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Kevin 2017-2019 BSM Class Notes


Protected: Recap 01 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 8-17-17

Dear BTCL Class,

Thank you for joining us to kick off the “Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation” course on Thursday August 17, 2017. It was good to begin to get to know each of you. We trust that this course will make you increasingly effective in what Lord has called you to do. Our goal is to equip you to OBSERVE, INTERPRET, and APPLY the Word of God in order that your personal walk with Christ is strengthened and that you bear spiritual fruit by investing what you have learned in the lives of others.

Our Goals for the night on Monday were:

  • that we understand the goals and process of this course, Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation

  • that we set our personal “course” to study God’s Word and apply what we learn to our lives

  • that we appreciate the power of God’s Word to change us to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ

The Bible is indeed the instrument in the hands of a loving God to eternally change our lives!

On pages 12-14, we saw in the course outline an overview of the entire course.

Next week we will overview the three steps for effective Bible study we will learn in our 12-13 weeks together:

  • OBSERVATION: What does the text of Scripture say?

  • INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?

  • APPLICATION: What shall I do Lord?

Note that at the end of the course at week 12, we will break into small groups where you will present on of your Bible Study Methods assignments. This is always a highlight of the course as you take the principles learned and actually use them in your study of a person, topic, or theological concept and present your findings.

Housekeeping issues:

  • Be sure and let anyone you know interested in joining our class that Thursday, August 31st, 2017, is the absolute last day by which you must begin attending in order to sign up for the class. If you know of someone interested please give them Susan Gleaton’s email in order to let us know who will be added to our group. (susan@btcp.com)

  • Via email, please let us know if you will be absent from class on any given night. This helps us pray for you if any urgent need arises, and helps us be aware that you will not be there for discussion.

  • Should you be absent from class, the webpage below is where you can access the audio of what you missed.

Assignment for Thursday, August 24th, 2017:

Next week we will cover pp. 25-33 in your course manual.

  • read the pertinent pages in the manual and the Scriptures cited on those pages

  • complete the review questions on p. 32

  • pray for one another and for an effective time in class

We are grateful for each of you and the privilege we have in this setting to learn more of the grace and love of Christ and the eternal plan of God through His Word.

We look forward to seeing you all next Thursday, Lord willing. Have a great weekend and Lord’s day of worship, praise, and fellowship.



Recap 02 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 8-24-17

Dear BTCL Class,

It was great to see everyone in class last night. Those that weren’t able to make it we look forward to seeing you next Thursday.

Important Information!

If anyone still needs to pay for the course or Study Bible you can make payment in class via cash or check or via credit card at our website: http://btcp.us/payments/

  • Course fee is $75, NIV Study Bible fee is $10. (Half Scholarships Available upon request)

  • Choose “Other” from the “Purpose of Payment” dropdown menu under the e-mail field.

  • Put “For Northside BTCL Class” in the “Notes regarding your payment:” field.

You can download a PDF of the course manual from here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vej839rrmzjei0/1%20-%20Bible%20Study%20Methods%20103015.pdf?dl=0

  • You may print out a personal hardcopy of the manual if you like so that you can have a 3-ring binder version of the manual for taking notes.

  • Please do not share the PDF with anyone else it is only for your use and reference as a BTCL student.

If you miss a class, the webpage below is where you can access the audio of what you missed.


(Password is: student)

You can download our Course Schedule here: Bible Study Methods 2017 Schedule

Your Assignment for Next Thursday, August 31, 2017:

  1. In next week’s class, we will study pages 34-40. We will overview the three Bible study method steps of Observation, Interpretation and Application, then we will dive into the specifics of Step #1: What does the text of Scripture say? The “what” is a word loaded with questions to address to passages of Scripture.

  2. As it is for each class, read the pages we will cover in your manual and look up the Scriptures cited.

  3. Do the assignments on page 35, 36, 38 and 40. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure of your answers just come ready to discuss what you found!

  4. If you didn’t get a chance to last week, at your church service this Sunday, write down the passage the pastor or speaker uses in his message and the summary statement he used to encapsulate the idea(s) in the passage.

Recap for Thursday, August 24:

Our goals for our time together in class were:

  • That we understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our study of Scripture and learn essential truths about the Bible.

  • That we are able to explain to others the basic truths concerning the Bible.

