Chapter 8 – Pulling It All Together
1. Help for longer books or passages: p. 122. How would you use inductive bible study and the 5 P’s for studying a book longer than one chapter? How might the techniques change?
2. What other types of application, besides God-centered application, do we tend to jump to? Why do we need to start with God-centered applications? How does this inform our view of ourselves and what we need to change? (p. 121)
3. What are some benefits of sharing your study with a group? Which one appeals to you the most? Which do you need the most?
– The second stage of inductive Bible study, AFTER observation/comprehension has been seemingly exhausted
– Sound, faithful observation lays a strong foundation for correct interpretation
– Asks the question: what does it MEAN?
– “Meaning” is not our subjective thoughts read into the text but God’s objective truth read out of the text
– It DOESN’T answer the question: What does it mean to me?, but RATHER, What did it mean to the original writer and recipients? It can’t mean something to me that it didn’t mean to the original hearers
– Interpretation is necessary because of the barriers between the writer and us. Those barriers include: language, culture, literary (genres such as poetry, prophecy, etc.), communication, geographical, religion
5 C’s of Interpretation
Literary context: surrounding verses, paragraphs, chapters, and the Bible as a whole Ex. Spirit of the Lord
Cultural context: what were the practices, lifestyles, political situations, etc. of the original audience?
Historical context: What was happening in the original audience’s time period? Where did they fit into Biblical and world history?
Geographical context: What was the place like? What were the topographical features, weather, distance to other places mentioned, etc. (Ex: Jesus and the Samaritan woman)
Religious context: What did this author and audience know about God? How did people worship Him at that point? How much Scripture did they have access to? What other religions and worldviews were influential? Where does this passage fit in the unfolding of Scripture?
* Full COUNSEL of the Word of God: revelation of God in the Bible is progressive and builds upon itself, therefore the Old and New Testaments must both be considered to get the full richness of each story, doctrine, practice, prophesy, etc.
* COMPARE: Scripture will never CONTRADICT Scripture, so use Scripture to interpret Scripture
* CONSISTENCY: Do not base a doctrine on an obscure passage of Scripture: an obscure passage is one in which the meaning is not easily understood…doctrine should be based on the CLEAR, repeated teachings in the Scripture. Ex: baptism for the dead (1 Cor 15:29)
* CLEAR: Interpret Scripture literally, taking it at face value, looking for it’s most natural, normal sense, rather than a hidden, mystical meaning
* Don’t CONTORT: Look for the author’s intended meaning of the passage: let the passage speak for itself, don’t twist verses to support a meaning that is not clearly taught (Ex: Gideon’s fleece)
* CONSULT with cross-references, commentaries, and other resources
Verses 12-13 paraphrase: These people are like carefully concealed reefs under a ship, ready to bring sudden destruction. They do this by fellowshipping with you believers without fear of the Lord and the judgment He brings. They are shepherds, but rather than caring for and loving and serving the sheep, they only care for, love, and serve themselves. They are empty and devoid of what they appear to have, like clouds which don’t actually produce rain. Rather than being fruitful for the Gospel, they are truly dead, barren and pulled out of the ground. These people have no shame and flaunt it like wild waves in the sea. They aren’t fixed in their faith, but are constantly moving about; however, judgment has already been prepared and is awaiting them.
Chapter 7 – Study with Prayer
Pray. Why is this simple, essential practice so easy to overlook? We rush through it, do it as an afterthought, or even straight-up forget. Jen suggests that we weave prayer throughout our study time, rather than just use it as an opening or closing “nod to God.” The simple and practical prayer thoughts outlined in this chapter are both freeing and convicting. Get out your highlighter.
1. “Without prayer, our study is nothing but an intellectual pursuit. With prayer, it is a means of communing with the Lord. Prayer is what changes our study from the pursuit of knowledge to the pursuit of God himself” (p. 103). What does the absence of prayer in our study time reveal about what we really think is true about learning the Bible?
2. “Pray from a sincere desire, not from a sense of obligation to ‘do things the right way’” (p. 104). What can you do if all you have is the sense of obligation? How can you grow in sincere desire?
3. Which of the PARTs of prayer do you underutilize? Which of the prayer suggestions did you find most helpful?
4. What prayer suggestions did you find challenging and convicting? What one did you find encouraging and freeing? Did any of the specific prayer requests Jen suggested surprise you?
5. Knowing that the Holy Spirit speaks to us and convicts us through Scripture whether we ask him to or not could rob us of the motive to ask him. What do we have to gain by inviting his presence and seeking his blessing on our study?
Praise God for what you see revealed about Him