The Bible is not just a mere book but inspiring word of God and therefore one must be careful the way he or she reads it. Teaching how to study the bible is also essential in a sense that one may perhaps cause a big destruction by wrong teachings. This paper is an attempt to answer the question, how would you teach an acquiring church member on how to sturdy the Bible.
The Person’s Preparations
Basically the first principle I’ll engage an acquiring church member in his studies is to teach him that the Bible itself is God’s Word, and God’s life is in His Word; the Word of God is quick and living (Heb. 4:12-13).God’s Word is a mirror (James 1:23); God’s Word reviles the true nature of mankind, and it is also a seed (Luke 8:11). The Bible contains the earthly life of Christ Jesus. The Word of God is the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17); it pierces the heat of man and naked his sinful soul before Christ who has saved mankind from dearth penalty to eternal life. The bible is a complete life-giving Word of God; the life in which Christ the Incarnate Word was Channelled trough to mankind (1 Peter 1:23).
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The next priority is to teach him how to depend upon the Holy Spirit before anything else. Because there are many mysteries in the Bible that physical ideas can not explain. One could apply all kinds of theological techniques, yet without the impartation and the support of the Holy Spirit it is worthless. The written words of the Bible are not only letters but they are spirit as well (John 6:63). And it must be read in spirit because iron sharpen iron, spirit sharpen spirit. It is also written that “God is Spirit” and He mast be worship in Spirit (John 4:24). “God is Spirit” is a fundamental principle in a sense that one can only worship, touch and study God’s word with his or her spirit.I was born in a Christian family but before I became regenerated by the Holy Spirit, my understanding of the Bible was limited to historical events. I usually study the Bible like just a normal book that I picked from a library. But when I became born again by the spirit of the Lord I was exposed to so many hindrances to God’s words. Since the words of God are also spirit, it is vital to teach my student to sturdy the Bible in spirit. In other words it is necessary to attain spiritual significance in other to achieve the appropriate understanding of the Bible because the Holy Spirit is a teacher who teaches every believer what is written in God’s word and its interpretation.
Any body who is been called to the way of salvation requires to obtain the power of the Holy Spirit to function. The Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, Comforter, Helper, Advocate and Teacher. Jesus stated in John 14:26, that ‘the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’ This signifies the Holy Spirit as “teacher and reminder” of the Bible. As Christians can confidently say that the Gospels are accurate records of the taught and did of Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:10-14).The Holy Spirit is our helper in the same way as we study the Bible (1 John 2:27). The Holy Spirit also reveals the deep secrets of God (1 Corinthians 2:10).
The Resources Needed and Effective Prayer
There are lots of study Bibles which are helpful to studies, and I will advice and encourage my acquiring church member to buy one. A Bible dictionary or Encyclopedia and concordance are also needed in that person’s life to achieve a proper research. Bible commentaries, the lion hand book to the Bible and theological study of the New Testament is helpful if the person desires to go deeper. After gathering all these helpful tools, there’s a need to depend on the Lord totally and learn how to spent time with Him. In other to achieve good understanding of the Bible the person mast be obedient to the Word of God, read and study it consistently as well (Joshua 1:8). Jesus Christ Himself studied, taught and preached in the synagogue (Matthew 4:23; 9:35).
Studying the scriptures without prayer is like a farmer going to the farm without cutlass. Know one can perform well in Bible studies without prayer and fasting. It is like a driver moving a car without fuel and engine oil. If one has any gift or anointing, it is just because he drawn closer to God in prayer, because prayer is the key to answer all questions including Bible studies. Prayer helps a Bible student to delve into the Word of God. The student must ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding in his prayers in other to obtain the Truth of the Bible and also to prove its beliefs to the unbelievers.
The significance and Method of accurate Interpretation
There are deferent kinds of scripture interpreters, exegesis and eisogesis around the World. The prototypes are accurate and counterfeit doctrines through the media such as radio and television stations today. My desire to equip an acquiring church member is to help him not to fall into the traps of the bad interpreters.