  • That we grow in our love for God because of the gift of His Word to us

Look at goal #4 on page 8 of your course manual. One goal of this course is to emphasize the necessity for us to absolutely and totally depend on the illuminating and teaching ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Passage: 1 Cor. 2:12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” Note that men and women have given their lives to ensure that what God freely gave, i.e. his Word, is passed on to succeeding generations.

Remember, we are learning to study and accurately understand the Bible because we want to make sure that in our personal lives and ministries, we do not…

  • Dilute God’s Word; 2 Cor.1:18-20

  • Distort God’s Word; 2 Cor.4:2

  • Deviate from God’s Word; 1 Cor.4:6-7

  • Deceive others by misusing God’s Word: (we could add this word with 2 Cor. 4:2 as the passage to illustrate the concept)

On page 25 in your manual, we looked at the Role of the Holy Spirit in Study. Bottom line: the study of Scripture is not simply an academic endeavor. As we study, we must also depend on the teaching and illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit. In terms of our obedience to what we learn, we must rely on His power.

On page 26, we went back to our good friend, Psalm 119, and added Psalm 51, where we spent time on the Required Attitudes for effective study.

We moved on to discuss Essential truths about the Bible, on page 27. An important concept is that, “the Bible is inspired and therefore inerrant (without error) and authoritative”. As we pointed out, we have good reliable copies of the Word of God, but only the original manuscripts are inerrant.

Additional reading on the establishment of the Canon of Scripture:



(Note: When I share links to resources, that I am not necessarily endorsing everything on these sites but I have found the articles referenced accurate and helpful)

Definitions of Inspiration

“God superintended the human authors of the bible so that they composed and recorded without error His message to mankind in the words of their original writings.” Charles Ryrie

“Inspiration means ‘God-breathed’ and refers to the process by which the Holy Spirit influenced and directed the human authors of Scripture to write down and preserve God’s words to men without error and without violating the personalities of the men who wrote it. (see 1 Th. 2:13) Note: Inspiration relates only to the original words of Scripture.” Dennis Mock

Next we discussed Important Terms on page 28-30. In the later BTCL course Bible Doctrine Survey, we will spend more time on these concepts. For now, we simply need to be aware of and familiar with them. Many of the added comments below are from Charles Ryrie.

Revelation: an unveiling. This deals with the content of the message, the “What” God disclosed to us. Two subsets: General Revelation, Ps.19:1-6, and Special Revelation. Ps. 19:7-14; Heb. 1:1-3;

Inspiration: Means, “God-breathed” and emphasizes the source of the information in the Bible and deals with the method of giving the information, the “How”. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21

Inerrancy: Deals with the accuracy of the message, the “How close?”. 2 Tim. 3:16-17

Authority: Deals with the absolute truthfulness of the message, and the importance of it as the standard of truth for faith and practice. This is the “who-says-so?” of the message. Matt. 15:1-9; Mk. 7:5-8

Illumination: refers to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in enabling believers to understand and accept its truth. There is a difference between just “perceiving” the message of the Bible and fully “receiving” the message of the Bible. Illumination deals with the meaning and the understanding of the message. 1 Cor. 2:12-14

Interpretation: As with illumination, this involves determining or discerning the meaning of the message. Acts 8:30-35 “How can I (understand the meaning) unless someone explains it to me?”

Take away: The Bible…has God as its author, salvation as its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, as its matter. (Paraphrased From the Baptist Faith and Message)

Next week we will begin acquiring and sharpening our skills in observing the text of Scripture. This is the first of the three steps in this course:

  1. OBSERVATION: What does the text of scripture say

  2. INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?

  3. APPLICATION: What shall I do…Lord?

Have a great weekend and may the God of the Word increasingly be the Lord of our hearts

As always, please let me know if you have questions and we will see you next Thursday, Lord willing.



Recap 04 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 9-7-17

Dear BTCL Class:

Thank you for your attentiveness and good work in class last night. We are already 1/3 of the way through Bible Study Methods! We have thoroughly discussed the Observation step, and we have learned to ask, “What does it say?”

Assignment for Thursday September 14th:

  • Read pp. 47-55 and Scriptures cited.

  • Do the assignments on pp. 51, 54.

  • Use what you have learned about Observation to observe Jonah, chapters 1 and 2. Use the attached worksheet. Remember to stay only in the Observation column. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to fill these out. Just write down what you observe from the text. Focus on the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?” Questions and look for keywords and phrases. Also note the literary form as we discussed last night.

