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When it comes to reading the Bible, so often it can seem like an insurmountable task. In part this is because people simply do not consider that when approaching the Bible you are not approaching a single book but rather a library.

 

R (Read)

 

Read scripture slowly, consistently (verse by verse/chapter by chapter) and thoroughly (read the passage more than once)

 

We recommend actually reading straight through a passage fairly quickly - get an idea of the 'forrest' (the broader theme)

than read particularly slowly asking questions, noting unusual phrases, echoes (paraphrased sayings from elsewhere in scripture) and cross references (this allows you to pull in closer to each 'tree') 

 

 

O (Observe)

 

Observe different elements in the text and contact. Who wrote this? What was going on? When did this happen? Where was it happening? Why was it needed?

 

Note things in the text such as repetition, questions, cross references, action statements, 'so thats', 'therefores' etc. 

 

It is also handy to have a couple basic Study tools on hand for issues of context and language particularly.


There are some good online free resources that may help 

 

 - www.biblestudytools.com 

 - http://biblehub.com/

 - http://www.studylight.org/

 - www.bible.com

 

 

A (Apply)

 

A couple Questions: What are the commands of the text? What do I need to do?

 

D (Depend)

 

Each person need depend on God for everything including understanding scripture but also living out what God says through his Spirit. As him to enable you, to guide you, to direct you. As him to help you obey in areas of significant struggle.

 

Remember...

 

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teachingrebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, SO THAT the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16 - 17

 

The process of scripture is 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"

 

The purpose of scripture however is the 'SO THAT' - so that "the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work"

 

Thorough equipping requires time, it requires reading scripture that you would rather avoid. Simply reading the 'pretty bits' is like only eating the chocolate and avoiding vegetables. It is not that chocolate does not taste great and is sweet to the taste but the 'meatier' more difficult bits enable you to develop depth and maturity. 

 

As we go we will continue to add ALOT more to this section. 

THE 'ROAD' DEVOTIONAL METHOD

READING THE BIBLE

The Apostle Paul explains in 2 Timothy 3:16-17…

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 SO THAT the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16 - 17

 

People often misread this verse. The purpose of the Bible is not for doctrine, not for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Those are all "for this SO THAT.’ The purpose is SO THAT.  

The purpose of scripture is "...the servant of God...thoroughly equipped for every good work" 2 Tim 3:17

 

What is the purpose of God for humanity?

 

Well, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:29,

 

"For those he foreknew he did predestine to be conformed to the image of his Son." Romans 8:29

 

God's purpose from the very beginning of time has been to make us like Jesus. So the goal of all reading, all teaching must to to produce Christ-likeness. This is important because if we start with the wrong destination in mind we will end up in the wrong place.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD FOR THE BIBLE?


 

  1. For CHANGE

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 says…


    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 SO THAT the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16 - 17


 

KEY QUESTIONS in APPLICATION

 

Using 2 Timothy 3:16 as a lense, Doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness there are four questions that can be asked.

 

a) What do I need to believe as a result of this text? (Doctrine)

b) What do I NOT need to believe as a result of this text? (reproof)

 

c) What do I need to do as a result of this text?  (Training in righteousness)

 

d) What do I need to NOT do as a result of this text? (Correction)

 

2. In it’s CONTEXT

 

The bible was not inspired and written in a vacuum but in cultural and historical context. This reality creates a rich tapestry as God outworks his redemptive plan through history and is expressed in the scriptures.

As one delves deeper into the word we must pay attention to Literary context – historical context – linguistic meaning and prevailing context. This can sound intimidating to many but when one treats scripture as an adventure of knowing God and his will it becomes exciting and enthralling.

Here are a couple articles and resource on doing so. 


Understanding the Bible in it's context Hand out

Reading the Bible in it's context - Seedbed

Why it is important to read the Bible in it's context - Craig Keener

 

3. In COMMUNITY

 

It sounds weird but reading in community is the biblical pattern of reading in the early Church and in Jewish times. Whilst this in part was due to illiteracy, reading in community also helps to minimise the sway that can happen through personal experience, personality etc.

This is one reason why Life Communities are so important. They help create a platform for reading and living out the word in every day life.

 

For families it is also a powerful practice to read the word with your Children. Your example and wisdom can help them tackle the big and small questions but their innocence and position often helps them to better appreciate and understand things that adults miss. 

 

One practice all our Life Communities (Kids through to Adults) should use is the 'Discovery Bible Study' Method. With kids, it is easy to engage the Children in retelling the text through getting them to draw the story or for slightly older, create Cartoon scripts. This ensure's they 'translate' the story into their level naturally and enables them to better approach scripture. 

In the 'Helpful Resource' at the bottom of this page are some links to help families read the word together. 

 

 

4. To and through and toward CHRIST


Jesus is the hero of scripture. From the opening passages in Genesis, through the law and prophets as they point forward to Jesus coming and in the Epistles as we reflect back and look forward to Jesus coming again. JESUS IS THE CHAMPION.

When reading we need ask, how does this speak of Jesus? Or what in this show a need for Jesus. When we keep our eyes on Jesus reading the scripture come together in the grand narrative/story that God intended.

 

5. Towards COMPLETION
 

“ For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:19 – 21

 

EVERYTHING IS HEADING IN THIS DIRECTION: There is a trajectory in scripture that we need to see and note.


The kingdom has come in Jesus, it is here in his continual work and it is coming in his second coming and restoration of all things. If you don’t keep this in mind you will mis-use scripture.

 

HOW SHOULD WE READ THE BIBLE

ONLINE
 

HOW I APPROACH SCRIPTURE - Josh Reading
 

Folder of different Theology and Bible study Resource - compiled by Divergent Church Leadership

 

Systematic Theology - John Miley - PDF

How to use a Lexicon (a Greek/Hebrew Dictionary)

 

Online Biblical Commentaries - Bible Study Tools

 

Online Biblical Concordance - Bible Study Tools

Seven Minute Seminary
- Asbury Seminary - Bible Scholars talking on different topics 



READING THE BIBLE WITH PEOPLE


Discovery Bible study Method - PDF

How to do a 'Discovery Bible Study - Video

 

 

FAMILIES

 

Reading the Bible with kids - even the hard bit's - Matthias Media

 

Bible Reading with Kids

Kid friendly Bible reading plan

Ten tips for reading the Bible with Children

 

Bible App for Kids - Life.Church
 


RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Spirit Filled Life Study Bible
NIV

Foundations in Pentecostal Theology - Duffield and Van Cleave

 

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible - Editor - Craig Keener

 

Systematic Theology - Stanley Horton

 

IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament


IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament

The Charismatic Theology of St Luke - Roger Stronstad 

 

SOFTWARE

Logos - Thorough Bible study software / library with Free components and paid libraries

 

E-sword - Free Bible study software
 

HELPFUL RESOURCE

APPROACHING AND INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE

NO GATHERINGS 

There are no gatherings this Sunday the 24th as we are away 

at our annual Beach Getaway.

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