[Distilled from Justification (IVP Academic, 2009), chapter 2.]
1. Scripture does not exist to give authoritative answers to questions other than those questions is actually addresses.
2. We may deduce answers to different questions, but need to be honest about our own process and hesitant to take those answers too far.
3. If we are to give primary attention to scripture itself, we need to pay attention to the actual flow of the letters (books), to their context, and to the specific arguments that are being discussed in those books. [This is the problem I see with many Churches of Christ: we claim to follow the bible, but we do not actually pay attention to the bible in actual practice. Instead, we pay attention to small sections, or to verses, or to leading ideas, which may or not even be in the bible.]
4. These are the questions we should ask of each letter (book), major section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, and word: What is Paul talking about? What is he saying about that (and why)? What relation does that discussion have with the questions I want answered?
This is a great set of parameters for reading the bible. Start with the bible, understand what it's actually saying and what questions it's actually answering, and then move to thinking about how to apply it.