right, we would have to know where we are at on the map.

Nathan Pearl:  Well, we’re not on this map. This is where the croissants are.

Man 2:  What city is that? [laughter]

Nathan Pearl:  It’s got croissants, and it looks like it is French. We are dealing with basically two problems with the map. We did this at home with a class, so just to illustrate this if we don’t know where we’re at there is no way to get there. If we don’t know where this is at, in context, there is no way to get there. This map basically does us no good. I hate to bring you guys up here just for that, but that is the point, guys that can read maps, that know what they are looking at, if you don’t have context, you can’t get there.

Do we follow that? Now, what if somebody comes up with a Bible verse, and takes one verse out of Acts, and says this is our doctrine.

Man 2:  I’m going to get lost.

Nathan Pearl:  You have the exact same problem that you have here. If you don’t understand the context of what that verse is talking about then you have the same problem.

Man 2:  There is hardly a church in American that is not doing that.

Nathan Pearl:  That’s right. There is hardly a church or a teacher anywhere that doesn’t do it, because it is the easy way to teach doctrine. If you have a doctrine, you go and pull out, and I can come over here and say these croissants right here are the best croissants in the world, and so the way that we are going to get there is we are going to head north for a while, and then we are going to go right for a while, and then we are going to stop, and then we are going to be there, and you guys all follow me, and that is what everybody does. If you say this is our doctrine, it’s a good doctrine, it says so right here, this one verse, so follow me and we’re going to get there, and everybody follows like sheep. It’s a salient point. All right, thanks guys.

I do that to illustrate, you have to have context. You have to know what you’re reading. If you don’t have context for the situation you’re in then you will spin your wheels, spin your wheels, and never get to where you’re trying to go. No matter what kind of bible study we’re going to approach. The first thing we need to look for is context.


FREE Magazine - Subscribe Now!