Saturday, April 09, 2005

Seven Laws of Bible Study

So sorry I haven't posted in awhile but have been preparing for our trip to Montego Bay. Please pray that God will have His will done in the shack towns and little churches and clinics we will visit.

In any case, I thought I'd lay back and see what God did with the blog before I proceed. It looks like word is beginning to spread that there is a new approach to Bible study which is very thought-provoking and inviting. Many people have emailed me privately rather than posting here -these are known as lurkers. i.e., folks who don't feel the need to share their thoughts publicly or don't have the time.

To all lurkers: it is safe here! I had a large BBS in Dallas for years and then many years of tech support forums, etc. and I know how to keep "flamers" from taking over. So feel free to share your insight in a Christlike spirit and all will be well.

Having said that, it sounds like a good time to throw some more ideas out there and see what comes back. Here is how we are proposing to study the Bible and share our insights:

1. Read a chapter. Mark all repetitive words or phrases. As you do this, the Lord may reveal the main thought or purpose to you. After all, why would He repeat something so often if He wasn’t trying to stress it like a red flag?

2. Try to discover the main thought and the secondary or supporting thoughts in a passage. Paul, for example, likes to throw an idea at you and then support it with several paragraphs of illustrations or ancillary ideas.

3. Make up your mind that this chapter CAN be understood and that it DOES have something to say to you.

4. Take a look at and decide whether any of the categories open up the chapter. This may take some effort: Bible handbooks, web sites, etc.

5. The Bible is the best commentary on the Bible so ask the Lord, “Has anything like this ever happened in some other passage?”

Who else ran away from a situation?
Did anything else important happen in this geographical location?
Do the meanings of the names or words used give us a clue? Where else are these words used?

6. If I was forced to pick ONE reason why this chapter was written, what would it be?

7. What is going to change in my life because of what I have studied? What has been reaffirmed?

That’s the short version. Please pick a chapter and give this a try and let us know what happens.

Here are some brain-teasers to get you started:

How does the meaning of the word Bethesda help us understand the story behind this pool?

How many different ways has the Lord used the Mt. of Olives to reveal His purposes?

What put the idea of calling down fire into the disciple’s minds? Where were they when this thought occurred to them?

Enjoy the journey and don’t forget to report back. It’s an addicting, new way to REALLY live!

Your Servant in Christ,
Jimmy G.
Dan. 12:3

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