Bible Track

Introduction – Getting Started

Log College 2020-21

“Oh how I love your law!  It is my meditation all the day.

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.”

—Psalm 119:97-100

Welcome to Log College! 

      We are glad that you desire training in the interpretation and application of the word of God.

Monday – 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Each group session has four components:

      Demo – Each week a different member will encourage us with a ten-minute devotional. 

            If the devotional turns into a sermon, please note that a buzzer will go off!

      Dig – We will discuss in tables of three the core principles in interpreting Scripture.

            Each week the members change positions, so that all our relationships are strengthened.

      Do – One representative from each table will present to the entire group their discoveries.

            The group facilitator will help to tie the loose ends together into an edifying whole.

      Prayer – One member will lead us in a closing time of prayer.

Our guide: Leadership Resources Training, Dig and Discover: Hermeneutical Principles.[1]

Cost: $8.00 (payable to the church, who will provide the booklets at the first session)

Tuesday – Friday

We will normally have an assignment for each day (1½ hours of reading).

You may break up your reading as you prefer (e.g., ½ hour in the morning, 1 hour at night).

Before reading, please pray for the Spirit to enlighten you and to lead you:

      “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18).

Understanding Scripture is strongly tied to wanting to obey God (e.g. John 7:17; Hebrews 5:14).

      Bring to the Bible a soft heart, open to hear from the Lord and to obey His will (James 1:21).

For our first session, read the book of Genesis and keep your eye on the Big Story.

      Push yourself to read the chapters continuously—for now, ignore the detail questions.

Keep track of your hours.  When finished, email the total number of hours to Bob Snyder.

      We use these figures to calibrate how much reading is assigned, so read at a normal pace.

Weekend

Each weekend has about four hours of work—often in review and preparation for discussion.

For our first session, we plan to consider Psalm 119 in our devotional.

Therefore, read this long poem out loud at least three times over the weekend.

      After reading Psalm 119, you should know that we naturally think about what we love!

Week One – The Eight Principles

September 14, 2020

Devotional – Psalm 119:97-100

Three things make a theologian: meditation, prayer, and testing (Martin Luther).

God expects us to grow internally (through the word) and externally (through training).

Ultimately, discernment in Scripture comes through mature obedience (Hebrews 5:14).

Bottom Line: Life experience sets you up well for learning about God in the Bible.

Session One – Eight Principles

Staying on the Line – not liberalism or legalism or the truth balloon

Text over Framework – not framework over text (e.g. reading Christ into an OT text?)

Genre – each fruit peels differently

Asking Good Questions – basic (who? what? when? where?) and deeper (how? why?)

Traveling Instructions – original context, then our context

Structure – parts and connections

Main Idea and Intended Response – what did the author say? why did the author say it?

Biblical Theology – threads along the rope leading to Christ

      Distribute the booklet Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles.

Session Two – Dig

Whistle-Blowing: Staying on the Line and Text over Framework

      Genesis 18-19 in a Political Environment ~ Hospitality or Homosexuality?

Whistle-Blowing: Text over Framework

      Genesis Outline – History of the World (chs. 1-11) vs. History of One Family (chs. 12-50)

      Genesis Outline – “these are the generations of” ( תּוֺלְדוֺת Heb. toledoth)

      Given text over framework, how well do we account for the “add-ons” to major sections?

      Compile a list of at least twenty questions for Genesis chapters 4, 9, 23, or 24.

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Read and reread Jonah 1 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions.

Wednesday

      Read and reread Jonah 2 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions.

Thursday

      Read and reread Jonah 3 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions.

Friday

      Read and reread Jonah 4 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions.

Weekend

      Read and reread Jonah as a whole – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions.

Additional Ideas

Purchase a Bible with paragraphs and wide margins.

Purchase a journal for taking notes (e.g. making a list of questions).

Keep a 3×5 card handy for notes and use it as a bookmark.

Week Two – The Book of Jonah

September 21, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review of Eight Principles

            Review the principles from memory (by pictures).

      Discussion: Questions from Jonah

            Per chapter, tell us three of your basic questions.

                  How would you get an answer to these questions?

            Pick your favorite deeper question from each chapter and write it on the big board.

                  Discuss possible answers and how they should be evaluated.

                  How did simply asking better questions affect your view of the text?

Session Two – Dig

      Narrative Structure

            Three Keys: Patterns, Repetitions, and Structural Markers

            How would this unfold as a movie?  New scenes?  Lead character?  Plot?

      Practice: Jonah

            Chapter-by-chapter: Characters?  Events?

            Within each chapter: How many scenes?

            Book-as-a-whole: Overall repetitions?  Message?

            Draw out the outline of the book for the group on the board—see the pattern!

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Read and reread Ruth 1 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Wednesday

      Read and reread Ruth 2 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Thursday

      Read and reread Ruth 3 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Friday

      Read and reread Ruth 4 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Weekend

      Read Ruth as a whole and write out the answers to the following questions:

            What is the basic structure of the entire book and of each chapter?

            How does the structure of Ruth compare to the structure of Jonah?

            Should Ruth be classified as history but Jonah as prophecy?  Should they be different?

Week Three – The Book of Ruth

September 28, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review of Eight Principles

            Review the principles from memory (by pictures).

      Discussion: Questions from Ruth

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            In tables, discuss two basic questions per chapter with your group [½ hour].

                  Discuss as a large group.

                  Note how many of our questions are answered by a closer look at the text.

                  Instead of using a study Bible’s notes, use the cross-references of a reference Bible.

                        (These cross-references can help with cultural items – e.g. kinsman-redeemer.)

            In tables, choose two deeper questions from the entire book for group discussion.

                  Write these questions on the board, but hold off on discussion.

            In tables, draw a graphic outline the book by setting, characters, and content.

                  What patterns or structural markers that correct, qualify, or confirm the outline?

                  With the outline in mind, what are some possible answers to the deeper questions?

Session Two – Dig

      Genre

            History or Prophecy?

                  How do the books of Ruth and Jonah compare to each other?

                  What are possible reasons for classifying Ruth as history but Jonah as prophecy?

      Traveling Instructions – Main Idea and Intended Response

            Contextualization: The Bible was written to them but for us.

                  What was being said to the original audience, and why was it said?

                  What is God saying to us, and why is He saying it?

            Important: Each answer must be one sentence.

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Read Judges 1-5 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Wednesday

      Read Judges 6-9 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Thursday

      Read Judges 10-16 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Friday

      Read Judges 17-21 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Weekend

      Reread Judges:

            Outline the book based on settings, characters, and content.

            Note any structural markers and list the phrases that are repeated in the book.

            Write a sentence each for their main idea and intended response, then for ours.

Week Four – The Book of Judges

October 5, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review of Eight Principles

            Review the principles from memory (by pictures).

      Discussion: Outline of Judges

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            In tables, map out the major scenes in the book of Judges (use 11×17 paper):

                  Who are the main one or two characters for each major scene?

            When finished, think of the scenes as a house:

                  Where are the rooms into which you will place the scenes like furniture?

                  From these rooms create a simple outline of the book of Judges.

                  What patterns or structural markers that correct, qualify, or confirm the outline?

Session Two – Dig

      Melody

            As a table, make a list of recurrent phrases in the book of Judges.

      Questions

            As a table, identify three deeper questions that pertain to the main themes of the book.

      Traveling Instructions – Main Idea and Intended Response of Judges

            Contextualization: The Bible was written to them but for us.

                  What was being said to the original audience, and why was it said?

                  What is God saying to us, and why is He saying it?

                  Write your four one-sentence answers on the board.

Closing Prayer

Tuesday-Friday

      Read Genesis fairly quickly.

      After each chapter map out the main scenes and list the major characters.

Weekend

      Skim the book of Genesis.

      Group the scenes into “rooms” and create an outline of the book of Genesis.

            Caution: The chapters often do not match the “rooms” in a book.

Monday-Friday

      Read Genesis and ask three deeper questions of each major section.

      Make a running list of recurrent phrases.

            What are structural markers used in the book of Genesis?

Weekend

      Pray through your notes on the book of Genesis.

            What was being said to the original audience, and why was it said?

            What is God saying to us, and why is He saying it?

            Write your four one-sentence answers in your notes for discussion on Monday.

Week Five – The Book of Genesis

October 19, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review of Eight Principles

            Review the principles from memory.

      Discussion: Outline of Genesis

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            In tables, map out the major scenes in the book of Genesis (use 11×17 paper):

                  Who are the main one or two characters for each major scene?

            When finished, think of the scenes as a house:

                  Where are the rooms into which you will place the scenes like furniture?

                  From these rooms create a simple outline of the book of Genesis.

                  What patterns or structural markers that correct, qualify, or confirm the outline?

Session Two – Dig

      Melody

            As a table, make a list of recurrent scenes in the book of Genesis.

      Questions

            As a table, identify three deeper questions that pertain to the main themes of the book.

      Traveling Instructions – Main Idea and Intended Response of Genesis

            Contextualization: The Bible was written to them but for us.

                  What was being said to the original audience, and why was it said?

                  What is God saying to us, and why is He saying it?

                  Write your four one-sentence answers on the board.

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Read and reread Colossians 1 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Wednesday

      Read and reread Colossians 2 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Thursday

      Read and reread Colossians 3 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Friday

      Read and reread Colossians 4 – make a list of basic questions and deeper questions

Weekend

      Read Colossians in one sitting: List the references to all the statements about Christ.

      Read Colossians again in one sitting: List the references to all the commands.

            What do you notice about how these two groups compare in amount and location?

      Group the topics into big “rooms” and create a basic two to four-part outline of Colossians.

      Write out a one-sentence answer to the following four questions:

            What was being said to the original audience?  Why was it said?

