Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend Worship - Learning to Study the Scriptures

In all my 23 years of life (and most of those years being spent in church and a Christian school) I was amazed to realize today that nobody ever taught me how to really study the Bible. This morning in Sunday School, our teachers (husband and wife) shared with the class the form of homiletics they use to study the Scriptures. I want to share it with you because I found it SO helpful for myself! :)

Alright, here is the basic structure:

The first thing you need to do is choose the passage you are going to study. One chapter is a good place to start. (We used the single-chapter book of Jude for our example this morning).

1. You begin with paraphrasing the content. Ideally, you want to keep it between 10 and 20 points. Since Jude has 25 verses, we clumped a few of the verses together but otherwise paraphrased each verse individually.

2. Next, you look for the divisions in the passage. Try to be concise but not TOO concise. Narrow the passage down to 3 or 4 divisions.

3. Once you have determined the divisions of the passage, look at those divisions and ask, "What is the basic thought in this passage?" You should be able to summarize the passage into just one verse - one fairly short verse, that is. Not one of those paragraph verses.

4. Your next step is to decide the aim for the passage. That is, what do you want to learn from it? There will likely be a few things you want to learn from the passage.

5. And finally, how can you apply this passage to your life? Ask yourself open-ended questions. Search the Scriptures to find the answers. Feel free to consult commentaries (but remember they they are books written by humans and are not divinely inspired).

I hope to delve into a passage of Scripture this week and practice this form of homiletics as a way to study the Bible on my own. I will try to post next week about the passage I studied so you can have a better understanding of how the whole process plays out.

I encourage you to give it a try on your own this week, but if you thought I was too confusing or not informative enough you may wait until next week. :)

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