Our goals for last night were:

  • that we understand the significance of Atmosphere and Literary Form as we observe the text of Scripture

  • that as a result of our time together, we are able to identify Atmosphere and Literary Form as we study the Scripture

  • that we are able to experience the full, emotional force, of the author’s message to his original audience

The four primary elements we are looking for in the observation step are:
Words, Structure, Atmosphere, and Literary Form.

Remember: Words only have meaning given their usage in context. Structural markers take you through the author’s argument. Structure is how the passage is constructed or arranged.

Big Idea #1 from Thursday’s class: Sensing the Atmosphere enables us to put ourselves into the passage so we can identify with the mind and emotions of the original readers/hearers. Remember, we are trying to get the sense of what the original author communicated to his original audience; like “putting ourselves in their shoes…or sandals”.

Big Idea #2 from Thursday’s class: Identifying the Literary Form of a passage will greatly assist in reaching the correct interpretation.

The literary forms are:
Narrative – reveals truth indirectly. Narrative is descriptive.
Discourse – reveals truth directly. Discourse is prescriptive.
Poetry – reveals truth in word pictures and impacts the heart; figures of speech are used to convey literal truth.
Prophecy – reveals previously unknown truth using symbolic and figurative language.
On September 14th, we begin four weeks in Interpretation as we ask the question, “What does it mean?”

I am grateful for each of you and trust the Lord will continue to conform us into His image as we study and apply His Word together.

Yours in Christ,



Recap 05 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 9-14-17

Dear BTCL Class,

Thank you for a good class on Thursday. Next Thursday, September 21st, we will officially be over half-way through Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation. Keep up the good work!

On Thursday, September 21st, 2017, we will continue learning the General Rules of Interpretation.

Assignment for Thursday:

  • Read pages 56-61

  • Do the assignments on 57, 60, 61

  • Write down your observations of Jonah, chapters 3-4. Thus, you will have observations on all four chapters. Be ready to share what you see in the text of Scripture

We are progressing in becoming skilled at studying the Bible using the three steps of OBSERVATION, INTERPRETATION, and APPLICATION. Next Thursday, we will harvest some of your observations on Jonah…see the assignment at the end of this email.

Recap of Thursday, September 14, 2017, pages 47-55:

Our goals for the night were:

  • That we gain an overview of the Interpretation Step

  • That we solidify the our understanding of the observation step and that we understand the first two general rules of interpretation

  • That we gain confidence in moving from observation to interpretation

In the syllabus on page 8 in your manual we emphasize the phrase, “the development of practical skills”. Our overall objective is, both in your own walk with the Lord and in your ministry to others, to equip you to study the Word of God; that God may use you to the utmost for His glory. We want to all become like Ezra as he is described in Ezra 7:10.

We started on p. 48 having already introduced the Interpretation Step last week on p. 47. On p. 48 we covered some important things to remember in Interpretation. We then moved on to the first two of the six general rules of interpretation.

On page 50, we talked about the “gaps” between us as 21st Century New Testament Christians and the Scriptural author and his audience. There are historical gaps with many cultural differences between us and the original audience. This difficulty can be illustrated with the term “winnowing fork” in Jeremiah 15:5-7. There is a good study note in your NIV Study Bible at Ruth 1:22 about the barley harvest and the winnowing process. Though you would likely have seen one if you lived in ancient Israel, today not many of us have seen a winnowing fork lying around the house, so we have to “bridge that gap” to get a clear picture of what Jeremiah was talking about to his audience, i.e. the people of Judah, when he foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC and their subsequent exile to Babylon.

Page 50: General Rule #1. Interpret literally; taking words, phrases, and sentences in their normal, natural, customary sense.

Key Point: what it says is what it means and what it means is what it says. The assignment on manual p.51 asks, “Does ‘ justified’ mean the same in both James 2:24 and Rom. 4:2?”.  As we will see, general interpretation rule # 5 is to “interpret in view of other parts of Scripture”, or to put it another way, to “compare Scripture with Scripture”. An aspect of this rule is to interpret unclear passages by clear ones. If we struggle with the meaning of “justified” in James, we compare the use of the same term in Romans to see if the meaning is the same or different given the usage-in-context in each passage.

