Enrichment Studies | Luke & Acts

Enrichment StudIES, Vol 1: Luke and Acts

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”
Hebrews 10:24Hebrews 10:24
English: World English Bible - WEB

24 Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works,

WP-Bible plugin
a (ESV)

Thanks to all who encouraged me to put this together! I really enjoy curriculum development, and after helping put together a women’s Bible study for Genesis, I had hoped to continue on with the rest of the Pentateuch. But then I had another baby. So during this life stage, I will be content with trying out these Enrichment Studies. There aren’t any study questions, as this is mainly a self-study, where you get to do all the work and learn how to study Scripture on your own!

In this first volume, we will read and study the gospel narratives of Luke and Acts over a course of 11 weeks. My desire is that this book can be used to enrich our lives with Truth, goodness, and beauty. God’s Word is active and living. My prayer is that this book will help us, as Christian women, to practically develop skills, the passion to study the Bible on their own, and hide it in our hearts.

For goodness and beauty, we will take a few minutes each day to feast upon great literature that causes us to reflect on things that are good and beautiful works of art and music that stir us to praise Him. Since this is a self-study so you can put in as much time as you are able. It is designed to be concise and efficient, but if time allows you are welcome to meditate and reflect on all that we are studying.

Each week along with the Scripture reading from Luke or Acts there will also be memory work, copywork, readings from literature and church history, a hymn study, an art study, and an ongoing composer study. Throughout the study we will also be working on maps, timelines, a Commonplace Book, and developing the habit of “one-anothering”.

The Enrichment Studies: Vol 1, Luke & Acts  is currently available as a PDF which you can download for free. I want this study to be available to everyone so there is no charge, but if you feel would like to send a contribution, you can do so via PayPal or by clicking the button below.

Thank you so much for all your support! If you have gone through this study I would love to hear any feedback you may have. Please send me an e-mail or comment below!

Materials you will need:

  • Notebook or Journal
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Bible
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent (Amazon | Kindle | Free PDF)
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream by Paul Bunyan (Amazon | Kindle | Free PDF)
  • Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History by Richard M. Hannula (Amazon | Kindle | Free PDF)
  • Handel’s Messiah (some options below)
    • by London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir and George Frederic Handel (Amazon | iTunes | Free on YouTube)
    • by Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia & Stephen Layton and George Frederic Handel (Amazon | iTunes)
  • Access to Internet – to search for artwork, or to listen to Handel’s Messiah

Optional:

  • Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin
    (Amazon | Kindle)

Thank you again for encouragement and support in putting this together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Resources:

Luke

  • The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ by J. Dwight Pentecost (Amazon | Kindle)
  • “Read Scripture: Luke Ch. 1-9” by The Bible Project (YouTube)
  • “Read Scripture: Luke Ch. 10-24” by The Bible Project (YouTube)

Acts

  • “Read Scripture: Acts Ch. 1-12” by The Bible Project (YouTube)
  • “Read Scripture: Acts Ch. 13-28” by The Bible Project (YouTube)

Catechism

  • Truth and Grace Memory Book, Book 1 by Tom Ascol (Amazon)

Hymn Study

George Frederic Handel

  • Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler (Amazon)
  • “Hallelujah Handel” by Classical Kids (Amazon | iTunes)

Sunday Readings

  • Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything by Gloria Furman (Amazon | Kindle)
  • Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting by Dave Furman (Amazon | Kindle)
  • By This Name by John Cross (Amazon | Kindle)
  • The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles J. Stanford (Amazon)
  • Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover (Amazon | Kindle)
  • Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God by Gloria Furman (Amazon | Kindle)
  • None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing by Jen Wilkin (Amazon | Kindle)
  • One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm (Amazon | Kindle)
  • Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie (Amazon | Kindle)
  • Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman (Amazon | Kindle)
  • Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin (Amazon | Kindle)

 

