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Knowing Scripture

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,048 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
The Bible is the written Word of God, and it is treasured by many. But it is also an ancient book about people and cultures very different than us. Thus, while we know we should read it, many of us have a hard time understanding the Bible.In this updated edition of Knowing Scripture, R. C. Sproul helps us dig out the meaning of Scripture for ourselves. The author says, "Th ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published March 25th 2009 by IVP Books (first published 1960)
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Nov 23, 2008 Ki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book comes with good warnings about how we might be abusing our gift of reading (and thus interpreting) our Bible, and gives some practical guidelines to help minimize our distortion. It gives good examples through-out, right from the Bible, to illustrate his points. When you read it (especially as a beginner) you begin to sense of the complex nature of the Bible, and how the more you know about it, the clearer and more meaningful it becomes.

I don't know enough to classify where the author
Jun 20, 2012 Jeanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
RC Sproul has a passion for the word of God and I will always enjoy reading his book with the expectation of having a hunger for the word of God. The importance of the word in my daily life and the application to the word. I like that we are always learning truth and we may stray from what God is revealing to us, however, God is faithful to lead to the truth. Being our sinful nature, we can intrepret the word to fit the culture. Marriage is the hot topic of such intrepretation however, even Jesu ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great basic book for both beginning Bible readers and those who have been at it a long time. Insightful!
Nov 04, 2014 Linore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite only giving it four stars, I think this book is important and should be read by anyone seeking to understand the Bible. Sproul gives priceless guidelines to reading which could preclude a great deal of doctrinal confusion for many readers. My reservation is due to the brevity of the treatment of some things such as his take on various bible translations. He mentions that some are "liberal" for instance, without a clue as to what the term means to him. Does he mean liberal in the way they ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it
This book is a solid reference for learning how to think through the presuppositions and philosophical reasoning behind why Christians should learn to study their bibles. These first few sections is where R.C. shines. The last section about practical tools for bible study is also very well written and updated.

In the sections getting at hermeneutics and practical rules for interpretation, Sproul provides many examples and illustrations of fallacies from historical interpretations of certain texts
Kip Johnston
Good book on hermaneutics and interpreting scripture. Also has some nice bible study tips at the end.
Apr 22, 2015 Annette rated it liked it
From the back cover of the book, "The theme of this book is not how to read the Bible but how to study the Bible."
The later part of the quote is probably the most ignored.
Christians who do read the Bible are not aware of how to really study the Bible.
R. C. Sproul takes both points and teaches the how and why of reading and studying the Bible.

My Thoughts:
Knowing Scripture is written for a new Christian or for a person who is not a solid reader and student of Scripture.
Consider this a prim
Jun 11, 2015 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
R.C. Sprout has written a book which I feel needs to be on every discerning Christian bookshelf. Written in the seventies, this book on biblical knowledge and study still speaks to the mind and heart of the modern believer. With so much controversy over the canonicty of the Bible and its' relevance for our lives today, this book clearly emphasizes the need for proper understanding. It is a book write ten for the new believer and those well versed in biblical studies. The topics addressed are: Wh ...more
Bart Breen
May 24, 2012 Bart Breen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Introduction to Biblical Literature and Hermeneutics

I actually listened to the audio version of this book on CD. RC Sproul is a very easy to listen to speaker and he has a gift of making difficult concepts seem easy.

Contrary to a few reviews here, Sproul is not advocating an elitist approach to Scripture where only the "pro" dare to wrestle with Scriptural interpretation and understanding. Quite the opposite. Sproul is seeking to put the tools into the hands of his listeners.

Over and o
Dec 27, 2015 Chrissy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing new or earthbreaking, but it was articulated very well. I appreciated the author's humble but scholarly attitude toward controversial issues (Bible translations, study methods, denominations, etc.). While this book would probably be most helpful to new Christians, I think that even Christians who have been studying the Bible for years can enjoy and learn from the book's thoughtful but gracious approach to doctrinal disagreements.
Nov 04, 2015 Evie rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, bible-study
In this layman's introduction of biblical interpretation, R.C. gives principles and rules on our personal Bible study and private interpretation, also provides many famous difficult passages in the Bible as examples. Basically "You can quote the Bible to prove anything", how do we know if our interpretation is correct, especially there are conflict viewpoints? Moreover, on our day, the Bible is no longer infallible and "its message is neither consistent nor clear" to the mainstream, how would fa ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Directed toward laypeople, Sproul's introduction to biblical interpretation is very readable and practical and suggests strategies and resources to further one's study of the Bible. He gives a few examples of doctrinal disputes that arise when biblical interpretation is done not so carefully and cautions the careful student of the Bible to note what it actually says. He recognizes the value of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, foreign and original biblical languages, and atlases of Bible lands; ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Tyler rated it really liked it
This is another excellent book about how to study the Bible. R. C. Sproul does a good job of providing a volume that discusses the doctrine of Scripture and practical steps to interpret Scripture. Because of its brevity, it does not evaluate either topic as much as I'd like, but what's here is good. His style is conversational but educated and he has a nice turn of phrase that makes for interesting reading.
May 24, 2016 Drake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction into the subject of how and why we should study the Bible. Sproul does a very good job of establishing the basic principles of biblical interpretation in a way that's easy to read and understand. I also appreciated how he ends the book by giving a list of resources to assist Christians who want to go deeper in their studies of Scripture. Very helpful indeed!
Dino Mantinaos
Apr 08, 2014 Dino Mantinaos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intelligent introduction to how the Bible should be studied. This book, along with the class I am taking which is based on it, has been very convicting for me. I realize the importance of an in depth understanding of the Scriptures.
Mar 12, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fine introductory book is a great read for anyone who wants to know how to make the most of God's Word. Sproul's fair handling of the principles of exegesis speak to His reverence of God and the integrity of his handling of Scripture.
This is like a cross between How To Read the Bible for All Its Worth and Exegetical Fallacies by Carson. Very sound teaching on what the Bible is and how to understand it, along with mistakes to avoid.

