Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bible Study

This Wednesday we will be putting into practice the procedures we discussed on how to study the Bible. Enclosed is the summary of the steps involved. For those joining us please review 2 Corinthians 12:9 and apply the study principles in sequence. Please join us and share your conclusions.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

7 Steps in Searching the Scriptures:

The essence of this Bible study method is an approach that focuses on the text of the Bible. Bible study tools are used for secondary guidance. Commentaries are considered as a third level. Finally, careful meditation is encouraged for personal enrichment, clarification, and application.

1. Context Review:

Usage determines meaning. The text of Scripture must be read in light of its original setting in order to discover the authors meaning. The context of a passage includes its immediate, intermediate, and remote environment.

2. Compare Versions:

It is helpful to see how various translators treat a Bible passage. Keep in mind the translations utilize different translation theories such as formal equivalence (word for word), dynamic equivalence (thought for thought), and free (idea for idea, paraphrase).

3. Cross Reference:

Scripture interprets Scripture. It is helpful to see a similar passage or concept treated in another section of the Bible. Sometimes a particular passage is actually a direct quotation.

4. Consider Key Words:

Understanding a particular word an author chooses can make a significant contribution to ones understanding. It is also helpful to notice the grammatical construction in which those words are used.

5. Check Background:

The historical setting of a passage gives clues to various references in the text that are expected to be understood by the culture and the time in which the text was written. In addition, the type of literature will also influence ones understanding of the authors meaning.

6. Consult Commentaries:

Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. Consulting commentaries may help keep ones interpretation analogous to the faith. Consulting them last, from an informed position, may help one to achieve a greater level of understanding.

7. Contemplate:

The blessed man in the first Psalm meditated on the Bible day and night. Thinking about the Word of God will allow ones thoughts to be clarified. Meditation gives the Word a chance to take root in your life, and blossom into spiritual fruitfulness.

It is more essential to spend time in the Word of God and in prayer than to follow any particular study method. It is hoped that this model may be an encouragement for you to find a greater satisfaction in Christ through Bible study. It is my prayer that this method helps you to cherish God more deeply and communicate His grace more fully. Grace be with you, Wayne Layton

1 comment:

Ally said...

I'm researching churches in Chattanooga since I'll be moving there soon, and I'm encouraged by the Bible study your church is doing on Wednesday nights. Just wanted to say keep up the good work. It's nice to know there are still some church with Wednesday night services too.