Advent Bible Study

A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

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Bible Study methods recorded in the writings of Early Adventists

Posted by adventbiblestudy on July 19, 2009


Following is a collection of Bible Study methods recorded in the writings of Early Adventists.

S. N. Haskell: It seems to me that some way must be devised by which our people will study their Bibles more than they have in the past. That is the object of this study that has been devised. It is that our brethren and sisters would in their own families, as has been stated by Sister Plummer, begin to study the Bible as we did formerly. This should be the case throughout our ranks. {April 19, 1901 N/A, GCB 348.2}

The strength of every reform lies in the Bible, the word of God itself. It is not by methods that a reform is advanced and strengthened, but it is by the word itself. When the truth has been presented on any reformatory line, as in the days of the Reformation and in the early history of the third angel’s message, the people did study their Bibles. Everywhere they studied their Bibles, and the Lord blessed them in it. I remember the time when we would go around through the country traveling, to call on our brethren who were separated by long distances from one another. Perhaps we would arrive in time for dinner; but we never would get any dinner until we had a Bible study. I have known instances when our brethren in the country would have hay ready to bring in, yet they would desire to have a Bible reading before bringing in the hay, even when it threatened to rain. {April 19, 1901 N/A, GCB 348.3}

That is the way the cause began. That is the secret of its success, and it has been the secret of success in every reform that God has had anything to do with in this world. But when the people have increased, they have depended on their ministers, and their ministers have depended on preaching. And so the people have loved the preaching, but they have died in the reform. Why is it that they can not live without the preaching? –Because the preachers do not instruct them to study. We are driving over the same road. Where, then, is our remedy? It has been stated here. It is in our people’s studying. But what will enable them to study? The ministers must teach them to study, and not simply to preach, and get off something that is new. They then think, that is a wonderful sermon; I wish that brother would come back and preach again; but what has he left? He has left a curiosity to hear the preacher. Suppose that preacher’s effort had been spent in instructing them how to study the Bible, he would have left something. That is the way it was in the beginning of this work. Those who were teachers or preachers left something behind, and that something which they left was to study the Bible, and so the cause grew up. We have come to a very important crisis in the history of this work. It is a question whether we will study the Bible for ourselves, or whether we will depend on our preachers. Individuals frequently say, “If we can not have preaching, then we can not get along.” If we get into that condition, that we must live on the preacher, or not live, we had better die. I wish we could all die, and get the new life which comes from the study of the word of God itself. {April 19, 1901 N/A, GCB 348.4} General Conference Bulletin

Nothing can take the place of the Scriptures themselves. If all would study the Bible as prayerfully and as conscientiously as they ought, giving earnest heed to every word, and receiving it as coming directly from God, there would be no need of any other religious book. Whatever is written should be for the purpose of calling people’s attention more sharply to the words of Scripture; whatever substitutes any man’s opinions for the Bible, so that by it people are led to rest content without any further study of the Bible itself, is worse than useless. The reader is, therefore, most earnestly urged to study, first of all, the Scripture text very diligently and carefully, so that every reference to it will be a reference to a familiar acquaintance. May God grant that this little aid to the study of the Word may make every reader better acquainted with all Scripture, which is able to make him wise unto salvation. {1900 EJW, GTI 7.2} page 8 The Glad Tidings By E. J. WAGGONER

There are two principle causes why people find the Bible difficult, even after they give assent to the fact that it means what it says, and think that they believe in it. The first is the power of preconceived opinions. They come to the study of the Bible with certain fixed ideas, and they think that they must find those ideas in it. When they read a certain passage that conflicts in any degree with their ideas, they modify the statement to agree with their ideas. This they do unconsciously. But they do not mean to put their ideas in the place of the Bible statement, but they are so firmly persuaded that their ideas are according to Scripture that they think the passage in question must be toned down a little to agree with some other text. This suggests a principle that must be grasped and firmly adhered to before one can hope to get any real benefit from the Bible; and it is this: The Bible means just what it says in every text. No text can modify another, so as to make it mean less, or anything different from its plain reading. True, no one text tells all that may be said upon any subject, or else there would not be another one written on the same subject; but every text must be allowed to stand just as it is written. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Prov. xxx. 5, 6. {December 1, 1892 EJW, PTUK 375.4}