            What is God saying to us?  Why is He saying it?

Week Six – Pauline Epistles

October 26, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review of Eight Principles

            Review the principles from memory.

      Discussion: Outline of Genesis

            Narrative uses scenes and patterns to develop a plot.

                  What is the problem and resolution in the storyline of Genesis?

            The main idea of narrative must include the overall storyline as well as its structure.

                  What is a revised main idea that incorporates the storyline of Genesis well?

                  Is the main idea specific enough to differentiate this book from others in the Bible?

                  What “feel” does this story seek to inspire for its original intended response?

            Each table presents their main idea and intended response to the group.

                  What are the similarities and differences of these main ideas and intended responses?

                  How would we apply the book of Genesis to a modern audience?

Session Two – Dig

      Discussion: Outline of Colossians

            Rotate one member to a new table.

                  What are your table’s three best surface-level questions for each chapter?

            Present these questions for the following group discussion.

                  Which of these are “Why?” questions in disguise?

                  Which of these are “cul-de-sac” questions, whose answers lead to no further insight?

            As narrative has scenes and patterns, didactic literature has topics and arguments.

                  As a table, map out Colossians into paragraphs and label each one by its topic.

            The arguments often include both statements and commands.

                  Paint with shading the “rooms” according to the density of their commands.

                  Where are the commands generally located? 

                  Where are the “hinge” verses?

            Paul often has two sections in the body of his letters—what is true and what to do.

                  An introduction often includes author, recipient, blessing, thanksgiving, and prayer.

                  A conclusion often includes greetings and a closing benediction or doxology.

Closing Prayer

For the following epistles, find the three parts—the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

Then for each epistle, find the hinge verse(s) in the body between what is true and what to do.

      Tuesday – Ephesians (or Philippians)

      Wednesday – Galatians

      Thursday – 1 Thessalonians (or 2 Thessalonians)

      Friday – 1 Peter (or 1 John)

      Weekend – Romans and Hebrews

Week Seven – The ARC Method

November 2, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Discussion: Outline of the Epistles

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Discuss where the outline breaks were for each book:

                  Which books were the clearest to outline?  Those less clear?

            In differences of opinion, a table should share their insights with other tables.

                  What are some factors that made some books less clear?

                  What are some implications for our current teaching ministry?

            By looking at structure and content together (and not just if there are commands or not),

            we see that the true-and-do format often has the book’s main idea and intended response.

Session Two – Dig

      Structure – identifying clauses and their logical relationships

            An argument consists of propositions, which can either be statements or commands.

            Propositions consist of clauses often marked off by three structural markers:

                  Conjunctions – joining words, such as and, but, or, so that, in order to, and for

                  Relative Pronouns – a “wh” word that explains a noun, such as which and who

                  Participles – a verb with “ing” that explains a verb or a noun, such as asking, etc.

            As a table, see the sample page and underline the structural markers in Colossians 1:9-14.

                  Rewrite the passage by starting a new line at each structural marker.

                  Each new line must be a clause, which has its own subject and a predicate.

            As a table, see the sample page and use the ARC worksheet to arc the paragraph:

                  Where are the largest and most obvious relationships?  Start there.

                        *The main idea often emerges from main clauses within the largest structure.

                  What are the next most obvious structural relationships?  Draw more arcs.

                        *We need to know just enough structure to cross the bridge to the meaning.

            As a group, discuss the various options by using the text copied onto the whiteboard.

                  What are some deeper questions arise from this exercise?

Closing Prayer

For each day, arrange the assigned paragraph into clauses and arc the paragraph.

      Tuesday – Colossians 1:3-8

      Wednesday – Colossians 1:15-20

      Thursday – Colossians 1:21-23

      Friday – Colossians 1:24-29

      Weekend

            Read through your arced passages and then read your list of questions from Colossians 1.

                  How many of your basic questions have been answered by tracing the argument?

            For each paragraph, answer the following questions with one sentence:

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

Week Eight – Colossians 1 (Part 1)

November 9, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Discussion: Outline of the Epistles

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Review the eight principles of hermeneutics.

            Review the ARC method with the colloquial examples.

Session Two – Dig

      Structure – identifying statements and their logical relationships

            Consider Colossians 2:1-5 on the board together.

            Discuss how the propositions are related logically to each other:

                  Arc the entire paragraph as a group.

            Per table, discuss the main idea and intended response:

                  Each table should write these on the board.

                  What are the common elements among each entry?

      Break

            Per table, discuss each paragraph from the homework:

                  What is the main idea?

                  What is the intended response?

            Record your answers on the 11×17 paper provided for the whole book of Colossians.

                  All the paragraphs are listed down the vertical center with two blanks to their right.

            As a group, graphically represent the answers for the entire chapter on the board:

                  What is the main idea for the entire chapter?

                  What is the intended response for the entire chapter?

            Remember: Two prayers encapsulate the “what is true” section of Colossians.

Closing Prayer

For each day, arrange the assigned paragraph into clauses and arc the paragraph.

      Tuesday – Colossians 2:6-7

      Wednesday – Colossians 2:8-19

      Thursday – Colossians 2:20-23

      Friday – Colossians 3:1-4

      Weekend

            Read through your arced passages.

            Then for each paragraph, answer the following questions in one sentence:

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

            Then read the entire chapter at once and answer the following questions in one sentence:

                  What is the main idea for the entire chapter?

                  What is the intended response for the entire chapter?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Nine – Colossians 2 (Part 2)

November 16, 2018

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Structure – Propositions and Logical Relationships

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Review the eight principles of hermeneutics.

            Review the ARC method with the colloquial examples.

      Main Idea and Intended Response:

            Per table, discuss each paragraph from the homework:

                  What is the main idea?

                  What is the intended response?

            Record your answers on the 11×17 paper provided for the whole book of Colossians.

            As a group, graphically represent the answers for the entire chapter on the board:

                  What is the main idea for the entire chapter?

                  What is the intended response for the entire chapter?

Session Two – Dig

      Asking Good Questions

            Per table, compile a list of twenty questions from this chapter.

                  What are some possible answers, based on the structure of the passage?

            Share some of these questions with the group.

                  What are some possible answers, based on the structure of the entire chapter?

      Traveling Instructions – Main Idea and Intended Response for Us

            Per table, discuss the entire chapter:

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us from the entire chapter?

            After each group puts their answers on the board, discuss them as a group:

                  In what ways are they similar?  In what ways are they different?  Why?

Closing Prayer

For each day, arrange the assigned paragraph into clauses and arc the paragraph.

      Tuesday – Colossians 3:5-11

      Wednesday – Colossians 3:12-17

      Thursday – Colossians 3:18-4:1

      Friday – Colossians 4:2-6

      Weekend – Arrange Colossians 4:7-9 and 4:10-18 into propositions and arc the paragraphs.

Second Week

      Read through all your arced passages.

      For each paragraph, answer the following questions in one sentence:

            What is the main idea and intended response for them?

            What is the main idea and intended response for us?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Ten – Colossians 3 & 4 (Part 3)

November 30, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Structure – Propositions and Logical Relationships

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Review the eight principles of hermeneutics.

            Review the ARC method with the colloquial examples.

      Main Idea and Intended Response:

            Per table, discuss each paragraph from the homework:

                  What is the main idea?

                  What is the intended response?

            Record your answers on the 11×17 paper provided for the whole book of Colossians.

            As a group, discuss the flow of main ideas and intended responses:

                  What is the main idea for the entire chapter?

                  What is the intended response for the entire chapter?

Session Two – Dig

      Traveling Instructions – Main Idea and Intended Response for Colossians

            Per table, consider the 11×17 paper of main ideas and intended responses for Colossians.

                  Pair off paragraphs that should obviously be kept together and arc these pairs.

                  Seek the largest and most obvious structures in the book and arc them.

                  Seek to fill in the remaining arcs for the book.

            Per table, discuss the flow of the argument:

                  How would you graphically represent the flow of this book’s argument?

            As a group, discuss the following questions regarding the entire book:

                  What is the main idea and intended response for them?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us?

            The main idea of Colossians should include the concepts of fullness and Christ.

            The intended response of Colossians should include thankfulness and a “Don’t/Do” pair.

Closing Prayer

For each day, arrange the assigned paragraph into clauses and arc the paragraph.

      Tuesday – Matthew 5:3-20

      Wednesday – Matthew 5:21-48

      Thursday – Matthew 6:1-18

      Friday – Matthew 6:19-34

      Weekend

            For each paragraph and then for the entire two chapters, answer the following question:

                  What is the main idea and intended response?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Eleven – The Sermon on the Mount

December 7, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Structure – Propositions and Logical Relationships

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Review the ARC method with the colloquial examples.

                  For finding the main idea, the larger structure is more important than precise details.

      Main Idea and Intended Response:

            Per table, discuss each paragraph from the homework:

                  What is the main idea?

                  What is the intended response?

            Record both answers on an 11×17 sheet of paper (possible handout).

Session Two – Dig

      Structure – Propositions and Logical Relationships

            Per table, arc Matthew chapter seven using the handout.

      Main Idea and Intended Response:

            Per table, discuss Matthew chapter seven:

                  What is the main idea of each paragraph?

                  What is the intended response for each paragraph?

            As a group, discuss the flow of main ideas and intended responses:

                  What is the main idea for the entire sermon?

                  What is the intended response for the entire sermon?

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Parallel passages in Scripture present both opportunities and challenges to interpretation.

            Examples: Kings/Chronicles, Ephesians/Colossians, 2 Peter/Jude.

      This week we will consider the parallel passage: The Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49).

      Read Luke 6:20-49 several times and divide the text into paragraphs.

Wednesday

      Arrange the first and second paragraphs into clauses and arc each paragraph.

