Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gospel of Peace: Making It Real - Lesson 8 - “Gentle to All” - 2 Timothy 2:14-26

Lesson 8 - “Gentle to All” - 2 Timothy 2:14-26
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like 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 passages.)
1.      Context: Carefully read 2 Timothy 2:1-3:11.  Pay special attention to the admonitions to Timothy in verse 14-16, 22-23 and to the descriptions of a servant of the Lord in 2:24-25 and 3:10-11. 
2.      ID: (11-14) What was Timothy to remind them of? 
3.      ID: Discuss the contrast between what Timothy was to remind them of and what he was not supposed to talk about. (Compare with verses 18, 19, & 26)
4.      ID: (14, 16) What does quarrelling about words and the profane and idle babblings achieve?
5.      ID: (17-18) Based on verses 17-18 what kind of teaching would be considered a cancer?
6.      ID: (19) What do the two statements on the seal mean? Are they related?  If so, how?
7.      CR: (22)  How do other verses describe lusts?  This verse seems to present “righteousness, faith, love, and peace” as opposites of  “youthful lusts.” How are they opposites? 
8.      WS:* (22) CR: What does verse 22 say we are to pursue?  How do you pursue each of them? (ie. What do you do to pursue righteousness, to pursue faith, etc.)
  Faith / pistis
  Love / agapē
  Peace / eirēnē
8.      WS:* (23-26) How must the Lord’s servant deal with his opponents? Why? 
  Gentle / ēpios
*Pick a couple of the words that you are unfamiliar with or that catch your attention.
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      What things do we argue about today that would be considered “quarrelling about words,” “godless talk,” or “foolish controversies?” (Just list them, don’t argue about them. :o)
2.      Why do we spend so much time quarreling about things that are not that important?
3.      How often do we argue about the positive traits in verses 22, 24-25?  Why is that?
4.      We sometimes associate the traits in verses 24-25 with someone who is weak and lacks convictions?  Why?  Is that a correct assumption?
5.      Are there situations or disagreements where you do not characterize verses 24-25? Why do we act that way?  How should we approach those discussions?

If you were put on the spot and hundreds of eyes and ears were on you and you were asked to give THE reason why you know the Bible is true—what would you say? That question is best answered by remembering what Jesus said in the same situation.
At that huge gathering, called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confidently told all the thousands who heard Him speak—that Heaven and Earth would pass away before any word of His Bible failed. Wow, He sure knew He had a Bible He could trust. Jesus didn't fear that there were any historical, moral, theological, and scientific inaccuracies in His Bible. He had a copy of the Book anyone can Trust!
But as we read Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus summed it up as simply this, HE believed God's Word and so should we:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Have you ever looked down and wondered if you really held the same Bible Jesus had, the one God breathed out supernaturally by inspiration? And further, have you ever wondered if this one is okay, because it is a translation, and not the actual Hebrew or Greek words that God gave to those 40 plus men, who He used to write the Bible?
This is the Bible Jesus Used
The Septuagint was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible; and was made in the third century B.C. by Jewish scribes, who were direct descendents of those trained in Ezra's Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. They were complete experts in the text, being very well versed in Hebrew and Greek.
This translation became very popular among Jews in the first two centuries before Christ because many Jews in those days did not understand Hebrew. Their ancestors had left Israel centuries before, and generation after generation gradually lost the ability to read the Scriptures in Hebrew.
Many of the Jews in Jesus' day used the Septuagint as their Bible. Quite naturally, the early Christians also used the Septuagint in their meetings and for personal reading; and many of the New Testament apostles quoted it when they wrote the Gospels and Epistles in Greek. What is most fascinating is that the order of the books in the Septuagint is the same order in our Bibles today, and not like the Hebrew scrolls. So this means that:
Jesus Primarily Used a Translation
Jesus and the Apostles: studied, memorized, used, quoted, and read most often from the Bible of their day, the Septuagint. Since Matthew wrote primarily to convince the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed their promised Messiah, it follows as a matter of course that his Gospel is saturated with the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, when Jesus quotes the Old Testament in Matthew, He uses the Hebrew text only 10% of the time, but the Greek LXX translation—90% of the time!
Amazingly, Jesus and Paul used the LXX as their primary Bible. It was just like the Bible each of us holds in our hands, not the original Hebrew Old Testament, but a translation of the Hebrew into Greek. But it was based on exactly the same original and inspired words, and reads just like the Bible we hold in our hands today.

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