The other cause is the impatience of the reader. He cannot wait for an understanding of the text. He must know at once. So he rushes off to a commentary, or to some man in whom he has confidence, and inquires for the meaning. Having received an answer, he thinks that he knows the meaning; but he does not. Even though the exact truth be told him, he does not know it. By and by some other commentator or friend will give him another explanation of the same text, and then his doubt is greater than before. The poor man sees that learned men differ, and he wonders, “How am I to know which is right?” He could not know, if we were to depend on the testimony of men, for he would never know what man to depend on. But he may know for a certainty, if he will let the Lord tell him. {December 1, 1892 EJW, PTUK 375.5}

“For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Prov. ii. 6. The knowledge of God is found in His word, and He alone can give the understanding. We do not get light upon the word of God, but we get light from it. The word itself is light. If at the first we do not perceive the light, that is no evidence that it is not there. It will be revealed to us if we look long enough. The Holy Spirit is given to all who ask for it, and it makes known the things that are freely given to us by the Lord. And here is the rule which the Spirit has given by the mouth of the apostle Paul: “Consider what I say; for the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things.” 2 Tim. ii. 7. Who will with prayerful patience give himself wholly to the consideration of the words of the Lord, and receive that wisdom which will be his guide in this life, and his surety for the life to come? {December 1, 1892 EJW, PTUK 375.6} Page 375 The Present Truth Vol 8 by E. J. Waggoner

“Theology” is a human invention. We find nothing about it in the Bible. It is the attempt of men to make the Bible harmonize with human ideas, or rather, an attempt to get the semblance of Bible support for human notions. Men will make a statement of belief, and then will say that they can find Bible authority for it. A common form of expression is, “The Bible supports me in this.” Thus the Bible is reduced to the level of a mere backer of man’s ideas. Man is first, and the Bible is second. Instead of man’s reading the words of God, and then agreeing with them, the man puts forth his own ideas, and then tries to show that God agrees with him. This is a reversal of the true order. {February 9, 1893 EJW, PTUK 36.2}

This method of dealing with the Bible originated with the heathen philosophers who came into the church in the second and third centuries, bringing their heathen notions with them. These men were learned, and so they were at once put into the place of teachers. But they knew nothing but the precepts of heathen philosophy, and therefore could not teach anything else. But it was necessary that as professed Christian teachers they should use the Bible, and so they brought in the Bible to “support their views.” So the fear of God was taught by the precepts of men, instead of the words of the Lord. {February 9, 1893 EJW, PTUK 36.3}

Thus “theology” became a science, and the knowledge of the Bible was supposed to rest with a very few favoured ones. They doled this knowledge out to the common people as they pleased. As it was held that the words of the Bible do not mean just what they say, it was necessary for these men to “interpret” it. But this they could do only by putting themselves in the place of God, and their thoughts in the place of His thoughts. Thus it was the Papacy arose. Now there can be no Reformation that does not reverse this process. The true reformation must put the word of God above everything else, and men must step away from between it and the people. The common people, who heard the Lord, when He was on earth, must be allowed to come close to Him through His word, and must be taught that the word of God is addressed to them in language that they can understand, if they will receive it as the word of God. What men need is not the study of theology, but the study of the word of God. {February 9, 1893 EJW, PTUK 36.4} Page 36 The Present Truth Vol 9 by E. J. Waggoner

The Christian world was torn asunder by theological factions. Alexandria, the center of all philosophical study, was also the center of theological activity. Here is where the Greek influence was most forcibly felt. Athanasius, the leader of one faction, was archdeacon, and afterward bishop of Alexandria, and his opponent, Arius, was presbyter in the same city. {1901 SNH, SDP 229.1}

