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How to Effectively Study the Word

How to Effectively Study the Word

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How to Effectively Study the Word

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  1. How to Effectively Study the Word

  2. Layout of the Lessons • Introduction and Preparation • “Literal” Interpretation • Principle I: Examine Word Meanings / Relationships • Principle II: Observe The Context • Principle III: Determine The Historical Setting • How To Productively Study The Word (Steps 1-4) • How To Productively Study The Word (Step 5 - Interpretation) • How To Productively Study The Word (Step 6 - Application)

  3. How to Accurately Understand the Word • Matthew 22:23-33 • “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (v 29) • Lack of understanding of the scriptures • 2 Timothy 2:15 • “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” • “dividing” = "cutting straight" (as in road-making, in plowing a furrow, or in the cutting of stones by a stone mason) • The Problem: Interpretation • “There are numerous groups in Christendom, as well as various cults and sects, all of whom appeal to this verse or that verse to support their particular doctrines and practices” – Word Alive

  4. How to Accurately Understand the Word • The Solution: Proper method of biblical interpretation • Hermeneutics: The science and art of biblical interpretation. • “Most differing interpretations of the Bible occur primarily because men either totally or partially utilize erroneous methods of interpreting” – Word Alive • Trying to fit scripture to traditions (Mk 7:13) • Trying to fit scripture to our preconceived theology • Basing a doctrine on one isolated part of scripture w/out knowing the entirety • Handling the Word deceitfully for wrong motives (2 Cor 4:2)

  5. God’s Communication Process • Revelation / Inspiration • Starts with the desire on the part of God to communicate with man • Deut 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever…” • Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets” (KJV21) • 2 Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God …” • Inspiration = “God-breathed” • Transmission • The process by which the original Words of God were recorded • John 14:26 “the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” • The process by which the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were copied as accurately as possible over the centuries • Mt 5:18 “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of stroke shall pass away from the Law…”

  6. God’s Communication Process • Translation –From the original language into our own • Literal - Attempts to keep the exact words and phrases of the original text. • Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (New American Standard) • Dynamic Equivalence – Updates the writing style and grammar mildly. • Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (New International Version) • Paraphrase - Not constrained by the original words or language. Tries to get the “gist” of the message. Not always exact because it depends upon the translators. • Galatians 3:3 How foolish can you be? You started the Christian life by the Holy Spirit. Do you think you are going to become better Christians by your old way of worship? (New Life V ersion)

  7. God’s Communication Process • Interpretation and Illumination • Interpretation - To explain or tell the meaning of • “The moment the Bible student has in his own mind what was in the mind of the author or authors of the Biblical books when these were written, he has interpreted the thoughts of the Scriptures” – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia • Illumination - The ministry of the Holy Spirit to enlighten us • The Spirit enables us to perceive spiritual truth (1 Cor 2:9-12) • The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13, 1 Jn 2:20,27) • Application • Bringing of truth to bear on our experience so that transformation results • We must be DOERS of the Word (James 1:22-24)

  8. Preparation for Interpretation • Approach the Word with Humility • Matthew 11:25 “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” • Approach the Word with reverence and attentiveness • Neh 8:3 “the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law … 5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people … and when he opened it, all the people stood up” • Prov 4:20 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.” • Treat the Word as authority over all human teaching • Acts 17:11 “These [Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” • Treat it as living and directly applicable for you today • Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is living and full of power, and is sharper than any two-edged sword” (BBE) • Approach the Word with desire • Psa 119:48 “My hands also will I lift up to your commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in your statutes.” • Psa 119:148 “148 In the night watches I am awake, so that I may give thought to your saying.” (Psalm 119:148, BBE)