I will encourage him to read the Bible as it is written. According to some research, the English versions of the Bible are chronologically out of order. It is been grouped according to type of writings. From the book of Genesis to Deuteronomy is the Law Hebrew (Torah) which set up the terms on how man can come before God. From Joshua to Esther are considered historical books which detailed the spiritual growth or failure of God’s people regarding their respond to the Law. From Job to songs of Solomon are poetical books that revealed human inner and outer struggles as he seeks to serve God by examine the Law. From the book of Isaiah to Daniel are the Major Prophets, and from Hosea to Malachi are Minor Prophets who challenged the people of God to put them right regarding the Law and repent to oppose judgment. Matthew, Mark and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels because they have a similar view on the life and ministry of Jesus. Unlike the synoptic John does not begin with the historical Jesus, instead, the author exalts his eternal existences over his earthly entrance into the world. But they were all considered as historical books follow by the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament writings. Acts also leads Christians to the establishment and expansion of the church from Christ to the Apostles especially Paul the writer of widely held New Testament Epistles. From Paul’s Epistles to the Romans to Philemon, General letters Hebrews to Jude and then the apocalyptic literature with Revelation. My successful student must read the Bible as it is written whether historical, poetry or Prophetic and it must be read by chapter to chapter. Principles like Biblical Hermeneutics, exegesis and eisogesis are also essential in my teaching plans for my acquiring church member.
Reading and Studying Plan
I will draw a one year reading and studying plan for the student. In this plan he must understand in my teachings that there are three ways to analyze and summarize a paragraph when reading a passage. “(1) Observation: What does the passage say? (2) Interpretation: What does it mean? (Application: What does it mean to you?” Some times I will engage his studies in a conversation form. I will urge the student to write down some notes of personal observation that he discovered.
The next thing I may like him to do when analyzing and summarizing a paragraph is to observe and know what the passage is saying, ask questions like the meaning of that passage and look for answers. Summarize the statements of the whole passage. Secondly I’ll make sure that he will relate the whole passage to the entire book. Then I will teach him how to outline the entire passage according to the details of the text. However He or she must learn how to answer questions when reading and studding a challenging passage as well. For example John’s Gospel the student must read the whole book minimum twice. Further more John 1:1-18 carries a lot of significant themes and the student must be able to look for them. Now after the Church member has successfully captured the points, the structure and the flow of the passage, I will advise him for the application of illumination.
Teaching how to study the Bible is essential in a sense that one may perhaps cause a big destruction by wrong teachings. Since the Bible is not an architectural or philosophical book but inspire word of God and God himself is the Author, a person might firstly need to live a holy life (John 4:24). And to be baptised and taught by the Holy Spirit in other to acquire a proper understanding. Secondly he or she must be right; in other words he or she must undertake the process of a proper training. Thirdly a person must be taught to have the right methodology or exegesis. I will engage an acquiring Church member in a serious reading and read the Bible as it is written whether historical, poetry or Prophetic and it must be read by chapter to chapter. The member must learn how to analyze and summarize a paragraph, ask questions like the meaning of that passage and look for answers. After the Church member has successfully captured the points, the structure and the flow of the passage, I would advise him to apply them to his daily life.
Corley Bruce et, al. Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Introduction to Interpreting Scripture 2nd edition (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996)
Deane Andy. Learn to study the Bible: Forty different step-by-step methods to help you discover; apply, and enjoy God’s Word (USA: Xulon Press Publishers, 2009)
Enoma Belinda. The Exalted Horn: Lessons at the feet of the Holy Spirit (USA: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003)
Ferguson, Duncan S. Biblical Hermeneutics: an introduction (Atlanta, Georgia, USA: John Knox Press, 1986)
Forstman H., Jackson. Word and Spirit Calvin’s Doctrine of Biblical Author (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1962)
Herrick Greg. How to Study the Bible (http://bible.org/seriespage/examples-book-john 10-08-2010)
Jaynes Sharon. Building an effect Women’s Ministry (Oregon, USA: Harvest House Publishers, 2005)
Nee, Watchman How to Study the Bible (Anaheim, USA: Published by Living Stream Ministry, 1999)
Worth Ronald H. Biblical Studies on the Internet: a resource guide (North Carolina, USA: McFarland Company, Inc., Publishers, 2008)
Warren Rick. Bible study methods: twelve ways you can unlock God’s word (Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan Publisher, 2006)
Whalin W., Terry. The complete idiot’s guide to teaching the Bible (New York, USA: Alpha Books Publishers, 2003)
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