Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter 2011 TBC Men's Bible Study Questions

Lesson 11                       “Generosity & Giving”                     Matthew 6:1-4
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
ID: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS-Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      ID--What is Jesus' main thrust in Matthew 6 as compared with Matthew 5?
2.      WS – What kinds of “charitable deeds” do these verses refer to?  (Alms/charitable deeds/ practicing your righteousness/ give to the poor) -- eleemosune
3.      ID--What is the significance of the word “when” in verse two and three?
4.      CR- Can you think of Bible verses that talk about the Father’s rewards for giving?
5.      CR- What is the difference between “practicing your righteousness before other people” and letting “your light shine before others (Matthew 5:16)?” Why is one good and the other bad? (also see 1 Peter 2:12)
6.      CR- Why is it so important that we not just please people in our practice of righteousness? (Prov.29:26; Col.3:17; Col.3:22-24; Eph.6:5-8; I Chron.28:9; II Cor.10:17-18; I Thes.2:3-8)
7.      WS- What is it that makes a person a hypocrite? Why do they behave the way they do? Can you relate to this motivation?
8.      CR- How are we to give according to Matt.6:2-4?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      Have you every acted in a play?  What did it feel like to pretend to have different emotions and motives?
2.      How do you decide when, what, and to whom to give?
3.      What kind of reward do we receive when we practice righteousness to be seen by men? Is this reward satisfying? If so, how? If not, why not?
4.      How will our Father who “sees in secret” reward us as we practice righteousness before Him? Is this reward satisfying? If so, how? If not, why not?
5.      Do you ever struggle with your motivations to do good works?  Why are our motives so important? 
Lesson 11    Bible Study Tips
“Context, Context, & Context”
 Begin your study by establishing the context which lays the foundation for subsequent interpretation. Context is the setting in which a passage occurs or simply what precedes and what follows the text you are studying. Thus context includes those verses immediately before and after the passage, then the paragraph and book in which the passage appears, then other books by this author, as well as the overall message of the entire Bible.
Establishing the context forces the reader to examine the biblical writer's overall flow of thought. The meaning of any passage is nearly always determined, controlled, or limited by what appears immediately beforehand and afterward in the text. Context is "king" in interpretation. Since context always "rules" in interpretation and Scripture must always be interpreted in light of its context, the first step in the study of any book of the Bible is to get an OVERVIEW of the book you are studying. Why? Because when you get an overview of the entire book, it will help you discover the context.
Everything in a given book must be considered and analyzed within its setting, which means we can never isolate one verse or portion of the book from the rest of what is written. Setting is context and context is central if you are to arrive at a correct understanding of the text.

