The first step in Bible study is observation. The goal is to slow down your reading and generate a list of questions that must be answered to understand the passage. I tend to break observation into the following 4 steps which generally correspond to my first few readings through the passage.
Paul addresses a new question: Can we eat meat sacrificed to idols? His answer gives us deep insight into the relationship between knowledge and freedom, truth and love.
Wondering how to put all the tools and pieces of Bible study together so that you can tackle a specific passage of Scripture? Here’s the overall procedure.
Paul concludes his advice on marriage by addressing the engaged. As he explains his thinking, Paul gives us one of the most profound lessons we can learn in this life.
A good teacher tailors her presentation to her audience. The same is true of the four New Testament gospels. Each gospel writer had a different audience in mind and tailored his presentation of the story to his audience.
In 1Corinthians 7, Paul corrects the idea that married people should be celibate in order to be holy. In this section, he addresses believers married to unbelievers, and tells them it is best to honor their marriage vows.
Studying biblical prophecy is an often overwhelming task. Much of it is written in Hebrew poetry. The names and places are foreign, and the metaphors don’t always resonate with our modern ears. Yet we can usually understand the main point. If studying an Old Testament prophet overwhelms you, here are some tips to get you started.
The key to understanding Hebrew poetry and Wisdom Literature is knowing that the “rhyme” of ideas is more important than the sounds. This “rhyming” of ideas is called parallelism.
In Corinthians 7, Paul begins answering specific questions the Corinthians asked. After correcting their view that married people should be celibate, Paul addresses the widows and widowers, telling them both singleness and marriage are good gifts from God. Then he addresses those considering divorce as a way to please God.
Narratives are true stories. Over 40% of the Old Testament Scriptures are narratives. Generally, the purpose of a biblical narrative is to show the Lord at work in His creation. Every genre found in the Bible presents unique challenges for understanding. Narratives are no exception. With narratives we think in scenes, plot and character, rather than paragraphs and outlines.
The podcast is on break this week for some much need rest and relaxation. In the meantime, here are 16 things to do during the break.
Every genre found in the Bible presents unique challenges for understanding. Here are guidelines for studying epistles.
In Corinthians 7, Paul turns to answering specific question the Corinthians asked. The first question concerns the place of sexuality. Paul corrects their view that married people should be celibate.
When studying the Old Testament, dates can be a source of confusion, especially when they switch between the Jewish name and the Babylonian name in the same story. Here are my reference tables.
Paul argues that the pursuit of sexual purity is a necessary part of following Christ, because we belong to him in a profound way and God created sexuality with a specific meaning.
When starting new small groups, it’s helpful to establish expectations up front with a clear set of ground rules. Here’s a sample we’ve developed over 25 years of ministry.
Paul counters two arguments the Corinthians used to justify their choices: “all things are lawful” and “food is for the stomach.”
Learning some basic information when new small groups start can save misunderstanding later. Asking participants to answer a few basic questions the first day can help leaders structure the time to better meet the needs of a group. Here’s an example “Small Group Welcome” survey.
Should believers take other believers to secular law court? Paul confronts the Corinthian church for doing so. But like the other issues he’s addressed, Paul is more concerned with the attitudes behind their taking legal action.
When you recruit feedback from our students at the end of a Bible study year, don’t forget to solicit feedback from your leaders. If you are blessed to have dedicated leadership returning year after year, you may want to keep it short. Here’s an example we’ve used at Wednesday in the Word. This example survey is geared to a Bible study with a large group, small groups and homework. You can customize it to fit your programs.
Continuing his discussion of the man having an affair with his stepmother, Paul uses a common biblical analogy that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. What exactly is he telling us about the church?
Advice from an expert on how not to burn out your retreat speaker.
Paul confronts the Corinthian church about their attitude toward a man having an affair with his stepmother. Paul is concerned with the blatant disregard of God’s law by the man in question, and even more concerned with the attitude the church is taking toward his behavior.
The biblical story of Mary and Martha contains a lesson for women’s ministries. What should we do when people need to both eat and learn?