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Bible Study Made Easy

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Why people do not study the bible?

The bible doesn’t seem RELEVANT to my life
The bible seems confusing and hard to understand
I don’t have time. I’m just to busy
I don’t know how

Why we should study the bible

The bible is essential to spiritual growth
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
Bible study is essential to spiritual maturity
Hebrews 5:11–14 ESV
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Bible Study is essential to spiritual effectiveness
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Overview of the Process to Bible Study Made Easy

Observation: In this step, you ask and answer the question, What do I see? The moment you come to the Scriptures you ask, What are the facts? You assume the role of a biblical detective, looking for clues. No detail is trivial. That leads to the second step.
Living by the Book 4. An Overview of the Process

Interpretation

Here you ask and answer the question, What does it mean? Your quest is for meaning. Unfortunately, too much Bible study begins with interpretation, and furthermore, it usually ends there. But I’m going to show you that it does not begin there. Before you understand, you have to learn to see. Nor does it end there, because the third step is...

Interpretation: Here you ask and answer the question, What does it mean? Your quest is for meaning. Unfortunately, too much Bible study begins with interpretation, and furthermore, it usually ends there. But I’m going to show you that it does not begin there. Before you understand, you have to learn to see. Nor does it end there, because the third step is...
Application: Here you ask and answer the question, How does it work? not, Does it work? People say they’re going to make the Bible “relevant.” But if the Bible is not already relevant, nothing you or I do will help. The Bible is relevant because it is revealed. It’s always a return to reality. And for those who read it and heed it, it changes their lives.

Observation

When you approach a text you need to Observe
Terms
Structure
Literary Form
Atmosphere (Culture, whats happening, time frame, location, characters, etc.)
Lets look at a couple of passages:
What words repeat?
what terms do you not understand
What type of literature is this?
Who is he talking to?
What type of literature is this?
Who is the psalmist talking to?
What are some of the cultural ideas we need to consider?
John 12:20–26 ESV
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
What type of literature is this?
What are some terms that are being used?
Who is Jesus talking to?
What are the topics?
Where is going on?

Resources that are helpful in your observation

Good Bible Dictionary
New Bible Dictionary
Zondervan Bible Dictionary
Holman Bible Dictionary
Good Concordance
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Bible Handbook
Halley’s Bible Handbook
Ungers Bible Handbook
Maps
Use the back of your bible
The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands
Commentaries
Bible Knowledge Commentary
The Expositors Bible Commentary

Interpretation

Handle with Care
Misreading the text
Distorting the text
Contradicting the text
Use common sense approach
The Bible does not change over time
Understanding what type of literature
Don’t get prideful
Figurative
Poetic
Narrative
Instructive
revelation
Understanding the cultural aspects, time, people, and context
Who are the main characters
What is happening in the immediate context
What is being said, why is it important in the context
Is it OT or NT
CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT
Jeremiah 29:1–14 ESV
1 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord. 10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Application

Applying
Observe
Interpretation
Application
Know Yourself
Relate
Your personal life
Family life
Work life
Community life
Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks, Living by the Book (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991).
Meditate
Asking God to reveal what he wants to teach you through this passage
Practice
Allowing God to transform your life, and then living it out in your life.
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