Norman Geisler puts the related concept of “justified” or “considered righteous” in James 2:24 by a contrast chart:

Paul (Rom. 4:2)  James (James 2:24)

-Justification before God                       -Justification before humans

-The root of justification                        -The fruit of justification

-Justification  by faith                             -Justification for (or toward) works

-Faith as the producer of works            -Works as the proof of faith

A look at Webster’s definition of “justification” is helpful.  Definition #2. “a fact that justifies or vindicates”. Webster also gives the theological definition of “justification by faith” as: “the act by which sinner is freed through faith from the penalty for his sin and is accepted by God as righteous”.

Another good explanation on the James 2:24 passage: “James teaches that Scripture’s announcement that Abraham was righteous is vindicated on the basis of Abraham’s subsequent obedience. James teaches that a person’s claim to have saving faith will be vindicated by the actions that flow from it and in this sense completes (that faith).” (emphasis mine)

What clarifies the issue for us is the use of the word “justified” in Romans and the use of the same man, Abraham, in both Romans and James. As usual, context and comparing Scripture with Scripture answers the issue of an apparent contradiction.

On manual page 52, we discussed Allegorizing. There are allegories, extended metaphors, in the Bible but we are not given the freedom to allegorize as we see fit. The verb, “allegorize” is as Dennis says at the top of the page, is to look for a “secret” or “hidden” meaning in the text. We read a example of Augustine’s allegory of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Matt.22Mark 12Luke 10) of how far fetched this can get!

Bottom line: We interpret figurative passages figuratively and literal passages literally. What is says is what it means and what it means is what it says. The question is, given the literary form, what is the author communicating in terms of meaning? In other words, how does the author convey the literal facts, plainly or figuratively?

As we interpret the bible, especially narrative literature, we are looking for the Timeless Truths rooted in the text of scripture, principles good for all people, at all places, at all times. To illustrate, this is like dancing the two-step; the first “dance move”  is to determine what is communicated to the original audience, the second “dance move” is to determine that which applies to us as New Testament believers. That is where we are headed; equipping you to discover the Timeless Truth and apply that truth to our lives.

Page 53: General Rule #2Interpret in context, noting what precedes and what follows a passage, and how it is related to other passages in the text. Context is the single most important factor in proper interpretation of the Bible.

Key Point: Interpret any passage of Scripture in its context. As we seek to discover the meaning of a passage, Context is Key… and King! In the attached diagram, note that one moves from a word, to phrase, to sentence ….that is, we keep enlarging our view to make sure we are properly interpreting a single passage.

I look forward to covering the remaining 4 General Rules of Interpretation with you on Thursday. I am grateful for each of you and your desire to serve the Lord Jesus and to become better students of the Word of God!

See you Thursday, Lord willing.

Plain Literal vs. Figurative Literal

Context Triangle (Key)

Proper Application Historical Books


Northside BTCL – Recap 06 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 9-21-17

Dear BTCL Class,

We will not be meeting this coming Thursday September 28th, so you have an extra week to get caught up on your Bible reading schedule and your assignments!

Your assignment for Thursday, October 5th, 2017:

– read pages 61-70 in your manual and do the assignments on pages 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, and 70

– in Jonah, from your observations, write at least one interpretive principle for each chapter

Thank you for your work last Thursday night as we continued our study of the INTERPRETATION step in Bible Study Methods. We covered three of the remaining four general rules of interpretation. You also did good work on your Observations of Jonah at your tables. I have attached the documents modeling Observation of Jonah to this e-mail for your reference.

Remember that as we interpret the Bible, we are looking for the Timeless Truths, rooted in the text of the Scripture that are good for all people, at all places, at all times.

Our overall goals for last Thursday night were:

– that we understand: interpreting in view of history/culture, in view of literary form, and in view of other parts of Scripture

– that we begin to apply the six general rules of interpretation when we study the Bible

– that we begin to automatically ask interpretive questions when we hear, see, or read teaching declared to be from the Bible

We have already addressed the following general rules:

1. Interpret literally; taking words, phrases, and sentences in their normal, natural customary sense. Key Point: what it says is what it means.

2. Interpret in context, noting what precedes and follows a passage, and how it is related to other passages in the text. Key Point: CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.

3. Interpret in view of history/culture; Key Point: culture does not determine meaning, it helps us discover meaning. As the Scripture unfolds chronologically, is the principle in the passage at hand repeated, reinforced, rescinded, relevant, required?

4. Interpret in view of literary form; Key Point: the literary form affects the proper interpretation of the passage.

5. Interpret in view of other parts of Scripture; Key Point: be sure and compare Scripture with Scripture and interpret unclear passages by clear ones.

