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Active Bible Study Methods

Active Bible Study Methods

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Published by John Warren
bible study, bible, theology
bible study, bible, theology

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Published by: John Warren on Jul 19, 2009
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07/19/2010

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Active Bible Study
Active Bible Study is the study of scripture from a literary standpoint. It is anactive participation from the learner. The following is an outline of how to be an Active Bible Study student.1.Saturation - be like a sponge2.Analysis - be like a microscope3.Synthesis - be like a telescope4.Interface (application) - electrical plug adapter The first thing that you need to do is read the text at least 10 times, then read thechapter that the text is in at least 10 times, and finally read the book that the textis in at least 10 times. All of this reading is for you to get an understanding of God’s Word. Remember what goes into your heart is what comes out of yourmouth.I. Saturation (Observation) - Be like a sponge. A sponge has the followingcharacteristics: (1) It will absorb whatever it comes in contact and whatever it isexposed to. It does not matter if it has absorbed the same thing many timesbefore. It does not prejudge what it is exposed to. (2) A sponge will keep onabsorbing until it is saturated. It will seek to soak up whatever it is exposed tountil it can hold no more. Likewise we are to observe the particulars in the sameway. (3) A sponge is usually “rung out” before it is used to soak up something. Byprayer we ask God to empty us of what would keep us from receiving His truth.We pray to receive and obey what God teaches in His Word. We pray for opennessand humility.A. Have an open mind, be ready to receive what God will teach.B. Have a humble heart, be ready to obey what God will teach.C. PrayD. Get the setting of the portion you are beginning to study. Read beforeand after the section.E. Ask questions to yourself, pick up key words, meanings and ideas. Workthese over in your mind as you read the text.F. Make a chart with three columns: (1) Observations (2) ScripturePassage(3) Questions.1. Observationsa. Summary Statementsb. Identification of connectives and their function: use thefollowing list to identify the connectives in your text.Note the function of each connective.1) Temporal or Chronological connectives: after, as, before,now, then until, when, while
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2) Local or geographical connectives: where3) Logical Connectives:a) Reason - because, for, sinceb) Result - so, then, thereforec) Purpose - in order that, so thatd) Contrast - although, but, much more,nevertheless, otherwise, yet, thoughe) Comparison - also, as, as so, just as so, likewise,so alsof) Series of Facts - and, first of all, last of all, org) Condition – if 4) Emphatic Connectives: indeed, only2. Things that can be observeda. Key Words - Repetition of words will sometimes give you aclue as to which are the key words. Also write down thewords that you either do not understand or you are notclear on the meaning of the word.b. Reasons or Results of doing things - Does the writer givereasons for his advice? Does the author see forth acause and effect relationship?c. Contrast, Comparisons, Illustrations - Comparison is theassociation of things that are similar. Contrast is theassociation of things that are opposite, often introducedwith “but”d. Repetition and progression of ideas - Repetition will often giveyou a clue as to the author’s purpose. Compare theitems in a list and see if there is any significance in theorder. Do ideas progress toward a climax?3. Scripture Passage - write down the text that you are studying andgroup the verses, phrases, or clauses according to subject,content, or function. Then use graphic aids to showrelationships: arrows, stars, circles, colors, underlining.a. Questions - As you observe the text write down questions thatyou have. Also at this time avoid personal application at thispoint and remember to focus on the original writerand readers. Here are some guidelines on the types of questions to ask.1) Use these stems:a) why did the author say...b) what is the meaning of...c) what is the significance of...d) what is the relationship between...e) what is the implication of...f) why is this said here...2) Write out questions to parts of the text that you do notunderstand.
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G. Try to discover the author’s purpose. What truths is the author trying toconvey to his readers? The author's purpose will determine: thecontent of the text, the structure of the text, the arrangement of the text. If one knows an author’s purpose then one will betterunderstand his writing. Also if we study the content, structure, and arrangementof an author's writing we will better see and understand his purpose.H. Discover the content, this can be done by the use of a chart. The chartcan include six sections: (1) Key Words, (2) Main Ideas, (3)Grammatical structure, (4) Contrasts, Comparisons, & Illustrations,(5) Connectives, (6) Advice and Promises. This is an extension of (F),as illustrated above. During this step the student is concerned with thecontent and the way the author writes, whereas in F the student is onlymaking general observations.1. Key Words - Note the words that are repeated.2. Main Ideas - Note ideas that are repeated.3. Grammatical structurea. Note verb tenses, nouns, pronouns, prepositions.b. Note subjects, objects of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs andhow they describe other words.c. Note who, when, where, what, why and how.4. Contrasts, Comparisons, & Illustrations - How are things compared,illustrated, or what examples are given? How are thingscontrasted? Note generalizations, a general statementexplained with an example or illustration. Or the author maylist a series of ideas then summarize them with a general statement. Noteprogressions in thought: (1) Lists of items- compare the first andlast items in the series and see if there is a significant difference. (2)Note if one idea grows out from another and then builds to aclimax. Note the use of questions by the author. He may usequestions to introduce a problem or summarize a challenge.5. Connectives - tell what the connectives are and what they are for(see the connectives list above in F).6. Advice and Promises - Note how commands, advice, and warningsare many times backed-up with reasons, purposes, proofs, orresults. Note the cause and effect . An example of this is giving awarning then showing effects of heeding or not heeding. You note that some of the steps are repeated but that is because there is adifferent focus each time around. But once a person becomes acquainted with themethods than you can then start to combine steps. Remember however thatbefore shortcuts can be taken you must travel the long route several times.II. Analysis (Observation) - Be like a Microscope. A microscope is used to see thesmall, minute details. In Active Bible Study we want to examine the underlyingparts, relationships, and definitions that may not always be obvious on thesurface.
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