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Introduction:
Introduction:
Ask if everyone did the readings through Philippians
Ask if everyone did the readings through Philippians
So last week, Isaac discussed with you all about the importance of God's Word. The fact that you all are here learning about God's Word is proof that you see the importance of God's Word. But hopefully through this class, we can elevate your view on the importance of Scripture. And also that each of you will learn how to study the Scriptures for yourself so that you can have a firm understanding of God's Word. Look with me real quick at some men we are introduced to in And look with me at verses 10-11 (Have Pratim Read) So here in the book of Acts, Paul the apostle comes across some men in Berea. And notice that in verse 11 it says that these were noble men. Why? Because they received the word with all eagerness. They were hungry and zealous for the Word of God. They had a passion to learn everything about it that they could. They held it in very high reverence. But look at what else it says they did. It says that they examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. These men didn't just believe the Word because some Pastor said it. These men were diligent in studying out the Scriptures every day to make sure that what they were learning was accurate. This is why personal Bible Study is so important. I know Isaac touched on this last week, but if you guys want to have good theology, you need to be students of the Word. Even in my walk with God, I have seen this to be so important. I have heard pastors say things that sound really good, but are totally false. And it took me actually getting into the Scriptures and studying the Word to see what the truth was. So with that said, you all were introduced to Inductive Bible Study last week. This is a huge topic, and let me just say that you can get much deeper into it than we will be able to cover over the span of this class. But hopefully we will be able to lay out a good foundation for you all, so that you can learn how to effectively study the Bible.
So last week, Isaac discussed with you all about the importance of God's Word. The fact that you all are here learning about God's Word is proof that you see the importance of God's Word. But hopefully through this class, we can elevate your view on the importance of Scripture. And also that each of you will learn how to study the Scriptures for yourself so that you can have a firm understanding of God's Word. Look with me real quick at some men we are introduced to in Acts 17 And look with me at verses 10-11 (Have Pratim Read) So here in the book of Acts, Paul the apostle comes across some men in Berea. And notice that in verse 11 it says that these were noble men. Why? Because they received the word with all eagerness. They were hungry and zealous for the Word of God. They had a passion to learn everything about it that they could. They held it in very high reverence. But look at what else it says they did. It says that they examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. These men didn't just believe the Word because some Pastor said it. These men were diligent in studying out the Scriptures every day to make sure that what they were learning was accurate. This is why personal Bible Study is so important. I know Isaac touched on this last week, but if you guys want to have good theology, you need to be students of the Word. Even in my walk with God, I have seen this to be so important. I have heard pastors say things that sound really good, but are totally false. And it took me actually getting into the Scriptures and studying the Word to see what the truth was. So with that said, you all were introduced to Inductive Bible Study last week. This is a huge topic, and let me just say that you can get much deeper into it than we will be able to cover over the span of this class. But hopefully we will be able to lay out a good foundation for you all, so that you can learn how to effectively study the Bible.
So what is "Inductive Bible Study"?
So what is "Inductive Bible Study"?
Let me start off by explaining what "induction" means
Let me start off by explaining what "induction" means
It basically means to make conclusions from basic facts
It basically means to make conclusions from basic facts
- It means to take a group of facts about something and draw a conclusion.
- It means to take a group of facts about something and draw a conclusion.
- Here's a couple of real world examples
- Here's a couple of real world examples
I'll start with a some easy ones.
I'll start with a some easy ones.
When the sun is out in the summer, it feels very hot outside.
When the sun is out in the summer, it feels very hot outside.
When the sun goes down, it gets much colder.
When the sun goes down, it gets much colder.
Therefore, the sun must produce heat.
Therefore, the sun must produce heat.
Pretty simple right?
Pretty simple right?
Here's another one
Here's another one
Today I saw a dabbawalla in Mumbai wearing a white hat.
Today I saw a dabbawalla in Mumbai wearing a white hat.
Later, I saw another dabbawalla wearing a white hat.
Later, I saw another dabbawalla wearing a white hat.
Even later, I saw another dabbawalla wearing a white hat.
