How to Study the Bible Session 3

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How to Study the Bible Session 3

Bible Study II

Our culture has made a radical shift in the last century from a word-based society of readers to an image-based society of viewers. We are very much a visual society today. Television is the medium of the day, not books. Toa large extent we have lost the art of reading. Learning how to read the Bible entails learning how to apply the skills of reading.

How to Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler is a great book that will help you to become a faster, more efficient reader.

One of the biggest Bible study killers is the attitude of “I already know that.” We need to be reading the Bible as if we are reading it for the 1st time. Read the Bible just like you would a “love letter.” How do you read a love letter? You read every word. You pour over that letter four or five times. You read between the lines. You get every bit of information out of that letter that is possible. The Bible is God’s love letter to humanity. That is the way we should read it. Let’s look at a very familiar passage of Scripture – John 3:16-17. Substitute your name, your spouse, your neighbor, your co-worker, your boss, your enemy. This is what I call personalizing your Bible study. Is God’s love for these previous people any less than it is for you? If we see people as God sees them would it change our relationships? If you will personalize the Bible passage you are reading it will take on a much more intimate time.

Reading Thoughtfully

The step of observation requires you to assume the role of a biblical detective, searching for clues as to the meaning of the text.

Turn to Genesis 5:21-31; 7:11.

This is a section of Scripture we would normally skip over. However there are some very noteworthy people in this passage of Scripture. How old did Methuselah live to be? If you were 969 years old what year would you have been born in? What changes have taken place since you were born? Does this tell us anything about Methuselah?

Enoch is another significant name. What do we know about Enoch?

Reading thoughtfully helps us to make some simple observations. If you are reading like a detective you might begin by asking yourself, did Methuselah die in the flood?

How old was Methuselah when Lamech was born? _______________
How old was Lamech when Noah was born? _______________
How old was Noah when the flood came? _______________
How old was Methuselah when the flood came? _______________

If we read thoughtfully we discover that Methuselah died in the year of the flood. We can’t say whether or not he died in the flood, but it does raise some questions. His father, Enoch walked with God to the point that he did not die. Did Methuselah have the faith of his father or did he turn away from God like the majority of the people in the world (Gen. 6:6)?

We don’t always discover the answers to our questions but by reading thoughtfully we begin to ask better questions, which leads to a better Bible study.

Turn to Luke 17:11-19.

How would you respond to someone who asked you, “If I do exactly as God instructs me, will God be pleased with me?” Let’s read this account thoughtfully.

What did the lepers ask Jesus to do? _______________
What was the desire behind their request? _______________
What did Jesus tell the lepers to do? _______________
How many lepers did exactly as He instructed? _______________
The Samaritan leper broke rank and returned to Jesus. Why? _______________
Why did Jesus express dismay about the other 9 seemingly obedient lepers? _______________
Based on reading thoughtfully, do you think God is always pleased with our obedience? Why or why not? _______________
What would you say is a lesson we can learn from this passage? _______________

Assignment: Read the book of Philemon and make observations.