(Lauren Ducommun is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

Printables for Studying a Bible Passage

In this past year I had the awesome opportunity to help study for and develop part of a ladies’ Bible study curriculum for the book of Genesis. It was a lot of work, but studying through passages of Genesis every week was such a fruitful time. Digging deep into God’s Word helps us understand why the author wrote the passage, learn about the character of God, and see where Christ and the gospel is in the text. I wanted to put together a concise tool, in this case a print-out, to help myself and other women study passages of Scripture.

printable for studying a bible passage

Here are four PDFs available to download: the first one is “Observations“, the second is “Context“, and the third is “Application“. The fourth is for those who just want the questions, maybe because they would rather journal their findings. I hope that they will be a helpful resource to you as you study God’s Word. These print-outs aren’t exhaustive, but I hope they can help jump start your study! (Artwork is designed by Freepix)

If you have any questions about anything in the printables, please write them in the comments below. I would also love to hear if they have been helpful, or if there is something you think is missing that I should add.

Dispensations Timeline

Back when we were students at New Tribes Bible Institute, one of our assignments was to make a “Dispensations” Timeline. It was so beneficial to see how God has communicated to mankind throughout our history on earth, and drawing it out helped me grasp the big picture context of biblical history that we were learning from our Hermeneutics II class. Take a look!

IMG_0198 IMG_0194IMG_0197 IMG_0195  IMG_0196


Do you find timelines or using colored pencils, etc., are helpful as you study God’s Word? Share in the comments below!

Dispensations Timeline

Observations in Genesis, Part 2

 

[See previous passage, Gen. 1:1-2:4Gen. 1:1-2:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

Genesis 1 1 In the beginning God After “God,” the Hebrew has the two letters “Aleph Tav” as a grammatical marker. created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. There was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. 8 God called the expanse sky. There was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good. 11 God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with its seed in it, on the earth,” and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth,” and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky.” 21 God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind,” and it was so. 25 God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good. 26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. 30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 2 1 The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their guardians. 2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which he had created and made. 4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens.

WP-Bible plugin
| See next passage, Gen. 3:1-24Gen. 3:1-24
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Yes, has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit of it, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. 9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above every animal of the field. On your belly shall you go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them. 22 Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

WP-Bible plugin
]Observations in Genesis Part 1

A brief un-exhaustive summary of observations made through personal study of the book of Genesis.

PASSAGEGenesis 2:4-24Genesis 2:4-24
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens. 5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” 18 Yahweh God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

WP-Bible plugin


CONTEXT

Literary Context: This passage is right after the account of creation, and sets the scene for the next passage (Genesis 3:1-24Genesis 3:1-24
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Yes, has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit of it, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. 9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above every animal of the field. On your belly shall you go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them. 22 Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

WP-Bible plugin
). We are introduced the garden of Eden, told a little extra about Creation, and how God made mankind male and female. We also see a personal and communicative God in being introduced to his personal name Yahweh.

Genesis 2:24Genesis 2:24
English: World English Bible - WEB

24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

WP-Bible plugin
is a narrative aside .

Cultural and Historical Context: We are introduced to the “tree of life” in Genesis 2:9Genesis 2:9
English: World English Bible - WEB

9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

WP-Bible plugin
. We also see the “tree of life” being mentioned several times in the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 2:7, 22:4Revelation 2:7, 22:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God. 22 Behold, I will throw her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great oppression, unless they repent of her works.

WP-Bible plugin
, and 24. 


OBSERVATIONS

Key Words and Phrases: sprung/spring, formed, ground, tree, good, river, every, “put man in garden”

Characters: God, Adam, Eve, and animals

Plot: God makes Adam and puts him in the garden of Eden to work and commands him not to eat from Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and said he will make a helper for him. God brought every animal to Adam to name, but Adam doesn’t find a suitable helper. So God puts Adam to sleep and makes a woman out of one of Adam’s ribs. God brought Eve to Adam and he rejoices in the suitable helper that God had created. Adam and Eve are married – become one flesh – and aren’t ashamed of their nakedness.

