Bible Study Methods
R. Gustason, 1 Mar 2016
It takes a lot of TIME to be an effective teacher, as well as a student. We will never "find time" for the important things
in life, we must make time.
Some people say, "I spend QUALITY time with God, not just QUANTITY time." But quality time doesn’t always happen when you want it, simply because you are not always ready for it. It is in the QUANTITY of time that the most QUALITY moments will accumulate. Quality time comes when you least expect it!
God has two words for time: CHRONOS, which means, "time governed by the clock"(QUANTITY time) and KAIROS, which means, "time measured by special moments" (QUALITY TIME).
You have to take advantage of KAIROS time at the moment it happens, or you lose it forever.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. Luke 19:41–44 KJV And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Acts 24:25 KJV And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15–16 KJV
|IMPORTANT||1||Crises, Pressing Problems, Deadline-Driven Projects, Emergencies||2||Prevention, Planning, Production Capability, Relationship Building, New Opportunities|
|NOT IMPORTANT||3||Interruptions, Some calls, mail, meetings, pressing matters, popular activities||4||Trivia, Busy Work, Some calls, mail, meetings, time wasters, pleasant activities|
QUADRANT ONE – URGENT AND IMPORTANT (Crises, pressing problems, deadlines)
QUADRANT TWO – NOT URGENT AND IMPORTANT (Planning, relationship building, preparation)
QUADRANT THREE – URGENT AND NOT IMPORTANT (Interruptions, popular activities, telephone)
QUADRANT FOUR – NOT URGENT AND NOT IMPORTANT (Trivia & busy work, time wasters, pleasant activities)
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Ephesians 5:16–17 NLT-SE)
How do I put God first in my schedule? I ask Him to help me use my time wisely! I make a TO DO list of things I have to do and say, “God, which of these things do You want me to do?” You do not have time to do everything – selection is the name of the game. God has a plan for your life, so if you find yourself having more things to do than you have time to do, it means you're doing some things that are not God's will! They may be good things, but God never puts more on you than He puts in you!
Envision yearly, Prepare monthly, Plan weekly, Adjust daily
If you really want God to be first in your life, then you need to make a daily appointment with Him to read your Bible and pray, and REVIEW YOUR SCHEDULE AND PRIORITIES with Him! Even Jesus felt the need for daily prayer!
Building a library for Bible studyCharles Spurgeon: "It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he had revealed to others."
Basic books to start your library:
- A good READING Bible (understandable translation, room to write, no distracting study helps)
- A good STUDY Bible (study helps, footnotes, maps, etc.)
- A Bible dictionary (Unger’s)
- A good commentary (very much a personal preference!)
- A concordance (Strong’s)
- Alternate Bible translations (parallel Bibles are good)
- Add “specialty books” as funds permit
Bible Study Procedures
- The main purpose of interpreting a text is clarity.
- The first task of the student is exegesis – i.e. the careful, systematic study of the Scripture to discover the author's intent.
- But we don’t just do exegesis when there is an obvious difference between then and now. It is the first step in studying every text.
- Go back and study the best sources for yourself first (note this may or may not be the oldest).
- Don’t just begin by consulting somebody’s book, i.e. someone else's opinion.
- For example, when studying Mark 10:23, one "expert" said there was a gate in Jerusalem called the Needle’s Eye which camels could only go through on their knees, but that gate never existed!)
- We must always guard against eisegesis; reading our desired interpretation into the text. We should always let the text speak for itself.
- To provoke your thinking, one of the best things to do is use several Bible translations that you know in advance will differ in their interpretation (i.e. KJV, NIV and NLT comparisons).
- There are three basic theories of translation:
- Literal: advantage – as close as possible to the original; disadvantage – doesn’t account for cultural differences in customs and expressions (i.e. King James Version, English Standard Version)
- Free or Paraphrase: advantage – eliminates historical and cultural “barriers” by expressing Scripture in modern terms; disadvantage – since it is more concerned with translating “ideas” it is not always accurate in exact wording (i.e. Phillips, Living Bible, The Message)
- Dynamic Equivalence: advantage – translates words, idioms and grammatical construction of the original language into “precise equivalents” in modern language; disadvantage – not as “loose” as a free paraphrase, but still not as exact in its wording as a literal translation (i.e. New International Version, New Living Translation)
- Why does all this matter? Because our doctrine must be exact! That’s why I use the King James Version as my primary text to teach Bible doctrine, while I normally use other modern translations to teach issues of practical Christian living. Sometimes, modern translations can shed more light on a passage than the KJV, but you have to be careful.
Principles of dynamic Bible Study
- Ask questions of the text.
- Write down what you have discovered.
- Study for application and not just interpretation.
- Study systematically, not haphazardly.
- The Bible contains many riches, which cannot be exhausted.
- Psa. 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
- Prov. 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
- Prepare a time.
Bible Study Methods
- The devotional method- Select a portion of scripture, read it, pray about it, write a journal or diary chronicling your thoughts on the scripture.
- The Chapter Summary Method- Read a chapter at least 5 times. Write a summary of your thoughts.
- The Character Quality Method- Choose a character quality and the look up all passages associated with this quality.
- Thematic Method- Select a Bible theme. Example “Anger in the book of Proverbs. What are the characteristics of an angry man? What causes anger? What are the results of anger? What is the cure for anger?
- Biographical method- Study their life and characteristics.
- Topical method- Organize your conclusions in an outline.
- Word Study Method- Study important words in the Bible.
- Book background method- Study the history, geography, culture, science and politics of a particular book of the Bible.
- Book Survey method- Survey an entire book of the Bible and outline its contents.
- Chapter Analysis method- Take apart a chapter, verse by verse, analyze words and phrases to arrive at an exegetical conclusion about the chapter.
- Book synthesis method- Summarize the main themes of a book, write a few paragraphs describing the main themes.
- Verse-by-verse analysis- Select one passage, examine it in detail. Find cross-references and paraphrase in your own words the verse or verses you’ve selected. Record a possible application you can apply to your life from the periscope you have examined.
Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren Amazon: Rick Warren Bible Study Methods
Research and Resources by Raymond Woodward http://www.raymondwoodward.com/#/resources/bible-studies
Filed under: hermeneutics