Summary: Bible Research is a condensed Bible College Course in how to study the Bible. This first session answers two questions: 1. What is the Bible? 2. Why Study the Bible?
SESSION #1 – WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
What does it mean that Scripture is given by inspiration of God?
Theopneustos - God-breathed from theos (God) and pneu (to breathe)
The Bible consists of the complete canon of Scripture comprising:
The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.
The Bible is the living, inspired, authoritative, inerrant Word of God.
A QUOTE FROM THE PRINCE OF PREACHERS:
“The best food for you is the Word of God itself. Sermons and books are well enough, but streams that run for a long distance above ground gradually gather for themselves somewhat of the soil through which they flow, and they lose the cool freshness with which they started from the spring head. It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk and the water of man’s word.” (Charles Spurgeon, How to Read the Bible).
The Bible was written by 40 different men over a period of 1600 years. Most of these writers were not alive at the same time, and therefore they could not work together in any way. However, the Bible has one continuing story flowing through it with absolutely no contradictions. No other book has been written like this.
QUOTE: “Ultimately, success or failure in the Christian life depends upon how much of the Bible you get into your heart and life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it. If you are not reading the Word of God, then it only will be a matter of time until you will fall apart spiritually.” (Greg Laurie, Hidden Treasure).
STORY: WHO KNOCKED DOWN JERICHO’S WALLS?
The new minister was asked to teach a boys’ class in the absence of the regular teacher. He decided to see what they knew, so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having done it, and the preacher was appalled by their ignorance. At the next deacons’ meeting he told about the experience. "Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho," he lamented. The group was silent until finally one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. "Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I’ve known all those boys since they were born and they’re good boys. If they said they didn’t know, I believe them. Let’s just take some money out of the repair and maintenance fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that."
OLD TESTAMENT DIVISIONS:
5 - Books of Law
12 - Books of History
5 - Books of Poetry
5 - Major Prophets
12 - Minor Prophets
NEW TESTAMENT DIVISIONS:
4 - Gospels
1 - History
14 - Paul’s Letters
7 - General Letters
1 - Apocalypse
SESSION #2 – WHY STUDY THE BIBLE?
I. INTRODUCTION – WHY PEOPLE DON’T STUDY THE BIBLE:
1. The Problem of RELEVANCE - “It’s archaic, out of date!”
2. The Problem of TECHNIQUE/TRAINING - “I don’t know how!”
3. The Problem of TIME - “I just don’t have the time!”
4. The Problem of RELIABILITY/AUTHORITY - “I have my doubts about the Bible.”
5. The Problem of ENJOYABILITY - “It’s so boring!”
Howard Hendricks says, “The great tragedy among Christians today, is that many of us are under the Word of God, but not in it for ourselves.” (Living by the Book).
II. A RESPONSE TO PEOPLE’S OBJECTIONS:
1. God’s revelation is as ALIVE today as when it was first delivered
- I can’t make the Bible come alive...The Bible is alive. It makes me come alive.” (R. C. Sproul)
2. We simply need to recover the skills of READING
- You don’t need professional training to be able to understand the Bible!
3. The problem is not time, the problem is really PRIORITIES
4. The Bible is completely RELIABLE, CONSISTENT, and REASONABLE.
5. There is a JOY that comes with first-hand acquaintance with the Word.
The goal of this course is to address all of these obstacles and more…