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God's Solution Sanctuary
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Bible Study Methods Questions and Answers


1.    What is teaching?

Teaching is the preparation and guidance of learning activities. Firstly, teaching is preparation which begins long before the teacher enters into the classroom, meaning a teacher begins to teach when he/she begins to study and prepare the lesson. Secondly, teaching is guiding the pupil through learning experiences. Since teachers cannot make or force students to learn, teachers can motivate pupils to learn by planning experiences, planning the sequence of experience and planning for outcomes. This implies that the teacher will be guiding the students in learning experiences. Just as the Holy Spirit guides us, the human teacher must guide the thinking of the students by explaining the core matters of the lesson. The Holy Spirit as the divine teacher, working in partnership with the human teacher, removes spiritual blindness to enable the student understand the Bible. Thirdly, the student’s profit when they learn from teaching experiences through Bible discovery, self-activity, heightened interest and engagement and personal impacts as the Student’s problems are solved by the lesson, they are able to enter into the teacher’s experiences, learning new things, enjoying the learning experience and having fun while learning.


2.    What are the ten things Bible Study will do for you?

(i)            The Bible is your source of strength and will strengthen you to face the challenges that will come at you in life.

(ii)          Strengthens your assurance of salvation. People who study their Bible regularly usually do not have problems with their relationship with God.

(iii)         Makes you confident in God as it increases your faith.

(iv)         Makes your prayer life more effective.

(v)          Helps you to overcome with sin as you learn doctrine, reproof, instruction and righteousness.

(vi)         Establishes you in joy.

(vii)        Grants you peace through the knowledge obtained from it.

(viii)       Helps you to make good decisions.

(ix)         Helps you to explain your faith to others.

(x)          Leads you into success in every area of your life.


3.    When should we study the Bible?

(i)            When physically attentive, this may be first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.

(ii)          When you will not be interrupted.

(iii)         When you can focus without distractions.

(iv)         At times when you can study a little each day.

(v)          Before teaching, to be well-prepared.


4.    Why study Bible Biographies?

People are social creatures, are drawn to other people and prefer to know about them rather than just historical stories. Biographical studies are interesting compared to other forms of Biblical studies. People identify with people, especially when those people confronted the same challenges we or our students are going through. Students struggling with a Biblical principle find comfort and find it easier when they follow the approach of another person who models that principle. This implies that learners can gain insights from the life experiences of other people, from what they see illustrated in the lives of others.


5.    What are the principles for interpreting a devotional study?

Each passage will have one interpretation based on literal interpretation, however, it can have several applications. Be wary of “spiritualizing” the Bible by making it say something different from the meaning of the text. Consider that the Bible provides principles to guide our lives and service. Understand the difference between descriptions of situations that are not applicable today and prescriptions provided to guide our lives. Apply the direct Biblical general guidance to your life. Clear directions to a specific individual may not be the will of God for you today. Appropriate to your life apparent positive principles in lives of Biblical characters and you do not have to be in exactly the same situation that involved a person in the Bible to be able to apply the principle to your life.


6.    Why Study the Parables?

Parables transcend cultures and possess an enduring quality which makes it relatable to people from different backgrounds, culture and nations. It is easier to remember a story which an audience can relate to than nonfigurative ideas or propositional truth. Parables encouraged people to learn as they found the teaching interesting and kept their attention. Further as the listeners think through the stories, it enables them to grasp and remember significant truths. However, parables can also be used to hide important truths from those who are resistant to the truth.


7.    How should a parable be taught?

Firstly, ensure you capture the interest of your students quickly and maintain it throughout the story by making the story interesting. This may involve being creative or mastering the art of storytelling. Secondly, aim to achieve the purpose of your teaching: to change lives. This requires that the story is applied to the life experiences of the students.  Lastly, the students should then be encouraged to specifically apply the learnt principles to their lives in practical ways.


8.    What are the prayers to be prayed when asking God for help in applying the Scripture?

Firstly, pray that the Holy Spirit should teach you the lesson being studied (John 16:13), the Holy Spirit can then take away any blindness or veil and help you understand what you are studying. This is also a prayer for the Holy Spirit to teach through you. Secondly, ask God to help you prepare the lesson so it is arranged in a manner that would facilitate productive teaching. Thirdly, pray for your students that God will help them understand, learn and apply the lessons you will be teaching.


9.    What can be learnt from the Berean’s approach to Bible study?

First, they were submissive to God in their approach to the Bible as thy “received the word”. They had a willingness to receive and apply the Biblical principles to their lives. Secondly, they ‘were intentional in their approach to Bible study’ as they approached the Scriptures “with all readiness” searching for the truth. Thirdly, they were engaged in a ‘word by word study’ of the Bible as they “searched” the Bible in their quest for the truth. Fourthly, they engaged “daily” not occasionally in their study of the Scriptures. Fifthly, they studied the scriptures purposefully as they were concerned with content and assurance of the scriptures and searched “to find out whether these things were so”.


10. What questions should be considered when attempting to describe a Biographical character?

(i)            Under which conditions did him or her live? An understanding of this is important as people are influenced by their environment.

(ii)          What is the meaning of the name of the character? Did the character’s actions align with the name?

(iii)         Who were the close associates or people the character had dealings with?

(iv)         Did the Bible assign some character descriptions to this individual? Examining the meaning of those descriptions may provide more insight into their morality, life, successes and failures.

(v)          What is the nature of influence this character had on others around him or her?