We will address the last general rule on Thursday October 5th when we next meet:

6. Interpret in view theological consistency; Key Point: The character and nature of God are the same throughout Scripture…interpret accordingly.

After this we will begin covering the 8 “Special Rules of Interpretation”.

Under #5 above, regarding unclear passages, someone has given us this synopsis:

1. Some things are hard to understand due to our fallenness. 2 Pet. 3:16

2. Some things are not yet revealed. 1 Jn. 3:2

3. Some things were not meant for us to know; only the Lord knows all things. Dt. 29:29

4. Some things, if we were told, we would not believe. Hab. 1:5

5. But take courage! We have all we need for life and godliness. 2 Pet. 1:3

May the Lord continue to grow us into the image of the Lord Jesus as we study and apply His Word.

See you Thursday, Lord willing.


Jonah 1 Observations – KB

Jonah 2 Observation Only – KB

KB – OIA Chart (Jonah 3-4) Observation Only


Northside BTCL – Recap 07 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 10-5-17

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

Thank you for the good interaction in class last night. Thanks also for adapting to our new location. As far as I know we will now be permanently meeting in this new location in the main building (The Kidside Theater on the 2nd floor)

Our goals for the night were:

– that we understand the special rules of interpretation

– that we use these rules as we study and interpret the Scriptures

– that our eyes are increasingly trained to interpret the Scriptures using sound rules of interpretation

We looked at the following special rules of interpretation:

#1. Parables: Key point: parables typically have one obvious meaning meant to get to the heart of the original hearers. Be careful assigning meaning to various aspects of a parable. Look for the main truth taught.

#2. Proverbs: Key point: Examine a proverb to determine what it teaches about how to live wisely. Proverbs present a general principle enabling the hearer to live life wisely. Remember, without stating any exceptions, Proverbs are designed to teach principles that work in the greatest number of cases. Some Proverbs appear to be promises. But even though the principle stated, when followed completely, may produce the same result as a promise, it is the nature of proverbial literature to set forth a principle to which there may or may not be exceptions, instead of a guaranteed promise. (These comments from Roy Zuck)

Note in your manual the difference between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, the last being defined as “knowledge skillfully applied to life”.

#3. Poetry: Key point: in Hebrew poetry (parallelism) look for what the second line says about the first line. There is a rhyming of ideas, thoughts, concepts, and images instead of rhyming of words.

#4. Figures of Speech: Key point: find the literal truth conveyed by the figure of speech. Determine the figure of speech used and evaluate its impact on the idea or truth stated. We learned there are several different figures of speech; the truth stated by the figure of speech is to be taken literally.

#5. Symbols: Key point: See to what the figure points; i.e. what is the referent. Examine all symbols carefully to determine the purpose and meaning of the representation. We learned that a symbol is a word or phrase which stands for or represents something else. Its purpose is to illustrate, clarify, make more vivid. Note: Words themselves are symbols with meaning given their usage in context.

#6. Typology (“Types”): Key point: An Old Testament pattern, example, prefiguring, or foreshadowing of a New Testament person or event. The Old Testament type predicts and “pictures in advance” what will become clear in the New Testament; like a preview of coming attractions in a movie theatre.

This coming Thursday, October 12th, 2017, we will study the remaining special rules regarding “Prophecy” and “Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament”. We will also possibly introduce “step three” in the Bible study methods process: APPLICATION.

For Thursday, October 12th, your assignment is:

1. Read pages 71 – 77 and the passages in those pages .

2. Do the assignments on pages 73, 75, 76, and 77.

3. Work on interpretative statements for Jonah, chapters 3 and 4.

Heads up: You will all be responsible to do one of each type of Bible Studies on pp. 82-110. Look on pp. 91, 99, and 106 in your manual. Be thinking about the person, topic, or theological truth you want to present in class on Thursday Nov. 2nd. We will break into 2-3 smaller groups for each of you to give an 8 minute presentation on your topic. We will discuss this in further in class but I wanted to let you go ahead and be thinking about and doing some initial work on this well ahead of time.

See you next Thursday, Lord willing!



Northside BTCL – Recap 08 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 10-12-17

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

I am sorry that I missed class due to illness but I know Matt Hulgan did a great job leading in my place. He said you all did really well interacting and completing your interpretive statements for Jonah 3-4. We are getting pretty close to completing “Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation”! I will bring a proposed schedule next Wednesday for the next course “Old Testament Survey” so you can see where we are going from next.

