The Whys and Hows of Bible Study
|2007-11-04||2 Timothy 2:15|
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Study/Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I. Study is necessary for Spirituality and Sanctification
Hear, Read, STUDY, Memorize, Meditate
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide/continue in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Mt 15:14 "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
II. Study requires Sustained Effort
Ecc 12:12…by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Pr 2:2…incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand…and find the knowledge of God.
Ps 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
III. Serious Study requires a Sound Methodology
Observation; Interpretation; Application
A. Observation: Ask and answer – what do I see? Take it apart, and put it back together;
See what’s there and what isn’t; learn to look as if you’ve never seen it before
Use a chart or grammatical diagram or “mechanical layout” like a blow up diagram to get it “off the page” and into your thinking
Look both linearly and conceptually to surface numerous options (grammar, linguistic, syntax)
Narrow options by noting STRUCTURE: the relationship between words, phrases, clauses, paragraphs, context
Who, What, When, Where, How (Means/Manner), Why (Purpose/Reason/Result)
*Tattoo on interior of eyelids: The Nuance of the SUBJECT is the Complement (S=What he’s talking about; C=What saying about subject)
B. Interpretation: Ask and answer what does it mean?
Use a variety of tools to understand the words and concepts. Use commentaries to test your conclusions, not form them.
Capture your conclusions in an exegetical outline (See the Dick and Jane story)
Test your interpretation against the immediate, near, and far context (Paragraph, Chapter, Book, Author, Dispensation, NT, OT).
Develop a “Biblical Theology” of the topic or subject: What this Book says about God, Man, and the Relationship between the two?
C. Application: Ask and answer- how does it work?
Take it through your circle of relationships (TOYL Spheres) How should/does this Truth influence what I know/value/feel/do in reference to: Me (self-image/worth/ambitions/plans); My relationships (family/Body/believers/non-believers/coworkers); My God (what does He expect from me and what can I expect from Him?); My world (nest/playground/war-zone/mission-field); Satan.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why do folks tend to think they can get the benefits of the Book/Christianity without sweating the prerequisites?
2. If “godly academics” and commentators disagree, what hope is there for a common Christian to understand accurately?
3. Doesn’t this take a lot of time? Do you have to look up everything? [Hint: start with the verbs]
4. Do you know of any other way to have the Scriptures saturate your thinking?
5. What plan do you have to master the Scriptures and be mastered by them?