Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Getting Into the Bible... It's Easy!

I attended a wonderful luncheon this week featuring Professor Howard Hendricks of Dallas Seminary who talked about “How to Study the Bible.”

I can remember a time (not too long ago) when Bible study seemed threatening and mysterious. Where do I start? How do I understand this? Somebody call a professional!

Dr. Hendricks gave us an amazingly simple formula for getting started. It’s the same approach taught in journalism school. It begins with six questions:

Who?

What?

When?

Where?

Why?

Wherefore? (i.e., “So what?”)


How does this work? Look at Mark 4: 35-41.

Who: Jesus is talking to His Disciples.

What: They are leaving a large crowd and preparing to cross a lake when a violent storm hits. The Disciples awaken Jesus, who was sleeping, and accuse Him of not caring about their welfare. Jesus uses three words to calm the storm then questions the faith of His students. The Disciples are terrified and astounded.

When: It is evening. Can you imagine the amplified terror of this scene in darkness?

Where: (We go back to the beginning of the chapter (4:1) to learn that the crowd was so large, Jesus took a boat out onto the lake to make room for more people on land.) The Disciples have joined Jesus in boats. They are preparing to go from one side of the lake to the other.

Why: What can we deduce? Is this a story about boating? Or storm preparedness? Or is it more likely a message about faith?

So what: What’s the take-away? What are we to learn in 2006 from God's scriptural revelation? Are there furious storms in your life? How do you respond? Do you worry? Are you anxious? Or are you stepping out and abiding by faith?

(Photo by stobor, see flickr.com for restrictions.)

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