14 August 2015

Methodical Bible Study

Methodical Bible Study

Methodical Bible Study by Robert A. Traina is published by Zondervan Publishers of Grand Rapids, MI and is copyrighted by them.

You can buy the book from many places including Christian Book, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

The following is an outline from Chapter 1. It is written in my style and varies from the book form. It is for teaching purposes only with no explanation. If you need that, you need to buy the book.

methodical bible study

Chapter 1




A1 Definition and Purpose of Observation

B1 Definition

C1 Taking notice

C2 Mentally aware (Perception/awareness)

B2 Function

C1 Observe so carefully every term and phrase.

C2 Totally aware of the every term and phrase.

A2 Requisites of Observation

B1 The will to observe

B2 The exactness in observation

B3 Persistence in observation

A3 Analysis of Observation

B1 Terms

C1 Definition

D1 Of each word in context

D2 Mainly one meaning for each word in context even though the word itself may have many meanings

C2 Kinds of terms

D1 Routine and non-routine terms

E1 Routine as "an" though sometimes it may be. Good observation is developed over time.

E2 Non-routine

F1 Difficult to understand

F2 Crucial terms

F3 Those not crucial but significant

F4 Those which express profound concepts as "transfigured" and "appeared" as in Mark 9:2-4.

D2 Literal and figurative terms

E1 Literal as in the plain, normal sense of the word. For example, the word "tree" in Genesis 1:12 is literal.

E2 Figurative as in symbolic, for example, the word "tree' in Romans 11:24 is not literal.

D3 Identity and inflections of terms

E1 Parts of speech as nouns, etc. We need to know and recognize them and their function.

E2 Inflections refers to "In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, mood, voice, aspect, person, number, gender and case. The inflection of verbs is also called conjugation, and the inflection of nouns, adjectives and pronouns is also called declension." (Inflection. (2015, July 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:48, August 13, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Inflection&oldid=672662751

C3 Homework--See if each word is routine or non-routine, literal or figurative, and inflections.

D1 Mark 10:13-52

D2 Romans 6

B2 Relations

C1 Structure

D1 This is how the sentence is put together. For help see here.

D2 For sentence subunits as clauses, etc. see here.

C2 Importance of seeing the structures parts as even in diagramming. See here and here or even for help.

C3 Types of structure

D1 Structure may be understood at the phrase, verse, chapter, or book level.

D2 Surface and subsurface

E1 Surface is more obvious as Romans 1:18-32 where the pivot/hinge of the passage is "therefore" in verse 24.

E2 Subsurface is less obvious as the contrast between Joseph and his brother Judah in Genesis 38-39.

E3 Knowing the structure helps see the general flow of the writing.

D3 Primary and secondary structure--primary has the greater importance in the passage.

C4 Specific laws of structure

D1 For Bible interpretation the paragraph should be the starting place for observing structure.

D2 There is a need for observing what is the subject and predicate.

D3 Connectives

E1 These short words that give relationships to various clauses and phrases or even paragraphs.

E2 A few examples are before and after (showing time), where (geological), because and for (logical), so (result), so that (purpose), although and but (contrast), likewise and also (comparison), first (series of facts), if (condition), and only (emphatic).

E3 Some of those connectives can used in more than one way.

D4 Structure shouldn't be used so carefully that the parts are analyzed more than the whole sentence or paragraph.

D5 Whereas the above points look at clauses and phrases within a sentence or paragraph, one should also view the structure of greater portions of Scripture as paragraphs, sections, and books.

E1 Comparison as in Hebrews 5:1-10 which focus on similar things. Note the words "so also" in Hebrews 5:5.

E2 Contrast as in Romans 4.

E3 Repetition as in Leviticus that uses the word "holy" often.

E4 Continuity as in Luke 15 when a number of parables are grouped together.

E5 Continuation as in two or more chapters are really speaking about the same topic. It is as if it were only one chapter.

E6 Climax which shows the build of topics to the climax of the book.

E7 Cruciality as in 2 Samuel where chapters 11-12 show a definite turn of events.

E8 Interchange as in 1 Samuel where there are repeated contrasts between Eli and his sons with Samuel.

E9 Particularization and generalization as in Matthew 6:1-18 where the text flows from general to specific.

E10 Causation and substantiation as in Romans 1:18-32. Here the verses show a cause and effect.

E11 Instrumentation as in John 20:30-31. John reveals the purpose for his writing this book.

E12 Explanation or analysis as in Mark 4. This type something is written and then interpreted.

E13 Preparation or introduction as in Genesis 2. This is an introduction to the events of Genesis 3.

E14 Summarization as in Joshua 12 which summarizes the previous material. It is a repetition of sorts.

E15 Interrogation as in Romans 6-7. A question is asked and then answered.

E16 Harmony as in Romans 1:18-3:20 and the agreement in Romans 3:21 and the following passages.

E17 Sometimes there is more than one type. These rules just show the possibilities that we need to be aware of when interpreting.

E18 Be aware that there may be more than one opinion.

C5 Materials for effecting structure

D1 Biographical--who are the people in this passage? What does Scripture show us about their character in other passages where they are mentioned?

D2 Historical--what was happening in secular and Biblical history of that time.

D3 Chronological--What happens before and after the passage? When did the events occur in the ministry or life of someone or country, city, or world (compare The Gospel of John)?

D4 Geographical--what is the weather or terrain like?

D5 Ideological--what are the main ideas of a passage or book?

C6 By combining the Laws of structure (comparison, repetition, etc.) with the materials effecting structure (biographical, etc.) help us to understand and interpret the passage with greater clarity. An example would be Climax/Historical as Exodus or also Climax/Ideological as Ecclesiastes.

C7 Selectivity and Structure

D1 Defining selectivity--a purpose or the purpose the writer of Scripture had in mind.

D2 Selectivity and structure relationship--the purpose and method of expressing their message.

D3 Kinds of selectivity

E1 Quantitative--how many chapters are devoted to a particular topic or time span. For example Genesis 12-50 deals with only four lifespans (from Abraham to Joseph), but Genesis 1-11 deals with many hundreds of years.

E2 Non-quantitative--referring to a onetime event.

B3 Observation of general literary forms

C1 Discourse--as in the sermons of Jesus in the Gospel of John

C2 Prose--this is general writing as the book of Genesis.

C3 Poetry--as Psalms

C4 Drama--describing an event is dramatic terms with the reader being able to picture those events clearly.

C5 Parabolic--parables

C6 Apocalyptic--passages as found in Daniel and Revelation

B4 Atmosphere

C1 This is the tone of the passage. Some examples may be joy, thanksgiving, desire, etc.

C2 In any particular passage there may be a variety of tones.

A5 Some basic pointers.

B1 Read and understand the passage in its plain, normal sense.

B2 Note the time and circumstances that a passage was written.

B3 Note the terrain if it is mentioned.

B4 Who are the people mentioned.

B5 Observe the passage by individual words and by clauses and phrases.

B6 Consult other writers. We do this to prevent an interpretation that has been ruled out in previous generations.

A6 Read John 3:1-21, Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus and apply the above principles.


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