Archive by terms
Handling the Word of God: Introductory to Verse-by-Verse Bible Study
Whether handling lions or firearms or the Bible, when handling such things a person should take caution & respect the power involved. Not the power of the person doing the handling, but the power of the subject.
Often, when we approach Scripture, we do so with little regard on what it is we actually have. God's Word is not merely a book of Aesopian fables with which we can impress friends by rattling off this or that verse & making haphazard applications.
For some time now, I have been considering doing a verse-by-verse Bible study where others can follow along, but I wanted to make certain I had a useful infrastructure in place first (a better way to organize the study for reference & printing & such). While in the process of figuring this out, I have come to consider something even more important before I undertake this public study. We should make certain that we are handling God's Word properly. Perhaps this statement would confuse some people in that they may think what is there to make sure of? Why don't we just start reading & let the text dictate what it means. This sounds good & well but it is like the lion trainer going in without any preparation. It is like the gun owner firing off rounds at random targets. Approaching God's Word is serious business.
For example, consider Apollos from the Bible. The Bible says of this man:
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. (Acts 18:24-25)
But it is the next verse I want us to consider...
So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)
Here is a man the Bible says was an "eloquent man & mighty in the Scriptures", yet he STILL needed to have the way of God explained to him more accurately...by a housewife & her apparently hen-pecked husband (just joking, playing on the fact that people often claim women should never discuss theology).
Anyhow, I would suppose most of us would NOT describe ourselves of "eloquent & mighty in the Scriptures". So, let us not be offended that we need to be considerate how we approach God's Word no matter how much zeal we may have. I'm not saying we each need to go off to some seminary somewhere & get a bunch of letters behind our name before we are qualified to read the Bible let alone teach it -- I don't think Aquila or Priscilla had that sort of schooling & quite frankly I know some that have had seminary training that should ask for their money back. My point is, we should consider what it is we are studying. Again, God's word isn't a technical manual or a book of great debater come back lines. Nor is it merely a "love story" as you may have heard it called. The Bible is the revelation of God's character, nature, & Plan.
It used to be, that when people would approach God's presence, that there was an awesome reverence, so much so that some people would fall on their faces & refuse to look up out of fear of offending God with their own puniness. (Exodus 3:6, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Ephesians 5:21, Hebrews 10:31, Hebrews 12:28). It seems we often are now taught to approach God as if he is a football buddy -- indeed God works personally in our lives & is in a direct relationship with us but that doesn't mean we should make light of who He is & of His awesome Word.
We as children of Protestantism often like to invoke that Reformational slogan, "Sola Scriptura" (Bible Alone) & think that qualifies us to read the Bible in any way we desire, coming to all sorts of private interpretations in the process.
So, before I begin my public verse-by-verse Bible study, I want to do a complete study on what Sola Scriptura ACTUALLY means. As our guide book on this topic, I intend to use the book "The Shape of Sola Scriptura" by Keith Mathison. I have read most of the book already & find it an easy yet informative read, which also helps the reader understand that the concept of Sola Scriptura is not simply SOLO Scriptura where each man turns to his own understanding but that throughout history God has sovereignly guided the unity of the community of the saints on basic & key doctrines.
For those who would like, I please encourage you to purchase or borrow a copy of this book & follow along as we study it in preparation for the verse-by-verse Bible study. I will begin the study of The Shape of Sola Scriptura on Monday, March 30, 2009. This should be a good study & get us in a reverent mode for the Bible before we actually even open it up.
COMMENTARY LOCATED HERE: http://thekingdomcome.com/taxonomy/term/59
Cumulus Tag Cloud
Don't Worry, Be Happy
TKC Optimal Search