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  #31  
Old 10-20-2020, 10:13 AM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: Apostolic Bible study method(s)?

Back then they didn't have as many challenges as we have. Historical and Cultural background, and language was much fresh and closer to them than us.

They could come up with the plain meaning much easier, and also they had the Oral Torah as the traditional way of interpreting the OT (maybe questionable in some areas but a good starting point).


Nowadays we need to put into the mix a lot of historical and cultural background reading, and also a lot of formalization of context variables to guard against false doctrines and Scripture abuse.

I think one of the best books about hermeneutics is Hermeneutical Spiral. It applies a lot of common sense linguistic principles and techniques to the Bible that are very universal for all creeds.
BTW, what D. Bernard says is "hermeneutical spiral" is not very accurate of what the book explains that it is.

You can draw a method from the book, however, I think good hermeneutics is a skill you develop. Therefore, a method would help but won't assure good results. The skill is learning to ask the right questions, and learning to answer them properly. That's what a teacher does, and that's why we need them for. If there were a mechanical way to do it, then we wouldn't need teachers.

That idea that you can tell a new convert to study the bible, and show them some tools (commentaries, strong concordance, methods, etc...) and then they going home and studying is actually not very realistic... It could happen, but it is very rare. I think the best thing you can do with a new convert is reading the Scripture with them and together ask questions to the Scriptures and answer them properly. They will learn over time by your example the skill to ask the right questions and to come up with the right answers.

What happens if you don't do that? The new convert reads the Bible and they do become familiar with stories and things but a lot of things just flies over their head. Over time they give up and just read the Bible looking forward for one verse that pops up and it is relevant to their current situation. They don't read to understand much. Some do, but many don't, or they understand little. Then they come to Church and rely entirely on the preaching, which in many cases tries to be prophetic in nature, and little in teaching.
Result? immature saints that are easily confused with false doctrines, or come up with weird ideas, or don't know what to do in very difficult situations. Basically, there is a lack of a solid foundation.

The new testament churches and synagogues spent a good deal of time reading the Scripture and explaining it, like what Nehemiah did. Very simple, yet very powerful. Consider it a group reading of the scripture with a teacher explaining it. The book of Matthew, entirely, was usually used for new converts. There was also topical teaching (see The Instructor, for example).

Coming back to the original post. I think you can come up with guidelines from the Hermeneutical Spiral book, to ask the right questions and to answer them properly, for the two activities when reading the Scripture: what it meant (text meaning), and then what it means to me (significance).

Last edited by coksiw; 10-20-2020 at 10:29 AM.
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  #32  
Old 09-15-2021, 04:02 AM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: Apostolic Bible study method(s)?

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2Ti 3:14-17)
Concerning "apostolic Bible study", I find here a basic pattern or possible methodology, or at least a basic set of themes for Bible study.

1. Doctrine. The word properly means "teaching". The Bible is to be studied in order to acquire knowledge, a knowledge of the facts detailed in the Scripture. It would also encompass the "doctrines" or ideology, the "things to be believed", of the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible.

2. Reproof. The word properly means "conviction". The idea is that a person is convinced by a demonstration of evidences or proofs. The Bible is to be studied in order to a) rebuke sin and error (including heresy or false doctrine) and b) demonstrate the correctness of true doctrine. So this would include both polemical theology (ie "apologetics" or correction of false doctrines or errors), systematic and/or Biblical theology (ie the systematic proving of Bible doctrines, likely ascertained in 1 above), as well as the discovery and rebuke of sin and error in the student's life and understanding, if any.

3. Correction. The word properly means "setting something straight or upright". The Bible should be studied for the purpose of setting the student's knowledge, understanding, and life style "right", ie "getting back on the correct path". Correction is the desired result of reproof, which comes from teaching correct information.

4. Instruction in righteousness. The word instruction properly means chastisement, discipline, or pedagogical nurture. In other words, the Bible is to be studied as a means of providing a disciplined training in righteousness. The disciplined training in righteousness is the result of correction, reproof, and teaching.

From this, I see a basic progression, from theoretical to practical. Doctrine and reproof largely deal with the facts and data of Scripture, whereas correction and instruction largely deal with the application and practice of the facts and data of Scripture. So then a basic Bible study framework can be developed which begins with acquiring basic understanding or knowledge of the statements of Scripture, correction of erroneous ideas as well as the proving or "establishing" of correct doctrine(s), leading into a consideration of correcting one's lifestyle, for the purpose of providing a life-long training regimen in following Christ and becoming like Him.

