Bible Study Today 92% of Households own at least 1 copy Average of 3 copies per household that has a Bible Use of Bible – 73% Read occasionally (1980s) – 59% Read occasionally (10-2000) – 37% Once a Week – avg 52 min. – 21% in Bible Study Group (1990) – 14% in Bible Study Group (2000) – Barna Group
Why We Don’t Study the Bible Don’t Know How That’s Why We Hired Pastor Its Greek to Me Its Boring Its Too Much Work Got Spirit, Don’t Need Study Settling for Cut Flowers
What, Me Study? “… whether one likes it or not, every reader is at the same time an interpreter. That is, most of us assume as we read that we also understand what we read… Fee, Gordon D., and Stewart, Douglas, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, Zondervan, 3 rd ed., 2003, pg. 18.
Why We Should Study Inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21) Profitable for Equipping (2 Tim 3:16-17) Solid Food for the Mature (Heb 5:11-14) Assurance of Salvation ( 1 Jn 5:13)
Foundations of Bible Study Infallible, Inerrant Unity of Bible Progressive Revelation Bible its Own Best Interpreter Bible Language is Mostly Human Language Guidance of Holy Spirit
Clarity of Scripture “What they meant was that the Bible is basically clear and lucid. It is simple enough for any literate person to understand its basic message. That is not to say that all parts of the Bible are equally clear or that there are no difficult passages or sections to be found in it… Sproul, R.C, Knowing Scripture, pg. 15.
Preparing to Study For Eyes to See (Ps. 119:18 ) For Understanding and Meditation (Ps. 119:27 ) For Understanding Fear of the Lord (Prov 2:1-5) Be Obedient (Ps. 119:98-100) Be Observant (Acts 17:11)
Genre “One of the most important aspects of the human side of the Bible is that, in order to communicate his word to all human conditions, God chose to use almost every available kind of communication: narrative history, genealogies, chronicles, laws of all kinds, poetry of all kinds, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biographical sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.” Fee, Gordon D., and Stewart, Douglas, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, Zondervan, 3 rd ed., 2003.
Grammatical Structure Ideas are Terms that are Related to other Terms Related Terms Form the Framework of a Passage Framework can be Difficult to Determine People will Differ on the Structures
Literary Structure LawDescriptionExamples Cause & effect Concept, event, action causes another (therefore, so, then, as a result) Mk 11:27-12:44; Rom 1:24-32; 8:18- 30 Climax Progression of events, ideasEx 40:34-35; 2 Sam 11; Mk 4:35-5:43 Comparison 2 or more alike or similar elements (like, as, too, also)Ps 1:3-4; Jn 3:8, 12, 14; Heb 5:1-10 Contrast 2 or more dissimilar or unlike elements (but, yet)Ps 73; Acts 4:32-5:11; Gal. 5:19-23 Explanation or reason Idea + interpretation Dan 2,4,5,7-9; Mk 4:13-20; Acts 11:1- 18 Interchange Action, conversation, concept moves to another and back againGen 37-39; 1 Sam 1-3; Luke 1-2 Introduction & summary Opening or concluding remarks on subject or situationGen 2:4-25; 3; Josh 12; Mt 6:1 Pivot or hinge Quick change in direction or flow of context; minor climax2 Sam 11-12; Mt 12; Acts 2 Proportion Emphasis shown by amt of space given to subject Gen 1-11; 12-15; Lk 9:51-19:27; eph 5:21-6:4) Purpose Display of author’s intentJn 20:30-31; Acts 1:8; Tit 1:1 Question and Answer Use of questions and/or answersMalachi; Mk 11:27-12:44; Lk 11:1-13) Repetition Repeated terms or phrasesPs 136; Mt 5:21-48; Heb 11 Specific general or general specific Mt 6:1-18; Acts 1:8; Jas 2 Based on chart by John Hansel, in Hendricks, Howard G., Living by the Book, pg. 121-122.
Observation Take Your Time Book Overview > Section > Paragraph Discover and List Facts, Questions Read Repeatedly Chart Don’t Interpret
What to Look For Repeated Ideas, Terms – Pronouns, Synonyms Emphasized Items People, Places, Events Related Things Strange Things Things That are Not There
5 W’s and H WHOAuthor, Readers, Others WHERE Location, Setting, Travel, Geography WHEN Time, Political, Social, Religious Conditions WHAT Event, Action, Argument WHY Why here? Why did it happen, What is missing? HOW How did it Happen? How is this truth Demonstrated?
