This is where we start. If we agree on the foundation (our "starting point"), we will eventually reach the the same conclusions (our "ending point"). It may take time, and we might not always reach complete agreement on everything. But we will come closer to the same understanding, and can look forward to that day that we do agree.
As we grow in our understanding of the Bible, disagreements will tend to be on peripheral issues, rather than on foundational ones. It will be the type of disagreement that friends can have - friends who all have their focus in the same direction. In most (if not all) instances, it will involve matters that the Bible does not treat as crucial to being a disciple.
This is a collection of comments about understanding the Bible, and covers a wide range of issues: the issue of translations; the role of Bible "helps"; issues related to understanding the Bible on our own (or with the help of others); how error creeps into one's understanding of the Word; why people disagree on various issues; etc. [Note: This article may be difficult to read. There are 55 statements about a variety of issues (some closely related, and often with similar conclusions). You could treat it as responses to 55 different people, concerning overlapping issues, all gathered into one place.]
A short article that summarizes the "basics" about studying the Bible. (Much of what is found in this article can also be found in: "The Bible, God's Word to All People.")
We need to be willing to carefully study the Word of God, and to attempt to understand it accurately, if we want the Holy Spirit to accomplish his purposes in our lives. He does not bless ignorance - especially when it is willful or due to laziness!
We do not need to be filled with "panic" when we discover that we don't understand something in the Bible. If we are willing to continue in our study of God's Word, and to let it change our perspective (and actions), then the "difficult" passages will begin to make sense. When we submit to God's Word, God himself will make it possible for us to understand it.
For some things, we just don't have an answer. But does it matter?
Many people claim that you can, but for the person who accepts all that the Bible says, "as written," the answer will be a resounding "NO!" This article looks at some of the reasons that people reach different viewpoints when they read the Bible.
Hebrew poetry is found quite frequently in the Old Testament. Though we can benefit from the Scriptures without understanding the nature of Hebrew poetry, we can benefit even more if we do understand it.
Proverbs are not merely "good suggestions." They have genuine value, and we need to pay attention to them, if we have any interest in wise (rather than foolish) living. However, we need to understand their nature, so we don't reach wrong conclusions about what they say.
A few suggestions, as the title suggests. It may be helpful to use this article in conjunction of the above article, "About Proverbs."
Word studies can be quite beneficial, if you use them properly.
Most people will probably not need this article. But I have come across some people who seem to think that the use of the word "if" implies that the statement is sometimes true. Such is not always the case!
"If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31b-32)