Even later, I saw another dabbawalla wearing a white hat.
Therefore, all employees working for the dabbawalla must wear white hats.
Therefore, all employees working for the dabbawalla must wear white hats.
Now, there can also be bad inductive reasoning that people make.
Now, there can also be bad inductive reasoning that people make.
Here's one.
Here's one.
All the brown dogs in the park are small dogs. Therefore, all small dogs are brown.
All the brown dogs in the park are small dogs. Therefore, all small dogs are brown.
- We know that's obviously not true, but that would still be inductive reasoning.
- We know that's obviously not true, but that would still be inductive reasoning.
So now, what does that mean when it comes to Bible Study?
So now, what does that mean when it comes to Bible Study?
Well, Inductive Bible study simply means to gather the facts about any given book or passage in the Bible, and make conclusions about it.
Well, Inductive Bible study simply means to gather the facts about any given book or passage in the Bible, and make conclusions about it.
It's as if we are going to investigate everything we can about a passage, in order to form beliefs about it.
It's as if we are going to investigate everything we can about a passage, in order to form beliefs about it.
That is how we form theology.
That is how we form theology.
So this "investigation" is going to be broken up into three steps, as you briefly learned about last week.
So this "investigation" is going to be broken up into three steps, as you briefly learned about last week.
Let's just go over them again.
Let's just go over them again.
The first step, and the step we are going to be talking about today, is "Observation"
The first step, and the step we are going to be talking about today, is "Observation"
I want you to write all of these down so you guys can remember it.
I want you to write all of these down so you guys can remember it.
1. "Observation" simply asks the question, "What do I see?"
1. "Observation" simply asks the question, "What do I see?"
- I'll explain more on this in a minute.
- I'll explain more on this in a minute.
The next step is going to be "Interpretation"
The next step is going to be "Interpretation"
2. "Interpretation" asks the question, "What does it mean?"
2. "Interpretation" asks the question, "What does it mean?"
So Observation is "What do I see"?
So Observation is "What do I see"?
And Interpretation is "What does this that I see actually mean?"
And Interpretation is "What does this that I see actually mean?"
3. And finally, the last step is "Application"
3. And finally, the last step is "Application"
"Application" asks the question, "How should I respond?"
"Application" asks the question, "How should I respond?"
Based on the interpretation that I made, what does that mean for my life and the lives of others?
Based on the interpretation that I made, what does that mean for my life and the lives of others?
So you can see how important it is to form a good interpretation of a passage if you really want to live according to God's truth.
So you can see how important it is to form a good interpretation of a passage if you really want to live according to God's truth.
But today we are going to start with the first step of inductive bible study, "Observation."
But today we are going to start with the first step of inductive bible study, "Observation."
And this here, I would say, is the most important step of good Bible study.
And this here, I would say, is the most important step of good Bible study.
If you do not observe a passage of Scripture carefully, you will have a very difficult time coming up with good interpretations, and ultimately applications.
If you do not observe a passage of Scripture carefully, you will have a very difficult time coming up with good interpretations, and ultimately applications.
We looked at the example of inductive reasoning earlier with all little dogs being brown.
We looked at the example of inductive reasoning earlier with all little dogs being brown.
Obviously that is not true.
Obviously that is not true.
Sure, in that park, all of the little dogs may have been brown.
Sure, in that park, all of the little dogs may have been brown.
That's very possible.
That's very possible.
But if that person observing had spent more time, maybe gone to some other parks or cities, he would have found some little black dogs and little white dogs and so on.
But if that person observing had spent more time, maybe gone to some other parks or cities, he would have found some little black dogs and little white dogs and so on.
So that persons reasoning, or in this case "interpretation," it sounded good based on the facts that he had, but he failed to investigate more of the facts.
So that persons reasoning, or in this case "interpretation," it sounded good based on the facts that he had, but he failed to investigate more of the facts.
And for this reason his conclusion was bad.
And for this reason his conclusion was bad.
The same goes with Bible study.
The same goes with Bible study.
If you want to really understand a passage of Scripture, it is going to take a lot of effort.