Lesson 12               “Prayer & Fasting in Secret”               Matthew 6:5-8; 16-18
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Question  CR-Cross References  WS-Word Study
1.      ID-What’s the difference between hypocrites, gentiles (or heathens or pagans), and citizens of the kingdom? How are their prayers different? What does that say about their beliefs?
2.      CR-Why should we pray (1 Thess 5:17; Phil 4:6-7; Matt 7:7; John 16:24) ?
3.      ID-Should we pray in public? What is the purpose of public prayer?
4.      WS-What is fasting (Strong's G3522 - nēsteuō)? 
5.      ID-What is fasting an expression of?
6.      ID-What principles for fasting are given in Matthew 6:16-18?
7.      CR-In the Old Testament, Jews were commanded to fast (i.e., afflict yourselves) on one day a year. What day was that? (Lev 16:29-34)
8.      CR-What can we learn from Anna’s fasting? (Luke 2:37)
9.      CR-Other than his forty day fast (Matt 4), did Jesus and/or his disciples regularly fast? (Matt 9:14) Did Jesus’ reply imply that fasting would be a regular thing for Christians after he was taken up to heaven? (Matt 9:15-17)
10.  CR-On what occasions was fasting practiced in the book of Acts? (Acts 9:8-11; 13:1-3; 14:23) What can we learn from these?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      If God already knows what we need, then why pray?
2.      Verse five says, “when you pray.”  When do you pray?
3.      A.W. Tozer wrote, “When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves.”  What does this imply about our prayers to be seen by men?
4.      Is religious fasting a legitimate practice for today? If it is, how and why should it be practiced?
5.      Have you ever practiced fasting?  If so, what were your experiences with it?  If not, why?
6:16–18 Fasting
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Fasting is the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God in a deeper experience. It is to be done as an act before God in the privacy of one’s own pursuit of God (Exodus 34:28; 1 Samuel 7:6; 1 Kings 19:8). The sole fast required by the law of Moses was that of the Great Day of Atonement in Leviticus 23:26–32. It is called “the fast” in Acts 27:9. The only other mention of a periodical fast in the Old Testament is in Zechariah 7:1–7; 8:19. During their captivity, the Jews observed four annual fasts: the fast of the fourth month, kept on the seventeenth day of Tammuz, the anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; to commemorate also the incident recorded Exodus 32:19; the fast of the fifth month, kept on the ninth of Ab (Numbers. 14:27), to commemorate the burning of the city and temple (Jeremiah 52:12, 13); the fast of the seventh month, kept on the third of Tisri (2 Kings 25), the anniversary of the murder of Gedaliah (Jeremiah 41:1, 2); the fast of the tenth month (Jeremiah 52:4; Ezekiel 33:21; 2 Kings 25:1), to commemorate the beginning of the siege of the holy city by Nebuchadnezzar. There was, in addition to these, the fast appointed by Esther (Esther 4:16). Public national fasts on account of sin or to supplicate divine favor were sometimes held (1 Samuel 7:6, 2 Chronicles 20:3; Jeremiah 36:6–10; Nehemiah 9:1), as were local fasts (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 1:12; 1 Kings 21:9–12; Ezra 8:21–23; Jonah 3:5–9).
There are many instances of occasional fasting by individuals (1 Samuel 1:7; 20:34; 2 Samuel 3:35; 12:16; 1 Kings 21:27; Ezra 10:6; Nehemiah 1:4; Daniel 10:2, 3). Moses fasted forty days (Exodus 24:18; 34:28), as did Elijah (1 Kings 19:8). Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2). Apparently the practice of fasting was lamentably abused (Isaiah 58:4; Jeremiah 14:12; Zechariah 7:5). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocritical pretenses in fasting. The early Church often fasted in seeking God’s will for leadership in the local church (Acts 13:2). When the early Church wanted to know the mind of God, there was a time of prayer and fasting. Jesus Himself appointed no specific fast. The early Christians, however, observed the ordinary fasts according to the law of their fathers (Acts 13:3; 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:5). 1
 Freeman, James M. ;   Chadwick, Harold J.: Manners & Customs of the Bible. Rev. ed.]. North Brunswick, NJ : Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998, S. 415
Lesson 13                            “How to Pray”                            Matthew 6:9-13
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
ID: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS-Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      CR-How does the content and context of this prayer differ from the account in Luke 11:1-4?
2.      ID--How many petitions does Jesus give in this prayer? Is there any significance in the order?
3.      ID--Who do we pray to?
5.      CR-What does it mean for God’s name to be hallowed (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 20:10-12; 27:14; Ezekiel 36:22-27)?
6.      What do you mean when you pray for God’s kingdom to come?
7.      CR-How does praying for God’s will to be done relate to us? (see also Matthew 26:42)
8.      CR-What is meant by “lead us not into temptation?” (Luke 22:40, 46: John 17:15; 1Corinthians 10:13)
9.      CR-Does God want us to ask for our needs to be met? What does it mean when we are slow to ask God to meet our needs? (1 Pet 5:6-7; Luke 18:1-8)
 The WALK: What should I do?
1.      How do you keep the balance between God being your “papa” and your holy Lord.
2.      How and why is prayer a form of communication which is essential for relational growth?
3.      What outline or order you normally use for your prayers?