To put this into practice then, a Biblical passage could be looked at in four ways, or to put it another way four layers of Bible study can be applied to a passage:

1. The doctrinal: What does the text SAY? What is the historical, canonical, and doctrinal context of the passage? (When was it written, by whom, to whom, what was going on at the time, why was it written at that time by that person to that audience, etc?) What are the FACTS of the passage? This is a good place for "memorization" by the way.

2. The apologetic and polemical: What errors does this passage correct? How does this passage fit in with other passages on the same topic? How does this passage harmonise with other passages that may seem paradoxical or contradictory? What additional information does this passage provide about other passages? What additional information can other passages provide about this one? What "doctrine(s)" does this passage teach, support, prove, or refute? What errors in the student's thinking, and lifestyle, does this passage rebuke? (This is now transitioning into the next two layers.)

3. The practical corrective: What needs to be changed in the student's faith and praxis (beliefs and practices or actions) as a result of this passage?

4. The disciplinary or pedagogical or training: Whereas layer 3 deals moreso with correcting erroneous thinking, thought processes, and lifestyle choices, and is therefore somewhat "negative", this layer deals with more of the "how to" of how to live properly as a Christian (and thus is the "positive" counterpart to layer 3). Essentially, this deals with the questions of "What do I need to do and how do I do it?"

This is a bare bones outline, it would be productive to flesh each step or layer out a bit more, with some practical suggestions on what makes each step or layer unique and distinct. Or at the least, to keep all four basic layers or aspects in mind when doing any kind of Bible study using some other method. And of the course, the goal is that the student will become "complete/mature and thoroughly equipped for the performance of all good works".
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Last edited by Esaias; 09-15-2021 at 04:04 AM.
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  #33  
Old 09-15-2021, 09:23 AM
coksiw coksiw is offline
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Re: Apostolic Bible study method(s)?

This is another verse, but more than a method for personal edification, it is a simple method for teaching it:

2 Timothy 4:2 (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

reprove: targets the reasoning
rebuke: targets the conscience
exhort: targets the will
longsuffering: patience
doctrine: "with ... doctrine". It is enumerated with longsuffering, so it is a manner of doing the "reprove", "rebuke" and "exhort". Doctrine is not a manner but knowledge, so a better translation here is "teaching", .... basically "with ... teaching".

The first part of the verse "reprove, rebuke, exhort" refers to application. The second part is the manner: longsuffering and teaching (or explanation, or didactics). Explanation of What? The Word (see verse right before). What is the Word (see how the term it is used in Acts)? The message of the testimony of Christ, and by implication, the entire OT, and even the result of it, the NT text after the Gospels as well, but all centered in the message as the testimony of Christ.

So basically, when you reprove, rebuke and exhort, you need to get there through explanation of the Scriptures. You can see in this passage some of the goals, and how to get there.

However, that's just a passage. Many other passages show you details how that is done with specific examples of how the apostles extracted some of that from Scriptures.
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  #34  
Old 09-15-2021, 05:36 PM
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Re: Apostolic Bible study method(s)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
New Christian comes to you and says 'I want to study my Bible but I really have no idea how to do it or where to start. What do I do?'

And you say...?
If that person is interested in studying the Scripture with me, I start with Bible-ology, or the study of the Bible itself, what it is and is not.

In fact, I have an "-Ologies of the Bible" series I have worked on, but is nowhere complete.

1.) Bible-ology
2.) Cosmology
3.) Theology
4.) Christology
5.) Anthropology
6.) Hamartiology
7.) Soteriology
8.) Ecclesiology
9.) Angelology
10.) Demonology
11.) Eschatology

With an injection of ontology and teleology along the way, as needed.

Not sure if the order above is set in stone, with the exception of #1. I find people have no idea what the Bible is, or only a very general understanding.

So, that's where I start.
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  #35  
Old 09-16-2021, 07:41 AM
Originalist Originalist is offline
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Re: Apostolic Bible study method(s)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thephnxman View Post
It's right there...where the Spirit led!
But the Spirit will ALWAYS reflect and point to what has already been revealed in the WRITTEN word. There is no new "revelation."
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