If you want to really understand a passage of Scripture, it is going to take a lot of effort.
It can be very tempting when reading a passage to want to interpret it right away, but it's so important to gather all the facts before we make any conclusions.
It can be very tempting when reading a passage to want to interpret it right away, but it's so important to gather all the facts before we make any conclusions.
So I want you to continue taking notes here.
So I want you to continue taking notes here.
The first thing I want you to write is,
The first thing I want you to write is,
"What is observation?"
"What is observation?"
Observation is simply gathering the facts.
Observation is simply gathering the facts.
Now underneath that, I want you to write, "How to gather the facts," and then write a number 1.
Now underneath that, I want you to write, "How to gather the facts," and then write a number 1.
I'm going to give you a list of things you can do and then explain them.
I'm going to give you a list of things you can do and then explain them.
1. Prayerfully, and Carefully read the Passage (x2)
1. Prayerfully, and Carefully read the Passage (x2)
As you begin, just read the passage. Then read it again. Then read it again. Kind of like we had you do with Philippians last week. Just familiarize yourself with the text. Read it slowly and thoughtfully. If you have access to other translations, it can be helpful to read from them as well. One thing I can't emphasize enough is to worship the Lord as you are reading it. Fellowship with Him and pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes to all that it is saying. If you want a Scripture to go along with this, you can jot down Psalm 119:18. It says, "Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things out of your law." What a good prayer that is as we dive into God's Word.
As you begin, just read the passage. Then read it again. Then read it again. Kind of like we had you do with Philippians last week. Just familiarize yourself with the text. Read it slowly and thoughtfully. If you have access to other translations, it can be helpful to read from them as well. One thing I can't emphasize enough is to worship the Lord as you are reading it. Fellowship with Him and pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes to all that it is saying. If you want a Scripture to go along with this, you can jot down . It says, "Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things out of your law." What a good prayer that is as we dive into God's Word.
Now you can write a number 2
Now you can write a number 2
The second thing that we are to do is
The second thing that we are to do is
2. Record Your Initial Impressions (x2)
2. Record Your Initial Impressions (x2)
As you are reading through the text, keep a notepad next to you and write down what you learned. If you have a computer that works too. But just make notes on some of the things that stick out to you as you are reading through it. Sometimes as I am studying a passage, I will literally write out the entire thing. It actually helps me to remember all that it said. Something good you can also do is try to re-write what the passage said in your own words after reading it. When you put it in your own words, it can often help you to understand it more clearly as well.
As you are reading through the text, keep a notepad next to you and write down what you learned. If you have a computer that works too. But just make notes on some of the things that stick out to you as you are reading through it. Sometimes as I am studying a passage, I will literally write out the entire thing. It actually helps me to remember all that it said. Something good you can also do is try to re-write what the passage said in your own words after reading it. When you put it in your own words, it can often help you to understand it more clearly as well.
And lastly, the third thing that we are to do in the observation stage is
And lastly, the third thing that we are to do in the observation stage is
3. Record the Major Facts (x2)
3. Record the Major Facts (x2)
Now we're going to spend some time on this point, because this is where a lot of work is involved.
Now we're going to spend some time on this point, because this is where a lot of work is involved.
And I'm going to move quickly. Don't feel overwhelmed if it seems like a lot of information. We will be helping you to understand more about it in the weeks to come.
And I'm going to move quickly. Don't feel overwhelmed if it seems like a lot of information. We will be helping you to understand more about it in the weeks to come.
So I want you to get another sheet of paper out now.
So I want you to get another sheet of paper out now.
You need a fresh sheet for what we are going to do.
You need a fresh sheet for what we are going to do.
We're going to be filling out a worksheet together, but I want you guys to draw it up for me first.
We're going to be filling out a worksheet together, but I want you guys to draw it up for me first.
- Four Columns: Who, What, Where, When
- Four Columns: Who, What, Where, When
So using these four words, we are going to learn some basic questions that we need to ask when we are in the observation stage of inductive bible study
So using these four words, we are going to learn some basic questions that we need to ask when we are in the observation stage of inductive bible study
The first word we are going to use to gather facts is "WHO?"
