QUESTIONS

WEEK #6

Reading for Transformation & Growth

You will conclude this study by discussing the power of Scripture to transform our lives. If this is not taking place, then our Bible study has

gone wrong somewhere. God intends for his truth to change us. You will also identify some areas in which you can work to continue

to improve your ability to interpret God’s Word. 


• Passages To Read:[Note: These are relatively short passages. As you read, practice interpreting the Bible with care. Think about what is being said, why it’s being said, and what implications it had for its original audience and for us today.] 

o Hebrews 4:12–13

o John 17:17
o 1 John 2:1


• Sessions To Watch:
o Session 11 – Reading for Transformation
o Session 12 – Growing in Your Ability to Interpret Scripture


• Questions To Discuss: 


1.     In preparation for this lesson, you read Hebrews 4:12–13, John 17:17, and 1 John 2:1. What does each of these verses teach about the purpose and power of Scripture? 


2.     How do you know if your study of the Bible is leading to transformation? 


3.     Why is this important? 


4.     How does reading the Bible for transformation make us better interpreters of the Bible? 


5.     What are some practical steps that you can commit to taking that will help improve your ability to interpret the Bible? 


6.     We certainly want to stand firm on the truth of Scripture, but we don’t want to become so firm in our specific interpretations of biblical passages that we close our minds to the teaching of the whole of the Bible. What do you think it looks like to carefully study the Bible in light of this tension? 


7.     As you look back over the things you’ve learned in this study, what would you say have been the most significant lessons you’ve learned? 


8.     Spend some time in prayer. Pray that God would help you remember and apply the things you’ve learned in this study. Pray that studying the Bible would never be a purely intellectual experience for you, but that you would get to know God better and be transformed in the process. 

 

Questions

Week #5

Simplicity & Dependence

This week’s discussion will focus on two important concepts. Generally speaking, we ought to approach God’s word simply. When we are faced with two different interpretations of a passage, the clearest and simplest explanation is typically the best interpretation. You will also discuss the essential role of the Holy Spirit in understanding God’s truth and therefore the need to be dependent on God as you read his word.


Passages To Read:

o 1 Corinthians 2:9-14


Sessions To Watch:

o Session 9 - Reading the Bible Simply

o Session 10 - Reading the Bible with Humility & Dependence


Questions To Discuss:


1. What does it mean to prefer the clear, sensible reading of a passage?


2. What does it mean to allow clearer passages to clarify more difficult passages? Can you think of any examples of this?


3. Have you heard people interpret passages as spiritual allegories rather than taking a given passage at face value (or have you done this yourself)? Why might this be an approach to avoid, generally speaking?


4. What does 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 teach about the way human beings come to understand God's truth?


5. How should this passage affect the way we read and interpret the Bible?


6. What would it look like to read the Bible with humility?


7. What would it look like to read the Bible in dependence of God?


8. Spend some time in prayer. Ask God to reveal his truth to you. Pray that you would approach him and read his Word simply, humbly, and in dependence upon him.

Questions

Week #4

Hearing the Voice of God

This week you will be discussing the nature of Scripture. Imagine how you would respond if an audible voice from heaven spoke to you. Most of us would find that highly significant. But we have to remember that Scripture is in essence the voice of God speaking to us, and it therefore carries all of the accuracy and all of the authority of an audible voice from heaven. This also means that Scripture will be internally consistent—it will not contradict itself. Your discussion will explore the implications of these realities for the way we study the Bible.


Passages To Read:

[Note: These are relatively short passages. As you read, practice interpreting the Bible with care. Think about what is being said, why it’s being said, and what implications it had for its original audience and for us today.]

o 2 Timothy 3:16–17

o 2 Peter 1:20–21
o James 1:19–27


Sessions To Watch:

o Session 7 – Scripture as the Voice of God
o Session 8 – Reading the Bible as a Unified Message



Questions To Discuss:

1. Do you think the average Christian reads the Bible as though it were the very Words of God? Why do you say that?


2. How should 2 Timothy 3:16–17 affect the way we read and interpret the Bible?


3. How should 2 Peter 1:20–21 affect the way we read and interpret the Bible?


4. You read James 1:19–27 in preparation for this week’s discussion. How does James’ analogy of a person looking into a mirror speak to the way we read our Bibles?


5. On a personal level, how might you need to adjust your approach to reading the Bible in light of this passage?


6. What does it mean to let Scripture interpret Scripture?


7. How should the idea of “the progress of revelation” (the fact that some passages were written later in God’s unfolding plan than others) affect the way we read some passages?


8. How do you think you can grow in your ability to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture?


9. Spend some time in prayer. Thank God for speaking to you in his Word. Pray that each time you read the Bible you would be conscious of the reality that you are hearing God’s voice. Ask God to make you a doer of his Word and not a hearer only.

 

Questions

Week #3

Culture & Genre


Though it’s not always easy to identify when cultural factors have a bearing on the interpretation of a text, it’s important that we keep our eyes open for these instances. We must always remember that God chose to write his Word in the context of particular cultures. We also need to learn to present and apply Scriptural truth effectively in our modern culture. In this lesson, you will also be discussing some of the literary genres in which the Bible was written and why paying attention to these factors matters.


