September 01, 2019 PM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1920
#4 in series
The Living Bible
IT’S NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK
Psalm 19:7, 8; 1 Peter 1:13, 25; 2:2; 2 Peter 1:4; Luke 1; John 3
Many people are scared of their Bibles. They aren't confident to read and study the Word on their own, and Scripture rarely comes alive in their hearts because, sadly, most of what they've learned about the Bible has come second-hand. In this series, we are going to dig into the Word and learn how to read it, study it, and apply it to our lives. You will gain practical and valuable tools to make the Word leap off the page and fill your life with the joy of discovering its living truth for yourself.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
The Bible is unique among all other books. It was written over 1,500 years, over 40 generations, by authors who were peasants, philosophers, fishermen, kings, scholars, military leaders, and statesmen. It was written in the wilderness, in a dungeon, in the countryside, in a palace, in a prison, and in Jewish and Gentile environments. It was written on three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) in three languages:
- Hebrew, the major language of the Old Testament
It was also called “Judean” and the “Language of Canaan.”
- Aramaic, the common language of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great.
- Greek, the language of the New Testament and the international language at the time of Christ.
I. BIBLE STUDY IS WORK, BUT IT’S FUN
God has orchestrated events in history to make it possible for us to own and read the Scriptures in our language.
- Martin Luther translated the Word into German so the people could study the Word for themselves.
- Cameron Townsend started Wycliffe Bible Translators so people could have copies of the Scriptures in their own language.
Howard Hendricks says there are 3 stages of attitudes toward Bible Study:
II. BIBLE STUDY TERMS ARE IMPORTANT
A) Terms Regarding Inspiration
“Any spiritual experience that is not Bible-based is not of God, but of the devil. It may be spiritual, but it is the wrong spirit.” – Vance Havner
B) Terms Regarding Interpretation
“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, but take every word at its primary literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context clearly indicate otherwise.” – David L. Cooper, The Golden Rule of Interpretation
In exegesis, we look for:
- Metaphors: comparing two things by identifying one with another
- Similes: comparing two things usually using words such as like, so, or as to introduce the thought
- Analogies: comparing two things where one explains the other
- Hyperbole: deliberate exaggeration for emphasis
- Anthropomorphism: ascribing human characteristics to God, such as the Lord’s ear, voice, or hand; God using finite characteristics to help us understand His infinite characteristics
III. BIBLE STUDY METHODS VARY
There are many incredible methods to study the Scripture, but as we learned in the last two messages on interpretation, this is not a hit-or-miss thought. Nor is it throwing open the Bible and saying the Bible says something that it doesn't say. It requires accurate handling of the Word.
This method requires you to invest in:
- A good Concordance
- A Bible Dictionary (I like the Holman Bible Dictionary)
- A Bible Atlas or Maps in your Study Bible
- A good Study Bible (The Wiersbe Study Bible has about 40% of his notes from the Be series. It's a great way to get started as you try to build your library.)
- Commentaries (I would suggest investing in the Wiersbe commentaries. You can get individual books as you study a specific book, or buy the condensed 2 volume set or the complete set.)
I would also encourage you to have several translations. Most of these you can find on the internet. Sometimes, reading a passage in a different translation opens your mind and heart to what God is saying. I often refer to:
- New Living Bible
- New International Version
- English Standard Version
- Phillips New Testament
- Amplified Bible
- Good News for Modern Man (Today's English Version)
These are the tools of a good student of Scripture. They are an INVESTMENT, not an expense.
“It is not commentaries, councils, or creeds that should mold our Christian beliefs, however valuable some of them may be, but the Word of God.” – Brian Edwards
A) Inductive Bible Study Will...
B) Inductive Bible Study Opens Your Eyes to See Beyond the Casual Glance
G. Campbell Morgan, one of the great preachers of another era, would read a book 30 times before he attempted to study it. Just read it without marking your Bible, journaling, or writing down points. You’re trying to get a grasp of the book. With observation we are training our minds to see, to observe carefully the words, and to learn to pay attention to details. It's not enough to read words; we need to think about them. Observation can be defined as the act, power or habit of seeing and noticing; to watch, to look intently, to give full attention to what one sees; to be mentally aware of what one sees. It demands concentration. This is a skill that takes time and practice. But like with anything you are good at (video games, hunting, sewing, cooking), it takes time to learn until you’re confident.
1) Look for __.
2) Look for __.
These help you to understand the development of the book and the divisions whether chronological or geographical.
There are several keys that help you unlock the Scriptures. Let's use the Gospel of Luke as an example.
3) Learn to ask __
Josh McDowell calls these the six word surfacers. They bring to our attention, or to the surface, what is in a passage. They help us to know what to look for.
Let's use John 3 as a guide: