Lord’s Library editors created this introductory resource on the law of first mention in the Bible and key principles of first mention study when reading the Scriptures.
The Law of First Mention is a principle used in Biblical hermeneutics (the study of how to interpret the Bible) that suggests the first time a concept, theme, or word appears in the Scripture, it holds foundational truth and sets a precedent for its further development in later in the text. First mention Bible studyhas been deduced by scholars and theologians as a method of interpretation.
The premise of the law of first mention comes from the fact that the Bible is a supernatural work with a perfectly coherent message written by God. God reveals Himself and His truths progressively over the course of the Bible. The initial mention of a concept is considered to lay down a defining theological foundation, which is then built upon in subsequent mentions.
For example, the first mention of “blood” in the Bible is found in Genesis 4:10: “And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” This verse introduces blood as a symbol of life and innocence. It also introduces the idea of the gravity of sin, Both of these themes are developed throughout the Bible, culminating in the New Testament concept of the blood of Christ as the means of salvation. Amen!
Law of First Mention: First Mention Bible Study
Similarly, the concept of faith is first introduced in Genesis 15:6: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” This initial mention sets the precedent for understanding faith as trust in God and a key component of righteousness, a theme that is expanded upon in various Scriptures, notably in the writings of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.
First mention Bible study also extends to the study of Biblical characters. For instance, the first mention of Abraham in Genesis 11:26 begins the narrative of a man who would become central to the understanding of faith and the covenant relationship between God and humanity. In this way, Abraham’s journey serves as a prototype for understanding faith and God’s promises.
It’s important to note that while the law of first mention provides valuable insights, it should be used in conjunction with other hermeneutical principles. But remember, the first mention of a concept might not encompass all its Biblical nuances. Therefore, a comprehensive study is always recommended to avoid misinterpretation.
Much like a great teacher who introduces basic concepts before delving into more complex ideas, God through the Bible often presents foundational truths in a simple form before expanding upon them in later passages. This gradual revelation reflects the nurturing nature of God’s self-disclosure to humanity.
Lord's Library is a Christian resource hub. Our editors use a variety of internet research methods like search engines, audio and video, AI, consultations with ministry leaders in the field, and more. Lord's Library should never be a substitute for reading your Bible daily as the Scriptures are to be our final authority on all matters. Lord's Library participates in affiliate programs. We may make a small commission from products purchased through this resource.