Inductive study compares related Bible texts in order to let the Bible interpret itself, rather than approaching Scripture with predetermined notions of what it will say. Traina's Methodical Bible Study was not intended to be the last word in inductive Bible study; but since its first publication in , it has become a foundational text in this field. Christian colleges and seminaries have made it required reading for beginning Bible students, while many churches have used it for their lay Bible study groups. Traina summarizes its success in this comment: "If the truths of the Bible already resided in man, there would be no need for the Bible and this manual would be superfluous.
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Methodical Bible Study. Kuist defines it as "the art of seeing things as they really are. Thus, for ex- ample, one may see a particular term used in the preceding sentence, namely, "perception. Observation, then, is essentially aware- ness. It supplies the raw ma- bottle was passed from row to row, each student terials upon which the mind may operate in the interpretive gingerly poked his finger in and bravely sampled process.
Osler then retrieved the bottle. Had you been observant you would have seen that I put my index II. The Will To Observe C. Persistence in Observation This, then, is the bare chart of our coming jour- Peering into the mists of gray ney; but everything depends upon the traveller's That shroud the surface of the bay, own eyes, and the disposition which he brings to Nothing I see except a veil this task of exploration.
Get a will behind the eye, and the eye Into a fog for many days; becomes a searchlight, the familiar is made to dis- It may seem very sure to him close undreamed treasure. Then, suddenly, his eyes will see A shape where nothing used to be. Exactness ill Observation Discoveries are missed each day By men who turn too soon away. Each of you taste the contents phere.
These are therefore the concern of the observing eye. Observation of Terms cepts. The terms "transfigured" and "appeared" in Mark , 4 might be considered non-routine. Definition of a Term It should be emphasized that this distinction between A tenn is a given word as it is used in a given conte;xt. Rather it is meant to de- have several.
For instance, the word "trunk" may mean the velop discretion; and the more one's discretionary powers main stem of a tree, the main body of anything, the proboscis are developed, the more one will see terms which will need of an elephant, or a box or chest.
Though in all these cases special consideration. Thus it will eventuate in more in- the same word is used, "trunk" is one term when it signifies cisive and therefore more thorough observation. Literal and Figurative Terms Those terms are literal which should be interpreted ac- 2. Kinds of Terms cording to the letter and which are meant to convey their a.
Routine and Non-routine Terms primary or usual meaning. The term "tree" in Genesis I: 12 is literal. Figurative terms are those which are symbolic and The term is the basic component of literary communica- which express a secondary idea distinct from their original tion, and as such every term should be noted by the careful meaning.
The term "tree" in Romans 11 belongs in the observer. However, if the process of observation is to be figurative category. At times, which are routine and those which are not routine. In any case whose meaning is immediately obvious and which are not it is very important that one be aware of this distinction and very significant for understanding a passage.
For example, that one use it properly if valid interpretation is to occur. On the The various terms of a passage may be identified by the other hand, there are terms which should be esjJecially noted use of the following grammatical. These are the terms which are non- tions, interjections, and articles. The observer should be routine, and they fall into three classes: first, those which are able to utilize these categories and he should be aware of difficult to understand; second, the crucial terms of a passage their functions.
An inflection is a change of for! Inflections are especially I' l sentence - one or more clauses constituting a unit of significant in relation to nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjec- thought and expression tives. Try thought and expression to determine whether each term is routine or non-routine, literal or figurative.
Note any significant inflections. Observation of Relations and Interrelations Between division - a group of sections constituting a unit of Terms-Structure thought and expression 1. Definition of Structure and Various Structural Units book- a group of divisions constituting a unit of thought and expression As we have already noted, the basic component of literary expression is the term. But in order to communicate ideas, terms must be related and interrelated in accordance with 2.
Importance of Structure certain mental, linguistic, and literary patterns. These rela- In one of his books, Henry 0. Taylor states: ".
In a more restricted sense "structure" may be used to erary structure. There is no doubt, then, phrase - a group of two or more terms constituting a that the discovery of structure is "one of the crucial points partial unit of thought and expression where conditions of growth have to be carefully maintained clause - a group of terms, including a subject and and fostered.
Types of Structure tions, he has noted the complete framework of the passage. Third, the discovery of subsurface structure must fre- Any given passage of Biblical literature may contain vari- quently await at least partial completion of the interpretive ous kinds of structural factors.
