Many people admire and even revere the Bible, but they simply do not understand what they read, much less how to study Scripture. Yet they wish they could. In this insightful and alternately amusing guide, Professor Mark Yarbrough shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock the hidden truths of God's Word and to discover a world where reading the Bible doesn't just satisfy our curiosity, but changes our life.
To do this, the reader will step into the seminary classroom and observe the practical principles-the tricks of the trade-for becoming a more effective student of the Bible. But Yarbrough has made sure that his writing style and general approach will be appealing to both academic students and those involved in lay-level Bible study.
Real life is whacky and in-your-face. Studying Scripture should be too.
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“Interpretation isn’t open to subjective experience. Our experiences don’t change the information presented by the author. Interpretation is the process of understanding what an author has stated. In this respect, we read the Bible the same way we read other books. Our opinions do not shape the meaning of the text; the text tells us how we are to think and behave. That’s how seminary professors approach it.” (source)
“First, it is very important to understand the basic structure of the Bible. This will help get your arms around the text as a whole and give you confidence in working with it.” (source)
“Second, understand the story and substance of the Bible. By that I mean it is critical to know the basic content (message) and convictions (beliefs) taught from Scripture.” (source)
“2. God, as Creator, has revealed Himself as Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (source)
“And we are in trouble. Giant, gargantuan trouble. In recent years, this method of ‘study’ has crept into the classrooms of the Christian church and diluted our once-strong orthodoxy. It has led us down a path of spiritual relativity—where the Bible means whatever you think it means—and disconnects interpretation from the authority of the biblical text. Instead, the focus of Bible study becomes the ‘experience’ of the reader.” (source)
Mark M. Yarbrough serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, and as a professor in the Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary -- as well as part of the pastoral teaching team at Centerpoint Church in Mesquite, Texas. A native Texan, Mark is a graduate of Dallas Christian College (DCC) and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). Prior to joining the faculty and administration of DTS in 2001, he served in several ministries. For ten years he served at a church in southeast Dallas as youth and preaching pastor.
After graduating from DTS, he spent several years at DCC, serving in the Bible department and part of the presidential leadership team. After transitioning to DTS and upon the completion of his Ph.D., he was appointed as Vice President for Communications. That role included an active engagement with the local and national media. Mark is a regular conference speaker and also travels internationally to teach, preach, and consult on theological education. He has been married to Jennifer, his high school sweetheart, for more than twenty years. They reside just east of Downtown Dallas in Forney, Texas and have four children: Kayla, Jacob, Kayci, and Joseph.