Thursday

      Arrange the final paragraphs into clauses and arc each paragraph.

Friday

      For each paragraph and then for the entire sermon, answer the following question:

            What is the main idea and intended response?

Weekend

      Ask good questions of this sermon, especially in light of the Sermon on the Mount.

            Be sure to include some questions about applying this sermon in today’s world.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twelve – The Sermon on the Plain

December 14, 2020

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: The Sermon on the Plain

            Per table, discuss each paragraph from the homework:

                  Compare your ARC diagrams for the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49).

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

            As a group, discuss the flow of main ideas and intended responses:

                  What is the main idea and intended response for the entire sermon?

Session Two – Dig

      Parallel Passages – Two Sermons by Jesus

            Per table, compare and discuss the Sermon on the Mount to the Sermon on the Plain:

                  What is similar and different about the structures of the two sermons?

                  Draw a diagram of each sermon and show with shading where the parts overlap.

            As a group, compare and discuss the two sermons:

                  What is the main idea and intended response of the Sermon on the Mount?

                        *Be sure there is a good grasp of the basic outline and its discriminatory purpose.

                  What is the main idea and intended response of the Sermon on the Plain?

                  What are some factors that might account for the similarities and differences?

                  In what ways does knowing the parallel passage help in the process of interpretation?

      Traveling Instructions – Spoken to Them, Written for Us

            As a group, discuss the historical situation of the sermon:

                  List on the board elements of the sermon that would not pertain to us directly.

                  List elements that appear to be transcultural and directly applicable.

      Biblical Theology – Law & Gospel

            There are at least four traditional interpretations of the Sermon on the Mount:

                  Social Gospel – kingdom ethics that will eventually pervade culture

                  Mennonite/Amish – a code of conduct (a new law?) for Christian discipleship

                  Lutheran – a steep ethical standard that drives us to Christ for grace

                  Dispensationalist – the law-code of the Millennial Kingdom

            As a group, discuss the target audience of the Sermon on the Mount:

                  Is it under law in the past?  Is it future in the Millennium?  Is it now, but works?

                  Where is the gospel in the Sermon on the Mount?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

Christmas Break

      Read the entire book of Isaiah at least once.

      Make a list of questions as they naturally occur to you.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Thirteen – Biblical Poetry

January 11, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Discuss the significance of 2 Peter 1:19 (“pay close attention” to the OT).

Session One – Do

      Discussion: Questions from Isaiah

            Review the eight principles of hermeneutics.

                  In “peeling” the genre, what is key feature of narrative?  Of didactic literature?

            Per table, discuss your questions about Isaiah:

                  What are the five biggest things you wish to know about this book?

                  What are some factors that make it difficult to get the answers?

            Per table, read out loud and discuss the following passages:

                  Acts 8:26-40; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; and 1 Peter 1:10-12

                  What are some reasons why the OT is hard to interpret?  What should we do?

            As a group, discuss your findings and act upon them in resolution and present action.

Session Two – Dig

      The Enjoyment of Poetry

            Group Discussion:

                  How many of you have enjoyed poetry?

                        You need to find the right poems and read them out loud.

                  How many of you enjoy singing?

                        You need to remember that David was a Spirit-filled lyricist and a warrior.

      The Images of Poetry

            Per table, read aloud Judges 4 and 5, then discuss the following questions:

                  What is the color of this song?

                  What are the images of the song?  Make a list.

                  In light of Judges 4, how literal are these images?  Rate each image from 0 to 10.

            Group Discussion:

                  If the words cannot be taken literally, then are they false?  What is their purpose?

                        If truth involves thinking, then rightness involves feeling.  Challenge!

Closing Prayer

Poetry is a genre whose form uses parallelism and whose content is filled with images.

The smallest poems of the Bible are proverbs, which is where we will begin.

      Tuesday – Start reading the book of Proverbs with a practical topic in mind.

            Compile a list of references for that topic from Proverbs 10-31.

      Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – Complete your reading and finish your list.

      Weekend – Type out all the verses that are in your list with the reference (or use 3×5 cards).

            Organize the verses into groups and write out a main idea for each group.

                  What is your favorite image for this topic?  What would make a great poster?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Fourteen – Proverbs

January 18, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Proverbs

            Rotate one member to a new table.

            Per table, discuss your Proverbs project with each other:

                  What are the main ideas for your topic? 

                  Which image best captures one of your main ideas?

                  Which of your proverbs seems like it may have exceptions?

            As a group, read Proverbs 26:4-5 and discuss the nature of proverbs:

                  How absolute are these “commands”?

            Conclusion: Proverbs are generalities, not promises; counsel, not commands.

Session Two – Dig

      Figures of Speech

            As a group, read and discuss John 11:11-15.

                  What are the differences between literal speech and figurative speech?

                  What are some examples of figurative speech in English?

            As a group, read and discuss Mark 8:14-21 and 9:9-10.

                  What are similarities and differences in these two conversations?

                  What principles can we gather from these passages about interpreting Jesus?

            Read Isaiah 6:1-13 and Matthew 13:1-23.

                  What are similar traits about the poetry of Isaiah and the parables of Jesus?

                  In what ways are foreign language and figurative speech similar or different?

            Figurative language is veiled speech that requires a code for proper interpretation.

            Per table, consider the handout with examples of figures of speech:

                  Make a list of all the figures of speech you with which you are already familiar.

            Conclusion: The images of poetry should be interpreted figuratively, not literally.

Closing Prayer

For each of the following songs, identify a color and list the images.

Because images create a visual vocabulary, identify what each image signifies with one word.

      Tuesday – The Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1-18)

      Wednesday – The Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1-43)

      Thursday – The Song of David (2 Samuel 22)

      Friday – The Song of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3)

      Weekend

            Reread your favorite song from the week three times out loud:

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

                  What image best epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Fifteen – Biblical Songs

January 25, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: What are the eight hermeneutical principles of this course?

            Which will be the easiest to violate with poetry?  Why?

      Review: Lyrical Poetry

            Arrange into groups according to your favorite song and discuss the following:

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

                  What image best epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

            After discussion, share these insights with the larger group.

Session Two – Dig

      Minor Prophet: Obadiah

            Read Obadiah out loud as a group.

            Per table, discuss the following:

                  Table #1 – What are the images of this text?  What does each image say?

                  Table #2 – What are the “chunks” (literary units) within this text?

                  Table #3 – What are twenty questions about this text, either surface or deep?

            After each table is finished, discuss the following as a large group:

                  What is the main idea and the intended response for the original audience?

                  What image best epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

                  What modern image epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

Closing Prayer

Tuesday

      Prayerfully read through Joel and list significant images—picture them in your mind.

            What are these images intended to make you feel about the subject matter?

Wednesday

      Prayerfully read through Joel and ask questions of the text—surface first, then deeper ones.

Thursday

      Prayerfully read through Joel and “chunk” the text into literary units.

Friday

      Prayerfully read through Joel and draw out a structure for the text:

            Pay attention to patterns, repeated words, and connecting words.

Weekend

      Prayerfully read through Joel out loud:

            What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

            What image best epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

            What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

            What modern image epitomizes this main idea?  Why?

Next Week: Devotional – Video Presentation

Week Sixteen – Joel

February 1, 2019

Demo: Devotional – Videos of a Locust Plague

Session One – Do

      Review: Images

            Using an image links two realms, like two circles with a thread between them:

                  Reality – the focal object in real life

                  Image – the similar object (simile: “like” or “as” & metaphor: “is”)

                  The Thread: What aspect do they have in common that makes the connection?

            An experienced person has a larger “vocabulary” of images for descriptions.

      Review: Images in Joel

            Go around the room and each person present an image for the group to discuss:

                  What is the image saying?  The reality?  The thread of commonality?

                  What modern image might work for today’s cultural context?

Session Two – Dig

      Minor Prophet: Joel

            Per table, discuss your questions and choose three for the group to consider:

                  With the questions on the board, what are some things they have in common?

            By assigning a chapter per table, discuss the following in two rounds:

                  What are the images of this chapter?  What does each image say?

                  What are the “chunks” (literary units) within this text?

            After each round, present the findings to the group and put a rough outline on the board:

                  What is the structure of the whole book?

            Discuss the relationship between the first “day of the Lord” (dol) and the last (DOL).

                  What is the main idea and intended response for the original audience?

            Look up Acts 2:14-42 and locate ourselves within the timeline of Joel.

                  What is the main idea and intended response for Christians today?

Closing Prayer

Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday

      Read all of the following Messianic Psalms each day:

            Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 69, and 110.

      For each psalm, ask: Where is Jesus in this psalm?

Weekend

      Pick one Messianic psalm, read it three times, and answer the following questions:

            What the images?  What do they make me feel?

            What are the “chunks” in the text?  How are they related?

            What is the main idea and intended response for the original audience?

            What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Seventeen – Messianic Psalms

February 15, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Images

            Using an image links two realms, like two circles with a thread between them:

                  What is the image saying?

                  What aspect of reality is being compared to this image?

                  What is the thread of commonality between the two realms?

      Review: Figures of Speech

            Go through the handout, “Figures of Speech in Hebrew Poetry.”

Session Two – Dig

      Messianic Psalms

            Group together according to the psalm chosen:

                  What are the images of this psalm?  What does each image say?

                  What are the “chunks” (literary units) within this psalm?

                  What are three questions that you think must be answered to understand this psalm?

            Draw and label the “chunks” with a description and your questions written off to the side.

                  How does this psalm connect to the Messiah Jesus?

            After discussion, each group will present to the group their psalm:

                  Do you agree or disagree with the “chunks” as presented?

                  How do these “chunks” relate to one another?  [Hint: Logical Relationships.]

                  What are some possible answers to the questions?