4.      Give us our daily bread is not just a request for food.  What would be some of the things we should be praying for?
6:9 “The Lord’s Prayer”
All Christian prayer is based on the Lord’s Prayer, but its spirit is also guided by that of His prayer in Gethsemane and of the prayer recorded in John 17. The Lord’s Prayer is the comprehensive type of the simplest and most universal prayer. Three forms of the Lord’s Prayer exist in early Christian literature—two in the New Testament (see Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4) and the other in the Didache 8:2, a non-canonical Christian writing of the early second-century from northern Syria. Their similarities and differences may be seen if the three forms are set side-by-side. Matthew and Luke used the Lord’s Prayer in different ways in their Gospels. In Matthew the prayer appears in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus spoke about a righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (5:20). It is located in a section that warns against practicing one’s piety before men in order to be seen by them (6:1–18). Almsgiving, praying, and fasting are for God’s eyes and ears. When praying one should not make a public display (6:5–6) nor heap up empty phrases, thinking that one will be heard for many words (6:7). Prayer should be private and brief. The Lord’s Prayer serves as an example of how to pray briefly. It is seen as a substitute for the wrong kind of prayer.
In Luke the prayer comes in the midst of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9:51–19:46). In His behavior Jesus is an example of one who prays. His prayer life caused one of His disciples to ask for instruction in prayer, as John the Baptist had given his disciples. What follows (11:2–13) is a teaching on prayer in which the disciples are told what to pray for (11:2–4) and why to pray (11:5–13). Here the Lord’s Prayer is a model of what to pray for. To pray in this way is a distinguishing mark of Jesus’ disciples. The Lord’s Prayer seems to be Jesus’ synopsis of various Jewish prayers of the time. The first two sentences: “Hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come,” echo the language of the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish. It begins: “Magnified and hallowed be his great name in the world … And may He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and in your days … quickly and soon.” The third, “Your will be done,” is similar to a prayer of Rabbi Eliezer (about a.d. 100): “Do Thy will in heaven above and give peace to those who fear Thee below” (Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth).
The petitions in the Lord’s prayer also echo ancient Jewish prayers. The first, “Give us our bread,” is akin to the first benediction of grace at mealtime. “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who feedest the whole world with thy goodness …; thou givest food to all flesh. … Through thy goodness food hath never failed us: O may it not fail us for ever and ever.”
The second, “Forgive us,” echoes the Eighteen Benedictions, 6: “Forgive us, our Father, for we have sinned against thee; blot out our transgressions from before thine eyes. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who forgivest much.” The accompanying phrase, “as we also have forgiven,” reflects the Jewish teaching found in Sirach 28:2: “Forgive the wrong of your neighbor, and then your sins will be forgiven when you pray.”
The third petition, “Lead us not into temptation,” is similar to a petition in the Jewish Morning and Evening Prayers. “Cause me to go not into the hands of sin, and not into the hands of transgression, and not into the hands of temptation, and “not into the hand of dishonor.”
The final words, “Hallowed be thy name,” “Thy kingdom come,” and “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” constitute a prayer for the final victory of God over the devil, sin, and death. It is possible that they were also understood by the early Christians to be a petition for God’s rule in their lives in the here and now.1
1 Freeman, James M. ; Chadwick, Harold J.: Manners & Customs of the Bible. Rev. ed.]. North Brunswick, NJ : Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998, S. 415
Lesson 14                              “Forgiveness”                              Matthew 6:14-15
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
ID: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS-Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      ID-What does the emphasis on forgiveness in verses 14-15 teach us about prayer?
2.      WS-What does it mean to forgive?  (forgive / Strong's G863 – aphiēmi)
3.      CR-What emotions often accompany true forgiveness? (see Luke 15:20-24)
4.      ID-What happens if you forgive men when they sin against you?
5.      ID-What if you don’t forgive?
6.      CR-What does “your Father will not forgive your sins” mean? How does Matthew 7:2 or James 2:13 shed any light on this?
7.      CR-What do we learn from the parable in Matt 18:23-35?
8.      CR-What if someone keeps wronging me? How often must I forgive? (Matt 18:21-22)
9.      CR-Must I forgive if a person isn’t sorry or continues to hurt me? (see Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60;  Matt 18:15-17)
 The WALK: What should I do?
1.      If someone sins against me, should I just ignore it? (Proverbs 17:9; 19:11; Matt 18:15)
2.      When I forgive, am I condoning sin?
3.      How do I know if I have forgiven?
4.      Who are you struggling to forgive?  What makes it hard to forgive?
5.      What do you do when past hurts pop into your head?
6.      What sins take hold when we refuse to forgive?
Lesson 14    Bible Study Tips

