Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rubbish at Bible Study 15: The Book Survey Method

The Book Survey Method:

Chapter 9 in Rick
For 'Book Survey Method' form click here

This emphasises the need to take the content of the Bible in the form it was written. Often we break letters up into short passages, soundbites or proof texts, when Paul would have written a letter to be read out loud to a church in one sitting, at least at first hearing.

This method helps us to take an overview.

Again, this will work best with 1 Timothy if we combine our ideas and contribute thoughts, sources, suggestions and insights online. 

Summary of method:

1: Number of times read:
In one sitting; recent translation; rapidly, ignoring chapters; several times; without reference to commentaries at first; prayerfully; making notes; then in different versions.
2: Notes on the book:
Is it history, prophecy, Law, etc

>First Impressions
What is the purpose, feel, etc?

>Key Words
Words that are emphasised, repeated, the major theme(s)?

>Key verse
Is there a central theme statement?

>Literary Style
Is this written as narrative, poetry, letter, drama, argument, etc?

>Emotional Tone
Is the writer angry, concerned, positive, sad, scared, urgent, etc?

>Main Theme(s)
What is/are the main theme(s) outlined in this book? 

What are the obvious divisions, how is this book organised?

>Major People
Who are the main players?

(Reference books used/online reference tools)

3: Background of the book:
Summary of previous method (Chapter 8: Book Background method) and conclusions about the culture, politics, history, and the world this was written in and to.

4: Horizontal Chart of book contents:
This is the most unusual and apparently complicated part of this method.
BUT it acts as a discipline, a structure to make you review the full content of a book, so that you can see it in one viewing.

You end up with a visual diagram of contents and structure.

What starts as something that appears strange or daunting ends up as a very interesting and surprisingly revealing and enjoyable exercise.

For full details read Rick's instructions on p.176-177 (Chapter 9, Step Four). 

5: Tentative outline of the book:
Once you have surveyed the full contents of the book, you can make your own outline of the major sections and themes of the book, in order, in paragraphs, in brief summary form.

Again, for full details read Rick's instructions on p.178 (Chapter 9, Step Five) 

6: Personal application:
What struck you? 
What did you learn/re-learn? 
What will you change or do?

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