                  Where is Jesus in this psalm?

            Discuss the set of Messianic psalms as a group:

                  What is the main idea and the intended response for the original audience?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

For each day, ask the following questions:

      What the images?  What is its overall feel?

      What are the “chunks” in the text?

      List the reference for each “chunk” and give it a short label.

      Tuesday – Isaiah 1-2        Wednesday – Isaiah 3-5                    Thursday – Isaiah 6-7

      Friday – Isaiah 8-9           Weekend – Isaiah 10-12

      When you are finished with all the chapters, then answer these questions:

            Where are the larger divisions in the text for Isaiah 1-12?

            What is the main idea and intended response for the original audience?

            What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Eighteen – Isaiah 1-12 (Part 1)

February 22, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Images in Isaiah 1-12

            Go around the room and each person present an image for the group to discuss:

                  What is the image saying?  What is the reality?  What is the thread of commonality?

                  What modern image might work for today’s cultural context?

Session Two – Dig

      Major Prophet: Isaiah 1-12

            Per table, discuss four chapters of Isaiah:

                  What are the “chunks” (literary units) within this text?

                  What are three questions that you think must be answered to understand this text?

            Draw and label the “chunks” with a description and add the questions to the side.

            After discussion, each table will present to the group their chapters:

                  Do you agree or disagree with the “chunks” as presented?

                  How do these “chunks” relate to one another?  [Hint: Logical Relationships.]

                  What are some possible answers to the questions?

                  What is the main idea and the intended response for the original audience?

            Discuss the whole section (Isaiah 1-12) as a group:

                  What is the main idea?  What is the intended response?

            Discuss the biblical theology of these chapters:

                  Where is Christ in these chapters?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

Prophecies to the Nations

Member #1 – Isaiah 13-15 Member #2 – Isaiah 16-18 Member #3 – Isaiah 19-21 Member #4 – Isaiah 22-24 Member #5 – Isaiah 25-27Member #6 – Isaiah 28-30 Member #7 – Isaiah 31-33 Member #8 – Isaiah 34-36 Member #9 – Isaiah 37-39

Tuesday/Wednesday – Read Isaiah 13-39 out loud.

Thursday – Read your first chapter well and answer:          

            What the images?  What do they say?

            What are the “chunks” in the text? 

            What are some good questions about this chapter?

Friday – Read your second chapter well and answer the same questions.

Weekend – Read your third chapter well and answer the same questions.

      Be prepared to present your three chapters to the group in a five-minute slot.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Nineteen – Isaiah 13-39 (Part 2)

March 1, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Presentations: Isaiah 13-39

            Before presenting, each member asks and records:

                  What is one major question from each of your chapters?

            Each member presents his three chapters of Isaiah to the group (five minutes).

                  The leader writes on the board a short summary and the major question.

Session Two – Dig

      Major Prophet: Isaiah 13-39

            With nine chapters of Isaiah per table, discuss and write down:

                  What is the main idea of each chapter?

            As a group, discuss the overall structure of this portion of Isaiah:

                  Where are the repetitions and structural markers?

                  Where are the major shifts in content, either in tone or in referent?

            Draw in the clear breaks on the original board and then turn to a new board:

                  For each major section, draw a region and write in it the main idea of each chapter.

            Discuss the overall meaning of this portion of Isaiah:

                  What is the main idea for each major section?  What is the intended response?

            Discuss the biblical theology of these chapters:

                  Where is Christ in these chapters?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

The Swiss Alps of the Old Testament (Isaiah 40-66) 

Three Sections: Babylon (chs. 40-48), the Servant (chs. 49-57), the New Creation (chs. 58-66).

Member #1 – Isaiah 40-42 Member #2 – Isaiah 43-45 Member #3 – Isaiah 46-48 Member #4 – Isaiah 49-51 Member #5 – Isaiah 52-54Member #6 – Isaiah 55-57 Member #7 – Isaiah 58-60 Member #8 – Isaiah 61-63 Member #9 – Isaiah 64-66

Tuesday/Wednesday – Read Isaiah 40-66 out loud.

Thursday – Read your first chapter well and answer:          

            What the images?  What do they say?

            What are the “chunks” in the text? 

            What are some good questions about this chapter?

Friday – Read your second chapter well and answer the same questions.

Weekend – Read your third chapter well and answer the same questions.

      Be prepared to present your three chapters to the group in a five-minute slot.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty – Isaiah 40-66 (Part 3)

March 8, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Presentations: Isaiah 40-66

            Before presenting, each member asks and records:

                  What is one major question from each of your chapters?

            Each member presents his three chapters of Isaiah to the group (five minutes).

                  The leader writes on the board a short summary and the major question.

Session Two – Dig

      Major Prophet: Isaiah 40-66

            With nine chapters of Isaiah per table, discuss and write down:

                  What is the main idea of each chapter?

            As a group, discuss the overall structure of this portion of Isaiah:

                  Where are the repetitions and structural markers?

                  Where are the major shifts in content, either in tone or in referent?

            Draw in the clear breaks on the original board and then turn to a new board:

                  For each major section, draw a region and write in it the main idea of each chapter.

            Discuss the overall meaning of this portion of Isaiah:

                  What is the main idea for each major section?  What is the intended response?

            Discuss the biblical theology of these chapters:

                  Where is Christ in these chapters?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

God be praised!  We have studied three genres and have one remaining—apocalyptic literature.

Although Daniel, Zechariah, and parts of Ezekiel are apocalyptic, the best example is Revelation.

      Please ignore the temptation to ask about the timing of its fulfillment.

Instead, ask God to open your eyes to the larger theological message of this inspired book.

First Week

      Read through the book of Revelation, at least once.

      Compile questions as they naturally occur to you.

Second Week

      Read through the book of Revelation again, at least once, and add to your list of questions.

      Also make a table that lists the sections and give a label to each section based on its visions.

Weekend

      Without looking at a commentary, seek to answer the following questions:

            What are some of the main aspects of Jesus that are presented in this book?

            What is the intended response for the early Christians who heard this book?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-One – Apocalyptic Literature

March 22, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Genres

            Apocalyptic Literature – the images of poetry come to life in a narrative

            Revelation – the form of a letter, as if it were didactic literature

      Outline: The Story of Revelation

            Per table, discuss the following:

                  Which of your questions pertain to the internal storyline?  Which to referents?

                  Which places in the book were easiest to outline?  Which were the hardest?  Why?

            Broadly outline a third of the book and present it to the group: Rev. 1-7, 8-14, and 15-22.

      Four Ways of Interpreting Revelation

                  Past – Preterist Interpretation (Theonomist)

                  Present – Historical Interpretation (Protestant)

                  Future – Futurist Interpretation (Dispensational)

                  Symbolic – Timeless Pictures with no chronology

            Our Approach: Chronology with symbolism (no “crystal ball”).

                  Learn the story in the vision world well, then seek an interpretation.

                  Always focus on the knowledge of God and Christ (e.g. judgment as worship).

            Rebirth of Images (cf. C. S. Lewis in Watchful Dragons)

                  As tables, draw out the cherubim (Ezek. 1; Rev. 4) and the beasts (Dan. 7; Rev. 13).

                        How do the drawings compare?  What can we learn on “equating” images?

Session Two – Dig

      Revelation 17

            As a group, learn the interpretive key for this chapter, then draw the story on the board.

      Choose a Vision

            As tables, discuss the story in the vision world:

                  What the images?  What do they say?  What are the “chunks” in the text? 

                  What are three good questions?  What do we learn about God and Christ?

            Retell the story to the group, share your interpretation, and invite comment and criticism.

Closing Prayer

Tuesday-Friday – Answer the same questions as above for the three chapters assigned.               

Member #1 – Revelation 1-3 Member #2 – Revelation 4-5 Member #3 – Revelation 6-7 Member #4 – Revelation 8-9 Member #5 – Revelation 10-11Member #6 – Revelation 12-13 Member #7 – Revelation 14-16      We did Revelation 17 together. Member #8 – Revelation 18-20 Member #9 – Revelation 21-22

Weekend: Be prepared to present your three chapters to the group in a five-minute slot.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-Two – The Book of Revelation (Part 2)

March 29, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Presentations: Revelation

            Before presenting, each member asks and records:

                  What is one major question from each of your chapters?

            Each member presents his chapters of Revelation to the group (five minutes).

                  The leader writes on the board a short summary and the major question.

Session Two – Dig

      Interpretation: Revelation

            Per table, discuss and record for a third of Revelation (chapters 1-7, 8-14, and 15-22):

                  What is the main idea of each chapter?

            As a group, discuss the overall structure of Revelation:

                  Where are the repetitions and structural markers?

                  Where are the major shifts in content, either in tone or in referent?

            Draw in the clear breaks on the original board and then turn to a new board:

                  For each major section, draw a region and write in it the main idea of each chapter.

            Discuss the overall meaning of Revelation:

                  What is the main idea for each major section? 

                  What is the intended response?

            Discuss the biblical theology of these chapters:

                  What do we learn about God and Christ in these chapters?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

Tuesday and Wednesday

      Read the book of Daniel out loud at least once.

      Compile questions as they naturally occur to you.

Thursday – For the assigned chapter below, answer the following questions:

            What the scenes or the images?  What do they say?

            What are the “chunks” in the text?  What are three good questions?

Member #1 – Daniel 1 Member #2 – Daniel 2 Member #3 – Daniel 3 Member #4 – Daniel 4 Member #5 – Daniel 5Member #6 – Daniel 6 Member #7 – Daniel 7 Member #8 – Daniel 8 Member #9 – Daniel 9

Friday – Read the final vision of Daniel out loud (chapters 10-12) and compile questions.

Weekend – Read the book of Daniel again and add to your questions.

