WRITING MESSIANIC STUDIES 101 BY MRABBI HILLEL BEN YOCHANAN November 3, 2013 Thesis Statement or The Introductory Paragraph

Transitional Sentence Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2 Transitional Sentence Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2 Transitional Sentence Summary of information covered.

Whenever a Bible enthusiast desires to write a Bible study, a tract or even prepare a speech outline, there’s four main points that really needs to be covered. Before covering these four points of interests, I would first like discuss the reasons why we write. We tend to write about the things that we’re passionate about. Our passion tends to hit the
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pleasure centers of the brain. It is as if though when we talk about the things that we enjoy, we tend to hit that happy, fuzzy feeling within ourselves where we’re just happy about what it is that we do and say. A lot of times, just discussing that particular item of interest simply allows for us to reenact in our minds the joy of doing the actual thing that we’re discussing. As a result, we write. When we write about the things that we enjoy or find important to us, it’s important to identify the audience. For example, I wouldn’t be effective talking about baseball if everyone in my audience enjoys football. I also wouldn’t be effective speaking negatively about football if the entire audience views football in a positive sense, either. So when we write, it’s important that we appeal to our audience’s attention or affection; that way, they can identify with us in whatever it is that we’re saying so that they too can appreciate what we enjoy most (in our case, that would be Messiah). After discussing the reasons why we write, I would now like to discuss the four main points that really needs to be covered, being The Thesis Statement, The Introductory Paragraph, Transitional Sentences, and The Summary. The Thesis Statement is a simple sentence that summarizes what the entire article, tract, or Bible
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study is all about. Unlike The Thesis Statement, An Introductory Paragraph is a compilation of four to five sentences that introduce the audience as to what the article is all about, which we will discuss in a moment. Every single sentence in the article should somehow support the thesis statement. If one sentence in the entire article doesn’t support either The Thesis Statement (or The Introductory Paragraph by that matter), then it’s quite possible that the sentence doesn’t even belong to begin with and should be completely removed, because to keep the unwanted sentence is simply going to distract your audience’s attention into something irrelevant; they’re going to miss the main points that you really want for them to get with irrelevant information in bring up in their minds the unwanted things you do not want them to bring up. The Introductory Paragraph is quite different from the Thesis Statement. There’s an actual formula that excellent writers and public speakers utilize. The formula for the paragraph looks something like this: The thesis statement goes here. I talk about why I’m the subject expert matter. I identify my audience and provide them with the main reason why they can relate to what I’m talking about. I now talk about who we are as a community and what I intend to do with this topic (i.e., entertain, inform, discuss, storytell).

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But before I even speak about the main thing that I want to talk about, I give them a bit of an explanation that further supports the idea that I know what I’m talking as well as the reasons why the information that I’m talking about is important to them. As you can see, the formula consists of a Thesis Statement, an “I” sentence, a “you” sentence, a “we” sentence, and a transitional sentence. If the audience cannot identify with you, then they’ll start shaking their heads “no” by the time you hit the “we” statement. This is when you have to reconsider your approach, correct it, and try again. It can really be a hit or miss at times, but perfection does come with practice and it makes you a better witness of Messiah with time. So in order to help you be a better writer (or orator) for Messiah, it’s really important to use these fundamentals; at least, the best writers use them. After discussing the formula of The Introductory Paragraph, I would now like to inform you about the basic construct of a paragraph and the function that transitional sentences serve. A paragraph is a culmination of four to six sentences. The first sentence of the paragraph should be the main idea of that particular paragraph. Every
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sentence that follows should support the first sentence of that paragraph. As a professional writer, I myself have observed that quite often than not, sentences have a natural sequence to them. So, I sometimes have to break my paragraphs apart to ensure that each sentence makes sense on their own as well as support the main idea of that particular paragraph. Consider this in constructing your paragraph: When we write a paragraph, we ensure that each sentence makes sense by its own rite. We then ensure that each following sentence supports the main idea that the first sentence is trying to portray. Then, we check to ensure that the following sentences follow a sequential pattern that makes logical sense as it is read out loud. Last, we place combine the sentences together in its appropriate sequence. Your paragraph should looks something like this: When we write a paragraph, we ensure that each sentence makes sense by its own rite. We then ensure that each following sentence supports the main idea that the first sentence is trying to portray. Then, we check to ensure that the following sentences follow a
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sequential pattern that makes logical sense as it is read out loud. Last, we place combine the sentences together in its appropriate sequence. Transitional Sentences are simple sentences that bind separate sections, ideas or thoughts run a bit more smoothly. You may want to consider transitional sentences to be the bridge between two very separate thoughts that allows your audience to accept the sudden change that’s coming up. Then again, you can compare transitional sentences like the links that bind each chain to form a bigger chain. Without transitional sentences, two very separate ideas tend to bring confusion in your audiences’ mind. If you ignore transitional sentences, you leave your audience wondering, “What is he really trying to say? Did he mean this? What does this have anything to do with the other previous statement?” Let’s just suppose you followed all these fundamental rules, yet you receive an unexpected feedback. There are two things that you really can appreciate. Firstly, the one commenting read your article and your article illicitated an emotional response, regardless of how unexpected it may have been. Secondly, they’re talking about the subject at hand which can give rise to another subject that they’re interested in discussing with you.

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After providing you with this information, I would to end with these few remarks.

As a Bible enthusiast, you can make a strong impact in your preaching efforts with written documents. Firstly, the written article, tract or bible study reveals to your audience that you were able to sit down, develop an idea, organize your thoughts, and place them all together in a decent order. Secondly, it says something about the person that you’re trying to imitate, Messiah. The more articles we have within the Messianic Community, the more answers we all have as a community pertaining what it is that we value, and how our thoughts are pertaining to the various different topics that interests us as a society. Lastly, it allows us to have something to refer to whenever the topic resurfaces or someone asks. I pray that you be encouraged to search the Scriptures and add to the many wonderful biblical written works waiting to arise. Shalom Alechem.

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