The first word we are going to use to gather facts is "WHO?"
So if you have your sheet, you can fill them in with the following questions.
So if you have your sheet, you can fill them in with the following questions.
1. The first question is: "Who is the Author?
1. The first question is: "Who is the Author?
- This question is usually pretty simple to answer, especially in the New Testament.
- This question is usually pretty simple to answer, especially in the New Testament.
- However, there are some books where we are not so sure.
- However, there are some books where we are not so sure.
- One example might be the book of Hebrews. Some people think Paul the apostle wrote it. But the answer is not as clear in other books.
- One example might be the book of Hebrews. Some people think Paul the apostle wrote it. But the answer is not as clear in other books.
- But for this question, it would be good to do research about the author.
- But for this question, it would be good to do research about the author.
- First off, are there any references in the actual book that tell us who the author is?
- First off, are there any references in the actual book that tell us who the author is?
- Sometimes the beginning of a book will tell us plainly who the author is.
- Sometimes the beginning of a book will tell us plainly who the author is.
- Sometimes the evidence might be at the end of a book or even in the middle of a book.
- Sometimes the evidence might be at the end of a book or even in the middle of a book.
- Going further, we might ask, what other books did this author write?
- Going further, we might ask, what other books did this author write?
- What kind of person is the author?
- What kind of person is the author?
- What is his role in the church, or for the old testament, in the nation of Israel?
- What is his role in the church, or for the old testament, in the nation of Israel?
- Finding out who the author is is going to help us a lot in understanding the purpose of specific books.
- Finding out who the author is is going to help us a lot in understanding the purpose of specific books.
2. The next question is: "Who is the Speaker?"
2. The next question is: "Who is the Speaker?"
- Now this question sounds similar to the first.
- Now this question sounds similar to the first.
- But keep in mind that the author is only the person who wrote the book.
- But keep in mind that the author is only the person who wrote the book.
- Sometimes the author can be the speaker, but not always.
- Sometimes the author can be the speaker, but not always.
- When the author is writing in first person, he becomes the speaker.
- When the author is writing in first person, he becomes the speaker.
- Whenever the author quotes somebody else, that person becomes the speaker.
- Whenever the author quotes somebody else, that person becomes the speaker.
- For example, in the Old Testament, you will often read in the prophets where it says, "Thus says the Lord."
- For example, in the Old Testament, you will often read in the prophets where it says, "Thus says the Lord."
- The Author there might be Jeremiah or Isaiah or one of the other prophets.
- The Author there might be Jeremiah or Isaiah or one of the other prophets.
- But the speaker there would be the Lord.
- But the speaker there would be the Lord.
- In the New Testament it is the same thing.
- In the New Testament it is the same thing.
- Turn to John 4:49-52
- Turn to
- Let's read these verses and I want you guys to try to identify the three different speakers in this section.
- Let's read these verses and I want you guys to try to identify the three different speakers in this section.
- So we know John wrote the book of John. But in this case, he wasn't the "speaker" in this section.
- So we know John wrote the book of John. But in this case, he wasn't the "speaker" in this section.
3. The next question is: "Who is the Audience?"
3. The next question is: "Who is the Audience?"
- This is a very important question.
- This is a very important question.
Once again, sometimes this question can be very easy to answer right away.
Once again, sometimes this question can be very easy to answer right away.
- Sometimes it can be more difficult and a lot of study can be involved.
- Sometimes it can be more difficult and a lot of study can be involved.
- For example, in the book of Romans, Paul writes in chapter 1:7, "To you in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints"
- For example, in the book of Romans, Paul writes in chapter 1:7, "To you in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints"
- So obviously Paul is writing to the Christians who are in Rome.
- So obviously Paul is writing to the Christians who are in Rome.
- But you can take that question one step further and say, "What did the Christian community look like in Rome?"
- But you can take that question one step further and say, "What did the Christian community look like in Rome?"
- How can we further understand this specific audience?
- How can we further understand this specific audience?
- What were some of the struggles that this church was facing there?
- What were some of the struggles that this church was facing there?
