September 22, 2019 PM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1923
#5 in series
The Living Bible
THREE KEYS TO FULFILLING BIBLE STUDY
John 7:14-17; 1 Peter 2:2, 3; Hebrews 5:14; John 10:27-29; Mark 4:35-41
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. In the last message, we looked at numerous terms regarding the accurate interpretation of the Bible. Be sure to go back over that background material in detail.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
The Three Keys Are:
1) OBSERVATION: What do I see?
2) INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?
3) APPLICATION: How does it work?
If you're going to accurately handle the Word of God, you have to make at least four assumptions: (from Understand by Walter Henrichsen)
1) The Bible is authoritative.
2) The Bible contains its own laws of interpretation, which, when properly understood and applied, will yield the correct meaning to a given passage.
3) The primary aim of interpretation is to discover the author's meaning.
4) Language can communicate spiritual truth.
I. FEED ON THE WORD
The most important step in Bible study is OBSERVATION. It must come first. The more carefully we observe, the more meaningful your interpretations, and the stronger and richer your application.
II. GROW BEYOND JUST MILK; ASK TO SEE THE ADULT MENU
You don't start with your experiences and then look to Scripture for self-justification. You start with Scripture and then look at your experiences to see if they line up.
III. INTERPRETATION IS IMPERATIVE TO ACCURATE APPLICATION
5 Keys to Interpretation:
The reason for the W questions. The facts brought into a context or a relationship.
What happened before? What happens after?
Compare Scripture with Scripture. Chase the thought through a concordance.
This is where you'll need a Bible Dictionary. What was the culture of the day?
Commentaries, a single-volume commentary, good study Bible, atlas, word study
In application we ask, how does it work? Application is important in studying the Scriptures. To make it personal, ask yourself:
Specific Things to Observe
When you first read a passage, look for the key words, those words which you think are important in the passage. Repetition of words will sometimes give you a clue. Underline them in your Bible.
Be on the alert for the admonitions which a writer gives: the advice, the exhortations, the warnings, the things which he tells you to do. Also note the promises and encouragements. One clue is to look for imperative verbs.
Reasons and Results for Doing Things
When you observe admonitions, see if the writer gives you some reasons for his advice. Or note if he sets forth a cause-and-effect relationship – if you do this, then this will happen. Often with a warning, he will give possible results.
Make special note of the way a writer uses contrasts, comparisons, and illustrations to bring out his ideas. Comparison is the association of things that are similar. Contrast is the association of things that are opposite, often introduced with “but.”
Repetition and Progression of Ideas
Be on the alert for repetition of words, ideas, and statements. This will often give you a clue as to the author’s purpose in a passage. Take special note of lists of items or ideas. Compare the items and see if there is any significance in the order. Do ideas progress toward a climax?
Be on the watch for the use of the question. Is it used to introduce an idea, summarize a series of ideas, or just to challenge the thinking?
Important Connectives (prepositions, conjunctions)
Connectives are very important in revealing key ideas and relationships. Be on the alert for some of the following:
- but – introduces a contrast
- if – introduces a conditional clause
- for, because, therefore – introduce reason/result
- in, into, with – introduce important connectives
- in order that – sets forth a purpose
Grammatical Construction (verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives)
The term “grammar” no doubt frightens you, but even so, it is important to note the grammatical construction of some statements. Be on the alert for the verbs and their tenses, for the use of pronouns, for the use of adverbs and adjectives and the way they describe things.
Note the general tone of a passage. It may be characterized by the mood of joy, thanks, concern, humility, zeal, anger, or caution. The tone of a passage may vary as a writer moves from one idea to another. The mood of a writer is often revealed by the way he addresses his readers.
Also note the use he makes of emphatic statements, words, and phrases to reveal his feelings.
Always note the literary form of a passage – discourse, narrative, poetic, dramatic, parabolic, apocalyptic. Also determine if the writer is using literal or figurative terms.
Note the arrangement of the ideas in a passage, the relationship of verses to each other. Sometimes the author makes a general statement, then explains it with examples. Other times he may list a series of ideas and then summarize with a general statement.
(Taken from The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study by Oletta Wald, pp. 18-19)