We’ll be starting up Urban Warfare again on September 18th, and meeting every 1st and 3rd Monday. Same time and place, but we’ll be going through Second Timothy together. Themes like suffering, standing firm, and boldness are found throughout this book, as Paul prepares to pass his ministry on to his spiritual son, Timothy.
How we study the text:
Here are some steps to take in working through a particular passage or text in Scripture.
- Write out the passage. Write out the selected passage for the sake of following the author’s thought. This should help catch some of the important connections between sentences and slows us down to observe the text more intently.
- Make an outline. Make a rough outline in order to see how the text is structured. What you’re looking for is the way that the text naturally breaks itself up and therefore your outline changes as your understanding of the passage increases.
- Ask questions. Begin to ask the questions of the text whether they are obvious or not. Particular words, repetition, confusing and surprising words or phrasing. The key here is to stay curious about the meaning of the text, for if you are not, you will likely skip over many of the important aspects of the passage.
- Write out the main idea in a sentence. This difficult exercise concentrates us on the basic meaning of the passage. Taking the time to do this will pay off great dividends in helping you to understand the overall message of the book.
Once you have developed a general understanding of the text, begin to look at the context of the passage.
- Read the Scripture immediately surrounding the text. Often there are some significant clues that are “sandwiched” in the surrounding passages.
- Read the entire book. By doing so, you might see that the text you are studying has a specific purpose in a larger argument.
- Place the book/passage into the larger Biblical story. Ask where this book fits into larger story of the Bible? Who is it written by? What other literature has he written about? Where does this book fit into the larger historical context? Here is where a study Bible can really help broaden your understanding of the text.
The point of the study, is not simply to gather more information about the Bible, but to allow for God’s Word to transform our hearts.
- How does the passage show:
- Our need for the gospel?
- A picture or pattern of the gospel?
- The beauty of the gospel?
- An application or result of the gospel?
- What strikes you most significantly about the text for your own life?