      Be prepared to present your chapter to the group in a five-minute slot.

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-Three – Daniel

April 5, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Presentations: Daniel 1-9

            Before presenting, each member asks and records:

                  What is one major question from your chapter?  A prominent image?

            Each member presents his chapter from Daniel to the group (five minutes).

                  The leader writes on the board a short summary with the major question and image.

Session Two – Dig

      Interpretation: Daniel

            Per table, discuss the last three chapters of Daniel (chs. 10-12):

                  What are three main questions for this section of Scripture?

                  Where are the major breaks in the text?

                  What is the main idea of the final chapters?

            Present your thoughts on the board and participate in a group discussion.

            As a group, discuss the overall structure of Daniel:

                  Where are the repetitions and structural markers?

                  Where are the major shifts in content, either in tone or in referent?

            Draw in the clear breaks on the original board and then turn to a new board:

                  For each major section, draw a region and write in it the main idea of each chapter.

            Discuss the overall meaning of Daniel:

                  What is the main idea and intended response for each major section? 

            Discuss the biblical theology of these chapters:

                  What do we learn about God and Christ in these chapters?

                  What is the main idea and intended response for us today?

Closing Prayer

We have seen that parallel passages in Scripture present both opportunities and challenges.

Perhaps the greatest set of parallel passages are the four gospels.

During the next two weeks, you will read and study one gospel of your choice.

First Week – Choose a gospel and read it through at least once.

      Compile questions as they naturally occur to you.

Second Week – Read through the gospel again.

      Add to your questions and write out the basic structure of the book.

            How much long teaching sections did you find?  How many parables (narratives)?

Weekend –Without looking at a commentary, seek to answer the following questions:

            What are some of the main aspects of Jesus that are presented in this gospel?

            Who is the intended audience for this gospel (Jews, Greeks, Romans, Everyone)?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-Four – The Gospels

April 19, 2021

Demo: Devotional – Mark 14:51-52 – cf. Robert Frost

Session One – Do

      Review: What are the eight hermeneutical principles of this course?

            Assign tables based on the gospel chosen for the last two weeks:

                  What is the gospel’s main idea about Christ?  Who is the gospel’s intended audience?

            We should interpret passages in light of the theme, and also apply Christ to an audience.

      Biblical Theology – Christ in the Old Testament

            Down the 11×17 sheet of paper, each table should fill in a chart with these three columns:

                  OT Book – Jonah, Ruth, Judges, Genesis, Proverbs,

                        Obadiah, Joel, the Messianic Psalms, Isaiah, and Daniel

                  Prophecy of Christ – Where is Christ within this Old Testament book?

                  Prophecy Fulfilled – Where is the prophecy fulfilled within the gospel you read?

            As a group, discuss how all the details of the OT are fulfilled in Christ (see Mt. 5:17-18):

                  How many of the prophecies are the fulfillment of a name, prediction, or institution?

            These ways form the threads of biblical theology between the Old and New Testaments.

Session Two – Dig

      Biblical Theology – The Seed Promises in Genesis

            Table #1: What are the similarities and differences of Genesis chapters 3 and 4?

                  How are these chapters related to each other?

            Table #2: How does Paul ground his argument in Romans 9:6-12 in Genesis?

            Table #3: How does Revelation chapters 12 and 13 exhibit the promise of Genesis 3:15?

            After each table discusses these chapters, the results should be presented to the group:

                  Who is specifically included in the “seed” promises given to Adam and Abraham?

                  How does this insight possibly explain Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees (Mark 12:27)?

      Biblical Theology – Two Paradigms

            As a group, consider the distinctives of covenant theology and dispensationalism:

                  Who are the recipients of the promises to Israel?  How are they fulfilled?

            We will seek to answer these larger questions through an exploration of the covenants.

Closing Prayer

For each of the days, write out at least ten surface questions and three deeper questions.

      Tuesday – Genesis 6-9, 15, 17, and Romans 11

      Wednesday – Exodus 24, 32-34, Joshua 23-24, and 1 Samuel 12

      Thursday – 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, and Psalms 89 and 132

      Friday – Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36-37, and Hebrews 8-10

      Weekend – For the covenants between God and man, answer the following questions:

            What are at least three things similar about each covenant?

            What are at least three things different about each covenant?

            In what ways does each covenant point us to Jesus Christ?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-Five – Covenants

April 26, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Biblical Theology – What is a covenant?

            As a group, write on the board the answers to the questions:

                  What are at least three things similar about each covenant?

                  What are at least three things different about each covenant?

            Discuss the definition of a covenant—its genus (kind) and species (differs from others).

      Biblical Theology – What are “the covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:12)?

            Per table, discuss the questions for one of the following sets of covenants:

                  Noahic and Abrahamic Covenants

                  Mosaic Covenant

                  Davidic Covenant

            Present three significant questions to the group for discussion:

                  How do these covenants fit together?

            List on the board the provisions of the new covenant:

                  How does the new covenant fit with the previous covenants?  With the gospel?

                  According to Romans 11, who should be the recipients of new covenant?  Who are?

                  How does this discussion compare to last week’s discussion about the seed?

Session Two – Dig

      Training – The Rhetoric of a Devotional

            Learn the difference between logic and rhetoric:

                  Logic starts with assumptions and ends with assertions.

                        Do not recount your steps of discovery—what spoke to you may not to them.

                  Rhetoric starts with audience and ends with action.

                        Before the Lord, constantly ask yourself, “What is my message?”

            Learn how to craft a devotional with Hook, Look, and Took:

                  Organize “Look” toward the Main Idea and “Took” toward the Intended Response.

            Incorporate the strengths of the genre.

            Make sure that each Old Testament devotional includes Christ, but with integrity.

      Training – Ask Open Questions

            Avoid both Yes-No and leading questions—as if the goal is guessing the leader’s answer.

            Use open question with multiple answers, which often use plural nouns.

            If you have a definite idea, then propose it and ask for any objections or qualifications.

            Per table, discuss a Hook-Look-Took idea for a devotional around your covenant(s).

                  What is an open question for each section of part of your devotional?

Closing Prayer

Weekdays – For each day’s passages, outline a Hook-Look-Took outline with open questions.

Weekend – Choose one devotional to develop fully for a ten-minute devotional next week.

      If the leader wishes, he can coordinate that no passages are duplicated, but repetition is good.

Next Week: Everyone is doing a devotional—the leader starts and closes with an evaluation.

Week Twenty-Six – Covenant Devotionals

May 3, 2021

Demo: Devotional – Pastor Rob

Session One – Do

      Biblical Theology – Devotionals on the Covenants

            As a group, present the Hook-Look-Took devotional on one of the biblical covenants:

                  Member #1

                  Member #2

                  Member #3

                  Member #4

                  Member #5

                  Member #6

                  Member #7

                  Member #8

                  Member #9

            Please take note of the devotional immediately after yours:

                  What was the main point?  What is one strength?  What is a potential improvement?

Session Two – Dig

      Training – The Effectiveness of the Devotionals

            As a group, discuss each devotional—begin with each man sharing the three questions.

            If time permits, the group should review the seed concept in light of Romans 9-11.

Closing Prayer

Next Week – Birth Narratives

What are the common factors about the birth narratives?

What do they teach us about our God, Christ, and ourselves?

For each of the following passages:

      Ask at least a dozen surface questions and three deeper questions.

As the Lord gives insight, record your observations.

Tuesday – Read Genesis 17-21 regarding the birth of Isaac.

Wednesday – Read Exodus 1-2 regarding the birth of Moses.

Thursday – Read 1 Samuel 1-3 regarding the birth of Samuel.

Friday – Read Luke 1-2 regarding the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

Weekend

      Read through all the passages again.  Answer the following questions:

            In what ways are these passages similar?

            In what ways are these passages different?

            What is the main idea of a birth narrative?

            What is the intended response of a birth narrative?

Next Week: Devotional

Week Twenty-Seven – Birth Narratives

May 10, 2021

Demo: Devotional – Pastor Bob (Romans 11)

Session One – Do

      Biblical Theology – The Birth Narratives

            Separate the first three sets of passages into three groups and discuss your questions:

                  The Births of Isaac, Moses, and Samuel

            Present your findings to the group, who then answers the questions:

                  In what ways are these passages similar?  Different?

                  What is the main idea of a birth narrative?  Intended response?

            As a group, discuss the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

                  In what ways do the background passages illuminate the Christmas narratives?

                  What do we learn about Christ our Lord?

            Finally, as a group, discuss Ruth as a birth narrative.

                  How well does Ruth conform to the pattern of a birth narrative?

                  What do we learn about God and His Christ as a result?

Session Two – Dig

      Biblical Theology – The Historical Aspect of the Gospel (Romans 3:21-26)

            Per table, write down at least twelve surface questions and three deeper questions.

            As a group, ARC the passage—begin with the largest structures.

            As a group, identify the main idea and intended response for the original audience and us.

Closing Prayer

Next Week – Shepherd Passages

What are the common factors about shepherd passages?  What are different factors?

What do they teach us about God, Christ, and ourselves?

For each of the following passages:

      Ask at least a dozen surface questions and three deeper questions.

As the Lord gives insight, record your observations.

Tuesday – Read Genesis 46:28-47:12, Exodus 3-4, 18, and Psalm 77 about Moses the shepherd.

Wednesday – Read 1 Samuel 16-17 and Psalms 23 and 78 about David the shepherd.

Thursday – Read Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34, and Zechariah 11 about the bad shepherds.

Friday – Read John 9-10, 21 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 about the Good Shepherd and His sub-shepherds.

Weekend – Read through all the passages again and answer the following questions:

      In what ways are these passages similar?

      In what ways are these passages different?

      What is the main idea of the shepherd narrative?

