This 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.
I 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!
One 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!
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?