Structure/Outline:Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 12.32.43 PM


What do we learn about God?: LORD God is Yahweh, which is His personal name. He is the source of life, an abundant provider, creates beautiful and useful things, our authority, and a giver of good gifts. He is loving, holy, just, righteous, compassionate, caring, relational, all-powerful (omnipotent), and creative.

What do we learn about man?: Man is formed from the dust of the ground by God who also breathed into his nostrils the given breath of life. Man was put in the garden of Eden by God to work and keep the garden. God made trees for food, but commanded man not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was God who said it was not good for man to be alone, and that he would make a helper for man. God brought the animals to man to name, and we learn that man is intelligent an discerning. No animals were suitable helpers for man. Woman was formed out of man’s rib and brought to man. Man rejoices in the creation of his helper, “woman”. The man and woman become husband and wife and are one flesh.  Man and his wife were naked and unashamed.

Themes or EmphasisGod formed man in a unique way and created a special place for man to work and live, with the only command of not eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God wanted man to have a helper and counterpart/wife, so he created woman.

Author’s Aim: To teach people that God is the one who created man, both male and female, with a place to dwell in, roles suitable to them both, and relationships with one another, animals, and God.


Where is Christ or the gospel in the text?: Here in this passage God lovingly creates man and woman. Already in just the second chapter of Genesis, we see God’s love for mankind and the relationship that is started between God and man. It was because of God’s love that he promised, and later sent, Christ. We are reminded of John 3:16John 3:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

WP-Bible plugin
which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

We also know from in the New Testament that Christ created man and woman for Himself (Colossians 1:16Colossians 1:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 For by him were all things created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.

WP-Bible plugin
), and that one of the purposes of marriage is to reflect Christ’s relationship with the Church (Ephesians 5:21-32Ephesians 5:21-32
English: World English Bible - WEB

21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly; 30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. 31 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.

WP-Bible plugin
).

Application: Do we believe that the account in the garden of Eden is an actual historical event? That man was actually created by God from the dust and woman from man’s rib? Do we fight to be outside out of the roles God has given us? Do we view marriage and work as from the Lord?


Discussion Questions (share your thoughts in the comments): Why are the rivers mentioned, or why are they important? Could they and did they eat from the Tree of Life? What kind of “knowledge” comes from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Wisdom? Omniscience? Consequences? Why did God create Adam from dirt instead of from nothing? Why did God create woman? Why did man need a helper? Why did God create Eve from Adam’s rib instead of dust? If a woman isn’t married (is unmarried/widow/divorced) are they still supposed to be a helper to man? How is man created differently from animals?

Featured image from Google Images

Observations in Genesis, Part 1

[See next passage, Genesis 2:4-24Genesis 2:4-24
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens. 5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” 18 Yahweh God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

WP-Bible plugin
]Observations in Genesis Part 1A brief un-exhaustive summary of observations made through personal study of the book of Genesis.

PASSAGE: Genesis 1:1-2:4Genesis 1:1-2:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

Genesis 1 1 In the beginning God After “God,” the Hebrew has the two letters “Aleph Tav” as a grammatical marker. created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. There was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. 8 God called the expanse sky. There was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good. 11 God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with its seed in it, on the earth,” and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with its seed in it, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth,” and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky.” 21 God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind,” and it was so. 25 God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good. 26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. 30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 2 1 The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their guardians. 2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which he had created and made. 4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens.

WP-Bible plugin


CONTEXT

Literary Context: Genesis is the first of sixty-six books in the Bible. This is the first passage in the book of Genesis which means it is the first passage in the entire Bible. The genre is an Old Testament narrative.