For next Thursday, October 19th, your assignments are:

  • Read pages 78 – 82 and look up the passages referenced on those pages.

  • Do the assignment on page 80. For page 81, think through all you have learned about Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

  • Heads up: You will all be responsible to complete one of each type of the Bible Studies on pp. 82-110.

  • You will complete one of each and then pick one to present to a small group in class. Look on pp. 91, 99, and 106 in your manual. You need to be thinking about the person, topic, or theological truth you want to present in class on Thursday Nov. 2nd. We will break into 2-3 smaller groups for each of you to give an 8 minute presentation on your selected topic. We will discuss this in further in class next week.

Our goals as we have covered the Interpretation step have been:

• that we understand the rules of interpretation

• that we use these rules as we study and interpret the Scriptures

• that our minds are increasingly trained to interpret the Scriptures using sound rules of interpretation
See the attached file for: Roy B. Zuck, Guidelines for Interpreting Prophecy – “Basic Bible Interpretation”, 1991, pages 241 – 249.

If you ever have any questions or difficulties don’t hesitate to ask. We want to make sure you are getting the process.


Prophecy Zuck


Northside BTCL – Recap 09 Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 10-19-17

Dear Class,

Thanks for you participation in class on Thursday night!  As I mentioned, this is like riding a bike, the more you use the skills the more “automatic” they will become. We pray that these skills and principles will be engrained in you and serve you well over a lifetime of Bible Study.

As promised, I have attached a BSM Summary Chart that I handed out in class.

I have also attached the proposed schedule for our next course OTS-Northside Schedule KB.

Recap of Thursday, October 19th, 2017. 

Our objectives for the night were:

  • That we understand the third step of Application

  • That we are able to move from Interpretation of a passage of scripture to Application; from properly understanding a principle from Scripture to personal appropriation of the principle

  • That we trust the Lord to change us as we apply His Word to our lives

If you look back at page 8 in your manual, goal # 3, A purpose of learning Bible study methods is “…so that we will become more like Jesus Christ.” We read 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Notice that the “being transformed” is passive, i.e. that is something that must be done to us by the Lord. Note also in Romans 12:1-2, there are actions we must do and there are actions that the Lord must do in the process known as sanctification.

Study of the Scripture is something I must do for myself, but transformation is something that must be done to me from the inside, out by the Holy Spirit.

Howard Hendricks said, “Spiritual disciplines (like Bible study, prayer, fellowship with others, worship) do not change us, they put us in a posture to be changed.”

Next Thursday we will cover pp. 83 – 111 and formally introduce you to the four Bible Study Methods: Biographical, Topical, Theological, and Devotional. Read Psalm 51 in preparation for class.

As you begin working on Preparing for your 8-minute presentation of your Biographical (or other) study:

With a Biographical Study you have the opportunity to see how the three-step method of OBSERVATION, INTERPRETATION, and APPLICATION, applies to your process of discovering Timeless Truths for us today. Just think … you are bridging the cultural, language, time, and historical gaps between the biblical character and yourself…a 21st century believer!

Read the section on Biographical Study, pages 83-89 (or corresponding pages for the other types of studies) in you manual. Take your character, follow the steps on page 90, and use all the tools we talked about from your NIV Study Bible. You will do your work (Observation/Interpretation/Application) in the text of Scripture then use your own style to present the information in you group.

When you present to your group you do not read to your group mates all the passages of Scripture about the person (or topic), rather, you will concentrate on an overview of your results, the conclusions you reached, and application of the knowledge you gained. You can also do an abbreviated version of the teaching/preaching outline as you have time.

FYI: The most common error students make is using their presentation time to talk about the facts, Observation, and not have time to present the Timeless Truth, Interpretation, or the “I will” statements derived from the study, i.e. Application.

We will talk about this much more in class next Thursday. We will also give you time to begin working through the process.

You will be responsible to complete the assignment for each Bible Study Method. The first of which, your Biographical Study will be what you present in class to your group. We will work on the topical step in class together next week as well. You will hand in a physical or electronic copy of each of the four studies by our by class time on  November 9th.

I look forward to seeing you next week!



Northside BTCL – Recap 10 – Bible Study Methods (Kevin Bacon) 10-26-17

Dear BTCL Class, 

Thank you for your good work Thursday night as we walked through what each of the “Other Bible Study Methods” entails. 