Paganism and Christianity met on the battlefield when Constantine contended for the throne of Rome; paganism and Christianity met in more deadly conflict in Alexandria, where Christian and pagan schools stood side by side. Here it was that such men as Origen and Clement, recognized Fathers of the church, adopted the philosophy of the Greeks, and applied to the study of the Bible the same methods which were common in the study of Homer and other Greek writers. Higher criticism had its birth in Alexandria. It was the result of a mingling of the truths taught by Christ and the false philosophy of the Greeks. It was an attempt to interpret divine writings by the human intellect, a revival of the philosophy of Plato. These teachers, by introducing Greek philosophy into the schools which were nominally Christian, opened the avenue for the theological controversies which shook the Roman world, and finally established the mystery of iniquity. {1901 SNH, SDP 229.2} Page 229 The Story of Daniel the Prophet by STEPHEN N. HASKELL

The Bible alone points out the way to God so clearly that the wayfaring man, though a fool, may not err therein; and therefore it is that in order to understand the voice of God in creation, we ought to enter the temple of nature with the Bible in our hands.” In all our study of the works of God, we shall find in His Word alone the key to unlock their sacred mysteries, and let up into the secret of the Divine presence. {April 12, 1900 EJW, PTUK 236.6} Page 236 The Present Truth Vol 16 by E. J. Waggoner

The Revelation of John, I take to be a Revelation indeed! But what kind of a Revelation is that, which nobody can understand? It is not a Revelation, but a mystery. And though I speak with all reverence, God would be imposing upon men if he claimed to make a revelation of his mind, and will, and no one could understand it. The truth is, this Book is nothing but a history of the church, commencing its rise from the overthrow of Judaism, and terminating in the New Jerusalem. It is written in symbolical language! And to understand the Book, we must understand the symbols and the Book becomes plain. But how shall these symbols be understood? I answer, by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, who wrote in symbolical language, has taken care, somewhere in the Bible to explain his own symbols. Let him become his own interpreter, and the Bible becomes plain, and the inquiring mind will he lead into the truth. But if we rely on great names, and read commentaries, and neglect the Bible, we may be sure to be kept in the dark. But if we take the scriptures as subsidiaries and come first and last to the study of Gods word, filled with a right spirit, I verily believe he will lead us into his own truth. This he has promised to do, and I see no reason why we cannot take him at his word. But God has been dishonoured in the way that too many of us have studied the Bible, we have sought more to know what man has written upon it, than to enquire of the Holy Ghost his own meaning. O, when will men learn to trust no longer in themselves, but to come to the study of the Holy Books, with that docility which is becoming them and which is honorable to God. {April 1, 1841 JVHe, HST 4.4} Signs of the Times by Joshua V. Himes

MANNER OF STUDYING THE BIBLE

I then devoted myself to prayer and to the reading of the word. I determined to lay aside all my prepossessions, to thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture, and to pursue its study in a regular and methodical manner. I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded, as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticism or contradictions. Whenever I found any thing obscure, my practice was to compare it with all collateral passages; and by the help of CRUDEN, I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter. I found that by a comparison of Scripture with history, all the prophecies, as far as they have been fulfilled, had been fulfilled literally; that all the various figures, metaphors, parables, similitudes, etc. of the Bible, were either explained in their immediate connection, or the terms in which they were expressed were defined in other portions of the word, and when thus explained, are to be literally understood in accordance with such explanation. I was thus satisfied that the Bible is a system of revealed truths, so clearly and simply given, that the “wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.” {1845 WiM, WMAD 6.1} Page 6 Mr. Miller’s Apology and Defence by William Miller

