Discipleship and Good Hermeneutics

There is one essential requirement to study discipleship in the Bible: Good hermeneutics! All we mean by "hermeneutics" is "principles or rules of Bible study." We need to know how to study the Bible biblically in order to come away with a correct picture of discipleship.

First, we must always start with observation, trying to avoid as much as possible leaping ahead to interpretations based on our own presuppositions that we bring to the study.

Second, we must always understand a text in its context.  Taking into account the context of a passage is essential in good observation because without it one will likely end up with a poor understanding of the text and an even worse application of the same.

Therefore, we must always make a conscious effort to observe a passage in its context in order to understand what it says. Keeping these two things in mind will likely be our greatest challenge, but it will also bring us the greatest reward.

For example, these two hermeneutical principles will become increasingly important when we study such well-known passages as Matthew 28.18-20, what is commonly refereed to as the "Great Commission" (although the same commission is given in each of the four Gospels, and repeated again before Jesus' ascension in Acts 1). After observing these passages in their context and asking ourselves what they say, we may come to a different understanding than what we have held for years. If so, then we simply align ourselves with what the Bible says.

We need to make a conscious effor to keep our key hermeneutics in mind: observation and context. What does the Bible say in its proper context?