“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” WRONG!!!
When it comes to reading and interpreting the Bible it’s not just what the Bible says that comes into play but also how we understand what the Bible says. Given how many tens of thousands of different Christians denominations there are it’s abundantly clear that “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” isn’t a sufficient approach. Otherwise, we would all believe the same thing(s) when it comes to God and the Bible.
The absolute fact of the matter is that every single one of us have subjective filters that influence how we interpret and understand what we read in Scripture. Thus, it’s extremely important that we “STUDY to show ourselves approved” and “RIGHTLY divide the word of truth” as much as possible.
One great way to do that is to immerse ourselves in the world of the authors of Scripture as much as we can. Again, the Bible is a collection of ancient Eastern literature written by many different authors, in many different settings, with many different influences, with many different theological understandings and approaches, spanning thousands of years. It cannot be overstated that the Bible is not a modern Western book.
And for many scriptural reasons the most important approach to an accurate, overarching, systematic interpretation of Scripture is to use a “Jesus-Filter.” We should interpret the “word” itself through the Word Himself.