(vi)         Is the evil in this character depicted as an example to avoid or anti-type?

(vii)        Was there a growth or significant change in this character or was the character of this person redefined elsewhere in the Bible?


11. Why Study Bible Doctrine?

Bible doctrine is foundational to what we believe as Christians, it provides the structure to our faith similar to how a skeleton provides structure for the frame of man. Firstly, teaching of doctrine is harmonious with the purpose of Scriptures in line with 2 Timothy 3:16 which states that “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine.” Secondly, doctrine is the foundation of Christian faith. The early Christians continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine to experience stability in their Christian faith. Thirdly, teachers are responsible for teaching sound doctrine (2 Timothy 1:13). Doctrinal teaching aims at assisting students live the Christian way of life in line with sound doctrine. Lastly, the teacher will be following the Lord’s example by teaching doctrine as Jesus Christ was a doctrinal teacher. He stated that “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me”.


12. What is the relationship between faith and doctrine?

Believers need to apply faith in allowing the Holy Spirit teach them spiritual truth. The unsaved who does not have the Spirit of God will not be able to understand or receive this (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). ‘Only believers have the spiritual insight to understand the things of God’. Secondly, the learner must believe in God’s existence before studying the nature and worth of God. Thirdly, the learner must believe that God has revealed Himself to us.


13. What is systematic theology?

Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founding President of Dallas Theological seminary defined the above as “the collecting, scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting and defending of all facts from any and every source concerning God and His works.” This includes (i) Collecting data or information from every source available relating to God and His works, (ii) Scientifically arranging the data into a logical nature, (iii) Comparing and evaluating our learning to ascertain if they are in agreement with the Bible and reality, (iv) exhibiting our conclusions and (v) defending what we believe from alternative views on that doctrine.


14. How should you study a doctrine?

Firstly, begin with only a small amount of one doctrine to avoid being overwhelmed with vast amounts of information. Secondly, write out a list of all the passages in the Bible related to that subject. Thirdly, read each passage in the list, making your brief notes related to the subject. Fourthly, arrange the doctrinal principles in a chronological order. Fifthly, as you conclude, resolve any apparent contradictions. Where two verses say different things, the last verse written probably contains the fuller revelation of the truth, giving priority to the New Testament over the Old Testament. Where a single verse appears to state something different from several other verses, the consistent teaching of several verses is to be preferred over a single verse. Further, studying the single verse more closely, including its context would likely resolve any seeming contradictions.


15. How should devotional studies be performed using the right attitude and spirit?

Start with prayer, then choose a passage that can be studied using this approach, preferably a short passage. Allow yourself time to study so you are not rushing through the devotional study. You may need to read the passage many times, to enable you memorize some of the scriptures which you can meditate on at other times. The meditation times could include when waiting in line or sitting and waiting, while commuting, before sleeping and when you wake up in the morning. Also apply a methodical approach to discover the message of the passage, identifying key words and phrases while focusing on your relationship with God.


16. Why Study the Bible by Chapter and Book?

The Bible was written by books, with each book having a peculiar theme. These themes can be better understood in the context of the whole Bible. Further, by following how the Bible was put together, it is possible to learn the significant lessons in the way the human authors of the Bible intended to teach the themes. Even though the delineation of the Bible by book and chapters took place after the Scriptures were written and compiled, it helps to break larger books into smaller manageable sections for Bible study. Therefore applying a chapter method to Bible study is not only practical but it presents a practical way of studying the key themes in the Bible. This approach also provides a context through which various details and verses of the Bible can be more clearly understood.


17. How do you study a book and chapter of the Bible?

Start by selecting and surveying a Biblical book. This approach is called the synthetic approach to Bible Study. A new learner may want to start with the shortest books or chapters of the Bible and later graduate to the longer chapters and books. Secondly, ascertain the ‘probable historical context in which the book was written. This is important to know how those who first heard it would have understood its message to facilitate an application of the message to your life. Thirdly, set aside time to read the book thoroughly without interruption. You may have to read the book several times to have a summary of its key messages. Fourthly, compare the theme of the book or chapter studied to your life to facilitate being a doer of the word.


18. What is the Synthetic Approach to Bible Study?

Merrill C. Tenny describes this approach as interpreting a book as a whole through repeated reading and final amalgamation of the results. The word ‘synthetic’ derived from the Greek proposition ‘syn’ means ‘together’ and the verbal root ‘the’ means ‘to put’, meaning a putting together. A synthetic study is the opposite of an analytical study which implies ‘taking apart’. A synthetic study overlooks the details and focuses only on the interpretation of the document as a whole.


19. How do you determine how principles of a chapter can be best applied to your life?

These five questions can help you determine how best to apply a studied chapter to your life: (i) Is there a model to follow? (ii) Is there a command to obey? (iii) Is there a promise to be claimed? (iv) Is there a relevant prayer to be prayed? (v) Is there an error to avoid?



20. Why study Stories/Biblical Narratives?

Reviewing what God has done in the past helps us in times of discouragement. Looking at the victories God delivered to His people in the past encourages us in our difficult times. This increases our faith, strengthens our faith and hope in God. Considering God’s love and care helps to develop a spirit and attitude of thanksgiving to God. This attitude of thanksgiving leads us into worshipping God as we celebrate Him and the great things He has done. God desires his children to worship Him, this celebration of God and worship is the core essence of Christian adoration and worship of God.