Cultural and Historical Context: Genesis was probably written around 1400 B.C. around the time that the Israelites were wandering in the Wilderness. They just left Egypt where polytheism was present, and where people worshipped gods like Ra (the sun good) and Thoth (the moon god). “In Egypt, for example, the creator- god Ptah uses the preexistent waters (personified as the god Nun) to create the universe. The same is true in Mesopotamian belief: it is out of the gods of watery chaos—Apsu, Tiamat, and Mummu—that creation comes. The biblical creation account sits in stark contrast to such dark mythological polytheism. In the biblical account, water at creation is no deity; it is simply something God created, and it serves as material in the hands of the sole sovereign Creator” (IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament).

The Israelites were headed to the Promised Land where the Canaanites dwelled. The Canaanites were also polytheists who had their own creation stories and gods. It is important to understand the world views and beliefs that the original audience of this text had. It helps us understand what the text meant to them, and then we can learn how to apply it to ourselves today.


OBSERVATIONS

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.51.22 AM

Key Words and Phrases: “God said”, “Let there be” or “Let”, “created”, “separated”, “and it was so”, “according to its kind”, “it was good”, “be fruitful and multiply”

Characters: God, Holy Spirit, Christ (implied), angels (implied in Job 38:4Job 38:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.

WP-Bible plugin
–7 ), man (Adam and Eve)

Plot: God forms locations during the first three days of Creation, then proceeds to fill them in the last three days. His creating leads up to the creation of man and woman in His image. After which he declares all that he created was “very good” and finished creating the heavens in the earth. He makes the 7th day holy, and rests from all of his work.

Structure/Outline:Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 1.11.18 AM


What do we learn about God?: God is Elohim, the Creator of everything, including morality, a provider, and a communicator. He is self-existent, eternal, triune, omnipotent (all-powerful), sovereign, creative, authoritative, orderly, righteous, holy, and purposeful.

What do we learn about man?: Man is a created being, finite, intentionally created, and made in God’s image. Man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply, subdue earth, rule over all living things, and eat plants for food.

Themes or Emphasis: The triune, eternal God is all-powerful and Creator of everything, including man who was made in His image, and everything He created was good.

Author’s Aim: To teach people that there is only one, eternal, self-existent, orderly, omnipotent God and that is Elohim, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and He deserves all the worship and glory! Man, the pinnacle of God’s creating, is a finite being created in the likeness of God for the glory of God!


Where is Christ or the gospel in the text?: Here in the first chapter of Genesis, we see everything in it’s original created state which was “good”. God is creating man not to enjoy man, but to receive glory from man. God commands man to fill the earth with the image of God in order to bring more glory to Himself. God has provided a way for us today to return to a reconciled state with our holy and perfect God and that is only through Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death.

Also, in John 1:1-5John 1:1-5
English: World English Bible - WEB

The Gospel According to John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome The word translated “overcome” can also be translated “comprehended.” It refers to getting a grip on an enemy to defeat him. it.

WP-Bible plugin
and in Colossians 1:15-17Colossians 1:15-17
English: World English Bible - WEB

15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him were all things created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.

WP-Bible plugin
we know that it was through Christ that God made everything. Christ was active and present in the Creation of the heavens and earth (and us!). We know that Christ is God, which means He also is eternal, self-existent, self-sustaining, needing nothing.

Application: Do we understood who God is? How is man like and not like God? How does knowing that God is our Creator and Owner impact us? Does it change how we respond to His directives and commands? Do we believe that Genesis is an account of our origins? Why or why not? This greatly shapes our doctrine, theology/view of God, and how we views ourselves.


Discussion Questions (share your thoughts in the comments): How did God create? Why did God create the earth if he is self-existent? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Were man and woman created on the same day or different days? Why did God want man to be fruitful and multiply? Are we still commanded to be fruitful and multiply? Does this still apply to us today? What attributes/characteristics of God stand out to you?

Featured image from Google Images

3 Levels of Bible Study: Intense Study

This was a paper given to us by our Hermeneutics and Ecclesiology teacher, Chris McMaster, near the end of our senior semester at New Tribes Bible Institute back in 2010. He gave it as a tool to help guide us in studying on our own after Bible school, and we’ve kept this handout with us since then! Here is the first (and most intensive) level of Bible study that he shared with us.


