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,

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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 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.

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]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.

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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.

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–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.

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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.

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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

Simeon Trust Womens Workshop

11070905_909341659126586_7401526372395485124_nThis past weekend I had the joy and privilege to attend one of Simeon Trust’s Women’s Workshops on the biblical exposition of Titus. It’s been 6 years since I attended hermeneutics and pastoral epistles classes at NTBI, so I was a little nervous being a part of small group of women (all older than me) when I found out we would each be presenting on two passages from Titus! Did I mention my small group leader was Kathleen Nielson? *gulp* My church’s women’s ministries just went through her two study guides on Joshua and Nehemiah.

10924770_10153051167023409_180929408373644096_nI understood how important rightly handling the Word of God is, though, so I knew that attending a biblical exposition workshop would be so beneficial, no matter how uncomfortable I’d feel, and especially considering how we will be involved in teaching and translating the Word of God in an unreached people group! These are things we constantly need to be reminding ourselves of and re-learning!

I don’t want to give away everything that Simeon taught us during the workshop, I suggest that you go check out their website where you can view, download, and listen to their “Principles of Exposition“. What I loved about these principles, is that they were “bite-sized” expositional teachings that you can so easily pass on and teach to women (and men). The drawings that go along with each principle were great visuals and tools to help you remember what you’re looking for when you study a text. They are a lot more practical than pulling out the hermeneutic textbook from off the shelf!

poe-travelingthroughthecrossOne of their principles, “Traveling Through the Cross”, was such a great reminder! They encouraged us to find the gospel in the text we are studying – whether it is Genesis or Titus. This doesn’t mean to spiritualize or moralize the text, but to ask “Where is this text in relation to the cross?” “Does this passage speak about or relate to Christ or the gospel?”

In the end, my favourite time ended up being the small group sessions, and I was so sad how quickly the weekend had gone by! We spent somewhere around 5 hours together sharing our expositions, responding to, critiquing, and uplifting one another.  I was so thankful for Kathleen’s gracious comments and pointers!

Take away

This weekend was so helpful, as I was reminded of so many things I had forgotten from Bible school, but I didn’t leave satisfied. I want to devote more time to refreshing my knowledge of grammar and structure, re-read my notes from NTBI classes, practice biblical exposition in my personal Bible study or through taking one of the Simeon Trust courses. I’m also looking forward to developing Bible study curriculum for women and teaching women how to study the Bible on their own. Someday I would love to pursue a MA in Biblical Exposition or Exegesis, though I’m not sure how that would work out as a mom and living in a remote region of the world! Any online MA courses out there?

In the words of my ol’ Bible school teachers, “Context is king.” “Don’t your conform God’s Word to your thinking, but conform your thinking to God’s Word!” And Colleen McFadden’s great reminder, “Where did we find that in the text?”

Have you attended a Simeon Trust Workshop? If so, what did you think? What did you take away?

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: