Session 2 Classroom
Welcome to the Session 2 Classroom.
Everything you need for working through the second session is right here on this page. Start with the video lecture. Download the fill-in-the-blank notes page to help you follow along!
After the video move on to the discussion questions, recommended readings, and practice exercises.
After that, go to section 4 to learn about the kind of tools Andrew recommends for building a good library for studying scripture.
If you are still hungry for more go to section 5 and download the free ebook by renowned New Testament scholar Craig Keener about studying the Bible in its context.
2: Session 2 Video Lecture
The second session dives into how to study the text of God’s word in order to get a message. Download and print the fill-in-the-blanks notes page:⬇️ Download Session 2 Notes ⬇️
3: After The Video
- What makes a message “Biblical”?
- What makes a message “authoritative”?
- If you were invited to speak or teach a Bible class at church next week what text would you choose and why?
- Which Bible translation(s) do you typically use and why?
- What do you find difficult about “finding your own impressions” of the text? Why?
Readings for Session 2:
- Karoline M. Lewis, A Lay Preacher’s Guide: How to Craft a Faithful Sermon (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2020), “Getting to Know the Biblical Text” in Chapter 1, pgs. 19-23.
- Daniel Overdorf, One Year to Better Preaching: 52 Exercises to Hone Your Skills (Grand Rapids: Kregel Ministry, 2013), Chapter 12, pgs. 77-82.
God’s Word Search
Perform a “God’s word search” by printing out a text from Biblegateway.com with all the footnotes, cross references, verse numbers, and red letters removed. Then mark it for the things listed on page 9 of the notes.
Don’t be shy. Get out markers, pens, crayons, or highlighters. There is no wrong way to do this. Color-code it if you want. Draw arrows showing connections. Write questions and observations out to the side of the text or on the back of the print out.
What’s the Big Idea?
Use the list of short passages below to sharpen your skills of summarizing a text in one succinct and catchy sentence. Work on at least 2 passages. Work in groups if you need help thinking through it.
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 117
- Matthew 7:1-5
- Matthew 7:24-27
- Philippians 4:10-14
- James 2:1-13
- James 3:1-1
The Sermon in One Sentence
After completing exercise 2, pick one of the texts you summarized into one sentence. Stand up in front of your classmates and read the text and then say your one sentence summary.
4: Tools for Studying God's Word
Getting Started: The Free Stuff
- Free quality online Bible study tools – A blog post containing an annotated list of free quality online resources. This is the most important item on this list. I frequently update this blog post as I continue to find great new online, free, resources. Each annotation not only explains what each is, but gives you an idea of how you might use it.
- The Y’all Translation – A unique (but extremely helpful) Bible translation. It replaces plural YOUs in scripture with “y’all” or other regional equivalents.
- Mark-Up Example – An example of the kind of mark-up recommended in the video lecture.
Getting Started: The Paid-For Stuff
Here is a brief, selective, curated list of suggested books that would constitute a very basic (but effective) library to help aid you in your study. The total cost for the library in an Amazon cart was between $70-$100 at the time of this courses’s first edition. The price varies based on which Study Bible you choose. Also see (here) my blog post about Study Bibles and (here) my blog post about English translations.
- The IVP Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament
- The IVP Bible Backgrounds Commentary: New Testament, Second Edition
ONE of the following Study Bibles:
- NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Also available in NKJV and NRSV)
- The New Interpreter’s Study Bible
- CEB Study Bible
- The NIV Study Bible
Another potential option is to consider subscribing do Bible Gateway Plus. It is an online subscription account through Bible Gateway that gives you access to both of the NIV based study Bibles mentioned above and some other great resources. It is $5/month or $50 for the year.
5: Keep the Learning Going
Free eBook by renowned New Testament Scholar Craig Keener on how to improve one’s study of the scriptures.