“Word Studies”

One of the great things about the internet is that there are some great Bible study resources that can be used for free.  If you don’t have the internet or prefer not to use it, most of these tools are available in book form.

In each lesson you will be asked to do a word study.  You can make it brief or detailed depending on your time and interest in the word.  Here are some basic steps adapted from David Sargent’s “Bible Study Methods.”  Try to at least do steps two and three.

1.      Find its English definition in the English dictionary.  and  are two of the good online dictionaries.

2.      Compare words used to translate the word in various translations.
Compare a more literal version like New American Standard or King James Version with the New KJV or English Standard Version and with a more dynamic translation like the New International Version or New Living Translation.  You can find these at

3.      Note the definition of the original word (Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic). You can also find the origin and root meaning of the word, how the word was used by the secular culture of the day. is a good place to get this information. 
If you are using the electronic copy of this sheet, beginning in lesson three the English word has a hyperlink to the Blue Letter Study Bible lexicon which includes a link to Vine’s and to Thayer’s Lexicon.  The Greek transliteration has a link to Bible Study Tools lexicon which includes a links to the other NT passages that use the word.  This will make things much quicker.
4.      Discover just where the word is used in the Bible.  Where does the word first appear?  Where does it first appear in the book you are studying?  How is it used in other places by the author of your passage and in other places? Which writers or books used the word more often?  has this information in is lexicon function.

5.      It is also helpful to determine how the word was used in the Bible and how it would have been understood in the culture to which the Bible was originally addressed.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testaments Words ( and the Precept Austin ( and click on the “Greek Word Studies” button) websites are helpful here.Bible Study Tips

Lesson 15                   “Where are your treasures?”                   Matthew 6:19-24
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Question  CR-Cross References  WS-Word Study
1.      CR-Why is it foolish to store up treasures on earth? (v 19) (Proverbs 23:4-5; Luke 12:15-25; Hebrews 13:5-6)
2.      ID-What is the relationship between “heart” in verse 21 and “serve” in verse 24b?
3.      ID-Why is it wise to store up treasure in heaven? (v 20)
4.      ID-What is another reason to store up treasure in heaven? (v 21)
5.      ID/CR-What is Jesus trying to say with his illustration of the eye being a lamp, etc.? (Deuteronomy 15:9; Proverbs 23:6; 28:22; Matthew 20:15; Luke 11:34; Mark 7:22) (Using a  commentary or a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia might also be helpful here.)
6.      What does verse 24 say about our ability to serve both God and money?
7.      Are you trying to serve both? Are your goals in life material or spiritual?
8.      CR-What does Matthew 13:22 say about riches?
9.      CR-Is godliness a means of financial gain? (1 Tim 6:5-10) What can we learn from this passage in 1 Timothy?
10.  CR-What are some ways to store up treasure in heaven? (see 1 Tim 6::17-19)
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      Why does the Bible talk about money and possessions so much?
2.      What do your check book and credit card statements say about your affections?  What do you spend your time and money on?
3.      If  Jesus told to sell all you had, what would be most difficult to part with?  Why?
4.      What are the “red flags” that alert you that you are serving “mammon?”
5.      What are some things you can do to make sure that your heat is not set on possessions?
Pastor Johnston’s message on this passage.
 Lesson 15  Bible Study Tips: 

“Resources and Commentaries”

If the insights of godly men were not important, then we would not need to hear Bible teaching or a sermon each Sunday or bother teaching our children (We would just let them read and figure it out for themselves).  I like to think of referencing a commentary being like hearing teaching on a passage. 
Remember, though, that having a huge library of books is not the most important factor. You can buy the best Bible study tools available and still not be a good Bible student.  Commentaries should never be a substitute for personal Bible study, but they can be very helpful.
Consulting Bible study tools and commentaries serves as a good check on the accuracy of your interpretation, but use secondary sources with caution because no single individual has a corner on all the truth.  It is important to keep in mind that no commentator is infallible, nor is any commentator an expert on every passage of Scripture. Take care to preserve your independent judgment and the integrity of your own work, by first by exegeting or drawing out the meaning of the passage with the basic tools.

On the other hand, it is seldom wise to conclude one's study without referring to several of the best commentators on a given passage. In that final stage of study, the commentator provides a check for one's own conclusions, important background material, and additional insight before one's work is complete.  Be wary if you come to a conclusion that no one else has ever "discovered" and you cannot find support in any other conservative commentary.

Commentaries (and Bible study tools) can be divided into four categories. 
·         Linguistic commentaries focus more on the meaning and background of the words and the implications that grammar has on the meaning. 
·         Historical / Cultural commentaries tend to focus on the elements of the culture, time, and surrounding events that would affect the meaning. 
·         Doctrinal commentaries are ones that focus on the teachings and truths in the passage. 
·         Finally, the devotional commentaries (and sermons) tend to focus on practical applications. 

