Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105

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1. Not only every class study, but also every time of private home study, should be prefaced by following the instructions found in If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

2. Having asked wisdom and understanding of God, we must study His Word with a mind willing to receive and believe whatever we find there, even though we find some things we have not believed before, and fail to find some which we have all our lives supposed were true. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20)

3. We know that God’s Word cannot contradict itself. When, therefore, in our study we come upon seeming contradictions, we must search carefully for the clew that will harmonize the apparently contradictory passages. This we may always find if we follow the Scriptural injunction found in Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: (Isa. 1:18) Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor. 2:13) Rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

4. We must note with special care to whom or of whom different passages are written; also to what period of time they refer. Much of the confusion of belief among God’s true children arises because of a failure to notice these distinctions.

5. We must carefully distinguish between plain statements and figurative sayings, parables, types and symbols.

6. When we want proof we must compare Scripture with Scripture, instead of comparing Scripture with the traditions of men, expecting to find proof there.