Prophetical scripture, is very much of it communicated to us by figures, and highly, and richly adroned metaphors; by which mean, that fingers, such as, beasts, birds, air or wind, water, foe, candlesticks, lamps, mountains, islands, etc., to represent things prophecied of-such as kingdoms, warriors, principles, people, judgements, churches, profession, larger and smaller governments, etc. It is metaphorical also, as showing some peculiar quality of the thing prophecied of-by the most prominent feature of the figure as the face of a Lion, shows the boldness and power of the people or church spoken of. The face of an ox-subjection and submission. The face of a man-independent, proud and avaricious. The face of an eagle-clear sighted, proneness to flee to the wilderness, away from the haunts of men. Therefore, almost all the figures used in prophecy, have a literal and metaphorical meaning; as beasts denote literally a kingdom, so metaphorically, good or bad, as the case may be, to be understood by the particular Subject in connection. To understand the literal meaning or figures used in prophecy, I have pursued the following method-say I find the word “beast”, I follow that word through all the prophets, and find in Daniel 7:17, it is explained to mean “kings or kingdoms.” Again I find the word “bird or fowl,” and in Isaiah 46:11, it is used meaning a conqueror or warrior, to wit, Cyrus. Also in Ezeikel 39:4-9, denotes armies or conquerors. {1833 WiM, ESH 3.2}

I find the word “air or wind” used as in Rev. 9:2 & 16:17. To understand which, I turn to Eph. 2:2 and learn that it is used to denote the theories of worldly men, or vain philosophy, see also Eph. 4:14. Again, the word “water, waters, or rivers” are used. I trace the words and find an explanation Rev. 17:15, it means “people, multitude, nations.” “Rivers” of course means the people or nation living on the river, as for instance. Rev. 16:12. “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the waters thereof were dried up.” Which, if I may be permitted to paraphrase I would read thus; Upon the Turkish nation; or Ottomen Government, and the people thereof were dried up, or diminished. As prophecy is a language, somewhat different from other parts of scripture, the events foretold, are not all told by one prophet. And yet there is a perfect chain. They interweave their prophecies in such a manner, that you take away one, and a link will be wanting. This will appear evident to any one, who will take the pains of comparing scripture expressions of a similar kind as for example, see Daniel 12:1, Matt. 24:21. Isa. 47:8. Zeph. 2:15. Rev. 18:7. There was no book ever written, that has such a general connection as the Bible. And yet it is like a great store house, filled with all the precious commodities that heart could wish thrown in promiscuously, and the biblical student must select, all bring together very part of the subject he wishes to investigate, and then let every word have its proper bearing, and have no contradiction, and yet theory will be correct. Truth is one undeviating path, that grows brighter and brighter the more it is tried. It needs no plausible arguments, nor pompous dress to make it more bright, for the simple and naked the fact, the stronger the truth appears. Let it be noticed also, that God has in study times and by different figures revealed in drivers ways, as in the as in the 2nd, 7th and 8th chapters of Daniel, likewise in all the other prophets, especially to John in Rev. And all those vision or prophecies must be concentrated and brought, together, which have reference to the point, or subject which we wish to investigate, and when we have them all combined, and let every word and sentences have its proper significances, and force, in the grand whole, and the theory, or system, as I have before said, will be correct. {1833 WiM, ESH 3.3} Page 3-4 Evidences from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ by William Miller

Can anything be done, then, to determine the application of that word? Have we any other source of light? I think we have. It. is the principle of analogy, or comparison. “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I cannot state that principle, in its application to the present case, in a more striking manner than by giving an item of Mr. Miler’s experience, as stated by himself. I insert this at length for two reasons. 1. As a striking instance in which God has signally honored the principle he has given to guide us in the study of his word. 2. To induce others to follow so worthy and successful an example. Preaching on this text, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” etc., he dwelt upon the mode of studying the Bible. He said- {1843 ApH, TSAM 64.4}

“I was once a deist, and continued so for twelve years; and I will tell you how I came to be a deist. I was taught to read the Bible from my youth, by my father and mother, and at school. But 1 was taught in such a manner that it seemed to be full of contradictions, I used to go to our minister, when he called at our house, and ask him what such and such texts meant, and how to reconcile those which appeared so contradictory. He would say, ‘You cannot understand it.’ I would ask, Do you understand it? ‘No,’ he would say. Well, did God mean to keep us in the dark? O, it is, revealed in a mystical manner.’ But is not God a wise God? and could not he make it plain? Is he not just and good, and will he punish us for not understanding that which is a mystery They at last would have nothing to do with me. I looked upon the Bible as priestcraft, and became a deist. I continued so till I came out of the service. I was in the army two years and a half. {1843 ApH, TSAM 65.1}