- And with further study you would learn that the church in Rome consisted of both Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians.
- And with further study you would learn that the church in Rome consisted of both Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians.
- By understanding this, the book of Romans becomes a little more clear.
- By understanding this, the book of Romans becomes a little more clear.
- If you guys have read the book of Romans, Paul basically starts by showing that all people, Jews and Gentiles, are all under sin and need salvation.
- If you guys have read the book of Romans, Paul basically starts by showing that all people, Jews and Gentiles, are all under sin and need salvation.
- So knowing the audience becomes very important in your study of Scripture.
- So knowing the audience becomes very important in your study of Scripture.
4. And the last question under the "Who" Column is: "Who are the Characters Involved?"
4. And the last question under the "Who" Column is: "Who are the Characters Involved?"
- For this question, you may want to write down every person that is mentioned in the text you're studying. This includes God (the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit), Angels, Demons, Humans, even Animals can be significant.
- For this question, you may want to write down every person that is mentioned in the text you're studying. This includes God (the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit), Angels, Demons, Humans, even Animals can be significant.
- This is important because you are going to want to continue investigating each of these characters as a part of the observation process.
- This is important because you are going to want to continue investigating each of these characters as a part of the observation process.
Now let's take a look at the second column.
Now let's take a look at the second column.
And the next big word we are going to look at is "WHAT?"
And the next big word we are going to look at is "WHAT?"
1. The first question is: "What's Happening?"
1. The first question is: "What's Happening?"
- What is the section of scripture actually about?
- What is the section of scripture actually about?
- This is where, like I said earlier, it can be good to write down what you read in your own words.
- This is where, like I said earlier, it can be good to write down what you read in your own words.
- Is the section you are reading about certain events?
- Is the section you are reading about certain events?
- Is it a historical event?
- Is it a historical event?
- Is it about a doctrine or teaching?
- Is it about a doctrine or teaching?
- Is it poetry?
- Is it poetry?
- As you read scripture, you will realize that there are many different genres. We are going to be talking to you guys about how you are to study different genres of scripture too.
- As you read scripture, you will realize that there are many different genres. We are going to be talking to you guys about how you are to study different genres of scripture too.
- The way you observe a Scripture it actually going to change depending on what kind of genre it is.
- The way you observe a Scripture it actually going to change depending on what kind of genre it is.
2. The next question is: "What are the Key Words?"
2. The next question is: "What are the Key Words?"
- This is a pretty important question to ask too as you are reading.
- This is a pretty important question to ask too as you are reading.
- Often times, you will find that the same word is repeated multiple times in a given text.
- Often times, you will find that the same word is repeated multiple times in a given text.
- Whenever you see certain words repeated, you know that it is a very important key word.
- Whenever you see certain words repeated, you know that it is a very important key word.
- If you guys want to study an example of this later, you can look at
- If you guys want to study an example of this later, you can look at Galatians 5:16-26
- And notice the repetition of the words "Spirit," and "Flesh" in those passages.
- And notice the repetition of the words "Spirit," and "Flesh" in those passages.
3. The next question is: "What is the tone of the passage?"
3. The next question is: "What is the tone of the passage?"
- Does the passage you are studying portray a certain attitude? Does it have a joyful, or angry, or even sad tone to it?
- Does the passage you are studying portray a certain attitude? Does it have a joyful, or angry, or even sad tone to it?
- Try to look for words in the text that might help you understand what the tone of the passage is.
- Try to look for words in the text that might help you understand what the tone of the passage is.
- When you see Jesus flipping over tables in the temple for example, this would show a tone of righteous anger.
- When you see Jesus flipping over tables in the temple for example, this would show a tone of righteous anger.
- An example of sorrow would be when Jesus was weeping over Jerusalem before he went to the cross.
- An example of sorrow would be when Jesus was weeping over Jerusalem before he went to the cross.
- An example of joy might be Philippians 4:4,
- An example of joy might be ,
- Here Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"
- Here Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"
4. The next question is: "What took place before or after the events in this passage?"
4. The next question is: "What took place before or after the events in this passage?"
- This is where it is very important to have an understanding of the whole book you are studying.
