I have some fundamental rules for reading the Bible to put the passage in context, these are below. I also feel it is important to get interpretations from both fundamental and scholarly viewpoints. An example of a scholarly viewpoint are online lectures, such as this Yale course - Introduction to the Old Testament. A great Christian Fundamental view point is the Through the Bible program, a 5 year study of the entire Bible (along with some homiletics.
What is “inspired” and what is not
Separation of the Bible into books, chapters and verses is arbitrary and I feel this is not inspired by the Holy Spirit. There are many passages that would fit better into different chapters, and even chapters that would fit better into different books (for example, the last chapter of Deuteronomy would fit better into Joshua as it describes Moses’ death, and Moses is the author of Deuteronomy). Translations are a wonderful tool for the vast majority of people to understand the Bible, but these vary in content. I believe that the text in the original language is inspired. Some original manuscripts are considered “better” than others, which leads to a great deal of debate.
During Jesus’ human life, he often spoke out against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders and the religious traditions that were put in place by man, but he never spoke out against the scriptures. In fact, Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament, especially Deuteronomy and often during trying times. I take this frequent quotation as an endorsement of the content of the scripture at that time.
Paul states that ”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I do not feel that the seven books added to the Roman Catholic Bible after the reformation (Council of Trent) are inspired, as these have been shown to be inconsistent with the other text, are excluded from the Jewish text and contain considerable anachronisms.
No part of the Bible can be interpreted independently from the rest of the Bible. Every verse must be put in the context of all the other verses. Lifting a verse out of the context of the surrounding verses or the Bible as a whole can lead to misinterpretation.
To understand each verse in the context of the entire Bible, you need to know who is speaking and who is being addressed. Some context is addressed specifically to the nation Israel, some is addressed to the Church, some is addressed to non-believers. It is important to understand who is being addressed to understand the meaning.
The Bible describes different rules for different eras. For example, in the Garden of Eden, there was only one rule (see Genesis 2:17). Even with just one rule, man could not keep it.
The nation Israel was under the Law, as God gave it to Moses with the specific moral code, sacrifices, dietary and other restrictions and commands.
Jesus came not to condemn the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Since the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we are under the dispensation of Grace. We are instructed to keep His commandments out of love for Him (John 14:14, 21 and 15:10).
There will be different rules during the 1,000-year reign of Jesus and in the kingdom of the New Jerusalem.
As you read the Bible, it is important to understand the context of and for whom the rules are intended.
Sorry for the long post