Open My Eyes is our brand new study for youth on studying the Bible and we are so excited to be hosting an Open My Eyes Classroom Kit Giveaway! We would love to you all but enter the contest, but why should you bother? This week we are looking at the truths taught in Open My Eyes and why it is important for teenagers to learn these lifelong skills. The study focuses on these four themes:
- The need to study the Bible
- Understanding the genres of Biblical literature
- Learning inductive Bible study skills
- Responding to God in faith from the heart
The main section of lessons in Open My Eyes looks at the genres of Biblical literature, which we discussed yesterday, and teaches the four steps of inductive Bible studies. Open My Eyes is not an exhaustive training of all inductive study methods, but rather it provides a foundation for students that can be used in any personal or formal Bible study.
The first step is to read the Bible. Students are encouraged to regularly read their Bible with purpose. Through careful reading and recording their thoughts and questions, they will be able to get to know God better.
Fifteen lessons in Open My Eyes teach youth the techniques God has given us to use that are helpful in understanding the Bible. Although the first step to good Bible reading and study is always prayer, these techniques enables students to dig deeper into the passages, analyze the context and discover the author’s intended meaning. Techniques include:
- Asking questions while purposely and actively approaching a text.
- Looking at the historical setting of the book and the customs of the time.
- Exploring the immediate literary context of words, looking at the sentence, paragraph, chapter, book and the Bible as a whole to understand the author’s intended meaning.
- Understanding that grammar matters. Students learn how to mark up a passage, identifying nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives in order to determine the meaning of the verses.
- Biblical writers employed the literary techniques to add strength to their words. Repetition establishes a theme, listing groups thoughts and rhetorical questions add emphasis.
- Figurative language in the Bible communicates spiritual truth powerfully to our hearts, but it must be handled carefully. Youth discover how similes, metaphors, personification, anthropomorphism and hyperbole emphasize key points, communicate truth in a known context and create an emotional response.
- Identifying classifying statements and independent and dependent clauses encourages application.
- Finding connecting words and tying together thoughts throughout a passage can unlock the meaning of a text.
- Observing logical connections and learning to follow the author’s flow of thought helps youth understand passages.
- A passage must be understood in the broader literary and theological contexts of its chapter and book, of the whole Bible, and of man’s fallen condition and redemption.
- To understand the author’s intent and flow of thought, it is important to observe the structure of the text. Student will learn to look for transition markers to break the text into passages, and then to find the main point of the passages.
- To correctly understand a passage, it is important to observe the connections, check the context and follow the author’s flow of thought through the use of mapping.
- Outlining a passage is another useful tool students will use to understand the author’s flow of thought.
The Bible is a spiritual book and must be spiritually understood through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. In addition, God has given us sound principles of interpretation to help us rightly interpret the Bible and avoid falling into error. Student start by examining Psalm 25:5 to find several keys to interpretation, then they are taught and practice a series of interpretation principles. These Biblical principles are deduced from Scripture and are applicable to all people, in all cultures, at all times. The most important one is to use the Bible to interpret the Bible.
Understanding the Bible will not make much difference in students’ lives if they do not discover how God wants them to respond to the Scriptures using life application questions. Youth will be challenged to plan practical actions steps they can take and ask the questions: What should I think? What should I be? What should I do?
The Inductive Bible Study Handbook
Students are encouraged to practice these skills both in the classroom using the Student In-Class Notebook and during the week with the Student At-Home Journal. With so much to learn, The Inductive Bible Study Handbook is a wonderful reference tool that walks through the four steps of inductive Bible study in an easy to understand way. It is an essential tool for students going through Open My Eyes to reinforce what they are learning. It can also be used by anyone wanting to strengthen their study skills for personal study or other Bible studies.
Start teaching these truths to your youth!