When using resources, start at the top with the more objective resources and work my way down toward those that interpret and apply.  There is a list of some that you might find helpful on the web at

(A word of caution:  Avoid getting too attached to or dependent on one or two favorite teachers.  There is wisdom in seeking out several different good commentators.  Proverbs 15:22)

Lesson 16                         “Anxiety & Worry”                         Matthew 6:25-33
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS-Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      CR- Look up the parallel passage, Luke 12:22-31.  Compare the context and compare wording of these two passages.  What insights do they give you?
3.      ID-What are we to stop worrying about?
4.      ID-Why should we stop worrying about these essentials?
5.      ID-What is the cause of worry? (v 30)
6.      ID-What is Jesus solution for worry and anxiety? What is the promise? Is it conditional?
7.      CR-What is essential in giving up our worries? (Proverbs 3:5-8)
8.      CR-What does Philippians 4:6-7 teach about dealing with anxiety?
9.      CR-What did David do when he faced fears? (Psalm 34:4-6)
 The WALK: What should I do?
1.      If the solution for worry is so simple (seek Him first), why is it so hard to do?
2.      What is the balance between your trust in Christ to provide for you, and your call to work, using your talents, abilities, and gifts?
3.      Share about a time(s) when God has provided for you?
4.      What effects does worry have on our spiritual walk?
5.      Is it ever right to be anxious?  If so, what about?
Pastor’s message on this passage.
 Lesson 6    Bible Study Tips

“Asking Questions”

Always pause and interrogate the passage, phrases, and words by asking…WHO?  WHAT? WHERE?  WHEN? WHY? and HOW?  Do not panic if you cannot ask every one of the "5W's and H" questions for each use of the key word. 

We interpret the Bible properly when we learn to ask the right questions of the text. The problem is that many people do not know what the right questions are, or they are too lazy to learn. God feeds the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nests. Learning to ask the right questions and carefully observe the text takes discipline, diligence and practice, because most of us have never been trained in the "Sherlock Holmes" approach. Please persevere for the reward you will experience in personal discovery and understanding of the Word of God will far outweigh the cost!

Kay Arthur reminds us of the importance an interrogative mindset, writing that, "every part of the entire process of inductive Bible study is based on asking who, what, when, where, why, and how kinds of questions. This is how vital the 5 W's and an H are!"

Although he was not referring to Inductive Bible Study when Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem "Six Honest Serving-Men", the principle is applicable...

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

Most students of Scripture do not see the "gold nuggets" of truth in passages and paragraphs, because they do not know what to look for. We learn what to look for by asking the right questions. Questions bring details to our attention.


Lesson 17                             “Judging Others”                             Matthew 7:1-6
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID-Inductive Question  CR-Cross References  WS-Word Study
1.      WS: Judge / krinō  Matt. 5:40; 19:28; Luke 6:37; 7:43; 12:57; 19:22; 22:30; John 12:47-48; 16:1; 18:31  KJV Usage - judge 88, determine 7, condemn 5, go to law 2, call in question 2, esteem 2, misc. 8
3.      ID: What is the caution we should use in judging others? (compare with Matt. 5:7 & 6:14-15)
4.      CR: Read Luke 6:37-38.  What insights does that wording and context give to Jesus’ meaning in Matthew 7:1-2?
5.      ID: In this verse Jesus is using hyperbole (exaggeration) to make his point.  What point is Jesus make by using this figure of speech?
6.      CR: Read Luke 6:39-42.  Is it significant that the verses about the blind leading the blind come right before the teaching about the mote and spec in Luke six?  Why?
8.      ID: Who are the dogs and pigs in verse six?  Why do you think Jesus used those particular animals?
9.      ID: What is to be withheld from them? (note the parallel position of the words “holy/sacred” and “pearls) Why? (Prov. 9:8-9; 23:9; Matt. 10:14-15; Acts 13:45-47)
10.  ID: What is Jesus attacking in this passage?

The WALK: What should I do?
1.      Are you more likely to trust people first until proven wrong or start by distrusting others until they prove themselves as trustworthy?  Why?
2.      How can you exercise discernment/judgment alongside with kindness?
3.      What are principles that can help us to maintain high standards without developing a critical spirit?
4.      Have you noticed a tendency of people to judge harshly in areas they struggle in? Why is that?
5.      What are some other illustrations that make the same point of verses 3-4?
6.      What are steps you can take to find the “motes in your eye”?  What are practical things we can do to avoid hypocrisy in our lives?