      What is the intended response of the shepherd narrative?

      What do these passages teach us about Jesus our Lord?

Devotional

Week Twenty-Eight – Shepherd Passages

May 17, 2021

Demo: Devotional

Session One – Do

      Review: Hook-Look-Took and Other Tools

            Review the eight steps of biblical hermeneutics.

            Review the main approaches to the genres of literature.

            Discuss how to lead a small group Bible study:

                  Hook, Look, Took.  Think through the transitions well.

                  Avoid binary and leading questions.  The goal is to know the mind of God, not yours.

                  Use open questions: e.g. “In what ways are…?” and “What kind of…?”

      Biblical Theology: Shepherd Passages

            Separate the first three sets of passages into three groups and discuss your questions:

                  The Shepherding of Moses, of David, and of the Bad Shepherds

            Present your findings to the group, who then answers the questions:

                  In what ways are these passages similar?  Different?

                  What is a main idea of a shepherding passage?  Intended response?

            As a group, discuss the shepherding of Jesus and of current pastors:

                  In what ways do the background passages illuminate the shepherding of Christ?

                  What is the main idea and intended response regarding Jesus as our Good Shepherd?

                  What are some applications for pastors?  For congregations with respect to pastors?

Session Two – Dig

      As a group, write down possible topics for biblical theology (e.g. temple, kingdom, etc.):

            What topics have arisen in our passages already (see the list below)?                    

      As a group, discuss ways for finding biblical passages to pursue these topics:

            What tools would you use (e.g. cross-references from New Testament passages)?

Next Week – Final Devotional

Prepare a ten-minute devotional on any Scripture that we have considered this year (see the list).

The devotional should follow the Hook-Look-Took format with good questions.

The devotional should at least set the passage and application in the context of biblical theology:

      If you wish to be ambitious, pursue a topic in biblical theology based on one of our passages.

      Jonah         Ruth          Judges       Genesis            Colossians       Matthew 5-7       Proverbs    Obadiah    Joel            Isaiah               Revelation       Daniel
      Songs in Scripture: Exodus 15; 2 Samuel 22; Deuteronomy 32; and Habakkuk 3       Messianic Psalms: Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 69, and 110       Covenant Passages: Genesis 6-9, 15, 17; Exodus 24, 32-34, Joshua 23-24, 1 Samuel 12;             2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, Psalms 89 and 132; Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36-37, and             Hebrews 8-10       Birth Narratives: Genesis 17-2l; Exodus 1-2; 1 Samuel 1-3; and Luke 1-2       Shepherd Passages:             Genesis 46:28-47:12; Exodus 3-4, 18; Psalm 77; 1 Samuel 16-17; Psalms 23 and 78;             Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 34; Zechariah 11; John 9-10, 21; and 1 Peter 5:1-4.

Week Twenty-Nine – Final Devotional

May 24, 2021

Session One – Do

      Biblical Theology – Final Devotional

            As a group, present the Hook-Look-Took devotional on one of the biblical covenants:

                  Member #1

                  Member #2

                  Member #3

                  Member #4

                  Member #5

                  Member #6

                  Member #7

                  Member #8

                  Member #9

            Please take note of the devotional immediately after yours:

                  What was the main point?  What is one strength?  What is a potential improvement?

Session Two – Dig

      Training – The Effectiveness of the Devotionals

            As a group, discuss each devotional—begin with each man sharing the three questions.

            If time permits, let each man offer some final thoughts:

                  In what ways has this course affected you the most?

                  In what ways do you intend to use this training?

Closing Prayer

Final Assignment – Consultation

      Each man should schedule a time with the Senior Pastor to discuss the next step:

            What have you learned about God and about yourself this year?

            How might the Lord be leading you to use your gifts and your training?

            What is the next step?

(cont’d)

Bonus Lesson – for an Extra Week in May

Next Week – Romans 3:21-26

This paragraph may be about the most paragraph the apostle Paul ever wrote on the gospel.

For biblical theology, we need to understand this passage in concentric circles of context.

Tuesday

Read Romans 3:21-26 at least five time out loud:

      Ask at least fifteen surface level questions and three big questions.

Wednesday

Read Romans 3:21-26 at least five time out loud:

      Ask an additional ten surface level questions and two big questions.

      Identify three key terms that are critical to understanding this passage.

Thursday

Read the whole book of Romans:

      Make a list of paragraphs that include your terms.

      Star the main passages that discuss the concepts of your passage at length.

Friday

Using a reference Bible, look up the cross-references to other passages:

      Write down observations and questions, but remember that authors use terms differently.

Weekend

ARC Romans 3:21-16 on a separate sheet of paper:

      What is the main idea of this passage and intended response?

      How does this passage function in the flow of Romans?

      What insights do we gain about God through this passage?

Week Twenty-Nine – The Gospel in Romans 3:21-26

May 24, 2021

Session One – Do

In separate groups, discuss your questions pertaining to:

      Group 1 – The Context of Romans

      Group 2 – The Cross-References

      Group 3 – The ARCing of the Paragraph

After discussing the questions, each group should answer:

      What is the main idea and intended response?

      What insights do we gain about God?

Share these insights with the group.  Discuss at length.

(cont’d)

Extra Lesson – Imprecatory Psalms

Assignment: Read James E. Adams, War Psalms of the Prince of Peace (two weeks).

Discuss the book as in theological Log College.

Ask questions such as:

      What was most startling or surprising from these psalms?

      Who is speaking in these psalms?

            The speaker varies (e.g. David in Psalm 110, but Jesus in Psalm 16—cf. Acts 2:29-31).

      How should we handle the cries for individual vindication?

      How should we handle the confessions of guilt?

      How should we as Christians pray these prayers in Jesus’ name?

Next Week – A Final Devotional

Prepare a ten-minute devotional on any Scripture that we have considered together this year:

      Jonah         Ruth          Judges       Genesis            Colossians

      Proverbs    Obadiah    Joel            Isaiah               Revelation

      The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)

      Songs in Scripture: Exodus 15; 2 Samuel 22; Deuteronomy 32; and Habakkuk 3

      Messianic Psalms: Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 69, and 110

      Covenant Passages: Genesis 6-9, 15, 17; Exodus 24, 32-34, Joshua 23-24, 1 Samuel 12;

            2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, Psalms 89 and 132; Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36-37, and

            Hebrews 8-10

      Imprecatory Psalms

      Birth Narratives: Genesis 17-2l; Exodus 1-2; 1 Samuel 1-3; and Luke 1-2

      Shepherd Passages:

            Genesis 46:28-47:12, Exodus 3-4, 18, and Psalm 77 about Moses the shepherd

            1 Samuel 16-17 and Psalms 23 and 78 about David the shepherd

            Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34, and Zechariah 11 about the bad shepherds

            John 9-10, 21 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 about the Good Shepherd and His servant-shepherds

      Romans 3:21-16

Also prepare a brief answer for the following two questions:

      In what ways has this course affected you the most?

      In what ways do you intend to use this training?

Week Thirty – Bible Devotionals

Summer Event

Each member of the group presents a devotional to the church family.

(cont’d)

Logical Relationships

Log College

To understand an argument, we must understand the logical relationship between clauses.

Clause = Subject + Predicate (something said about a subject)

      This menu [subject] lacks good choices [predicate].

Sentence = Main Clause(s) + (optional) Subordinate Clauses

      This menu lacks good choices [main], because the owner lacks taste [subordinate].

Subordinate Clauses – Structural Markers

      Conjunctions – joining words, such as and, but, or, so that, in order to, for, etc.

      Relative Pronouns – a “wh” word that explains a noun, such as which and who

      Participles – a verb with “ing” that explains a verb or a noun, such as asking, etc.

Coordinate Logical Relationship – neither clause supports the other

            S    Series – a list of equals (“and”)

                        You need to exercise regularly. 

                        You need to eat healthy. 

                        You need to spend time with your wife and family.

            P    Progression – an order of steps (“then”)

                        You fill out some applications.

                        You conduct an interview.

                        You accept a position.

            A    Alternative – a pair of options (“or”) – e.g. Romans 14:5

                        You may choose to get married.

                        You may choose to remain single.

Subordinate Logical Relationship – the subordinate clause supports the main clause

                  Action-Time – presents a time qualifier (“when”, “after”, “before”, “while”…)

          Ac          We will spend a week hunting,

            T          when November comes.

                  Action-Location – presents a place qualifier (“where”) – Ruth 1:16

          Ac          We will set up our tent,

            L          where the ground is level.

                  Action-Purpose – emphasizes the actor’s intention (“in order that”)

          Ac          Yesterday I went to the auto store for some parts

         Pur          in order to get started on that old jeep of yours.

                  Action-Result – an unintended consequence to an action (“so that”)

          Ac          Yesterday I went to the auto store for some parts

         Res          and I saved nearly twenty dollars!

                  Action-Manner – the way the action is performed (“how?”)

          Ac          You should always put the customer before yourself,

         Mn          making sure he receives the priority in scheduling.

                  Negative-Positive – a contrast, often a denial with an affirmation (“not”)

            –          Do not tell me about your love;

            +          show me that you love me.

                   Comparison – what the main statement is like (“just as”)

                        You need to work heartily on the job,

          Cf          just as you would at home on your own projects.

                  Idea-Explanation – a clarification, often reiterating an idea (“for”)

           Id          A man who can think on his feet often gets the job;

        Exp          he tends to interview better than most applicants.

                  Question-Answer – a question that actually makes a statement (“?”)

            Q          How should a man love his family?

            A          Not just with actions or with words, but with both actions and words.

                  Note: A rhetorical question actually makes a statement and has no answer.

                        How many times do I need to tell you to clean up your room?

