Effective Bible Study was filmed live in the classroom at Sunset International Bible Institute in 2003. Consisting of twenty-seven 30 to 40 minute lessons (9 DVDs + 1 CD), this series on Biblical interpretation focuses on “learning by doing.” Students are encouraged to work through the numerous examples and projects, and become proficient at both learning God’s Word, and sharing it with others. Richard Cravy has been teaching and preaching the gospel since 1970, and is part of the faculty and staff at Sunset.
LESSONS 1 & 2: Introduction and methodology. Our attitude should be one of awe and reverence as we hear God speak. Defining inspiration.
LESSONS 3 & 4: God’s Word is Living and Active. Hebrews 4:12 expresses the power of God’s Word and provides an exercise for class work.
LESSON 5: Using a study Bible. What to look for, and why a good Bible alone is not enough.
LESSONS 6 & 7: Introducing the Rules of Observation. Lots of Practice.
LESSONS 8 & 9: Using a Bible dictionary and Bible background books to clarify the text.
LESSONS 10-13: A detailed project on the Temple during Jesus’ time. Using reference books to illuminate the Gospel accounts.
LESSONS 14 & 15: Framing the remote and immediate context of any passage.
LESSONS 16-20: Learning the meaning of words, the building blocks of language. Using Greek study tools without speaking Greek. Numerous examples and exercises.
LESSON 21: Bible translations and how the original Biblical text has been preserved.
LESSONS 22 & 23: Proper use of commentaries… and how NOT to use them.
LESSON 24: Guidelines for making application of the Biblical text to today.
LESSONS 25-27: Communicating what the Bible teaches to others. Emphasis on storytelling and other techniques. Using the knowledge from this course in daily life.
1. Learn to genuinely enjoy doing Bible study.
2. Practice in communicating effectively the exciting lessons of the scriptures to others.
3. Train our eyes, minds, imaginations, and hearts to experience the living word of God.
4. Adopt a method for Bible study which will yield rich rewards in personal knowledge and growth.
NOTES ABOUT THIS CLASS
1. This class was originally taught in the Sunset International Bible Institute evening program from August thru December, 2003. Because it is in the classroom, students will occasionally ask questions not picked up by the microphone.
2. The instructor does not claim infallibility, nor to be a Greek scholar, just a devoted student of the Word. Please forgive any unintended misstatements, mispronounced Greek words, etc. While everything was taught in good faith, some mistakes may have been made which we have not caught. The principles presented are still relevant.
3. Viewers of these videos will get the greatest benefit from this class by purchasing the required textbook and reference books, and maintaining a notebook as did the original class members.
REQUIRED TEXTBOOK & BOOKS
Building Blocks for Bible Study, by Peter Verkruyse, published by College Press, 1997.
Principles of Interpretation, by Clinton Lockhart. Published by Gospel Light Publishing, Delight, Arkansas. Not required but recommended.
New Bible Dictionary by IVP Press, New Illustrated Bible Dictionary by Nelson Publishers, or similar comprehensive, in-depth Bible dictionary.
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts by Nelson Publishers, New Illustrated Manners and Customs by Nelson Publishers, or other good book on Bible background (history, geography, customs, etc.).
Interlinear Greek New Testament in the translation of the student’s choice.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, by Nelson Publishers or others, or New International Encyclopedia of Biblical Words by Lawrence Richards from Zondervan.
These books may be ordered through the Sunset Extension School Bookstore at 800-687-2121, or through various other Christian bookstores or internet sites.
NOTES FOR THE LESSONS ON DVD
LESSON 1: (39:55) Introduction to the class. Explanation of our approach of “observe, interpret, apply.” The attitude of awe and reverence necessary in listening to God speak through His Word. We stand on “holy ground.”
LESSON 2: (38:45) Continuation of “holy ground” study. Next, define and clarify the meaning of inspiration. Present various incorrect views of inspiration and why they are erroneous.
LESSON 3: (37:50) God’s Word…Living and Active, Part I. Focus on Hebrews 4:12 and the power that God’s Word wields. This is the first project in class as we look at the author, purpose, background, context, and word meanings in the passage. Assignment: Chapter One in Building Blocks for Bible Study (BBFBS).
LESSON 4: (38:10) God’s Word…Living and Active, Part II. Finish study of Hebrews 4:12. Followed by defining “interpretation,” and the primary goal of determining “the author’s intended meaning.”
LESSON 5: (35:10) An entire class on Study Bibles: different kinds, their usefulness, limitations, and recommendations. Assignment: Chapter Three in BBFBS.
LESSON 6: (38:30) Discussion of “The Student, The Fish, and Professor Agassiz.” Begin outlining the Rules of Observation. Assignment: Chapter Two in BBFBS.
LESSON 7: (40:00) Continue the study of the Rules of Observation. Learning to ask the right questions. Project study: Acts 4.
LESSON 8: (39:15) Part I in using a Bible dictionary and Bible backgrounds book to help understand the historical, geographical, and cultural background of a passage. Assignment: Chapter Four inBBFBS.
LESSON 9: (33:40) Part II of using a Bible dictionary and Bible background book.
LESSON 10: (38:15) The Temple, Part I. Begin application of the methods learned about observation and background by studying the great Temple built by King Herod in Jerusalem.
LESSON 11: (38:30) The Temple, Part II.
LESSON 12: (35:15) The Temple, Part III.
LESSON 13: (40:50) The Temple, Part IV.
LESSON 14: (40:25) Observing the Passage Context, Part I. Emphasis on the remote, general, and immediate context of a passage. Assignment: Chapter Five of BBFBS.
LESSON 15: (38:20) Observing the Passage Context, Part II. Assignment: Chapter Six of BBFBS.
LESSON 16: (37:20) Learning About Word Meanings, Part I. Seeing words as the building blocks of communication. Emphasis on words in the original Greek or Hebrew, and understanding the effect of context on meaning. Assignment: Chapter Seven of BBFBS.
LESSON 17: (40:00) Learning About Word Meanings, Part II.
LESSON 18: (38:30) Learning About Word Meanings, Part III.
LESSON 19: (35:10) Learning About Word Meanings, Part IV.
LESSON 20: (40:20) Learning About Word Meanings, Part V.
LESSON 21: (37:05) Bible Translations and the Preservation of the Original Text. How translating works and some recommendations. How we know we have reliable Greek and Hebrew scripture texts.
LESSON 22: (37:50) Proper Use of Commentaries, Part I. Kinds of commentaries, and advantages and cautions about their use. Assignment: Chapter Eight of BBFBS.
LESSON 23: (33:10) Proper Use of Commentaries, Part II.
LESSON 24: (38:50) How & When to Apply Biblical Teaching Today. Discuss other principles in addition to the familiar “command, example, and necessary inference” concept.
LESSON 25: (29:45) Communicating Bible Teaching Effectively, Part I. Discussion and examples of storytelling as an effective means of teaching others Bible truths and lessons.
LESSON 26: (27:30) Communicating Bible Teaching Effectively, Part II. Development of other ways to share truth based on the principles and methods of this class: background, context, word meanings, author’s intended meaning, etc.
LESSON 27: (23:10) Communicating Bible Teaching Effectively, Part III. Wrap up of this topic, and conclusion of class.