#1 Intense Study

Goal – In depth and obective study of the Word of God. This is the most objective way for us as interpreters to faithfully study the Word and be able to confidently evaluate what others are saying about they text.

Text – Pick anything and go for it.

Process – Here you want to use every tool you have been given to study a text as in-depth as you can. This type of study assumes you are attempting to be as objective as possible and not dependent upon commentators to give you the answers. The basics of this approach are as follows:

  • Historical/Cultural Context – In this step you are trying to find out everything you can about the setting of the book you are studying. Who is the audience? Who is the author and why is he writing? Are there any key issues going on with the audience or author that helps us understand what the content of the book might be aimed toward? Introductions to commentaries and surveys are good for this kind of research. In this section you can also identify any cultural elements in this specific passage you are studying. These may include rituals, social life, material culture, political issues, worldview, etc. Books focused on backgrounds and history behind the Old and New Testaments are most helpful for this type of study.
  • Literary Context – In this step your main goal is to get a good grasp of the content of the book the passage you are studying is found in. The best place to start is unnamedreading the book over and over. Read it until you begin to see what the book is all about and how the author has laid out the information in the book. If you do this step well you are able to explain where the book begins, ends, and how everything in between is connected or important to the overall content of the letter/book. You can visualize your finding by making a book chart and an outline of the book. In the end make sure you can answer this question – How does your passage fit into the book as a whole?
  • Observation – How you do this step is largely dependent upon the type of literature you are studying. If you are studying Genesis you will be studying stories and need to make observations based upon how a story works and communicates meaning to the audience. If you are studying poetry you will need to identify parallelism and figurative language, etc. If you are studying an epistle you will need to observe grammar and syntax. You will need to iScreen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.01.35 PMdentify the main clauses, modifying clauses, verbs, prepositional phrases, adverbs, adjectives, and how it all relates to communicate the authors point and so on. The goal is to see as many details as you can, not to explain what they mean. In this step you will also be doing word studies on any key or non-routine words. A term chart is a helpful tool for organizing your observations.
  • Interpretation – In this step your goal is to take all the details you found in the observation phase and explain how the author was using that information to communicate meaning to the audience in their historical context. A term chart can help you take all the details and ask good interpretive questions that make you think about the meaning. Asking good questions about the details is the key to effective interpretation. Once you have thought through what all the details were saying to the audience, you can take all you have found and put the meaning of the text in your own words. What you have done is conclude what the text mean to the original audience. The next step is to compare your work with that of others. Good commentaries come in very helpful here. Read what others have said about the passage you are studying. Did you miss anything important? Do you need to adjust your findings or go back and look into something? Don’t assume the commentator is always correct. Any interpretation must be in line with context and the text itself. Don’t let theological ideas that are not there be read into the passage. Use this step to help you evaluate your conclusions. At the end of this step you should be able to explain in depth what the passage you are studying meant to the audience and how it should have impacted their lives.
  • Application – Bible study is never complete without practical application. In fact, all the effort that has been put out to this point finds its value in our lives as we take the time to recognize how the truth that impacted those believers should also impact how we live today. This step is always a challenge because before we can apply the text we have to recognize how we cannot. We must consider the differences and similarities between us and the original audience. Our application must always be based upon the similarities and not the differences. We want to find a clear principle in the text that was clearly to impact them in that day and can still impact us today. Once you find that principle it is time to look to the Lord to challenge your life and make practical application steps. You want application to be something you can step out in faith and do today and not leave it at a distance truth that doesn’t have any impact on your everyday life. Applications of a text can be many depending upon the various situations of life you find yourself in.
  • Communicating the text – At this point you know more than enough to share what you have studies with others. If you have the opportunity let others in on what you have learned!

Our recommended books and links: