Hermeneutics: How to Read
and Understand the Bible

RULE #12: Observe the Emphasis of Scripture.

  1. The Bible may state an emphasis expressly by comparing one thing as superior to other things.
    1. Some things are more important than others, and we want to follow God’s priorities.
    2. Some things are more important than others by God’s inspired statements of priority.
      1. Private holiness is more important than public worship (Isaiah 1:10-17; 58:1-7).
      2. Mercy in emergencies is more important than rigid sacrifice (Matthew 12:7).
      3. Judgment, mercy, and faith are more valuable than tithing (Matthew 23:23).
      4. Charity is more important than faith and hope, according to Paul (I Cor 13:13).
      5. Proverbs is chock full of comparative statements using “better” (Pr 3:14; 15:16).
      6. Just a study of comparative words like “better” and “more” can be profitable.
  2. The Bible may show an emphasis of some thing over other things by more extensive treatment.
    1. If the Spirit inspired three times more about one thing than another, we should notice.
    2. The death and resurrection of our Lord are emphasized more than his birth and youth.
    3. The teaching ministry in the church is emphasized far more than the singing ministry.
    4. Submission to authority is emphasized far above exceptions teaching holy rebellion.
  3. Some subjects are treated more extensively in certain passages. Use those passages heavily.
    1. If you are studying the resurrection of the body, you must read I Corinthians 15.
    2. If you are studying faith, you must read and study Hebrews 11; Romans 4; and James 2.
    3. If you are studying church judgment, you must read and study I Corinthians 5.
    4. If you are studying election and salvation, you must read and study Romans 9.