                  Ground – tells a reason for the statement (“for”) – e.g. 1 Peter 1:16

                        You should always set aside some money for a rainy day,

            G          because sooner or later unexpected expenses will come.

                  Inference – tells an implication from the statement (“therefore”)

                        You did not call me for three weeks;

                      therefore, I assumed that you did not want the job.

                   Bilateral – combination of statement, ground, inference (like a sandwich)

                        You are not going out this weekend,

         BL          because you failed to do your homework;

                        therefore, you are staying home.

                  Conditional – truth of a statement depends on the truth of another (“if”)

            If          If you made your payment,

          Th          then you should not receive a delinquency notice.

                  Note: A logical if-then is not necessarily a cause-and-effect.

                        If the rooster is crowing,

                        then the sun must be rising.

                  Concessive – strengthen a point by conceding another (“although” or “even though”)

        Csv          Although I lack good looks,

                        my wife loves me a lot.

Based on TGC: Arcing Scripture – by BibleArc in partnership with Bethlehem College & Seminary

Source: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/course/arcing-scripture/#the-18-logical-relationships

Figures of Speech

Log College

Figure of Speech – any deviation in arrangement or signification from ordinary speech

Comparisons

                              simile        explicit comparison (“like”, “as”)

                                                        “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning” (Lk. 10:19).

                          parable        extended simile

                                                        “The kingdom of God is like…”

                      metaphor        implied comparison (“is”, “are”)

                                                        “Go and tell that fox…” (Lk. 13:32 – Herod Antipas).

                          allegory        extended metaphor

                                                        “Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them” (Jdg. 9:8ff).

             personification        investing a non-human object with human qualities

                                                        “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me…” (Gen. 4:10).

     anthropomorphism        comparison of God to some human body aspect

                                                        “The eyes of the LORD are in every place…” (Pr. 15:3).

         anthropopathism        comparison of God to human emotion

                                                        “The Lord laughs at him…” (Ps. 37:13).

               zoomorphism        comparison of God to nonhuman body aspects

                                                        “…in the shadow of Your wings” (Ps. 36:7).

Substitution

                    metonymy        one noun for another, based on association

                                                        “The White House said…”

                   synecdoche        the part for the whole and the whole for the part

                                                        “I will not trust in my bow…” (Ps. 44:6), i.e. in weapons.

                                                        “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood…” (Eph. 6:12).

                                                        “If a brother or sister be naked…” (Jas. 2:15), i.e. scantily clothed.

                           merism        two opposite statements that signify the whole

                                                        “heaven and earth” (Gen. 1:1) and “day and night” (Ps. 1:1)

                   euphemism        an inoffensive term for an offensive term

                                                        “Saul went in to cover his feet…” (1 Sam. 24:3).

                    anthimeria        the substitution of one part of speech for another

                                                        “I am going in search of the great perhaps” (Rabelais).

                     hendiadys        stock phrases where the second word specifies the first (lit. “two for one”)

                                                        “fire and brimstone” (Ps. 11:6)

                    apostrophe        a turning aside from subject matter to address someone (real or imaginary)

                                                        “Be appalled, O heavens, at this…” (Jer. 2:12).

                   hyperbaton        transposition, word placed out of usual order, often first or last for emphasis

                                                        “For to you I speak,…inasmuch as I am of Gentiles the apostle” (Rom 11:13)

                               irony        expression of thought in a form that meant to convey its opposite

                                                        “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19ff).

                   chleuasmos        expression of feeling by mocking

                                                        “He saved others; He cannot save Himself…the King of Israel” (Mt. 27:42).

                  imprecation        expression of feeling by a malediction (curse)

                                                        “Let their way be dark and slippery,

                                                        with the angel of the LORD pursuing them” (Ps. 35:6).

              onomatopoeia        a word’s sound creates the effect of its meaning

                                                        “murmur,” “barbarian,” “buzz,” etc.

Repetition or Amplification

                    parallelism        the form of two lines match each other (complete, incomplete, synthetic)

                                                        “An ox knows its own, and a donkey its master’s manger,…” (Isa. 1:3).

                paronomasia        a play on words (e.g. a pun)

                                                        “Cushan Rishathaim from Aram Naharaim” (Jdg. 3:8) – not his real name

                  antanaclasis        a single word or phrase is repeated, but with a different sense

                                                        “Let the dead bury their dead” (Lk. 9:60).

                       anaphora        similar beginnings to lines

                                                        “Many are rising up…many are saying…” (Ps. 3:1-2).

                          acrostic        repeating the same or successive letters at the beginning of words or lines

                                                        Examples: Psalms 25, 34, 111, 112, and especially 119.

               polysyndeton        repetition of the conjunction (lit. “many-ands”)

                                                        “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and…” (Acts 1:8).

                        inclusion        the literary unit begins and ends with the same word, phrase, or clause

                                                        “O LORD our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth” (Ps. 8:1, 9)!

                           chiasm        the start and end of a line or phrase have its order reversed (macro or micro)

                                                        “The best of men are men at best.”

                        anabasis        gradual ascent of sense in successive lines

                                                        “Blessed is the man who does not walkstandsit…” (Ps. 1:1).

                       catabasis        gradual descent of sense in successive lines

                                                        “…they shall mount up…, run…, walk…” (Isa. 40:31).

                      hyperbole        intentional exaggeration

                                                        “…who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (Mt. 23:24)!

                     alliteration        repetition of similar sounds at the beginning of words

                                                        “I said, ‘You are gods” (Ps. 82:6) – all start with the same Hebrew letter

                     assonance        repetition of similar sounds within words

                                                        “the crumbling thunder of the seas” (Robert Louis Stevenson)

                            rhyme        repetition of similar sounds at the end of words

                                                        “mountain” and “fountain,” etc.

Omission or Suppression

                            ellipsis        omission of a word or a phrase

                                                        “A day in Your courts is better than a thousand” (Ps. 84:10) – a 1,000 what?

                   aposiopesis        a “sudden silence” or break-off

                                                        “But now, if You will forgive their sin—and if not…” (Ex. 32:32).

                 anacoluthon        a “non-sequence,” a change from one construction to a different kind

                                                        “If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one…

                                                        considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1 KJV).

                           erotesis        a rhetorical question implying strong affirmation or denial

                                                        “Who can discern his errors?” (Ps. 19:12).

                           meiosis        belittling of one thing to magnify another

                                                        “…to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes” (Gen. 18:27).

                      tapeinosis        demeaning, a lessening of a thing in order to increase it

                                                        “…and she happened to come to the portion…belonging to Boaz” (Ruth 1:3)

                     asyndeton        no conjunctions (lit. “no-ands”)

                                                        “I came, I saw, I conquered” (attr. Julius Caesar).

Related Concepts

                              idiom        a dead figure of speech, due to overuse

                                                        “a piece of cake,” “to spill the beans,” “to go bananas,” etc.

                                                        “He who believes…will not make haste” (Isa. 28:16), i.e. be disappointed.

                          proverb        a pithy, memorable statement of general truth—a short saying with salt

                                                        “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

                           symbol        material object substituted for moral or spiritual truth

                                                        “Take, eat; this is My body” (Mt. 26:26).

                                type        divinely prefigured pattern of a corresponding reality (the antitype)

                                                        “…Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14).

Sources: Allen Ross syllabus; McCabe, OT Poetic Books, 61-63; Van Gemeren, EBC, 23-28; and Internet dictionaries.

Introduction to Poetry: The Proverb

Modes of Speech

The basic two modes of speech are prose and poetry:

        Prose – normal speech, based on sentences, which are organized into paragraphs

        Poetry – elevated speech, based on the line, which are organized into stanzas (verses)

                E.g. Milton, Paradise Lost (Book I):

                        Of man’s first disobedience and the fruit

                        Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

                        Brought death into the world, and all our woe.

Proverb: The Simplest Poem

C. H. Spurgeon once said that a proverb needs brevity, sense, and salt.

        It must be small enough to remember, make a point worth remembering, and have a little kick to make it stick

A proverb is a “one-liner” with salt—a pithy, memorable statement of general truth.

        A proverb is based on general observation of life (“all things considered equal”).

        A proverb is not a promise or an absolute command, but a generalization or counsel.

Therefore, a proverb conveys wisdom, the ability to see into the world (as God made it) and give sound counsel.

        Based on Proverbs 8 etc., God made the world with wisdom.

        Therefore, real human wisdom accords with God’s wisdom and conforms to His ways (“cuts with the grain”).

                Real wisdom is “true-to-life.”

For centuries, many cultures have used proverbs as the basic building blocks of teaching wisdom. 

Their size suits the young, but the wise continue to pocket them for future use (Proverbs 1:2-6).  

Jesus and the apostles were no exception.  Read the New Testament and keep your eye open for proverbial sayings!

        Note: It is better not to memorize verses, but sayings—especially proverbs.

Paul

“He who began in you a good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Ph. 1:6).

“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Ph. 1:21).

“Forgetting the things behind, And reaching forward to things ahead” (Ph. 3:13).

“I can do all things through Him who enables me” (Ph. 4:13).

James

“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).

“Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

“Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availed much” (James 5:16).

English Proverbs

Like Hebrew proverbs, English proverbs are built by connecting two things in reality:

        E.g. Cause and Effect: “Pride comes before a fall” (cf. Pr. 16:18).

However, unlike Hebrew proverbs, English proverbs usually consist of one line, not two.

The insight into reality (i.e. the connection) is usually conveyed in one or two ways:

        Sound – The connection is reinforced through a similar sound (often a rhyme).

                “Haste makes waste.”         “You snooze, you lose.”     “No pain, no gain.”

        Image – The connection is made memorable through a striking image.

                “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”             “One bad apple ruins the barrel.”

                Note: The image itself embodies the connection found in human life.

