Rule Four: Observe who is the author of the passage under consideration. Observe who is speaking, are they speaking by inspiration, or are the Bible writers recording a statement that is not necessarily a statement of fact?
8 “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
31* “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
Add the following to your list: Consider Paul’s use of “I” according to Bible context:
1 Cor. 7:8-12
8* But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9* But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10* But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11* (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12* But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.
1 Cor. 14:37
37* If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
2 Tim. 3:16-17
16* All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17* so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
We are MUCH better prepared to understand a context when we know who is the author, i.e. – Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, or Nicodemus. This RULE must be considered with all of the following rules.
Rule Five: See who is addressed. (Cf. 1 & 2 Timothy)
1 Tim. 1:1-2
1* Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2* To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Tim. 4:14
14* Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
Observing this rule will keep people from taking things out of context and applying it to themselves.
26* “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
“No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”
Matt. 10:32 (see the context here)
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”
Rule Six: Find, if possible, what was intended to be accomplished by the passage under consideration.
Most passages have a special reason for being, that is, they are there to teach a lesson.
What is the lesson under consideration in the context. It may be to prevent an error, or to correct one already committed. It may be to remove some type of misinformation.
1* What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2* May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
1 Cor. 11:22
What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.