“In the month of May, 1816, I was brought under conviction, and O, what horror filled my soul! I forgot to eat. The heavens appeared like brass, and the earth like iron. Thus I continued till October, when God opened my eyes; and O, my soul, what a Saviour I discovered Jesus to be! My sins fell like a burden from my soul: and then how plain the Bible seemed to me! It all spoke of Jesus; he was in every page and every line. O, that was a happy day! I wanted to go right home to heaven; Jesus was all to me, and I thought I could make everybody else see him as I saw him, but I was mistaken. {1843 ApH, TSAM 65.2}

“During, the twelve years I was a deist, I read all histories I could find; but now I loved the Bible It taught of Jesus! But still there was a good deal of the Bible that was dark to me. In 1818 or 19, while conversing with a friend! To whom I made a visit, and who had known and heart me talk while I was a deist, he inquired, in rather a significant manner, ‘What do you think of this text, and that?’ referring to the old texts I objected to while a deist. I understood what he was about, and replied-If you will give me time, I will tell you what they mean. ‘How long time do you want?’ I don’t know, but I will tell you, I replied, for I could not believe that God had given a revelation that could not be understood I then resolved to study my Bible, believing I could find out what the Holy Spirit meant. But as soon as I had formed this resolution the thought came to me-‘Suppose you find a passage that you cannot understand, what will you do?’ This mode of studying the Bible then came to my mind:-I will take the words of such passages, and trace them through the Bible, and find out their meaning in this way. I had Cruden’s Concordance, which I think is the best in the world; so I took that and my Bible, and set down to my desk, and read nothing else, except the newspapers a little, for I was determined to know what my Bible meant. I began at Genesis, and read on slowly; and when I came to a text that I could [sic] not understand, I searched through the Bible to find out what it meant. After I had gone through the Bible in this way, O, how bright and glorious the truth appeared! I found what I have been preaching to you. I was satisfied that the seven times terminated in 1843. Then I came to the 2300 days; they brought me to the same conclusion; but I had no thought of finding out when the Saviour was coming, and I could not believe it; but the light struck me so forcibly I did not know what to do. Now, I thought, I must put on spurs and breeching; I will not go faster than the Bible, and I will not fall behind it. Whatever the Bible teaches, I will hold on to it. But still there were some texts that I could nor understand.” {1843 ApH, TSAM 65.3}

So much for his general mode of studying the Bible. On another occasion he stated his mode of settling the meaning of the text before us-the meaning of “the daily.” “I read on,” said he, {1843 ApH, TSAM 66.1}

“And could find no other case in which it was found, but in Daniel. I then took those words which stood in connection with it, ‘take away.’ He shall take away the daily, ‘from the time the daily shall be taken away,’ etc. I read on, and thought I should find no light on the text; finally I came to 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked be revealed,” etc. And when I had come to that text, O, how clear and glorious the truth appeared! There it is! that is ‘the daily!’ Well, now, what does Paul mean by ‘he who now letteth,’ or hindereth? By ‘the man of sin,’ and ‘the wicked,’ Popery is meant. Well, what is it which hinders Popery from being revealed? Why, it is Paganism; well, then, ‘the daily’ must mean Paganism.” {1843 ApH, TSAM 66.2}

This led Mr. Miller to believe that the “daily” of Daniel was Paganism, or idolatry. {1843 ApH, TSAM 66.3} Page 65-66 The Second Advent Manual by Apollos Hale

Whom will the lord teach knowledge?–Isa. xxviii: 7–14, 22.–“But they also have erred thro’ wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of Hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” {August 23, 1843 JVHe, HST 4.16}

The End of those who will not hear. Thus saith the Lord, Isa. xxx. 8–14. “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever; that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord; which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon; therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter’s vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare; so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.” {August 23, 1843 JVHe, HST 5.1} Signs of the Times by J. V. Himes