The Paragraph Basic Unit of Study Complete Thought with Supporting Details Some Paragraphs Artificial Titles – 2-3 words – Memorable – Unique – Descriptive
Taking Notes Name Sections, Paragraphs List Observations with Reference Mark Key Terms with Color or Symbols Use Common Sense Rephrase Key Phrases Main Subjects Theme of Paragraph, Segment, or Book
Markup Sheet Example 5 W’s + HText: I John 1 Who(Author, Readers, Others) Writer & Associates Jesus Readers God Who = Apostle John and those in Fellowship with him have heard, seen, looked at, touched Jesus (vs. 1, 2) Seen and testified to the life, proclaim it (vs. 1 and vs. 2) So that you can have fellowship with us (vs. 3) Our fellowship is with the Trinity (vs. 3) Epistle written to have them fellowship with the readers and to make their joy full (vs. 4) Message heard from Him (1:5) Who = Jesus – from the beginning, physical, the Word of Life (vs. 1) - appeared (vs. 1) - eternal life, was with the Father (vs. 2) Readers who have had the word of life proclaimed to them which is eternal life may have fellowship with John and his associates if they accept the proclamation (vs. 3) Epistle written to them (vs. 4) Claiming to be in the Light while in the dark is lying and there is no fellowship with God or John and his associates (vs. 6) Must walk in Light to have fellowship and cleansing from Jesus’ Blood (vs. 6ff.) Have Sinned (vs. 8) John and associates have fellowship with Father and Son (vs. 3) Is light and has no darkness (vs. 5)
Observation Exercise 1 Read 1 John at Least 3 Times to get Big Picture List at Least 15-20 Observations (using the 5 W’s and H) Begin Chart of 1 John
Observation Exercise 2 Read 1 John Chapter 1 at Least 3 Times to get Big Picture List at Least 15-20 Observations (using the 5 W’s and H) Due Next Meeting
Charting Summarize Observations Visualizes Relationships of Parts to Whole Reveals Authors Purpose Keep Simple Revise as Needed
Chart Example The Gospel of Mark “Came to Serve”“Give His Life” PROLOGUESERVICEAndSACRIFICEEPILOGUE Jesus Came Mk 1:1-45 Who Is He? Mk 2:1-8:26 Who Do People Say That I Am? Mk 8:27-30 Where’s He Going? Mk 8:31- 15:47 Jesus Received Up Mk 16:1-20
Observations Markup Sheet Text: 1 Jn 1:1-10 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (from New International Version)
Where Observation Form 5 W’s + HQuestions 1 Jn 1 Where?(Location, Geography)Ref Author In the past, the author had been with Jesus while he was on earth 1:1 They are not with the Author 1:04 Readers The last hour 2:18 Heard from the beginning – ongoing relationship 2:24 Some Left the Fellowship in the past 2:19
Outlining No One Right Way Helps us Organize Thoughts and Teaching Look for Main Theme Then Sub-Themes 1.First Main Thought or Principle 1.Supporting Idea, Example, Illustrations 2.Second Main Thought or Principle
Putting it Back Together ParagraphSegmentSubsectionSectionDivisionBook Look for Connectives (But, And, Therefore) Paragraph - Multiple Sentences Segment – Group of Paragraphs Subsection – Group of Segments Section – Group of Subsections Division - Groups of Sections Book – Group of Divisions
Bibliography Adler, Mortimer, and Van Doren, Charles, How to Read a Book, Revised and Updated edition, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1972. Arthur, Kay, How to Study Your Bible, The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method, Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1994. Fee, Gordon D., and Stewart, Douglas, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, Zondervan, 3rd ed., 2003 Finzel, Hans, Observe, Interpret, Apply: How to Study the Bible Inductively, Wheaton: Victor Books, 1994. Hendricks, Howard G., and Hendricks, William D., Living By the Book, Chicago: Moody Press, 1991. MacArthur, J., F., How to Get the Most From God’s Word, Dallas: Word pub. 1997. Traina, Robert A., Methodical Bible Study, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980. Sproul, R.C., Knowing Scripture, Downers Grove: IVP, 1977. Stein, Robert H., Playing By the Rules, A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994. Sterrett, T Norton, How to Understand Your Bible, Downers Grove: IVP,1974. Vlach, Michael J., Americans and the Bible: Bible Ownership, Reading, Study and Knowledge in the United States, Americans and the Bible.htm, TheologicalStudies.org Warren, Rick, Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods, Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
An Observer’s Prayer We need not so much that God should give us more benefits, as the ability to see what He has given. C.H. Spurgeon
THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgement, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. — Anonymous