Last week I began an overview of the QuickStudy Method developed by Dr. Lee Gugliotto (http://empowerministries.org). I gave you a list of eleven questions to ask of the book of your choosing. I hope you have begun the process, and perhaps you have completed it. Either way, this week I’m going to present you with the next few steps in the process.
Remember, that you gain a blessing through the entire process, no matter what type/style of Bible study you prefer. All along the way you will gain insights and find other texts, topics, and words you want to explore. So don’t get discouraged with the process. Bible study isn’t simply about the destination, it is about the journey.
So here are the next steps in the QuickStudy Method once you have completed the overview of the entire book.
1 Select the passage you want to study more closely.
This might be a chapter or a section within a chapter. One thing to keep in mind is that the divisions in your Bible are artificial. None of the verse divisions, section headings, or chapter divisions are in the original manuscripts. So when you select a passage, let the text itself lead you.
2 Once you have the passage you want to explore, use the section headings and your notes from the overview of the book to establish the context of the passage.
Often, when we study we get don’t allow God to give us all the blessings in the passage because we bring our preconceived ideas into the forefront of our study. We are sure that we know what the passage is about and anything different than what we already know, we simply ignore or reject.
So keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out — as one pastor said.
3. Once you have looked at the themes of the surrounding sections and/or chapters, look at how the author leads into the text (positive, negative, another point in a list) and how the text builds to this particular passage.
Do you see the connecting thoughts and threads?
4. Now how does the passage lead into the next section?
Too often in Bible study we isolate a passage and forget the larger narrative. Remember that each passage is part of a larger message rather than a sound bite. This is why proof-text methods of study are not the best. Yes, there are certain text that are pivotal to certain doctrines, but if you don’t see the texts within their context, you can actually end up with a wrong understanding of the text and a wrong doctrine.
5. After you see how the text fits into the book and the part it plays in the progression of the book, it is time to focus specifically on the text with a series of questions.
- Who wrote it or speaks in it?
This question may have been answered with the similar overview question, but don’t assume that. The Gospels were written by apostles but they record the words of Jesus.
- Who did he or she talk to?
What is the interaction in the passage? It is a conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well? Is it Paul trying to convince the Galatians that they don’t have to be circumcised to be Christians?
- Who or what did he or she talk about?
Jesus spoke to people of faith. Daniel spoke of visions he had had.
- Did the writer say anything special about them?
As in, “Oh foolish Galatians”.
- Where did it take place?
Obviously, the events recorded in Gospel of John did not take place at the same geographical location as where John wrote it.
- When did it happen?
- Why did he write it?
This can apply to both the the author of the book and the author/speaker of the section.
There you have it. These question will get you into the message of the text. Next week we will look at the structure and wording of the text.