no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; (2Peter 1:20)
Personal opinions, no matter how strongly held or emotionally supported, do not constitute divine truth. Many false prophets rely on charisma, the authoritative way in which they speak and emotional reasoning to push their false teachings. It is almost as if they believe the adage "When in doubt, shout!" In order to come to the truth of God in our studies, we must be aware of our own emotional reasonings and be honest enough to admit a belief is based more on opinion than facts.
21. Prove all things. (1Thessalonians 5)
Proving what the word of God teaches is a lifelong endeavor. Like the Bereans, we must be willing to constantly search the Scriptures to either validate or refute what we believe (Acts 17:11). It is certainly God's desire that we PROVE what is his good, acceptable and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
God's spirit must lead us
26. But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things . . . (John 14)
The final vital principle we must apply to our Biblical studies is that we must be willing to let God's spirit lead and guide us to the truth.
Rules for Bible Study
Ideally, it is best to conduct your studies in as quiet and private a place as possible.
Begin each study by humbly praying that God lead your mind to HIS truth, in spite of any preconceived notions or biases you may possess.
Let the Bible interpret and prove itself. Don't look for what YOU want to prove, seek for what the Word actually proves.
When studying a particular topic collect those Scriptures that are fairly easy to comprehend before moving on to more difficult and vague passages. Starting with difficult verses first will only unnecessarily lengthen your study time and may lead you to false conclusions.
Study the overall context of the Scriptures being reviewed. Ask yourself what does the Bible say in the verses and chapter BEFORE and AFTER what you are reading.
The original language (Hebrew, Greek) words and phrases, and their original meanings, should always be researched when studying a topic or doctrine.
Be careful in the use of study tools such as commentaries, dictionaries, concordances and alike. While they can be of great help, and can point out things we have not considered, they are still the creation of fallible humans with their own biases and prejudices.
Not only ask what does Scripture say in the passages studied but also what do they NOT say.
Research who wrote the verses in question and to whom were they written.
Research the general historical time frame in which a particular passage was written.
Remember that many times the Bible uses symbols, parables, metaphors, personification, allegories, poetry, idioms, hyperboles and other figures of speech to teach.
Remember that your, or anyone else's, strongly held convictions and beliefs do not necessarily represent Biblical truth. GOD'S WORD must be the ultimate standard and guide.