- Name three basic Techniques of Bible study in the order in which they are used.
- Take part in a group discussion on what the scriptures teach us about the use of these techniques in Bible study.
- From a list of points drawn from a Bible passage, name the technique used in each case.
- By using the three basic techniques prepare a simple Bible Study on one or more Bible passages.
Let us now pause to ask God to give us the help of his Holy Spirit in our study.
The Holy Spirit helps us in each of the three basic Techniques of Bible Study. These are:
The Holy Spirit helps us in each of the three basic Techniques of Bible Study. These are:
- The technique of observing: to spot the main points in the Bible passage that you are studying.
- The technique of explaining: to make plain the meaning especially of hard-to-understand points,
- The technique of applying: to find ways in which we can put the teaching into practice in our lives.
Let’s take the story of how Jesus called the 12 apostles, in Matthew 10:2-4, as an example. To which of the five steps in the life of Christ does this belong? (The chapter number should tell you).
Here is an example of the difference between these techniques of Bible study.
If I say that Simon the Zealot was one of the twelve apostles, I am simply stating what I have spotted in verse 4. I am therefore using the technique of .
If, on the other hand, I add: “and Zealot means a Jewish revolutionary” I am trying to make plain the meaning of the word “Zealot,” am therefore using the technique of .
Let’s take a further example: Matthew 10:7 tells us that Simon the Zealot, as one of the 12 apostles, was sent forth to preach. According to verse 7, what did he preach about? Are you using the technique of observation (that is the answer is in the text itself) or of explanation (the answer comes from the individual)?
Yes, the apostle preached about the Kingdom of Heaven, but what the Kingdom of Heaven really mean? That a person invited Jesus Christ to rule over everything in his life, in the place of his own self-will.
Did you use the technique of observation (does the text tell us this meaning?) or did you use the technique of explanation (it makes the meaning clearer) to answer the last question?
Let’s go one step further. We learn from this passage that Simon left a life of strife behind him when he entered into Christ’s kingdom of love.
What can I learn from this which I can put into practice in my own life?
I, too, often find myself in situations of: The other day I was the one who started the family fight. But, when I study this story, I can see that I must replace strife with Christ’s love. In other words, I am going to go and tell the members of my family that I am and ask their . I am going to pray that Jesus’ love will my heart and keep me from doing the same thing again.
This is much more than just making plain the meaning. I have now tried to put the message into practice in my own life. Which technique am I using now: observing, explaining, or applying?
One of the celebrated heroes of our century has been Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian leader who sparked the flame of independence for his country.
How could Gandhi maintain his private sense of order, his appropriate humility, and his base wisdom and judgment? Where did the emotional and spiritual force come from?
Perhaps the beginning of an answer to those questions lies in Gandhi’s fascination with the simple spinning wheel. The wheel seems to have always been at the center of his life.
When he returned from the great public moments in his life, the spinning-wheel experience restored him to his proper sense of proportion, so that he was not falsely swelled with pride due to the cheers of the people.
Gandhi was by no means a Christian, but what he was doing at the wheel is an indispensable lesson for any healthy Christian. For he show us what every man or woman who want to move in a public world without being pressed into its mold needs to do. We, too, need the spinning-wheel experience – the ordering of our private worlds so that they are constantly restructured with strength and vitality….
When we come from an experience at the spinning wheel, where all is returned to proper proportion and value, the public world can be managed and properly touched. Relationships with family and friends, neighbors and even enemies take on a new and healthier perspective. It becomes possible to forgive, to serve, to not seek vengeance, to be generous.
(From Ordering Your Private World by Gordon Mac Donald)
God gave us guidance that helps us keep his priorities. The principles we follow will help us keep perspectives right. Remind yourself what is important. Spend time with your family and/or friends. Share with someone in need. Be a volunteer. Spend time worshiping God. Allow your perspective to be refocused.
Now read carefully Matthew 9:9-13
Which of the following points are to be found in this passage.
a. Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office.
b. Four men fishing.
c. Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John.
d. Jesus invited Matthew to follow him.
e. Matthew refused to follow Jesus.
f. In the house many tax collectors and sinners at down with them at the table.
g. The Pharisees asked why Jesus ate with tax-collector and sinners.
h. Jesus admits his error in mixing with sinners.
i. Jesus tried to deny the fact that he wanted to eat with sinners.
j. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick.”
k. Jesus said, “for I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
Which technique were you using here
What are two of the most important points that you observed in Matthew 9:9-13?
Why do you think that Matthew invited tax-collectors to his house to eat with Jesus? Because he wanted to introduce them to his new-found friend and master.
In answering the last question did you spot things in the Bible passage or did you make the meaning of these things from what you learned elsewhere?
Which technique were you using here?
What lessons can we learn from this story that we can put into practice in our own lives today?
a. The value of inviting unbelievers to our homes with the aim of introducing them to the Lord Jesus.
b. We can recognize Christ’s tremendous love for us in spite of all our sins, and trust in his ability to heal us.
c. The importance of never having contact with unbelievers.
d. Not to spend so much of our time with believers that we never make contact with those who don’t know Christ yet.
e. The necessity of putting Christ first in your life before efforts to be a success in your business.