These may be classified in step. Therefore, it is the noting of surface structure which is terms of two main categories: first, the comparative ease of primarily involved in observation. Finally, both surface and subsurface structure are effected by the same laws of composition. Surface and Subsurface Structure b. Primary and Secondary Structure There are some structural elements which are explicit and A further differentiation should be made on the basis of are therefore immediately apparent to the trained observer.
It should be recognized that some connections arc name implies, they lie on the exterior of a passage. Romans primary and that others are secondary or subordinate. In I: affords an excellent example of surface structure, for certain instances one may need to await at least. For it is important that primary emphasis be given to those which are expressed.
These will be referred to as "sub- primary relations, and that secondary structural elements be surface structure. Joseph in Genesis are good illustrations of this kind of structure. Specific Laws of Structure Certain facts should be noted in connection with the dis- tinction between surface and subsurface structure.
The structural laws about to be set forth indicate the con- First, it does not necessarily involve the difference be- crete means used by any artist in arranging his work, tween the less profound and the more profound, but rather whether he be a musician, a painter, or an author. In all is primarily concerned with the more obvious and the less these cases the means are essentially one. For what is art but obvious. All one needs to do, therefore, is structure. In the study of some units, if one observes their to observe the composition of various artistic productions surface structure and delves thoroughly into its meaning, and by so doing discover the means used by artists in effect- one will arrive at the author's message.
However, the ob- ing the structural unity of their works. As a result of such server should always be on the lookout for those structural an inductive approach, one will have valid grounds for look- elements which lie on the interior of a passage.
He should ing for these laws in Scriptural literature, which is great art, never conclude that because he has noted some exterior rela- and using them for its interpretation. It should there- a The relation of subject to verb. The subject may fore be crystal clear at the outset that the laws to be stated be a noun, pronoun, infinitive, gerund, or de- are laws of logic; they reflect the mental processes of men as pendent clause.
Therefore, the observer volve a direct object, an indirect object, a predi- does not apply them to a work of art; he simply discovers cate noun, a predicate adjective or adjectival them and thereby ascertains the message of the artist. For clause, or an adverb or adverbial clause. Structural Relations Within Phrases and Clauses, tival and adverbial clauses.
Paragraphs e The relation of pronoun to antecedent. It would seem logical to consider the sentence as the fun- f The relation of independent coordinate clauses damental structural unit and therefore to limit our discus- to each other in compound sentences and the rela- sion at this point to an examination of the relations within tion of dependent subordinate and independent sentences. However, since sentences are frequently deter- clauses in complex sentences.
The relations between sen- cessive, substantival, indirect discourse, coordinate tences will therefore be surveyed together with the relations causal, and coordinate comparative. They will be placed under four between sentences. Together they will be termed "para- classes and Biblical references will be given for graphical relations. For example, a temporal connec- Local or Geographical connectives tive may also imply a logical relation.
Moreover, where Hebrews 25 some of the same connectives may be found in Logical connectives more than one category. Reason-because Romans I: 25 Second, many of these same relations are oper- for Romans I: 11 ative within clauses as well as between clauses.
For an excellent illustration then Galatians of this sec the parables of Matthew Therefore, Purpose-in order that Romans 4: 16 the mere absence of expressed connections docs so that Romans not mean that they are unrelated. At times one Contrast-although Romans I may need to infer relations from a study of the but Romans thoughts expressed or from the comparative posi- much more Romans 5: 15 tions of the clauses or sentences in question.
Note, nevertheless I Corinthians for example, Hebrews The prepositional phrase "by themselves" strengthens the adverb Romans 1: 18 reads: ". The antecedent of the liness and wickedness" both modify the verb, the former pronoun "them" is the group of three disciples. The adjective "all" modifies the nouns "ungodliness" them.
In the dependent clause the relative pronoun The comparison is between the glistening, in- "who" is the subject, the main verb is "suppress," and the tensely white quality of Jesus' garments and direct object is the noun "truth. The preposi- means by w.
Methodical Bible Study
Inductive study compares related Bible texts in order to let the Bible interpret itself, rather than approaching Scripture with predetermined notions of what it will say. Christian colleges and seminaries have made it required reading for beginning Bible students, while many churches have used it for their lay Bible study groups. Traina summarizes its success in this comment: "If the truths of the Bible already resided in man, there would be no need for the Bible and this manual would be superfluous. But the fact is the Bible is an objective body of literature which exists because man needs to know certain truths which he himself cannot know. There are two main approaches open to the Bible student. One is deduction, which begins with generalizations and moves for their support to the particulars.
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