Lesson 17:  Bible Study Tips
“Figures of Speech”

(similis = like)
A formal comparison using "" or "like" to express resemblance. "Even so, husbands should love their own wives as their own bodies..." (Eph. 5:28).
(Meta + phero = a carrying over)
An implied comparison, a word applied to something it is not, to suggest a resemblance. "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf..." (Gen. 49:27).
(Eiron = a dissembling speaker)
The speaker or writer says the very opposite of what he intends to convey." are the people and wisdom will die with you" (Job 12:1).
(Mesa + onoma = a change of name)
One word is used in place of another to portray some actual relationship between the things signified."Kill the Passover..." (Exod. 12:21 KJV) where the paschal lamb is meant.
(Huper + bole = a throwing beyond)
Intentional exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis, or a magnifying beyond reality. "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away..." (Matt. 5:29).
(To make like a person)
Inanimate objects are spoken of as persons, as if they had life. "The sea looked and fled..."(Ps. 114:3, 4).
(apo + strepho = to turn from)
Turning from the immediate hearers to address an absent or imaginary person or thing. "Ah, sword of the Lord! How long till you are quiet?" (Jer. 47:6).
(sun + ekdechomai to receive from and associate with)
Where the whole is put for a part, or a part for the whole, an individual for a class and vice-versa. "And we were in all 276 souls..." in Acts 27:37, where soul is used for the whole person.


Lesson 18                           “A Heart that Seeks”                          Matthew 7:7-12
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      ID: Why did our Lord discuss prayer at this place in His message?  What point is He stressing?
3.      ID: What are we to ask for what? How should we ask? 
4.      ID: What is the guiding principle here for what God would give us? (10-11)
5.      CR: What application does Luke 11:9-13 make to this illustration?
6.      WS: Father / patēr  A Bible dictionary or encyclopedia will also be helpful.
7.      ID: What does Christ’s use of the father metaphor teach us about God?  What is our part in making this a good metaphor? (Psalm 103:13; Jeremiah 3:19; Malachi 1:6)
8.      CR: What distinction does this passage imply between our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father?  (compare with Hebrews 12:8-11)
10.  ID: How does verse 12 relate to the rest of this passage?
The WALK: What should I do?      
  1. Have you ever thought through your dreams and wishes to their logical conclusion and impact?  If so, what would you think they would be like from God’s perspective?
  2. How do we find the balance in seeing our Heavenly Father as a prayer answering God but an ATM machine?
  3. Where do you struggle and do you excel at demonstrating what God is like to your wife and children?
  4. What causes us to question God’s goodness? Or to loose heart in seeking God?
God Our Father by John Koessler is another good resource.

Lesson 18: Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias give helpful background information and Scripture references on historical, geographical, cultural, and even more common topics like fatherhood.  There are some good ones online.  
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
Father: Partial entry
A symmetrical and beautiful picture of the duties and character of the ideal human father may be built up from the Old Testament, with added and enlarged touches from the New Testament. He loves (Genesis 37:4); commands (Genesis 50:16; Proverbs 6:20); instructs (Proverbs 1:8, etc.); guides, encourages, warns (Jeremiah 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:11); trains (Hosea 11:3); rebukes (Genesis 34:30); restrains (Eli, by contrast, 1 Samuel 3:13); punishes (Deuteronomy 21:18); chastens (Proverbs 3:12; Deuteronomy 8:5); nourishes (Isaiah 1:2); delights in his son (Proverbs 3:12), and in his son's wisdom (Proverbs 10:1); is deeply pained by his folly (Proverbs 17:25); he is considerate of his children's needs and requests (Matthew 7:10); considerate of their burdens, or sins (Malachi 3:17, "As a man spareth his own son"); tenderly familiar (Luke 11:7, "with me in bed"); considerately self-restrained (Ephesians 6:4, "Provoke not your children to wrath"); having in view the highest ends (ibid., "Nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord"); pitiful (Psalms 103:13, "as a father pitieth his children"); the last human friend (but one) to desert the child (Psalms 27:10:
"When (a thing to the psalmist incredible) my father and my mother forsake me, then Yahweh will take me up").
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Fatherhood of God: Partial entry
Throughout the Bible we find God portrayed as a Father. This portrayal, however, is surprisingly rare in the Old Testament. There God is specifically called the Father of the nation of Israel ( Deut 32:6 ; Isa 63:16 ; [twice] 64:8 ; Jeremiah 3:4 Jeremiah 3:19 ; 31:9 ; Mal 1:6 ; 2:10 ) or the Father of certain individuals ( 2 Sam 7:14 ; 1 Chron 17:13 ; 22:10 ; 28:6 ; Psalm 68:5 ; 89:26 ) only fifteen times. (At times the father imagery is present although the term "Father" is not used [ Exod 4:22-23 ; Deut 1:31 ; 8:5 ; 14:1 ; Psalm 103:13 ; Jer 3:22 ; 31:20 ; Hosea 11:1-4 ; Mal 3:17 ]). This metaphor for God may have been avoided in the Old Testament due to its frequent use in the ancient Near East where it was used in various fertility religions and carried heavy sexual overtones. The avoidance of this description for God can still be found in the intertestamental literature. There its use is also rare: Apocrypha ( Wis 2:16; 14:3; Tob 13:4; Sir 23:1, 4; 51:10); Pseudepigrapha ( Jub 1:24, 28; 19:29; 3 Macc 5:7; 6:4, 8; T. Levi 18:6; T. Judah 24:2); and Dead Sea Scrolls (1 QH 9:35f.).
The WebBible Encyclopedia also has helpful articles that are usually very concise.

