Category Archives: Helpful Suggestions for Bible Study

It’s Not About Me

It’s Not About Me The final part of Walton’s sound advice (see part 1 here and part 2 here) when it comes to Bible study is labeled “values commitments.” It can be summed up by the title of this post, “It’s not about me.” While the advice given in the previous posts is generally applicable to all Bible study, the context in which Walton presents it is with regards to the place and role of women in leadership and what Genesis 2 contributes to this…

Read More »

Maintaining a Godly Perspective When We Disagree

Maintaining a Godly Perspective When We Disagree This post on maintaining a godly perspective is a follow up post based on the discussion found in my previous article entitled “Sound Advice for Bible Study.” In that post I shared some of John Walton’s advice (from his Genesis Commentary in the NIV Application series), regarding a sound approach to Bible study. As pointed out in that post, Walton breaks his advice down into three different categories: 1) methodological commitments; 2) personal commitments; and 3) values commitments.…

Read More »

Sound Advice for Bible Study

Sound Advice for Bible Study I am teaching Genesis once again this semester as I do every Fall semester. I absolutely love studying and teaching the Book of Genesis. It is full of many foundational truths and I am always learning something new. However, I must also admit that teaching Genesis is a challenge. There are certain passages that have been interpreted different ways throughout history. As rewarding as Bible study is, we all come upon certain issues or passages with a big question mark?…

Read More »

Beyond Reading the Bible: A New Podcast

Beyond Reading the Bible: A New Podcast I am excited to announce that my colleague Lindsay Kennedy of mydigitalseminary.com and myself have embarked on a new adventure. We have created a podcast entitled Beyond Reading the Bible. The podcast is designed to help people go deeper in their study of the Bible. Many can sympathize with the experience of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39). As the eunuch was travelling back home he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit directed Philip to join himself to…

Read More »

Wordplay in the Old Testament

Wordplay in the Old Testament A good wordplay catches the eye and often communicates an effective message with wit and humor. The names of companies such as “Cane and Able Mobility Healthcare,” or “Curl Up and Dye,” the name of a beauty salon in London, capture people’s attention, while at the same time effectively communicating what their business is about. This particular type of wordplay is known as paronomasia. Puns are also favorite devices for communicating ideas with wit and humor. Among the better known…

Read More »

Why Genre is Important in Bible Study

Why Genre is Important in Bible Study On October 30, 1938, it was reported that cities across the USA erupted in panic over a dramatic broadcast of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds. Although the broadcast was introduced as a drama, it was conducted as a series of news bulletins without commercial interruption. Some who tuned in late to the broadcast reportedly thought an actual invasion from Mars was taking place! This event is an excellent example of how crucial it is to know what…

Read More »

Why Do We Have to Interpret the Bible?

Why Do We Have to Interpret the Bible? Can’t we just take the Bible for what it says? Isn’t it plain enough? Do we really need others to help us interpret the Bible? These questions came home to me this past week when an old friend of mine emailed me about his concern regarding interpretation of the Bible. He was troubled by the existence of many different churches and the various interpretations of Scripture that they represent. He wanted to know why we need anyone…

Read More »

Bible Study: Can It Be Spirit-Led and Academic?

Bible Study: Can It Be Spirit-Led and Academic? Let’s face it, many Christians are intimidated by an academic approach to the Bible. In fact, some are very suspicious of an academic approach to Bible study. Doesn’t it leave out dependence on the Spirit? Aren’t academics “know-it-alls,” and full of arrogance? Don’t they reject the inspiration of the Bible? While these questions can sometimes be answered “yes,” I want to plead that it is possible, in fact, necessary for Bible study to be both Spirit-led and…

Read More »

Biblical Narrative: How Motifs Enrich a Story

Biblical Narrative: The Use of Motifs A motif is a recurring pattern or design, or a familiar image that is repeated in a piece of writing. In my last post on “Helpful Suggestions for Bible Study,” I focused on the importance of paying attention to the details of a story (you can read that post here). Another detail that is often overlooked in Bible study is the recurrence of motifs within a story, or even a whole book. Biblical narratives commonly use motifs. These motifs…

Read More »

Old Testament Narratives: Paying Attention to Detail

Old Testament Narratives: Paying Attention to Detail When it comes to reading and studying Old Testament narratives, paying attention to detail really pays off! It is a rare exception when an Old Testament narrator tells the reader something as explicit as, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Sam. 11:27). More frequently, a biblical narrator will lead us on a journey of discovery. This method is what Old Testament scholars refer to as “showing” rather than “telling.” Revealing a person’s character…

Read More »