Understanding the Bible Session 3

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Session 3 of Rhema Christian Fellowships' Sunday Study Bible Lessons. This lesson begins a look at the inductive study method; observation, interpretation and application. The lesson focuses on observation: what to look for in scripture sentences.

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  • Which word repeats in the first sentence?
    Does this word repeat in the next sentence as well?
    How many times in the passage does the word occur?
    Is it in every sentence?
    Does it always appear with the word “the”
    Did you notice another word repeated? How many times?
    What can you deduce just from these repeating words?
  • Understanding the Bible Session 3

    1. 1. A Rhema Christian Fellowship Bible Study Lesson Session Three
    2. 2. 1. What do I believe about my faith? 2. How can I know what the will of God is?
    3. 3. 1. Why study the Bible? 2. Bible Facts 1. Who wrote it? 2. Books of the Bible 3. Language of the Bible 3. Bible Study tools 4. Bible Study methods
    4. 4. 1. How Do We Study the Bible? a. Three Skills 1) Observation – What does it say? 2) Interpretation – What does it mean? 3) Application – How does it work? 2. Interpretive Journey 3. Observation a. Things to Look for in Sentences (Homework)
    5. 5. Today’s Lesson
    6. 6.  See precisely what the passage says  Basis for accurate interpretation and correct application Answers the question: What does the passage say?What does the passage say?
    7. 7.  Using Handout – Assignment 2-1  Find a minimum of 30 observations in Acts 1:8. List them on your handout.  Avoid making interpretations and applications.  Limit your observations to details and not interpretations of those details.  Dig deep! Work hard! Read and reread the passage.
    8. 8.  Repeating words and phrases (“world”)  Contrasts (“gentle answer” vs. “harsh word”)  Comparisons (“soar on wings like eagles”)  Lists (fruit of Spirit)  Causes and effects (“wages of sin is death”)  Figures of speech (“The Lord is my rock”)  Conjunctions (“therefore” in Romans 12:1)  Verbs (where the action is)  Pronouns (“our Father in heaven”)  Time (“immediately”, “then”)
    9. 9. Acts 1:8 (NKJV) 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8 ( KJV ) 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
    10. 10.  Journey Principals and Rules:  The Bible is God’s communication of himself and his will to us.  We do not create meaning; rather, we seek to discover the meaning that is already in the Bible.  Theological principles revealed in specific passages of the Bible are applicable to both the biblical audience and to Christians today.  We will use the principlizing bridge to cross the river of differences.
    11. 11. Four Journey Steps 1 – Grasping the Text in Their Time What did the text mean to the biblical audience?
    12. 12. Four Journey Steps 2 – Measuring the Width of the River What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
    13. 13. Four Journey Steps 3 – Crossing the Principlizing Bridge What is the theological principle in this text?
    14. 14. Four Journey Steps 4 – Grasping the Text in Our Time How should individual Christians today apply the theological principle in their lives?
    15. 15.  Repeating words and phrases (“world”)  Contrasts (“gentle answer” vs. “harsh word”)  Comparisons (“soar on wings like eagles”)  Lists (fruit of Spirit)  Causes and effects (“wages of sin is death”)  Figures of speech (“The Lord is my rock”)  Conjunctions (“therefore” in Romans 12:1)  Verbs (where the action is)  Pronouns (“our Father in heaven”)  Time (“immediately”, “then”)
    16. 16.  Look for words that repeat  First, note any words that repeat in the sentence you are studying  Second, look at the surrounding sentences and look for repetition in the larger passage
    17. 17. 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
    18. 18. Read 1 John 2:15-17 ( KJV ) 1. Which word repeats in the first sentence? 2. Does this word repeat in the next sentence as well? 3. How many times in the passage does the word occur? 4. Is it in every sentence? 5. Does it always appear with the word “the” 6. Did you notice another word repeated? How many times? 7. What can you deduce just from these repeating words?
    19. 19. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 1. How many times does “comfort” occur? 2. What’s the most in one sentence? 3. Is there more? 4. Is it in every sentence? 5. Where is it used as a noun? Where is it used as a verb? 6. Which modifiers are used with “comfort”? 7. Who comforts? 8. Who is being comforted? 9. What about suffering? Which verses mention suffering? 10. How many times does suffering occur? 11. Is there a connection between suffering and comfort?
    20. 20.  Look for items, ideas, and individuals that are in contrast with each other.  Examples: 1. Proverbs 15:1 ( NKJV ) 1     A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2. Romans 6:23 ( NKJV ) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    21. 21.  Contrast focuses on differences.  Comparison focuses on similarities  Look for items, ideas, and individuals that are compared to each other  Example:  Proverbs 25:26 ( NKJV ) 26     A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.
    22. 22.  James 3:3-6 ( NKJV ) 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.  4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.  5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.  The tongue is compared to three things. What are they?
    23. 23.  In James 3:3-6, the tongue is compared to three things. What are they?  Bits in horses’ mouths  A rudder  Fire
    24. 24.  More than two items identifies a list  Write the list down and look for significance  Look for:  Order  Grouping
    25. 25. What is the list of…  Gal 5:22-23 NIV - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    26. 26.  Often biblical writers will state a cause and then state the effect of that cause.  Remember contrast here? Is there cause and effect?  Proverbs 15:1 ( NKJV ) 1     A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
    27. 27.  FOS are images in which words are used in a sense other than the normal, literal sense.  Powerful literary form that paint a picture Psalms 119:105 ( NKJV ) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
    28. 28.  If we think of the text as bricks then conjunctions are the mortar that holds the bricks (phrases and sentences) together  Take note of all the conjunctions (and, for, but, therefore, since, because, etc.)  Identify their purpose or function  Examples  Romans 6:23  Romans 12:1
    29. 29.  Verbs communicate the action of the sentence  Identify the kind of verb used  Past – I went  Present – I go  Future tense – I will go  Note imperative verbs. These are often God’s commands to us. Ephesians 4:2-3  Ephesians 4:2-3 ( NKJV ) 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,  3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
    30. 30.  Note all pronouns and identify the antecedent (to whom or what the pronoun refers)  Who, for example, are the “our” and “us” in Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 1:3 ( NKJV ) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 
    31. 31.  Words such as “then”, “after this”, “until”, “when”, “immediately” show timing or sequence of events  They answer the question , When?  Note what you learn when noting when something occurs (it is crucial when it comes to interpreting the text).
    32. 32. Romans 12:1-2
    33. 33.  ConclusionConclusion  Observe first, interpret and apply later.  Write down your observations. “A pen is a mental crowbar.” - Howard Hendricks – The Bible is God’s love letter to you. Read it carefully!

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