He bungled the translations portion by calling the NRSV a Functional Equivalent type and the NLT a paraphrase. At least he was honest about the NASB and NKJV being a little awkward because of how much they try to stick to the grammar of the original languages. That's very minor though and just a v
Wes Smith
Apr 15, 2016 Wes Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does a really good job of introducing principles for reading Scripture. The terminology is not overly scholarly but is not so simplistic as to be unhelpful.
Josiah DeGraaf
Jan 31, 2016 Josiah DeGraaf rated it it was amazing
Excellent, excellent book. Sproul's defense for why you should study the Bible and seek to uphold correct doctrine was excellent, his hermeneutical guidelines were really well laid-out, and his section on to what extent cultural context should play into our interpretation of the Bible was also really well-done. I was familiar with most of the hermeneutical principles before reading this book, but had never thought of them in a systematized, orderly fashion. Combine that with a really robust defe ...more
Amanda Hunsberger
Theological as well as practical. Great book for understanding & getting more out of Scripture -- and a reference for where to find some of that info.
Jul 28, 2012 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow! wait did i say...WOW! the cover should read super concentrated sheer awesomeness. this thin book isn't shallow. this is going on my small stack of books to read over and over. the stack includes the bible(duh), the pursuit of godliness/practice of holiness, daws, the lost art of disciple making, spiritual disciplines of christian living, desiring god, and the legacy of sovereign joy, and the gospel primer oh and slave. ok, so the stack isn't that small and its getting bigger all the time bu ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Sheri rated it liked it
While this was a fine book, I guess I was expecting more from it. Everything in this book was something I had already heard.
Jenn Faulk
Feb 21, 2016 Jenn Faulk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A challenging read on how to approach Scripture. His rules for Biblical interpretation were particularly helpful.
Douglas Hitzel
Mar 16, 2014 Douglas Hitzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very helpful as an introduction to Biblical hermeneutics.
Feb 09, 2014 Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very encouraging guide to digging into scripture. I read it back to front, but I think it will continue to be useful as a reference guide in my own personal studies. I hope I have the courage and patience to study with the same intensity as he suggests. It's something I've always hoped for but never have been able to sustain. Hopefully Sproul's urging will help me be persistant.
Corbin Byler
Mar 31, 2016 Corbin Byler rated it it was amazing
This is a book that every Christian should read.
Brandon Bellinghausen
Good, concise, practical.
Roman Kolesnik
May 30, 2015 Roman Kolesnik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Jan 16, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-life, own, 2011
Sproul gives a great introduction to understanding God's Word. He deals with common reasons or excuses that keep people from reading and studying as they should. Understanding the Bible as written literature, in its cultural context, in its timeless interpretation to believers today, and through translations or original language word studies are all issues he addresses. I really wish he'd gone a bit further and will probably be looking into some of the suggested resources that he lists.
Eric Riddle
Apr 08, 2010 Eric Riddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great primer for understanding better how to study the Bible. It was required reading for my introduction to hermeneutics class. It really helped me understand how to study the scriptures way more in depth than I knew I could. You have this incredible marriage of literature and the working of the Holy Spirit while reading the Bible. I went most of my life not realizing the importance of understanding better the former.
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Why study the bible? 8 42 Oct 22, 2012 09:40PM  
Reformed Readers: Knowing Scripture 6 24 Oct 30, 2008 05:59AM  
  • The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
  • Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God
  • The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented
  • How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour
  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
  • The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction
  • Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel
  • Exegetical Fallacies
  • The Literary Study Bible: ESV
  • The Shape of Sola Scriptura
  • The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Westminster Confession Of Faith w/ Catechisms (1646-7) (and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directories for Public and Private Worship, Form of Presbyterial Church Government, the Sum of Saving Knowledge)
  • God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
  • No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?
  • Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
Dr. R.C. Sproul was born in 1939 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He is president of Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies and the founder and chairman of the ministry that began in 1971 as the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. In an effort to respond more effectively to the growing demand for Dr. Sproul’s teachings and the ministry’s other educational resources, th ...more
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“The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in. (p.35)” 39 likes
“If there is a secret, a carefully guarded secret, to human happiness, it is that one expressed in a seventeenth-century catechism that says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” The secret to happiness is found in obedience to God. How can we be happy if we are not obedient? How can we be obedient if we do not know what it is we are to obey? Thus the top and the tail of it is that happiness cannot be fully discovered as long as we remain ignorant of God’s Word.” 3 likes
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