Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deeper Bible Study - How I Prepare to Preach

I have over 100 Redeemer adults doing Deeper Bible study with me. They receive the text I'm going to preach on for the coming Sunday. Plus notes at what I am doing, how I am doing it, and so on as I prepare to preach the text. I want to point them in a direction and not do the research for them.

Here's what I sent them today.

Here’s how I am preparing, today, for next Sunday.
1.   I’ll print these verses out (Hebrews 11:13-16) and carry them with me. I’ll pull them out and read and re-read. If I have a thought or a question, I’ll write it down.
2.   Occasionally, I read – again – the entire book of Hebrews. This is good to do to give me the broader context. In interpreting the Bible (or anything for that matter) context is necessary.
3. I turn to biblical commentaries on Hebrews. As in anything, some commentaries are better than others. The Hebrews commentaries I am especially looking at are by Ben Witherington, Gareth Cockerill, George Guthrie, N.T. Wright (his Hebrews for Everyone), Kent Hughes (2 volumes), David Garland, Peter O'Brien, and F.F. Bruce. You can see all these at amazon.com. You can access major sections of each at Google books. 
4. I just bought A.W. Tozer's book on Hebrews for Kindle - only $2.99! You can get the Kindle app at amazon.com for free, and purchase the book and read it on your computer. This, my friends, is amazing.

Here are my suggestions for you, this week:
1.   Read the verses. If possible, over and over. Perhaps carry them with you on a 3X5 card.
2.   If there is something you do not understand, this is where you will want to do some study.
3.   This week, at least once, read the entire book of Hebrews.
4.   Try pulling up one of the Hebrews commentaries using Google Books.
I use biblegateway.com to pull up the text. It’s easy to look at other translations on this website.
I mostly use the NIV translation. I really like what Eugene Peterson has given us in The Message.
One excellent study tool I use is Google Books. It’s free! 

When I use Google Books to look up biblical commentaries, I do this, for example:
1.   Pull up Google.
2.   Type in “Hebrews 11 strangers foreigners” (because these are two of the key words).
3.   Click on “More”
4.   Click on “Books”
5.   Then, a number of commentaries appear. Some are definitely better than others!