Studying the Bible – Learn!

I have completed a series of videos that detail the Learn phase of the Bible study process. Using 1 Peter 2:1-10, I look at the kind of thinking that goes into learning what a passage means. Good observation of the details in a passage will set us up to accurately learn what the text means as we study to determine the original author’s intended meaning. So, what goes into interpreting a Bible passage?

First, Look! We need to take time to notice what is in our passage. Here is a one-video summary of the Look! stage for this passage. So, onto the Learn stage:

1. Context: Historic – When was the passage written? What was happening at the time? What prompted the author to write it? What can we understand about the relevant cultures, the occasion for the writing, the situation at the time? (Click here for the video.)

2. Context: Written – The passage you are looking at sits within a book and therefore there is a written context to consider. What has come before your passage? What flows out from it? To understand a passage, you have to wrestle with the flow of the whole document. (Click here for the video.)

3. & 4. Content: Details – Remember all the details that we spotted in the Look stage of our study? Now we need to seek to understand them in light of the context of the passage. (Click here for the first video and click here for the second video on details!)

5. Content: Flow – How do the details work together in the flow of thought in this passage? It is so important to not only understand details, but to understand them in their most immediate context! (Click here for the video.)

6. Intent – What did the author intend to achieve through writing this passage? Are there clues within the passage, and are there indications within the book as a whole? (Click here for the video.)

After the Look! and the Learn! stage of Bible study, we will then move on to the Love/Live response (what should the text stir?) Here is a one-video summary of the Love/Live phase for this passage.

I will release another series that uses a different passage but focuses on the Love/Live phase instead of the Learn phase as I have this time. Hopefully, that makes sense! Please subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you can see the new videos as they are released.

Attitude Check from the Apostle Peter

Peter wrote to a church facing difficult times.  In the last chapter of his first epistle, he gives some important advice for leaders in the church (1Peter 5:1-4).  His warnings and advice are critical for preachers:

Not under compulsion, but willingly – Remember that preaching, as well as all other elements of leadership, is a privilege.  It is easy when tired or over-busy to start feeling pressured rather than privileged.  Perhaps it’s time to pray this through?

Not for shameful gain, but eagerly – Just because you are a preacher, it does not make you exempt from the common temptations of humanity.  This includes materialism and greed.  Be careful.  This temptation can creep in insidiously and become a motivation in ministry choices.  At all costs, seek to have an eager attitude to ministry, rather than a grabby attitude to money.

Not domineering, but as an example – Perhaps you are not struggling with pressure or plunder, but be careful of the power (where did that alliteration come from?  Feel free to use it if you like that sort of thing!)  It is easy to wield excessive influence in the lives of your listeners.  Rather, seek to maintain a Christlike exemplary influence.

And after the willing, eager, exemplary service comes the thing that is designed to motivate – the crown of glory!  (Or prize, I suppose, if you’re following through on the P’s!)

Helpful warnings for leaders, including us preachers.  Feel free to ignore the alliteration, I usually do, but let’s take the passage to heart!