Passages To Read: [Note: Each of the following passages is in some way about forgiveness, but each passage is written in a different genre. As you read these verses, pay attention not only to what the passage teaches about forgiveness, but also the way in which it teaches on the subject, and how the unique expression of that truth through that genre adds to the overall meaning.]

o Matthew 18:21-35

o Luke 23:32-43

o Colossians 3:12-14

o Psalm 103


Sessions To Watch:

o Session 5 – Cultural Factors

o Session 6 – Literary Factors


Questions To Discuss

1. Why is keeping an eye open for cultural factors in the biblical text important?


2. What is the danger in trying to apply certain passages to our lives directly without considering the cultures involved?


3. Can you think of any examples of poor interpretations caused by a failure to identify a cultural factor?


4. In your experience, has it been easy or difficult to determine what type of genre a given passage is written in? Why do you think that is?


5. What are some key factors to watch for in interpreting narrative sections of Scripture?


6. What are some key factors to watch for in interpreting poetic sections of Scripture?


7. What are some key factors to watch for in interpreting prophetic sections of Scripture?


8. For this week’s discussion, you read four passages that all address the concept of forgiveness. How did each genre—parable (Matt. 18:21–35), narrative (Luke 23:32–43), direct propositional statement (Col. 3:12–14), and poetry (Ps. 103)— present the idea of forgiveness, and how does paying attention to genre give us a fuller understanding of forgiveness through each of these passages?


9. Spend some time in prayer. Ask God to make you more sensitive to issues of culture and genre. Pray that God would continue to give you a hunger for his Word and guide you into his truth.

 

Questions

Week #2

Communication, History, & Geography


As we read the Bible, it’s important to consider what type of book we’re looking at. Though the Bible has its origin in God and is therefore inherently mysterious, we also need to recognize that God used normal human communication in order to reveal his truth to us. This means we need to learn to take the statements of Scripture at face value. Along with that, we also need to pay attention to historical and geographical factors that may affect the meaning and significance of a passage.


Passage To Read: Psalm 19:7-17

[Note: This is a short passage. Keep in mind that this passage is written as poetry. Its truth is conveyed through imagery and through unique expression. Read this passage carefully and spend some time meditating on what it says, how it says it, and what it means.]

Session To Watch:

Session 3 - Taking Scripture At Face Value

Session 4 - Historical & Geographical Factors


Questions To Discuss:


1. What does Psalm 19 teach us about Scripture? How should this affect the way we read the Bible?


2. What does it mean to take Scripture at face value?


3. What reasons do we have for taking the Bible as normal human communication rather than as a spiritual message that needs to be decoded somehow?


4. What examples can you recall from the Bible where God spoke to a human being? How did that human being respond, and how might those examples affect the way we think about God’s communication in the Bible?


5. How have you seen Christians (or even yourself) interpret the Bible in ways that treat the Bible as something other than normal communication?


6. How can keeping an eye open for historical factors help us interpret the Bible more accurately?


7. How can keeping an eye open for geographical factors help us interpret the Bible more accurately?


8. Spend some time in Prayer. Ask God to help you see the significance of His Word. Pray that you would continue to grow in your ability to study it carefully and come to know Him more fully as a result?

 

Questions

Week #1

Preparing to Study God’s Word


As Christians, we tend to take the Bible for granted. But it’s essential that we think about what we’re doing when we pick up the Word of God. In this session, you will discuss the importance of interpreting the Bible with care. You will also think about the importance of preparing yourself before you read the Bible.


Passages to Read:

{NOTE: these are relatively short passages. As your read, practice interpreting the Bible with care. Think about what is being said, and what implications it had for its original audience and for us today.}

• Philippians 4:10-20

• 1 Peter 1:22-2:3


Sessions To Watch:

• Session 1 – Why Careful Bible Study Matters

• Session 2 – Approaching the Word of God


Questions to Discuss:

1. Why do you think it's important to Study the Bible carefully?


2. Talk about your experience with reading the Bible. Do you do it often? What factors motivated you to read it? What factors pull you away?


3. What has been your standard approach to studying the Bible? (Do you go through any type of process? Do you simply pick up your Bible and read? How do you choose which passage or how much you'll read? Etc.)


4. Read Philippians 4:11-13. Based on the context of that passage, what does Paul mean when he says, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me"?


5. Is there any sense in which you could honestly compare your desire for the Word of God with a baby's desire for milk? What would this look like if it became reality in your life?


6. Think very practically here. Keeping in mind 1 Peter 2:1-3, what would it look like for you to prepare yourself before you began reading the Bible?


7. What changes would you need to make in order to begin reading the Bible as a student, rather than as a person with his own agenda?


8. Spend some time in prayer. Ask God to give you a greater appreciation of an desire for his word. Pray that you would grow in your understanding of Scripture and your ability to interpret it.