Whenever studying the Bible, take into account three things when seeking to understand a
Where and How does the book the passage is found in fits into the overall scheme of the
Bible? Is it in the Old or New Testament? Was it written in the Age of the Patriarchs or the Age
of the Prophets or the Age of the Promise? If it is in the Old Testament, is it Law, History,
Wisdom Literature, or a book of the Prophets? If it is in the New Testament, is it a Gospel,
History, an Epistle to a church, an Epistle to a person, or Apolcalyptic? What is the purpose of
the book? [See our Introduction to the Old and New Testament, and The Bible As Easy As 3-2-
1 To Understand.]
Where and How does the passage fit into the overall scheme of the book? At what point in
history is the passage in relation to the book? How does the passage fit into the overall
purpose of the book? [See our Book Summaries.]
Where and How does the passage fit into its chapter and /or paragraph? How does the
passage fit with what goes before it and after it? Is it interpreted, or explained, in the verses
preceding it, or following it? [See our Chapter Summaries.]
Remember: A TEXT TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT.
The genealogy of Jesus is given from David to Joseph. This establishes the legal heritage
(which was always established through the male head of the family) of Jesus to be the
Messiah, the Annointed King/Priest.
The birth of Jesus establishes his fleshly heritage, his divine origin and the fulfillment of
prophecy for a virgin birth from Isaiah 7:14. He is described by two statements: he would save
his people from their sins, and he would be God with us. He was the Savior. He was God
come in the flesh.
The story of the birth of Jesus also emphasizes the obedience and holy character of both
Joseph and Mary. They did not have any sexual relations until after her firstborn, Jesus was
born. And, Joseph was willing to take Mary as his wife knowing that the son born of her was
the Son of God.