Hey! Just getting back from an amazing trip to the Pacific coast - can I just say, we serve an amazing Creator? I had to keep reminding myself that He just spoke it all into existence. Wow.
Anyway, catching up on laundry, emails and the blog world, I came across a recent post by Melissa Moore-Fitzpatrick (Beth's daughter) on the Living Proof blog (you can link to the blog at right). Within the post was a "homework" assignment she's given to a Bible study class she and Beth are teaching in Houston and I thought it was great. I think it would be fun for anyone interested to pick a passage and get after it! Share some of your insights with the rest of us, while you're at it! I've been hung up on John 17:20-26 lately, so that may be the passage I work on - or one about the vine and branches (John 15:1-8), since I just visited a vineyard :). Here's her tips:
- Choose any passage (about 5-9 verses) of interest, preferably a passage that you are not overly familiar with.
- Read the passage several times, at least twice out loud.
- What book of the Bible is your passage in? Who is the author? Who are the Recipients? What is the occasion and genre of the book?
- Compare your original Bible translation (whether it is NIV, NASB, etc.) to other translations- use at least three or four translations. Make note of the significant changes/differences in a chart or some other helpful way.
- If there is a word that sticks out to you in your original Bible translation, use a concordance to do a word study on that word. What is the Hebrew or Greek word that your English translation is rendering? Where else is it used?
- Are there any topics/places/concepts in your passage that are unfamiliar to you? Use a Bible Dictionary to look up unfamiliar concepts and to answer general questions.
- After you have done as much of the leg-work as you know how or have time to do, then consult one or two solid commentaries on your passage.
- Conclude with how these resources contributed to your understanding of the passage.