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 observations.
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
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
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
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 discussions.
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.