- This is where it is very important to have an understanding of the whole book you are studying.
- In order to fully understand a particular section, you must understand what led up to those verses.
- In order to fully understand a particular section, you must understand what led up to those verses.
- In the same way, it's important to understand what happens after those verses.
- In the same way, it's important to understand what happens after those verses.
- Paul's teaching on Justification by faith in Romans 5-8 take on a whole new meaning once you understand the first few chapters on God's wrath.
- Paul's teaching on Justification by faith in take on a whole new meaning once you understand the first few chapters on God's wrath.
Now let's look at the third column.
Now let's look at the third column.
And the word here is going to be "WHERE?"
And the word here is going to be "WHERE?"
1. The first question is: "Where is the Author when he was writing this?"
1. The first question is: "Where is the Author when he was writing this?"
- This is a question that we can't always answer.
- This is a question that we can't always answer.
- But sometimes there are clues in the passage that might tell us where it was written.
- But sometimes there are clues in the passage that might tell us where it was written.
- For example, we know that some of Paul's epistles were written while he was in prison in Rome.
- For example, we know that some of Paul's epistles were written while he was in prison in Rome.
- It's good to study all of these things because they can help us to have
- It's good to study all of these things because they can help us to have
2. The next question is: "Where did the action in the text take place?"
2. The next question is: "Where did the action in the text take place?"
- In certain passages, it's important to see what key events are being talked about.
- In certain passages, it's important to see what key events are being talked about.
- In Genesis for example, events are taking place all over.
- In Genesis for example, events are taking place all over.
- Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.
- Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.
- Abram was in the Land of Ur of the Chaldees, and then left to wander through Canaan.
- Abram was in the Land of Ur of the Chaldees, and then left to wander through Canaan.
- Joseph ended up in Egypt.
- Joseph ended up in Egypt.
- So there are many different places that are important to study when you are going through a passage.
- So there are many different places that are important to study when you are going through a passage.
- This is where it can be good to even read things outside of the Bible that talk about those places
- This is where it can be good to even read things outside of the Bible that talk about those places
- What was Egypt like back during the time of Joseph for example?
- What was Egypt like back during the time of Joseph for example?
- What was Ur of the Chaldees like?
- What was Ur of the Chaldees like?
- Finding information about these places can also help us in understanding certain passages.
- Finding information about these places can also help us in understanding certain passages.
And finally let's look at the last column:
And finally let's look at the last column:
And our final word will be "WHEN?"
And our final word will be "WHEN?"
1. The first question is: "When are these events taking place?"
1. The first question is: "When are these events taking place?"
- Through Archaeology and historical evidence, we know approximately when a lot of books were written.
- Through Archaeology and historical evidence, we know approximately when a lot of books were written.
- For the Old Testament, it can be more difficult.
- For the Old Testament, it can be more difficult.
- But people way smarter than me have done their research to find out when the books of Scripture were written.
- But people way smarter than me have done their research to find out when the books of Scripture were written.
- And this helps us as well because now we can see what was going on in history during this time.
- And this helps us as well because now we can see what was going on in history during this time.
- And that will lead us to our next question.
- And that will lead us to our next question.
2. The next question is: "Is the timing significant?"
2. The next question is: "Is the timing significant?"
-
- What is important about the time that this took place?
- Turn with me to 1 Peter 1:1 real quick
-
- So what does "Dispersion" possibly mean here?
3. And our final question is: "When in the history of Israel or the church did this take place?"
- Just by reading the Bible alone, you would have no idea what is going on here.
Keep in mind that I didn't say why. "Why" will be left for interpretation.
- However, by understanding the time that this was written, you would know it was during the reign of Emperor Nero.
- Nero was persecuting Christians and causing them to disperse all over the place.
- This is where it would be good to study more about the history at that time, to know what the Christians were going through.
3. And our final question is: "When in the history of Israel or the church did this take place?"
- And by this I mean, where in the whole Biblical narrative does this take place?
- If you were to look at the time-line of Scripture, in a sense, where does this passage take place?
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