Presbyterians/Biblical question guide
Hello Pastor G,
I was wondering if you have any biblical question guides so that I may try to answer as I read the Bible, particularly the New Testament.
I believe that if I read the Bible a try to answer questions related to the particular chapter I'm reading, I'll understand it better since I'll have to think more about it.
There used to be a book such as you describe for the Gospel of Luke, but it has been out of print for many years.
But to better understand the Scriptures, I'd do it this way:
1) Read the whole book in a sitting at least once; three times on three different days is better still.
2) Read it again, and this time break the book up into sections that encapsulate complete thoughts. In some case, these may be interwoven, but break it up into the smallest sections that you can.
3) Start with your first section of a complete thought, and ask yourself two questions: a) What is this passage talking about? (You should answer this very broadly - e.g. "This is talking about believing in Jesus;" "This is talking about dying to sin," or whatever the topic of the text is; then b) What does the passage say about what it's talking about? (e.g. "what does it say about dying to sin?")
4) When you can answer those two questions, you will have discovered the "big idea" of that particular text.
Another suggestion I'd make is to study the history of the period that certain books are written. This is easy for the NT, the Roman period in the first century (though studying the history of the 400 year inter-testamental period will yield a good context). As the OT spans some 1200-1500 years (from the neolithic age through the bronze age through the iron age) you need to look at the history for a particular book.
I think if you take this approach, Nathan, you will discover a lot about what the Scriptures say without depending on a particular book.
Let me know how it goes.