As a followup to some requests in class I wanted to make sure everyone had the following information:

Assignment for Thursday, November 2nd, 2017:

  • E-mail me back with what person or topic you will be covering. (So I know how to break you up into groups)

  • Have your Bible Study Method findings from your Biographical, Topical, or Theological study ready to present. You will have 8 minutes to present your findings and then we will have 5 minutes of critique/interaction from your group.

  • Your other three “Study Methods” can be e-mailed or handed to me sometime by Nov. 16th. Just focus on your presentation topic this week!

  • Let me know this week if you have any questions about the process!

I am looking forward to your presentations next week!



Recap 01 Bible Study Methods (Kevin) 11-2-2017

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

This Thursday, November 9th, is our last class together covering Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation. You have all done great work as we have learned how to OBSERVE, INTERPRET, and APPLY the Word of God!

All of you who presented last Thursday, November 2nd, did a wonderful job with your Biographical Studies. Thank you for encouraging the rest of us with your what you found as you studied God’s Word. Special thanks to Matt Hulgan for helping in facilitating one of the groups.

We trust that you were encouraged and challenged as you heard your fellow classmates present their studies.

This Thursday night we may have at least one person who was not able to present last Thursday who would like to present to the whole group. If anyone else would like to present this week please let me know. We will then finish our Jonah study and review the OBSERVATION-INTERPRETATION-APPLICATION method as well as give you a brief preview of OT Survey as time permits.

I am excited to review and emphasize what we have learned in Bible Study Methods and to start our journey together through the Old Testament! I have attached the OT Survey schedule to this e-mail to make sure that you have an electronic version to go with the hard copy I already handed out.

Recap of Thursday, November 2nd, 2017. 

Our objectives for the night were:

  • That we understand more fully how to “Apply” the 3-step method of Bible Study Methods to the study of a character and that we sharpen our skills in using the tools in the NIV Study Bible. (Prov. 24:30-34)

  • That we learn principles of Scripture from the negative and positive aspects of characters presented. (1 Cor. 10:6,11-13)

  • That in the preparation process, you gain confidence in using Observation-Interpretation-Application in studying Scripture and that in your presentation you gain confidence in the Lord. (Phil. 3:3; Heb. 13:6)

Assignment for this Thursday, November 9th, 2017:

  • If you have not done so yet, bring a copy of your four completed Study Methods assignments (Biographical, Topical, Theological, and Devotional) to hand in to me. (You can still hand them in after this week if you haven’t competed them yet.)

  • Be ready to discuss and work on Jonah Chapters 3-4. Make sure you have completed the steps of observation and interpretation on Jonah 3-4 and construct applicational “I will” statements for those two chapters.

  • Go back to your first reading of Jonah. What did you see as the main idea or theme of the book? Would you change your initial thoughts? How close were you to what you now think is the main idea of the book?

Lord willing, I will see you this Thursday as we wrap up Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation and preview Old Testament Survey!



Recap 12 Bible Study Methods (Kevin) 11-9-2017

Dear Northside BTCL Class,

It was great to wrap up Bible Study Methods and Rules of Interpretation with you all last night! You all did a good job processing the last two chapters of Jonah. Thanks also to Renie for presenting on Cain.

Next week we will be beginning our second course together: Old Testament Survey. Hopefully everyone has a manual already, but if not I will have more copies available this coming Thursday November 16th. I am also attaching a PDF of the manual to this e-mail for your reference. This PDF is only for your personal use as a BTCL student and should not be copied, uploaded, or shared with anyone. You are free to print out a physical copy of the manual for your use to place in a 3-ring binder, etc.

If you have not made payment for OTS yet you can do so in the next week or so. The fee for the course is $75 and a half scholarship is available if needed. You can pay on our website if you like: http://btcp.us/payments/

Please also take a moment and go the following link to provide some feedback for me on our time together in Bible Study Methods – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DLMLSQH

Assignment for this Thursday, November 16th, 2017:

  • If you have not done so yet, bring a copy of your four completed Study Methods assignments (Biographical, Topical, Theological, and Devotional) to hand in to me. (You can still hand them in after this week if you haven’t competed them yet.)

  • Get ahead on your reading and make sure you have the book of Genesis read in your NIV Study Bible by next Thursday. You also need to read the Introduction to each book of the Bible (but not all the study notes!)

  • Read pp. 8-9 and pp. 12-32 in your OTS manual and look up all referenced Bible passages.

Lord willing, I will see you this Thursday as we begin our journey through the Old Testament together!