Handout: “The Forms of English Proverbs”

        [Go through the forms one-by-one, emphasizing the two main means of making an English proverb.]

Hebrew Proverbs

Hebrew proverbs differ from English proverbs in two primary respects:

First, English relies heavily on verbal traits (especially rhyme), but Hebrew does not (e.g. concrete images).

Second, English proverbs are typically one liners, but Hebrew proverbs usually have two lines.

Consequently, Hebrew proverbs are designated by the relationship between the lines:

        Form: Parallelism

                Line A

                Line B

Patterns:

1.     Synonymous Parallelism – the second line repeats (“and”) the first line (e.g. 16:18):

                “A generous man will prosper

                and he who waters will be watered” (Pr. 11:25).

2.     Antithetical Parallelism – the second line contrasts (“but”) the first line (e.g. 11:17):

                “A gracious woman attains honor,

                and a ruthless man gains wealth” (Pr. 11:16).

                Parallel in form but opposite in meaning.

3.     Nonparallel Amplification (or “Synthetic Parallelism”) – the second line adds a new thought to the first line

        (e.g. 10:22 and 14:12):

                The two lines do not appear to be parallel in form.

4.     Natural Comparison – one line gives a simile or metaphor of the other line (e.g. 25:25):

Specific Variations:

5.     Identifications: “He who…” (e.g. 17:19).

6.     Value Comparisons: “Better…” (e.g. 17:1).

7.     Positive Counsel: e.g. “Prepare plans by consultation” (20:18a).

8.     Negative Counsel: e.g. “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’” (20:22a).

9.     Hidden Triplet: The first line has two items; the second refers to them “both” (e.g. 20:1).

                Cf. English: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

10. Question: A rhetorical questions makes the point (e.g. 20:9, 24).

The book of Proverbs contains other forms, such as quatrains (e.g. 24:1-2) or longer story-proverbs (e.g. 24:30-34).

One favorite variation on the longer proverbs is the enumerated list (a middah) (e.g. 6:16-19; 30:15-21).

The end of Proverbs is an acrostic poem on the excellent wife (31:10-31).

Summary:

Parallelism => Same form.

Synonymous => Same meaning.

Antithetical => Opposite meaning.

Illus. Same shape in each line, but the colors are different or the same…

The Proverbs lend themselves to collections:

        Take a topic of interest—perhaps a question you need answered or direction you need given.

        Read through the Proverbs quickly.

        Gather a list of all the proverbs on that topic.

        Then group those proverbs by subtopic and arrange them in an order that makes sense.

        If it is easier, write out the proverbs in full and keep the list for your personal guidance.

Forms of English Proverbs

TypeFormExample
Simileas…, like…handy as a pocket fine as a froghair
   
Word RhymesRhyme…rhyme.Haste makes waste.
Clause Rhymes…rhyme, …rhyme.You snooze, you lose.
Alternative RhymesRhyme or rhyme.Use it or lose it.
Internal Rhymes…rhyme…rhyme.Little strokes fell great oaks.
   
EquationsA… is A…A penny saved is a penny earned. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Better-ComparisonsBetter…Better safe than sorry.
SuperlativesBest…Best to let sleeping dogs lie.
   
IdentificationsHe who…He who hesitates, loses.
If-ConditionalIf…If the shoe fits, wear it. If the whale didn’t spout, he wouldn’t be harpooned.
When-ConditionalWhen…When it rains, it pours.
   
Concrete AnalogyWord pictureThe pioneers get the arrows. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The acorn don’t fall far from the tree.
Concrete ContrastPicture & OppositeFools rush in where angels fear to tread. You can’t soar with eagles in the morning           if you hoot with the owls at night.
Concrete DefinitionSomething is…Necessity is the mother of all invention. Variety is the spice of life.
Concrete Comparisons…is …er than…The pen is mightier than the sword. Blood is thicker than water.
Concrete Valuations…is worth…An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One today is worth two tomorrows. A picture is worth a thousand words.
   
Single Parallel DoubletsA-word-A-oppositeNothing ventured, nothing gained. Another day, another dollar.
Double Parallel DoubletsWord-word-opp-oppOnce a man, twice a child.
End-Alliteration Doublets…letter…letter.Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Apposition DoubletsThe…, the…The higher they climb, the harder they fall.
   
CommandDo…Look before you leap.
ProhibitionNever…Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
   
TripletsWord word word.Familiarity breeds contempt. Business before pleasure.
ChiasmABBAFigures don’t lie but liars can figure. The best of men are men at best.
Rhyming Bicolon…rhyme, …rhyme.We will not know what prayer is for,           until we learn that life is war. Early to bed, early to rise,           makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The Tongue – Counsel from Proverbs on Our Words

October 19, 2011

Introduction: The Power of the Tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

Destruction: Death is in the power of the tongue.

For example, the way of the hypocrite is destructive:

        “The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,

        but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered” (11:9).

As for the wicked, violence covers his mouth (10:11).

Verbal abuse is perhaps more debilitating than physical abuse, since words can penetrate deeper than wounds:

        “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool” (17:10).

        “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” (18:14).

Even casual joking involves deception and risks injury:

        “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,

        is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I was only joking!’” (26:18-19; cf. 12:18a).

A fool’s tongue not only harms others, but leads to self-ruin as well:

        “Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (10:14).

        “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for blows” (18:6).

        “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (18:7).

Construction: Life is in the power of the tongue.

The tongue provides food and drink for the needy soul:

        “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (10:11).

        “The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom” (10:21).

        “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (13:14).

The tongue also provides medicine for the hurting soul:

        “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (12:18).

        “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (12:25).

        “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy” (15:30).

In light of these verses, let us consider how rich each of us can be in words, with much to give to others.

Even the poorest among us can by wise words surpass all others in giving.

As with the fool hurting himself by his tongue, so also the tongue of the wise helps himself:

        “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,

        and the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him” (12:14; cf. 18:21, quoted above).

Disclaimer: The tongue is not almighty.

Though the tongue is a powerful tool for good or for bad, it often cannot accomplish the job alone:

        “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty” (14:23).

        “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (29:15).

        “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; for though he understands, he will not respond” (29:19).

The world may boast, “With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

        but the LORD speaks on behalf of the oppressed and prevails (Psalm 12:4, 5).

His words are “pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).

Four Guidelines for the Use of the Tongue

Our words should be true, few, slow, and apropos.

        Note: apropos (ap-rah-POH) means “to the point, pertinent, at an opportune time.”

Our words should be true.

True and straightforward speech deals kindly with people, like a kiss of greeting:

        “It is not good to show partiality in judgment.

        He who says to the wicked, ‘You are righteous,’ him the people will curse; nations will abhor him.

        But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.

        He who gives a right answer kisses the lips” (24:23-26, lit. “a straightforward answer”).

In contrast to such a genuine greeter, the deceiver is all show:

        “Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

        He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself;

        When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart;

        Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly” (26:23-26).

In particular, we should guard against two common kinds of falsehood:

        Flattery – to speak better of others than they truly are

        Slander – to speak worse of others than they truly are

In the long run, reproof is better than flattery, which ensnares and ruins others:

        “A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin” (26:28).

        “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.

        Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (27:5-6).

        “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue” (28:23).

        “A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet” (29:5).

As for slander, it is often the source of strife:

        “An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire.

        A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends” (16:27-28).

        “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.

        As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

        The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body” (26:20-22; cf. 18:8).

Our words should be few.

If our words are few, we will live and let live.

First, we will live, in that we ourselves will benefit:

        “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (13:3).

        “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (21:23).

Speaking few words leads to less sin:

        “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (10:19).

Speaking few words leads to less embarrassment:

        “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;

        when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (17:28).

Speaking few words leads to less harm due to gossips:

        “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;

        therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (20:19).

Second, we will also let live, in that we will often pass over faults in silence:

        “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (10:12).

        “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (11:13).

        “A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (12:16).

        “A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness” (12:23).

        “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (17:9).

Trust is built by not revealing secrets, and by not recalling the past unnecessarily.

Ceasing even to whisper about past problems starves the fires of contention (see 26:20, quoted above).

Our words should be slow.

To be hasty in speech is a very bad sign:

        “Do you see a man hasty in his words?  There is more hope for a fool than for him” (29:20).

Much harm comes from hot and hasty words:

        “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention” (15:18).

        “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (12:28).

Much verbal abuse is caused by speaking before thinking.

The best place to stop the strife is before it begins—with slowness to speak—and it is an honor to do so:

        “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop the contention before a quarrel starts” (17:14).

        “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel” (20:3).

Interestingly, hot and hasty words provoke the same, but real persuasiveness often comes from slow, soft speech:

        “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (15:1).

        “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone” (25:15).

To be slow to speak gives time to listen:

        “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him” (18:13).

        “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him” (18:17).

        “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet” (19:2).

To be slow to speak gives time to think:

        “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (15:2).

        “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil” (15:28).

        “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit” (17:27).

Our words should be apropos.

It is a delight to have the right word at the right time:

        “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (15:23; cf. v.2).

In fact, it is an art to speak aptly—a real work of beauty:

        “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

        Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear” (25:11-12).

Interestingly, even the best information spoken at the wrong time or in the wrong way can backfire:

        “Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like vinegar on soda,

                is one who sings songs to a heavy heart” (25:20).

        “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,

                it will be counted a curse to him” (27:14).

Sources:

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Many of the ideas behind this material came from Derek Kidner, Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary,

        Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1964), pp.

        46-49.


[1] We base our curriculum on WordPartners (formerly Leadership Resources International), Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles: The Core Principles, 3rd ed. (Palos Heights, IL: Leadership Resources International, 2018).  Anonline edition is available, but Americans are encouraged to purchase booklets as ministry support.