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Wednesday, August 30th, 2005
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Bible study notes

The following is a simple outline of how we will be studying the Bible on Wednesday nights.

 

We are not to interpret the Bible as we read it.  We must train ourselves to be students of the Bible thinking about It and understanding It for what It really says and means.  Our minds, when untrained, will make a mess of the Scriptures.  Proper Bible study should be done all the time, not just when we “notice” a problem with the text.  Remember that our assumptions about a text may be wrong.  Make sure you know what you know and why.  To use your “gutt” apart from your mind is to make a dangerous interpretation of God’s Words.

 

The true meaning of the Biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken, - Fee and Stuart

 

Start with prayer.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Put perspiration into it.

 

Always remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT).  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

Some simple steps:

 

I. Read the introduction to the book

o       Let the scholars do the work for you.

        Who wrote it?

        Who did He write it to?  What was the audience like?

        Why did He write it?

        When did He write it?

        Is it a letter to a person or church or is it a document to be read by all?

        What is the literary context?

        Is it a poem, a letter, a teaching, a historical document, a song, etc.

        Does any of the above matter?

 

 

 

 

 

II. Read the entire book

o       Read it again

o       Read it again in other translations

o       Jot down any overall impressions/ themes about the book. 

        What is the big idea?

o       Do not focus on specifics

o       Write down major questions that have to do with the book as a whole

o       Only focus on specifics when they relate to the major questions

 

III. Read a more specific paragraph/section/chapter

o       Read it again

 

IV. Ask the Bible some questions

        Things you don’t understand

        Things you think you understand but have never really studied for yourself

 

V. Find the answers to your questions

o       What does it mean?

o       Word studies (original language, not Webster’s)

o       Bible Dictionaries (Make sure the word you look up is the correct one.)

o       Bible encyclopedias (same as above)

o       Commentaries (these are as a last resort since they are mostly the opinions of others)

o       The internet (www.crosswalk.com, www.biblegateway.com, www.bible.org, www.studylight.org)

o       Concordances (see how the same word is used other places)

 

VI. Ask yourself some questions

o       Once you’ve done all the research, what does it say?

        Do not read your meaning into the text.  Take the meaning from the text.  Let the text say what it says

o       What does that have do with our world today?

o       What difference does it make?

 

VII. Verify it

o       Does it say that somewhere else in the Bible?

o       Pray