“I was constrained to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God; they became my delight, and in Jesus I found a friend. I then devoted myself to prayer and reading of the word. . . . I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticism or contradictions. Whenever I found anything obscure, my practice was to compare it with all collateral passages; and by the help of Cruden, I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter. {1868 JB, AJB 270.3} Page 270 The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates By Joseph Bates

The right use of the Testimonies, therefore is not to use them as they are in themselves, as though they were apart from the word of God in the Bible; but to study the Bible through them, so that the things brought forth in them we shall see and know for ourselves are in the Bible; and then present those things to others not from the Testimonies themselves, but from the Bible itself so that all others may see for themselves that the Bible says so. {December 1894 ATJ, HOMI 12.9}

This and this alone is the right use of the Testimonies, whether used privately or publicly. The Testimonies are not to be appealed to with those that are without; for “prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” 1 Cor. 14:22. And as they serve only for those who believe, these are to use them as the means of finding the precious things of the word of God in the Bible itself, and then present to those who are without these truths from the Bible alone. {December 1894 ATJ, HOMI 12.10}

As the benefits of this gift as well as of all the others, are “for the work of the ministry,” let all our ministers as well as all others of our public workers make the right use of the Testimonies in their work, and there will not be nearly so much prejudice against the Testimonies either in the church or out of it. That is, let all faithfully study the Testimonies for themselves, to find the deep and precious things of the word that are there uncovered to the view, and then find these same precious things in the Bible (for they are all there somewhere) and make them your own from the Bible so that you can make them clear to all from the Bible alone. {December 1894 ATJ, HOMI 12.11} he Home Missionary by Alonzo Jones

One motive only should actuate the minds of those who study the word of God and that is that they may by this study be drawn nearer to God. God is no respecter of persons. He will give His Holy Spirit to any and to all who ask for it. He is just as willing to make the truths of the Bible plain to one as to another. Peace and light may come into your hearts from what is spoken from the desk; but if you do not know the word for yourselves, that peace and light will not stay with you. The Holy Spirit spoke the words of the Bible, and it is only by the aid of the Holy Spirit that it can be understood. Any man who will submit himself to the Holy Spirit may understand the Bible for himself. {March 16, 1891 EJW, GCDB 127.1}

There is but one true help to the Bible-the Spirit of God. If you get your ideas about Christ and his work from the writings of other men, you get it second hand at best. Draw your light straight from the Bible. Learn the Bible from the Bible itself. When our minds are illuminated by the Holy Spirit, although the word will appear simple, at the same time there will be heights and depths to it that will fill us with amazement. All eternity will be spent in studying the plan of salvation and the longer we study the more we will find to study. {March 16, 1891 EJW, GCDB 127.2} General Conference Daily Bulletin, Vol. 4 (1891) by E. J. Waggoner

Prof. H. C. Lacey: Bible study, properly pursued, will give intellectual training, as well as spiritual understanding. There should be telescopic study first and microscopic study afterward. The subject should first be grasped as a whole, and then the details should be filled in. The differences and likenesses in related books should be carefully noted. {June 2, 1909 WASe, GCB 268.9} General Conference Bulletin

S. N. Haskell: The Word itself, if read and considered, will enlighten our minds in all things. The meaning of the Bible is in harmony with the words themselves; so if I study the words, and consider the words, the Lord will open up to my understanding the truth contained in the words. There is a connection between this and the outpouring of the Spirit of God. The Word opens the heart for the reception of the Spirit. When the Lord gives the Spirit, one of its offices is to open the understanding, that we may understand the words. We can not receive nor control the Spirit, but we can have the Bible, and can study it; and when we do this, it puts us in an attitude where our minds go out to comprehend what God says, and the Lord, by his Holy Spirit, comes in. That Spirit will open our understanding. If you have to do with teaching the Word of God, let God do his own convicting. Believe the Word of God yourself, and the Lord will take care of the results. {May 25, 1909 WASe, GCB 142.3} General Conference Bulletin

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