Saturday, July 18, 2015

Studying the Bible on Your Own - Building a Bridge

Studying the Bible on Your Own

Building a Bridge

We just finished our Sunday School study of Romans and I couldn't decide what to go to next.  After going over a few options I decided to do a series on how to study the Bible.  At Luther Rice we used a book called "Grasping God's Word" by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays.  I am going to adapt some of their ideas for my Sunday School class.

The main thrust is how to find the main theological principle(s) that God intended.  We do not create meaning or find what the text "means to me."  We are looking for the meaning that is already there.  Duval and Hays provide a five step process for this.

Find the biblical principle
While the specifics of a particular passage may only apply to the particular situation of the biblical audience, the theological principles revealed in the text are applicable to all of God’s people at all times.

·      “Build a bridge based on the principle”

  1. Grasping the text in their town
    • What did the text mean to the biblical audience?
  2. Measuring the width of the river to cross
    • What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
  3. Crossing the “Principlizing Bridge”
    • What is the theological principle in this text?
      • The principle should be reflected in the text.
      • The principle should be timeless and not tied to a specific situation.
      • The principle should not be culturally bound
      • The principle should correspond to the teaching of the rest of Scripture
      • The principle should be relevant to both the biblical and the contemporary audience
  4. Consult the Biblical Map
    • How does our theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
  5. Grasping the text in our town
    • How should individual Christians today live out the theological principles?


In class we practiced with Joshua 1.1-9.  Get your Bible out and give it a go.

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