For the month of August Sunday School times are weird. We will be meeting at 10:15 in room 103 of the Conference Center.
If you have missed either of the past two weeks in Sunday School here is an overview of what you missed. We have been studying “How To Study God’s Word” and Johnny shared three questions that can help you dig deeper when you are studying:
- What Does It Say? This is the easiest question to answer as you are just restating the main concepts of what the passage is talking about in your own words. If the passage has more than one concept, choose one, restate it in your own words and answer the next two questions.
- What Does It Mean? This one is a little generic, but it takes it a little deeper. What is the writer or person speaking trying to say? This one usually starts with a sentence like: “As Christians we should…”
- How Does it Apply? This is where the rubber meets the road. When we answer this question it becomes our personal commitment of how we are going to apply this passage of God’s word to our life. Be Specific! These answers usually start with something like: “I will…”
When we dig into scripture we run into the risk of misinterpreting it, or carrying our agenda to scripture in order to prove it instead of allowing scripture to change our agenda. To help avoid this here are a few tips:
- Discover the Context. Read the passages before and after the verses you are reading. What is going on that caused the speaker to say what they said, or the writer to write what they wrote? Just like many conversations in modern day times, scriptures are often misunderstood because they were read out of context.
- Compare it to the “Totality of Scripture.” Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. So, don’t be confused by strange teachings. (Hebrews 13:8-9) Do other scriptures confirm the conclusions you are drawing from this scripture, or are they saying something different? The messages throughout scripture are very consistent; if you are reading something that contradicts other scriptures, challenge your interpretation.
- Recognize the translation dilemma. As many of you pointed out today, most languages do not translate perfectly word for word into another language. The New Testament was written in Greek and The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Not a language scholar? No worries. Apps like “The Blue Letter Bible” can break down the verse in its original language and give you’re the definitions of the words they used. (More on that next Sunday!)
- Ask. When in doubt, ask someone you trust. That is what Johnny and Alisa are here for as well. If they don’t know the answer, they will join you in your search for the answer.
This Week’s Challenge: Use the three questions at the top to study Luke 9:23 this week. Use the four tips above to make sure you are as accurate as possible. We will discuss your findings next Sunday!