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Featured Learning to Study Scripture

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I’ve caught a little heat in the past for suggesting that we need to learn to study Scripture and that biblical illiteracy is a real problem today despite the availability of bibles.

    I do not mean this in any way to detract from the work of the Spirit in the life of the believer or in understanding God’s Word. I believe that the gospel is very simple and is foolishness to the world. But the study of Scripture by the believer is not simplistic or easy. It is a lifelong endeavor and is worthy our labor.

    These are the resources I have recommended because they have helped me:

    https://www.amazon.com/Grasping-God...id=1597241000&sprefix=grasping,aps,168&sr=8-1


    https://www.amazon.com/Hermeneutica...prefix=the+hermeneutical+spira,aps,166&sr=8-1


    Any other recommendations?
     
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Here are some solid resources:

    An English Dictionary - sometime words do not mean what we think.

    A Bible Dictionary - sometimes we need a little background for a person or place or idea.

    A Modern Study Bible - I use the NASB95, and have not evaluated the one coming in September.

    An Exhaustive Concordance for the Primary Study Bible

    And my favorite hermeneutic, ask yourself, what is the least God is saying, This way you can avoid thinking something that applies only to born anew believers applies to the entire Universe.
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    A little summary of how I like to study:

    1. Prayerfully read the book or epistle twice (do not use any resources except an English dictionary if needed).
    2. What do you think is being communicated by the book or epistle (what is the theme, setting, circumstance, goal of the writer, etc.)?
    3. Read the passage several times (again without resources).
    4. What is the passage saying in context of the passage? What does it say to it's audience? Are there any difficult statements?
    5. Use resources to determine what others have concluded the passage says to the original audience. How are we different from that audience? How are we the same? What principles apply to "us and them"?

    I like using commentaries and study bibles, but only after we have decided on a meaning (or are leaning towards a meaning) that we've come to apart from commentaries. The reason is it is easy to adopt the views of others.

    If I tell you the ink blot is a bat you will see a bat.
     
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  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    You gave two good books that should be in everyone’s library, JonC!
    Grasping God’s Word (J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays)
    and The Hermeneutical Spiral (Grant Osborne)
    Van provided some important helps too.

    I might add that early in the process reading and listening to a number of different versions and comparing differences is important.

    I’ve been studying through the book of Job and use ‘Audible books’ to listen to various versions... I’m listening to the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation now (making travel time to and from work useful).

    When you’ve performed your preliminary reading and after you’ve taken notes, developed questions and formed a basic outline of the structure, THEN a modern commentary on the book you are studying helps to answer questions, correct errors, and solidify the outlined structure.
    Modern commentaries are also good at helping you think outside your box.
    They may enlighten you about the historical background as well as the history of how it has been interpreted.

    Some other helpful books,
    Exegetical Fallacies (D.A. Carson)
    and for the Old Testament, (more obscure but very helpful)
    The Literary Structure of the Old Testament (David Dorsey)

    Rob
     
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  5. Guvnuh

    Guvnuh Member

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    You’ve already mentioned it but:

    Ask questions. Who, what , when , where, why, how many ?

    Verbs and to who/what applied.

    I’m one of those That like to know the historical setting. So a good bible dictionary is a must.

    no expert but I try.
     
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  6. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    The Inductive method rather than inductive reasoning . This helped me so much to see the mistakes I've made in studying the Bible with the default of inductive reasoning and instead , reading what the Bible says ..Often we hear " ' the bible teaches us ... This verse is teaching " Often when people say this its at the cost of what it actually ' says ' . Another principle is ' All the bible is FOR us but not ALL the bible is TO us ' An example would be reading " Go build an Ark of Gopher wood " . Now we learn so much from the historical Account of the world wide flood , but the directive to go build an Ark , is not TO us .
     
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  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The second one is very good, but it does get deep at times!
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. I think that the first is probably the most useful. The second is more narrow (and more difficult).
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    RC Sproul had a useful primer on the scriptures...
     
  10. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    This is the most important post on this forum .
     
  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Expanding the scope of a biblical truth, can push that statement into falsehood. For example say a verse says "the things" and we understand it to mean "all the things" but all we know for sure is that "some of the things" are in view.

    No one seeks God could be misunderstood to mean no one ever seeks God, when the idea is no one seeks God all the time, for we all have at some point turned aside, and therefore no one seeks God when sinning.

    Assuming scripture means more than the minimum is speculation and speculation is the mother of false doctrine. For example, no one seeks God might mean no one ever seeks God. Certainly an expansion but why not? Because many verses teach of people seeking God (i.e. Matthew 23:13) so the expansion creates conflict with other trustworthy statements.
     
  12. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The first book I would recommend to someone who seriously wants to study Scripture, is Knowing God by Packer.

    Learning first from that book can serve as a guide to help keep one away from pitfalls found in lesser than truth filled texts that a person may encounter as they work through various passages.
     
  13. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    How to Read the Bible for all it's worth. https://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible-All-Worth/dp/0310517826
     
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  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Gordon fee was recognized as being one of the very best commentary authors, as even non charismatics recognized his work!
     
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  16. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. But some people are very picky when it comes to Fee holding different positions. For example, Gordon Fee endorsed N.T. Wright. John Piper referred to Wright as one of the premier authorities on Pauline theology. But both also disagree with Wright.

    On the Baptist Board many condemned Wright (again, just using as an example....NOT looking to discuss the man here) because he was Anglican. Yet when J.I. Packer died they mourned a loss to the Christian community. Packer, of course, was Anglican.

    There will always be people who cannot get past differences except perhaps when that person somehow supports their position.

    My solution is to stick to the doctrines at hand. Chose what is found biblical and discard the rest. That goes for Fee, Wright, and the local pastor/ preacher.
     
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  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Years ago I happened to sit on a bench next to a much older man. He looked at my NASB and asked if I liked it. I told him I could understand the text (or at least far more of the text) better than with the King James Bible. He smiled and said, with a twinkle in his eye, Yes, it is essential to get a bible you can understand. He got up and walked into our Pastor's office.

    Latter I learned he was one of our supported missionaries, and had spent his life translating the bible so some speaking an obscure (to me) language could learn about Jesus.

    Wisdom
     
    #17 Van, Sep 1, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Should have a nice core set to study with, as in study bible, one volume bible dictionary/commentary, and a good concordance! All of them could be on a bible software program!

    If into Mac, Accordance great
    If Windows get Accordance for windows!
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I like Logos. But I use wordsearch (I just have too many purchases with the program to ignore it and it is more than enough for my needs). I personally do not like study bibles (I do not like commentary with Scripture) but that's just me - there is absolutely nothing wrong with study bibles.
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I have the Logos silver , but Accordance just is easier to use, especially in greek and hebrew!
     
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