Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Study A Paragraph from the Bible

Many people get excited about reading the Bible and then "run out of gas." I think that a lot of their trouble is that they donot have a plan for effective study. Here are a few notes I have garnered over the years. I wish I could give direct credit for these wonderful ideas, but I pick so many things up over time that I am unable to always source them. Thanks for all who have contributed to my bible study skills and abilities. I hope these will be a benefit to you.

Studying A Paragraph of the Bible

1.         Read the paragraph

·         Read several times
·         Read several translations
2.         Summarize the paragraph

Sometimes, after reading a paragraph several times, it is helpful to put forth a number of possible subjects as viable choices and then begin to delete them as we go.

A summary helps you articulate and clarify what you have learned about the Scripture passage. You can use two methods to summarize a passage. First, you can use the observations and questions you have recorded about the passage to state conclusions about the passage’s meaning. Your summary states what you have learned about the passage, what you believe the biblical writer meant, and how the passage may be used.

Make sure that your summary encompasses everything in the passage and conveys the feeling as well as the message of the content.

3.         Read the cross references

            Various Bibles list all sorts of cross-references to be looked up.

4.         Revisit your summary

After reading all the cross-references, it is now time to return to your original summary of the paragraph. Do you need to change or tweak anything? Perhaps, but not necessarily. 

Sometimes looking up other passages serves to give us further insight into certain statements in our passage, but it might not really change our understanding of the focus of the passage overall.

5.         Meditate on the paragraph

Meditate on these verses for your own life, now that you understand them in their original context. What is it God is saying to you about your commitment to his Word? Obedience? And attitude in doing his will? What does this passage teach us about our mandate to reach the lost, raise up our families in a way that honors the Lord and his Word, and the way I conduct myself at work?

6.         Pray through and about the paragraph 

7.         Apply the Paragraph

When you apply the Bible to yourself, make your application—

·         personal. Write an application for yourself in a sentence with I, me, or my in it.

·         practical. It must be something you can do, not something beyond possibility.
specific. If God has convicted you about prayerlessness, your application must include a specific plan to begin to pray.

Use probing questions like the following when applying the Bible to yourself:

What am I to believe?

Is something in the passage about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope, or eternal life?

What am I to do?

Do I need to change some actions or confess some sins? Do I need to put away attitudes like fear, worry, hate, resentment, or jealousy?

What have I learned about relationships?

Does this passage teach me a new truth about my relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Do I see new insights into my relationships with others in my family, community, congregation, or world?

Is there a promise I need to claim?

Are there conditions for claiming this promise? Is there a word of encouragement or hope for me?

1 comment:

nashvillecats2 said...

Most informative Gregg and interesting to read.
Sorry for being late, pc was out of order yesterday.