Good Soil

Blog Without an Interesting Name

Reference material from the Good Soil class on January 30th at Trinity Baptist.

2) Basic Tools for Study

Why are there so many different translations?!?

Taken from Blog Article on Translation Differences

Other Useful Tools:

How Do We Decide If a Tool is Good?

This is not an easy question to answer, as it presumes much.

Objective tools like concordances, lexicons and (hopefully) dictionaries should allow you the resources to understand the language and setting of the text you are studying.

Subjective tools like commentaries, sermons, blog postings, etc come with the bias and theology of the writer attached. Therefore you need to have some understanding of the people involved.

Is this a scholarly work?
Were multiple people involved in the process?
Is it edited or reviewed?
What organizations are behind this tool or gravitate towards it?
Is the Author completely out there on their own, or do they have accountability?
Do the assertions of the specific passage or verse fit within the context of the greater passage / book / entire Bible?

4) Literary and Historical Context

Literary Context

Meaning is found in context

Words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs have no specific meaning apart from a specific context.

Example – The word “fast”

Context shapes meaning

Two main areas

There are two main areas we want to study when we’re talking about context.

The broader literary context; the material that surrounds and works with the passage under consideration.

Layers of literary context

  • Words and Phrases
  • Paragraphs and chapters
  • Whole book, author’s other books
  • Shared genre, testament, inter-testament
  • Concurrent extra-biblical literature

Biblical genres

Psalms, Proverbs, Laments, History, Revelation

More Study on Literary Context at

Historical Context

History is His story and it comes with a context. You respect God’s choice of the place and time.

The Word of God is God’s Word to you. To hear this word well you must be sensitive to the historical context.

What is the general historical background of the book?
Who, what, where, when, and why

What can you find out about the immediate historical context of the book?

What cultural elements do you need to study?