Which of these techniques were you using?
What do you think is one of the most important lessons of this story that you can apply to your own life today?
As the Constitution is the highest law of the land, so the Bible is the highest law of God. For it is in the Bible that God sets forth His spiritual laws. It is in the Bible that God makes His enduring promises. It is in the Bible that God reveals the plan for the human race….
Christianity finds all its doctrines stated in the Bible, and Christianity denies no part, nor attempts to add anything to the Word of God.
In setting down their forthright messages, biblical scribes have never attempted to gloss over the realities of life… The startling thing is that the lives and motivations of these people who lived so long ago have such a modern flavor! As we read, the pages seem like mirrors held up before our own minds and hearts, reflecting our own prides and prejudices, our own failures and humiliations, our own sins and sorrows.
Truth is timeless. Truth does not differ from one age to another, from one people to another, from one geographical location to another. Men’s ideas may differ, men’s customs may change, men’s moral codes may vary, but the great all-prevailing Truth stands for time and eternity.
The fact of Jesus Christ is the eternal message of the Bible. It is the story of life, peace, eternity, and heaven. The Bible has no hidden purpose. It has no special need for special interpretation. It has a single, clear, bold message for every living being – the message of Christ and His offer of peace with God.
(From Peace with God by Billy Graham)
God provided precise instructions for governing ourselves and honoring the divine moral code. We like to rebel against laws when they limit our freedom. But God’s law blesses us because it protects us and simplifies our decision-making. How do you view God’s rules? If you view them as moral guideposts, your trail through life will have fewer twists and dead ends.
The passage we will be studying next is Matthew 22:15-22. Read it carefully. Be sure to observe the main points in this story.
What was the Question that Jesus’ enemies asked him?
Why did they ask Jesus this question?
What was it that Jesus asked these people to show him?
Whose portrait and inscription was on the coin?
What answer did Jesus give to his enemies’ question?
What was their reaction to Jesus answer?
None of these questions helps you to make difficult points clear, but only to spot what was actually in the Bible passage. They are, therefore, all questions of
The coin used to pay taxes was called a “Denarius.” Whose portrait and inscription was on the denarius?
Was a denarius a Jewish or a Roman coin?
If the denarius was a Roman coin, why did the Jews in Palestine to use it?
a. Because they were under the rule of the Roman Empire
b. Because they liked Roman money.
What was the question that Jesus’ enemies asked him on this occasion?
It seemed impossible for Jesus to get himself out of the trap. If he answered that the Jews should pay taxes to Rome, the would be mad at him and if he answered that the Jews should NOT pay taxes to Rome, the would be mad at him.
How did Jesus answer, then?
How did people react to this wise answer?
Which of the two groups got angry over his answer?
What is the worst kind of strife in your area?
Think about the way Jesus acted as a Peacemaker in this story. What lesson do we learn from his example as to how we should act in similar situations today?
Refreshed through Revival
The church today is suffering from drought. It has been a dry time, and many people have lost heart. A lost world goes to perdition as a dry church haggles over lesser things. Organization and re-organization is offered as the solution. People leave the ministry right and left, and funds for missions dry up as evangelistic zeal subsides. We need a rain! We need the refreshing of God’s Spirit in our midst, energizing our efforts and renewing our call to service. We need the wells to refill and the rivers of living water to gush forth from our innermost beings as Jesus promised.
We are concerned about a dearth of ministers and ministerial candidates. Wouldn’t a real revival take care of that problem? We are stressed about a lack of funds for our church ministries.
God never leaves us with only one line of comfort, there are many always at hand. There is one that I have not often heard mentioned, and yet there is help to be found in it. “Thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.” What is the thing that you most fear and most earnestly pray about, the thing of all other things that you dread? If you love your Lord, and yet know your own weakness, is it not that something may happen to sweep you off your feet, or that your strength may be drained and you may yield and fall, and fail Him at the end? I have known many whose lives were shadowed by this fear.
Oh, take comfort. God… knows our hearts, too. He knows who the men are (What the forces of trial are) of whom we are afraid; and he assures us and reassures us, “Thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.”
(From Thou Givest, They Gather by Amy Carmichael)
God knows that standing for truth is not easy. He promises to stand with his people and to bring victory. Remind yourself that you fight a spiritual battle. Have confidence when you face trials, because you know God stands with you.
Do a Bible study on Luke 5:17-26
BIO:James Hudson Taylor 1832-1905 Pioneer missionary. James Hudson
Taylor was born in Barnsley, England. He was the son of a Methodist
minister. After study- ing medicine and theology, he went to China in
1854 as a mis- sionary under the auspices of the China Evangelization
Soci- ety. In 1858, after working in a hospital for four years, he
married the daughter of another missionary. He returned to England in
1860 and spent five years translating the New Tes- tament into the
Ningpo dialect. He returned to China in 1866 with 16 other missionaries
and founded the China Inland Mis- sion. In 1870 his wife and two of
their children died of cholera. He remained in China and before his
death estab- lished 205 mission stations with 849 missionaries from
Eng- land, and 125,000 witnessing Chinese Christians. He died in
Changcha, China, in 1905.