My father taught me that a teacher is teaching only when a student changes behavior. This past Sunday I began to teach a class on “How to study the Bible.” So I will try to instill some new behaviors in the class members. I hope to turn simple reading of the Bible into study. So class members become students as they give a close and searching look into what is being read.
Practice is needed if a behavior is to be turned into a skill. No one becomes a pianist by simply listening to a lecture. An aspiring pianist must practice daily. No one excels in a sport without practice. To help the student I prepared a fifteen page “practice” book.
The first phase of study is observation, seeing. So I gave the students an unfamiliar segment of scripture to observe this week. I could have chosen a familiar scripture, but chose instead for them an unfamiliar text from which they ccould begin to develop a new skill. I have asked the students to avoid the temptation to interpret or apply this text before careful observation. I intend for students to report their observation this coming Sunday.
They are to study the text from Ecclesiastes 2:17-27: (NIV) You may be more than a blog reader and become a careful student of the bible. Read the text daily with pencil and paper in hand to record your observations
77 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
Look at the segment of scripture! What do you see? Make notes! Study. Become a student.