Archives For Bible Study

Eat This Book

July 24, 2012

I’ve been reading Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book recently. His analogy of us reading the Word of God was striking. I want to share it with you.

“Years ago I owned a dog who had fondness for large bones…He gnawed on the bone, turned it over and around, licked it, worried it. Sometimes we could hear a low rumble or a growl, what in a cat would be a purr. He was obviously enjoying himself and in no hurry.

Imagine my further delight in coming upon a phrase one day while reading Isaiah in which I found the poet-prophet observing something similar to what I had enjoyed so much in my dog, except that his animal was a lion instead of a dog: “As a lion or young lion growls over his prey…”

Growls is the word that caught my attention. What my dog did over his precious bone.., Isaiah’s lion did to his prey.

Read One More Verse

June 14, 2012

Often in Scripture, things are not as they seem at first glance. Unfortunately, too many of us stop with the first glance.

We practice “Bible Roulette” and grab one verse at a time without considering what the author meant.

Context is the tool for this in Bible study. This is the second most important principle in understanding the Bible. The most important truth is the Bible was not written for us, it applies to us. But, that is for another post!

Context is reading five to ten verses around the verse in question. Ideally one would read the entire book or letter, but at a minimum the surrounding verses.

Sometimes, things change if we read one more verse.

partofthepicture

Here are three examples where we see viewing only part of the picture is not an accurate representation.

1. Wives Submit to Husbands – Ephesians 5:22

“My parents went to _______ and all they bought me was this lousy t-shirt!”

How many of us have seen these shirts, or perhaps even have one tucked in a drawer gathering dust? Of all the amazing gifts we could bring back from a foreign country, and all we got was a t-shirt!

Souvenirs represent a gift, but more so, they carry a memory.

What if instead of lousy t-shirts, we had stones of remembrance?

In Joshua 4:1-820-22,  there is a story about the nation of Israel setting up 12 stones as a memorial to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan.

Verse 6 and 21 tell us the purpose  behind the memorial. “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, What do these stones mean? then you shall let your children know, Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.”