Powerful, simple, step-by-step method to understanding the Bible for yourself.

   Hermeneutic's tutorial

"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

RDTW written, pub. ©1985, 1998 , 2004
Emil B. Swift


Learning Objectives

AMP Full Outline

Where To Go From Here

Do you have a computer?

For students wanting some harder studies...

...look for the bookworm... It'll take you to more study materials!

Click on the Worm for an example!

For students wanting an easier route, skip the pages marked by the Bookworm!!!

Interactive, Computer-based Bible Study Tutorial

What This Study Can Do For You

As he finished preaching, the minister readied to greet people. The first who shook his hand exclaimed, "I've read that verse a thousand times before and I never saw what you showed me today. But once you pointed it out I can see it as plain as day!"

Then he asked, "Why can't I see those things for myself?"

Preachers and teachers everywhere have shared this experience, and many of them respond, saying, "You can!"

And so can you, if you discipline your eyes, your mind and your heart to "study" the Word of God with diligence.

The Goal of this Course:

It takes no "magic" to read and understand the Word of God. Christians all over the world are learning how to read the Bible and overcome some of the difficulties of understand it. The Bible is like every other book, and unlike every other book.

By carefully working through Rightly Dividing the Word (RDTW), you'll learn is a method -- simple but powerful -- to reading the Scriptures. The goal of this course is for you will be able to open the Bible, read it, and accurately understand new depths of wisdom and insight.

GO HERE to see the RDTW STUDY CYCLE (chart)

Having a "method" is important for understanding the Word of God. Most Christians want to read their Bible carefully -- but without a method, reading is too often hit-or-miss and even haphazard. A famous Bible professor, Karl Barth, once warned* that every person starts life with a "rebellious will" against God's will which works against our understanding God's will in His Word. That rebellious part of us can ignore truth or clear reason in order to selfishly "protect" some area of our life that needs to change. God wants to correct our lives through the Word. Being able to read the Bible with a simple method will help us keep from "overlooking" or even ignoring something God wants to say to correct our lives.

Developing a "methodical" approach to reading and studying the Word of God will increase our chances to interpret Scripture accurately despite our flesh's unrighteous will.

Being able to let the Scriptures correct us and lead us into God's will is vital. The Christians of today are "violently pressing into the Kingdom of God"!* We are learning to act only according to what the Father’s shows us to do! (Jn 5.19)

This tutorial will teach you the inductive method of studying Scripture. This method is powerful yet simple. In fact, it's so powerful that you could easily lose sight of the goal of studying the Bible: The goal is knowing God better! It says in John 17 that "knowing God is eternal life"! Not knowing about God, but knowing Him directly and personally.

Because the goal of studying the Bible is knowing Him, you have to clearly understand that -- as you study -- you can hear from God personally in His Spirit in every passage you examine! You may remember that Jesus reproved the religious leaders in His day who studied the Scriptures very seriously. Jesus said that they studied the Bible because they thought that the Scriptures had "life" in them -- and yet they missed that very Life standing right in front of their noses! In studying the Bible, we have the wonderful opportunity to not only learn something with our heads, but meet the Living Word of God Himself! Awesome! 

Paul talks about seeing the difference between studying the Bible simply as a "book", or seeing the Bible in the Spirit.
In 1 Cor 2.14, Paul cautions us that "the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he comprehend, because they are understood spiritually.

Jesus is calling for His followers to become a People of the Living Word of God. We are able to “tune into the invisible, spiritual realm”. We are a People who understand the Scriptures and feed daily on every Word which proceeds out of the Mouth of God -- and we do it in His Spirit and not just in our natural mind.

When a person has learned the simple skills of rightly understanding the Scriptures, that person becomes “equipped” for “every good work” -- growing in spiritual maturity through being Spirit-led and discipled by the Kingdom of Heaven!

This interactive, computer tutorial can teach you how to understand the Scriptures better than you have before -- so that you may become fully equipped for your God-ordained destiny!


Learning how to read and understand the Bible accurately is worthless -- in and of itself. Actually living it is life-transforming!

Emil & Michele Swift
Willow Creek, CA

Visit our Newsgroup online at KingdomScribes.InJesus.com!

Important Note on using this tutorial:

It is possible for you to get lost in the middle of this tutorial -- it is quite large! In the world of computer-based education, you can follow links quickly to many places -- then wonder how to get back to where you were.

First -- Most supplementary page links have been designed to open in their own window...so all you have to do is close it to return to where you were. Only the regular, lesson pages are linked by arrows.

Here are two other ways to find your way back:

(1) Sometimes, all you need to do to "get back" is to use your browser "back" button. Just be prepared to use your browser's "back" or "return" button.

(2) On the left hand of virtually any page you'll find "Contents". You can skim through the Contents, find the page closest to where you think you jumped off into the ozone, and then use the Forward and Backward Arrows to get to the right page.


* Karl Barth's first book published in English, The Word of God and the Word of Man; first chapter. He says that "in the great and the small occurrences of life", our will "is grounded upon caprice, vagary and self-seeking -- [it is] a will without faithfulness, logic or [integrity]." [BACK]

If you haven't already read our Vision of the Kingdom Scribes, you can find it at KingdomScribes.net. (You must be connected to the WWW for this link to work.) [BACK]

Jn 5.19 -- "Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son is not able to do anything from Himself, except what He may see the Father doing; for whatever that One does, these things also the Son does the same way." (GLT) [BACK]

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© Copyright 1985, 1998 by Emil B. Swift.
This tutorial was adapted by Emil Swift from the course , Biblical Hermeneutics which he'd originally written for and used in the Gospel Outreach International Training Center.