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Preparation in the Word of God: Meet your good friend OTTO, 2 Timothy 2:15 The Bibles message is Good

News, not just good advice; it is authoritative truth, not just creative suggestions. Ian Pitt-Watson, A Primer for Preachers. A biblical sermon is not a book report. It is a proclamation of what has been heard in and through the text. Leander E. Keck, The Bible in the Pulpit. Preaching is both art and science. It is blessing, in which tin becomes gold and yard rocks become diamonds under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Over the span of the colonial era, American ministers delivered approximately 8 million sermons, each lasting one to one-and-a-half hours. The average 70-year-old colonial churchgoer would have listened to some 7,000 sermons in his or her lifetime, totaling nearly 10,000 hours of concentrated listening. This is the number of classroom hours it would take to receive ten separate undergraduate degrees in a modern university, without ever repeating the same course! We develop our preparation from the premise that the Bible, in its original manuscripts is the inspired, theo-pneustos, God-breathed Word of God. There is a dual authorship to the Scripture, as the Lord inspired the collection of authors, utilizing their individual personalities, to record the Bibles every word, phrase, idea and concept. Since the inspiration applies to each word, one can have an edifying study from the examination of each word within its grammatical context; that since the words were written in a particular historical context, that studying that historical context is beneficial as well, and that lastly, that since these words were originally communicated within a particular literary format, that the literary format would be of benefit. It is technically called the grammatical-historical-rhetorical approach, but I call it logical. We do not teach our opinions, beliefs, concerns but the truth of Scripture. How do we discover these truths? Please meet your friend OTTO I. Observations A. Read what is there. Read 2 Tim 3:16-17. What is Scripture? What inspired? What is reproof? What is righteousness? To understand the meaning of the verse and the truth that it contains, you must understand the words. I love art, but God did not inspire art. I love music, but God did not inspire music. He inspired words. Most people read too fast. The bible is to be carefully read and studied, not breezed over, as if some mystical influence will arise like smoke from a fire. Do this after reading the book by the number of chapters, the chapter by the number of verses, and each verse by the number words. Meditate, think deeply about the words, ideas, Josh 1:7-8; Ps 1:1-2; Ps 119:97. B. Note what is there. 1. Whats the Structure: by this we mean all the words and parts of speech in the verse. a. Verbs, show action or state of being. Ex. Be filled with the Spirit. Eph. 5:18 passive verb. Youre being acted upon. It is full service, not self-service filling. Open your gas tank. Hell do the rest. b. Subject/Object: a noun denotes a person or thing or quality (chair, George, beauty); the subject of a sentence does the acting; the object of the sentence is acted upon. Gal. 6:4: Main verb: Examine; Subject: Each One; Object: His own work c. Adjectives and Adverbs: These are known in the grammar biz as modifiers. They modify or enlarge the meaning of words. Ex. Every spiritual blessing Eph 1:3 d. Prepositions: These are the little words. They locate the action. In, on, upon, out, to, through, etc. Ex. 1 Thes 1:10 out of the wrath to come. Eph. 2:10 Saved by grace or saved by faith e. Connectives: AND, Ps 37:4; Acts 13:42-43. BUT, Ex. Acts 1:8, Ex. 3:10-11 Moses big but 1