Lesson 19           False teaching & the One Way           Matthew 7:13-23
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      ID: List and consider the descriptions of the two ways in verses 13-14? (also see Luke 13:24)
2.      WS-What do life and destruction refer to?
3.      ID: How many is few? This is an especially interesting question in light of the fact that National Geographic recently identified 1/3 of the world’s population as being Christian in some sense. (Matthew 22:14; Luke 13:23-30)
4.      ID: What are the characteristics of false prophets?  How do we spot them? 
5.      CR: What insights to other Scriptures add to (Matthew 24:11; 24:24; Luke 6:26; 1 John 4:1-6; 2 Peter 2:1-9; Jude; Revelation 2:2)
6.      ID/CR:  What does “sheep’s clothing” refer to?  (Ephesians 20:29; Romans 16:17; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
7.      CR: What are good fruits?  The Gospels make several references to fruit (Matthew 12:33, 13:7; Luke 6:43-44).  What do other Scriptures say about fruit? (Proverbs 11:30; Galatians 5:22-24; Hebrews 6:7-12; James 2:18)
8.      ID/CR: What does “that day” refer to? (The expression is also used in Matthew 24:36; 26:29; Mark 13:32)
9.      ID: Why do you think these three works chosen as examples? (1 Samuel 19:18-24; John 11:51; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; Acts 19:11-14) If these are not good evidences of salvation, what are? (Matthew 3:1-12; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Ephesians 5:8-12; Philippians 1:9-14)
10.  ID: What does “I never knew you” imply?  (John 10:14-16; John 10:27; Psalm 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 2:2, 9; 3:2)
The WALK: What should I do?      
1.       Sometimes our tendency excessive modesty and vanity keep us from taking an honest look at ourselves.  2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to “test yourselves.”  What fruits do people know you by? 
2.       How do you demonstrate your real heartfelt devotion, commitment, and trust in Christ?  What should you do to further this?
3.       How do we find the balance between being overly suspicious and antagonistic to brothers and being “soft on the truth” and making unbiblical compromises?
4.       Discuss the difference between being religious / active in church work and “doing the will” of the Father in heaven.


Lesson 9:  Bible Study Tips

“Cross References: Interpret Scripture with Scripture”

Don't base your convictions on an obscure passage which cannot be supported by other more easily interpreted texts.  Interpret Scripture with Scripture.  Clear up problem areas with the clear teaching of other passages relating to the same subject.

As the great Puritan writer Thomas Watson once wisely stated, "The Scripture is to be its own interpreter or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture."  In his work Analogia Scripturae Martin Luther agreed writing that "Scripture is its own expositor."

The Westminster Confession states that...
The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture... it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

Develop the practice of comparing Scripture with Scripture because Scripture is always the best commentary on itself. The beauty of using Scripture to interpret Scripture is that when the Bible answers its own questions, then we know the answer is correct. Why? Because the Bible is a unified whole, and God never contradicts Himself. In other words, the great interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. The Bible is unified in its message. Although it sometimes presents us with paradox, it never confounds us with contradiction.

