Thursday, April 22, 2010

Living by the Book - Hendricks+Hendricks

Ok, get ready for some lists. haha. Here is the Bible study method from Howard Hendricks in his book, "Living by the Book". If there is ever someone who complains that they hate inductive study, or can't get into it/can't get anything out of it --- there is another way to study outlined in this book that gets to the same result.
Hendricks says that there are 3 steps to understanding Bible passages: Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

He begins with observation=
His chapters on this initial step center around two lists that he developed. The first has to do with our attitude and outlook as we approach reading a biblical text; he says:
"Read thoughtfully
read repeatedly
read patiently
read selectively
read prayerfully
read imaginatively
read meditatively
read purposefully
read acquisitively
read telescopically" (p. 75)
Then he defines and describes each of these attitudes. It's a good section, especially for those who don't fancy themselves "readers" - he wants to show how to approach a reading so as to suck the most out of it possible.
He then adds one final list and describes it - a list of clues. This list shows which things we may need to pay attention to in a given text:
"Things that are emphasized
things that are repeated
things that are related
things that are alike
things that are unlike
things that are true to life" (p. 141)

The second step to studying a passage of Scripture is to interpret it. In this section, he begins by talking about hazards to avoid when it comes to interpreting, and then talks a little bit about genres of literature. Then he gives his LIST for interpreting! haha. (he loves lists)
Consultation" (p.221)
For content, he means asking the who? what? when? where? how? questions. Context means looking at the passage before and after yours. Comparison means looking at cross-references or other similar/relevant passages. Culture means understanding the history. And consultation means using outside references such as a commentary or the like.

Finally, Hendricks talks about how to find the application for a paticular passage. He suggests asking the following 9 questions=
"1. Is there an example for me to follow?
2. Is there a sin to avoid?
3. Is there a promise to claim?
4. Is there a prayer to repeat?
5. Is there a command to obey?
6. Is there a condition to meet?
7. Is there a verse to memorize?
8. Is there an error to mark?
9. Is there a challenge to face?" (p. 308)

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