Proverbs are filled with connectives, linking the two lines. FOR: shows reason, see Jn 3:16; Isa 9:4-6. Jer 31:3, THEREFORE: shows result, or conclusion, Rom 1:24. Go back and see what it is there for! So ask: What is the subject of the sentence? The predicate (the action of the verse)? The object? Note the nouns, verbs, participles, etc. Write down these parts of the sentence structure. 2. Whats the Form: a. Apocalyptic: Highly symbolic literature. Vivid imagery. Cosmic events. Symbolic use of numbers, colors, fantastic drama. Filled with special effects. What is the reality behind the symbolism? Is the interpretation provided in the text? Is the interpretation dependant upon a knowledge of OT Scripture? Remember that the use of one symbol does not make the entire passage symbolic. Revelation; Zech. 1-6; Dan. 7 b. Epistles: Appeals primarily to the intellect. Straightforward exposition. Characterized by a tightly structured and reasoned, logical argument. So ask the questions, what is the argument being made? What is the point being driven home? c. Narrative: Appeal is to the emotions and imagination. Narrative means story. Identify plot, movement within the story, development. Did the story resolve under different circumstances than it began? Who is in the cast? How are they presented? What roles do they play in advancing the plot and action? What decisions are made? How do the characters relate to one another? How do they relate to God, the one actor consistent throughout every story, sometimes on stage, sometimes unseen, off stage, but His presence is always felt. What questions are raised by the story? What do the characters discover about God? Assume every detail was included for a particular purpose. d. Parable: A brief, oral story that illustrates a moral principle. About one quarter of Jesus teaching is in parables. They usually try to make one simple point. Sometimes the question is explicit, such as in the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:2537) which addresses the question Who is my neighbor? Pay special attention to the end of the parable. The rule of end stress recognizes that the most important part of the parable is the conclusion where the parable often requires a decision or forces the hearer to reverse his or her way of thinking. They are images for understanding Jesus teaching. e. Poetry: Poetry appeals to the emotions and the imagination. Parallelism (go to proverbs description). Parallelism is the restatement or development of a line of poetry using similar vocabulary in a following line. Expresses an idea is parallel but slightly different expressions. Restates the same idea a second time. Contrasts the second line with the first. Second line completes the idea of the first. What is the poems theme? What emotions does it convey? What questions does it pose and which ones does it answer? What does the poem convey about God? About people? Psalms, Song of Solomon, Job, Proverbs 3. What are the key words in the passage? Pick a few that look important, 1 or 2 per verse, a few in a paragraph. Sometimes its a technical word, Rom 5:1, justification. Sometimes its someones name, Heb 11; sometimes its a location, Act 1:8; sometimes its a date, as in Hag 2:1 or Act 2:1. 1; sometimes it is repetitions (Act 13:46-48, Gentiles); Proportion (cp Gen 1-11, ands 12-50) Purpose Statements (Jn 20:31); Similes, metaphors, types (1 Pet 2:2; Jn 15:1; Pro 27:15; Gal 4:24; Heb 11:19; Jn 1:29) 4. Whats the atmosphere: What is the mood of the sentence? Sad, tense, joyful, Build mental images. What was Israel like 2000 years ago in the time of Jesus? What was Jerusalem like? What was like at Passover? Can you imagine what it was like to have a walled city no larger than three miles in circumference packed with two million pilgrims, Roman soldiers, priests, 2

Levites, fishmongers, shepherds, merchants, farmers? Families. What were the smells in the marketplace? Everything is a clue. Nothing is too insignificant or basic to record (Jn 3:16, so). The meaning of a text will eventually rest on the integration of these clues. C. Question what is there. What does a particular word do to the sentence's tone, mood, and purpose? What would different tenses do to the verb? Joyful, sad, etc? Ask if the location is significant to the story or thought (i.e., Lk 2:4 and Mic 5:2)? Ask if the particular person is crucial to the story, what if it was a different person, or gender, or age (Lk 1:69; 2:36)? Or event (Lk 2:21)? What if these were changed, would it change the story or teaching? In what ways? D. Investigate what is there. Use a dictionary, Lexicon, atlas, etc. Know the places referred to and what the words actually mean in the context they are used in; what special words or names are used. Consult Resources: 1. Concordance; 2. Bible Atlas; 3. Bible Dictionary; 4. Bible Encyclopedia; 5. Bible Commentary; 6. Bible Handbook; 7. Interlinears
Pro 2:4 If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God.

This helps you to know the meaning of the text which is the basis of your insights. As you under the actual meaning of the portion you develop insight as to the spiritual facts in the text. II. Truths: interpretation of the text, the meaning of the text. A. Write out the meaning and insight in regards to its relationship to the truth. The meaning of the text is the truth of the text. This is the quest for meaning. What does this text mean? Not mean to me, but objectively mean. Every text has only one meaning, but may multiple applications. The quality of your interpretation will only be as good as your observations. There are no 2 meanings as Jn 14:6. Hindus say this is true for all of us. The disciples didnt think so. These reflect the importance or value of the answers and facts that you investigated. Ps 119:34, Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. The quality of your interpretation is directly related to the quality of your observations. Rev 1:16 Sword in the mouth. Every text has only one meaning, but may multiple applications. Follow this rule: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. B. Find other scriptures to verify these truths. Jn 14:9. Yeshua is God incarnate. Other Scriptures that teach this: Jn 1:1, 14; Col 2:10, etc. C. Prioritize the truths according to Biblical importance. Reconstruct your answers into a meaningful whole. 1. Take biblical passages to mean what their human authors were consciously expressing. 2. Take the coherence, harmony, and veracity of all biblical teaching as our working premise. 3. Give each bit of biblical teaching its proper place and significance in the organism of revelation as a whole. 4. Make explicit the response the text calls for. D. These are your points. Reconstruct your answers into a meaningful whole. Weave your interpretation into a coordinate point in your theological tapestry.

III. Theme A. Find the common idea that connects all the prioritized truths. The portion speaks of one big idea. What is it? B. Write out the general idea in a succinct fashion. This makes your working title. Ask yourself questions (which will be vital to the next section, Presentation of the Word): Whats the main idea? Whatspoint? Then ask, so what? If this scripture is the answert whats the question? IV. Outline A. Organize the truths in an orderly fashion as they relate to the theme. This is a major point. The outline is an orderly way to make your point (the main idea). B. Organize the points into an orderly presentation. The outline helps others follow your train of thought. This is your teaching preparation