November 17, 2019 PM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1932
#7 in series
The Living Bible
HOW TO STUDY A BOOK OF THE BIBLE
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 this message, we’ll break this down into smaller segments and learn how to study a book of the Bible.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
Martin Luther, who initiated the Reformation in the 16th century, gave the people practical suggestions for Bible Study. He said he studied the Scriptures like he gathered apples.
1) He would study the Bible as a whole. He would shake the whole apple tree so that the ripest fruit would fall to the ground.
2) He would study a whole book. He would climb the tree and shake each branch.
3) He would study a chapter of a book. He would move to the smaller branches and shake each one individually.
4) He would study the paragraphs and sentences. He would next shake each of the twigs.
5) He would study single words. He would conclude by looking under each leaf..
(Adapted from Rick Warren's, Dynamic Bible Study Methods)
KEY BACKGROUND INFORMATION
“Biblical literature is a collection or anthology of works written by a variety of writers over the span of many centuries. The very title 'Bible' means ‘ little books.' Biblical literature is a small library containing a survey of Hebraic-Christian literature as it was written over a long period of time. . . . The fact that biblical literature is an anthology results in a remarkable variety of forms and styles. Literary forms represented in the Bible include the story of origins, heroic narrative, epic, parody, tragedy, lyric, wedding poem, high praise, wisdom literature, proverb, parable, pastoral, satire, prophecy, Gospel, epistle, oratory, and apocalypse.” – Leland Ryken
It's easier to grasp if you divide the Bible into five major categories, realizing that some books will be in more than one:
1) Narrative: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Nehemiah, the Gospels, Acts
2) Epistles: Paul's letters, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, Jude
3) Wisdom Literature: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
4) Poetry: Psalms, Song of Solomon
5) Prophecy: Major and Minor Prophets, Revelation
Irving Jensen, gave some incredibly helpful suggestions on Bible reading and reflection: (adapted from Enjoy Your Bible)
Rick Warren uses three key terms in studying a book of the Bible:
Online resources for Bible study:
blueletterbible.org (web resource + app), biblegateway.com, preceptaustin.org, biblestudytools.com, bible-history.com
Why make a chart?
1) It helps you see the book as __.
2) It helps you see the __ of the book.
3) It gives a __ on which to hang specific passages and verses.
4) It makes the book easy to __.
We're going to learn the basic steps to making a diagramed layout of the book – this will be without using the titles and divisions printed in your Bible. Here you're starting to discover the keys to getting a handle on a book of the Bible.
Irving Jensen suggests five characteristics of a good chapter title:
1) One word, not more than four
2) Word pictures
3) Words from the text itself
4) Words you've not used in a previous chapter or book
5) Words that tell you where you are in the book
(Adapted from Enjoy Your Bible)
John 1: Paragraph Titles
BOOK SURVEY FORM
# of Chapters: 6
Category: NT Epistle
First Impressions: How to walk/live “in Christ”; doctrine of the church; positive teachings; encouragement to grow spiritually
Key Words: church, in Christ, walk, love, Spirit, according to; 42 words not found in any other NT book; 43 not used by Paul in any other writings
Key Verses: 1:3, 22, 23; 2:19, 20; 4:1
Literary Style: general letter - two key prayers
Emotional Tone: straightforward teaching
Main Themes: who we are “in Christ”; salvation is deliverance to/from; work of the Holy Spirit
Structure: two main divisions: doctrine / duty, divided by “therefore”; turning point is 3:20, 21
Major People: Paul, Ephesian Church, Tychicus
Reference Books Used: Halley’s Bible Handbook, New Bible Dictionary
- written AD 61 during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment (Acts 28), around the same time as Colossians and Philemon
- Acts 19 provides background
- Ephesus was the “first city” of the province of Asia; commerce, arts, science, philosophy, worship of Diana as dominant religion; mostly Gentile; headquarters for Christian missions
- Twin to Colossians: the phrases of 78 of Ephesians’155 verses are similar to those found in Colossians
- No specific problems like heresy or false doctrine; called the Grand Canyon of Scripture; theology becomes worship
EPHESIANS: CHRIST AND THE CHURCH</strong
“The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.” – D. L. Moody
“I want to know one thing, the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach the way He hath written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God!” – John Wesley