Where do you find the Scriptures to compare to the passage you are studying?  There are several common sources.
·         The cross-references in the margin of your study Bible are usually your first stop.  Many times different study Bibles have different cross references, so sometimes you may want to check more than one.
·         The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has cross reverences for each verse.  It’s a great source.
·         The list of New Testament quotations and allusions to the Old Testament in the Blue Letter Study Bible helps you locate places where the NT uses the OT.
·         Naves Topical Bible also has references of verses on a similar topic.

(Tip:  You can usually copy a set of references, paste them into the Bible Gateway search box, select your version, click on update, and see all the verses together.  It’s a time saver.)


Lesson 20           Wise & Foolish Foundations           Matthew 7:24-27
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other locations.)
1.      CR/ID: Look up the parallel passage, Luke 6: 46-49, and make a list of similarities and differences between the two passages.  What is the significance of the way Matthew relates the parable to the context in the Sermon on the Mount?
2.      ID: What is the significance of the preceding context of Matthew 7:13-23?
3.      ID: Look at the passage and identify the similarities and contrasts between the two builders and their work in Matthew 7:24-27.
4.      ID: What are the differences between the wise and foolish in these verses?
5.      WS/CR: fool (Strong’s G3474) What does the Bible say about fools in the New Testament (Matthew 23:12-22; 25:1-8) and Old Testament (Psalm 14:1; 74:22; Proverbs 10.23; 13.20; 17.16; 28:26)?  Write a short definition of a fool that emphasizes the truths in Matthew 7:24-27.
6.      WS/CR: wise (Strong’s G5429) What does the Bible say about the wise in the New Testament (Matthew 10:16-20;24:44-50; 25:1-9;1 Corinthians 10:15) and Old Testament (Psalm 107:43; Job 34:2; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Proverbs 3.7;10.8; 14.16;18.15;  29.11)? Write a short definition of a wise man that emphasizes the truths in Matthew 7:24-27.
7.      ID: How do we build on the rock?
8.      ID: What is the “big idea” or the main point of this parable?  Can you think of other scriptures that echo that point?
The WALK: What should I do?      
1.       Verse 24 makes a specific reference to the person who hears these things.  What is you plan and practice for being regularly exposed to the Word?
2.       What Biblical imperative are you currently working to put into practice in your life?
3.       What gets in the way of you building your life on the rock?  Discuss and then look back at the passage to see how your reasons square with the parable.
4.       Have you seen or experienced a life that collapsed or stood strong in the storms or life?  Tell about it.


Lesson 20    Bible Study Tips

Hermeneutics and Interpreting Parables

The Merriam-Webster defines Hermeneutics as “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible).”  The principles we use to interpret the Bible have a dramatic effect on what we will understand the Bible to mean.  It can seem like a lot of trouble to read about something that seems as academic a hermeneutics, but not understanding how to interpret the Bible can have disastrous consequences.  Since we use principles of hermeneutics every time we read the Bible, it is time well spent to understand the correct rules or principles.

 “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics” with commentary by Normal L. Geisler is a more concise summary of good interpretation principles. “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated in October 1978 by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, held in Chicago. The statement was designed to defend the position of Biblical inerrancy against a perceived trend toward liberal conceptions of Scripture. The under signers came from a variety of evangelical Christian denominations, and include James Montgomery Boice, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and R. C. Sproul.”1

Parables present some unique challenges to accurate interpretation.  Dr. Mark Bailey addresses many of them in his article, “Guidelines for Interpreting Jesus’ Parables,” that was published in the Dallas Seminary publication, Bibliotheca Sacra 155 (Jan.-Mar. 1998) 29-38.  Archbishop R. C. Trench’s 1902 classic, Notes on the Parables, is available for free online and discusses the interpretation of parables and comments of the parables of Christ.

There are also a lot helpful books on hermeneutics ranging from the classic by Benard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, to newer titles like Roy Zuck’s Basic Bible Iterpretation and Henry Virkler’s Hermeneutics: Principles and Process of Biblical Interpretation.  The book by Howard and William Hendricks that combines principles of hermeneutics with Bible study tips, Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible, is a good place to start.


© by Phil Martin and David Sargent