Using This Guide
Hands On Approach
This guide is not meant to be your
coffee-table reading. Use it as a tool to make your study or discussion more
effective. Make use of the spaces in the lessons to record your thoughts and
One of the exercises under the
section “observation” is to record an outline of the passage. Spend time to
work on this important exercise because it helps you get the big picture of the
entire passage as well as see the relationship between the parts. It also
trains you to read the passage carefully and thoughtfully. Try to write the
outline without copying the headings from your Bible. Each entry in the outline
should accurately reflect the main idea of the paragraph.
Key words are words that give
meaning to the text or are related to the main idea. Key words are often
repeated to mark emphasis. Key words tell you about who, what, when, where,
why, or how. Since there are no right or wrong key words, your list may be
different from the one provided at the end of the book.
Length of Lesson
Although the lessons are also
designed for group Bible study, sometimes a lesson may be too long for a study
session. If this happens, the Bible study leader who began the lesson should
inform the next leader of where the passage was left off and the discussion
results from the first study.
Thoughts on Questions
The end of this book contains
suggested answers that serve as pointers when you need help. Since many of the
questions do not have standard answers, use the answers provided only as
reference. With these thoughts on questions as a starting point, you should be
able to come up with more complete answers on your own.
Preparing for Group Bible Studies
Before leading a group Bible
study, you should go through the lesson in advance to get a good understanding
of the material. Then select questions based on the amount of time you have for
discussion and the group’s size, makeup, level of biblical knowledge, etc. Try
to also design additional application questions that you think would suit the
particular needs of the group.
The Inductive Method
The inductive approach is an
effective way to study the Bible. It follows 3 basic steps: observation,
interpretation, and application.
Observation—What did God say? How
did He say it? This type of questions helps you look at the Bible passage
carefully and equips you for a sound interpretation.
Interpretation—What does it mean?
When answering this type of questions, let the Bible interpret itself whenever
possible. Look at the immediate context (the surrounding verses) as well as the
broader context (the surrounding chapters and the whole Bible) to derive at the
intended meaning. Also ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your heart to know the
spiritual things that God wants to convey to you.
Application—How can I put this
into practice? Application questions encourage you to think about what God is
teaching you personally through your study. What are His commands? What
shortcomings in you is He pointing out? What message of encouragement does He
have for you today? It is in examining your relationship with God and acting
out God’s word that the words of the Bible can truly come to life.
Because the order of the questions
in this guide generally follows the order of the Bible text, we did not group
the questions according to the 3 steps mentioned above. Instead, we have used
symbols to identify the type of question. By helping you become acquainted with
these 3 basic types of questions, we hope that you will acquire the ability to
develop meaningful questions for future personal studies as well as group
Two numbers follow each quote,
e.g. (4/134). The number before the slash refers to the reference source listed
at the end of this book. The second number indicates the page where the quote
is located in the reference source.