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Friday, September 11, 2015

The Study of the Scriptures - Session 13: Wednesday, 19 August 2015 at Faith Baptist Fellowship Church Lake Ariel, PA

The Study of the Scriptures
Session 13, Wednesday 19 August 2015
Faith Baptist Fellowship Church
Lake Ariel, PA

Review Sessions 1-12[1]

The Means God Uses: The Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the Church

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

1. Placing trust in God: The ability of God and the sufficiency of the Scriptures — Coming to the Scriptures with Faith

2. Putting man in his place: The inability of fallen man and an understanding of the responses of the creature to the revelation of God — Coming to the Scriptures with Humility

3. The Unity of the Word of God: the First, Progressive, and Full Mention Principles of Interpretation — Coming to the Scriptures with Hope

4. The Diversity of the Contexts within the Canon of Scripture — Coming to the Scriptures with Respect

5. The Humiliation of Incarnational Hermeneutics — Coming to the Scriptures with Caution

6. Putting the Scriptures in their Place: The Historical Perspective in Bible Study — Coming to the Scriptures with Perspective

7. Familiarity Breeds Contempt — Coming to the Scriptures without Presumption

8. Texts and Translations — Coming to the Scriptures with Thanksgiving

9. Three Issues With Unfulfilled Prophecies — Coming to the Scriptures with Consistency

10. Lex Rex: or Slow Down, Simplify, and Separate — Coming to the Scriptures with Simplicity

11. Praying, Singing, and Trembling — Coming to the Scriptures with Worship

12. The Problem of the Parables — Coming to the Scriptures with Sensitivity

Let’s take a poll!
In your opinion, based on your experience, what are the most difficult passages in the Scriptures?
For me such a list would include Ezekiel 40-48!

My notorious “None Of Your Business” list! (See Appendix 1 below)

I. Seeing Darkly (Partially) — 
The Partial in the Present — 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 “through”? This is not about a window, dirty or otherwise!

“glass” - highly polished and reflective metal surfaces

Clint Eastwood, “A man’s got to know his limitations!”

III. Seeing Clearly (Personally) — 
The Microscope in the Eye — Matthew 7:1-5

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

“I can see clearly now…”

III. Seeing Continually (Perfectly) — 
The Mirror of the Word — James 1:18-25

18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Did you look in the mirror lately?

Bathroom mirrors: magnifying mirrors, turn the lights on, lights around the mirror, put a little light on the subject

Car mirrors: blind spots, convex shape, rear view, a clean windshield

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” — 2 Cor. 3:18

Through the Looking Glass

Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria,

John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA
Appendix 1: The “None Of Your Business” List[2]

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God:
but those things which are revealed belong
unto us and to our children for ever,
that we may do all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 29:29

Some Of The Secret Things That Belong Unto The Lord Our God — So Far!

Where Moses is buried (Deut. 34:6)

What the still, small voice said to Elijah (I Kings 19:12)

What Nehemiah prayed (Neh. 2:4)

What a day may bring forth (Pr. 27:1)

What or when your time is (Eccl. 8:7)

That which shall be (Eccl. 9:12)

The way of the spirit (Eccl. 11:5)

How bones grow in the womb (Eccl. 11:5)

The works of God (Eccl. 11:5)

Where the wind comes from or goes to (Jn. 3:8)

What Jesus wrote on the ground (Jn. 8:6, 8)

What the Corinthians wrote to Paul (I Cor. 7:1)

What the present distress was (I Cor. 7:26)

When and where Christ appeared to Cephas alone after His resurrection, and what
was said at that time (I Cor. 15:5; cp. Lk. 24: 34)

Whether Paul was in the body, or out of the body, when he was caught up to the
third heaven (II Cor. 12:2)

What Paul heard in Paradise (II Cor. 12:4)

Who wrote Hebrews (the human author)

What shall be on the morrow (Jas. 4:14)

What we shall be (I Jn. 3:2)

What the seven thunders uttered (Rev. 10:4)

The time of the coming of the Son of Man (Rev. 16: 15; cp. Mt. 24: 36; 25: 13;
Mk. 13:32; Lk. 12:40; I Th. 5:2)


Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria,

John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

As of 15 OCT 2012
17 AUG 2015

Appendix 2: Basic Bible Study Materials — A Suggested Bibliography (with links to Amazon)

This is the book that I recommend as collateral reading for the "Scripture Study Seminar":

Sinclair Ferguson, From the Mouth of God (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2014); paperback (no Kindle available at this time) for $10.59 on Amazon at [accessed 18 JAN 2015].

1. In addition to Sinclair Ferguson's work that I am recommending as collateral reading the following five recent works on the subject may be the most helpful:

J. Scott Duvall, and J. Daniel Hays, Journey into God's Word: Your Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008);

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible, 4th ed. (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1982, 1993, 2003, 2014); 

Peter Krol, Knowable Word: Helping Ordinary People Learn to Study the Bible (Minneapolis: Cruciform Press, 2014);

Grant Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991, 2006);

R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977, 2009);

2. Here are five recommended older works whose value does not fade!

James M. Gray, How to Master the English Bible: An Experience, a Method, a Result, an Illustration (London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1907);
in public domain, available online or as a free downloadable digital file (PDF or ePub) on Google Books at [accessed 18 FEB 2012].

J. Edwin Hartill, Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1947);
available online or as a free PDF file download (60 mb) on Seminario LAMB at [accessed 9 MAR 2014];
print editions available on Amazon at 
[accessed 18 JAN 2015].

Arthur T. Pierson, The Bible and Spiritual Criticism: Being the Second Series of Exeter Hall Lectures on the Bible Delivered in London, England in the Months of February, March and April, 1904 (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, Inc., n.d.; 1970 reprint of 1905 original by The Baker and Taylor Co., New York);

Robert A. Traina, Methodical Bible Study: A New Approach to Hermeneutics (Wilmore, KY: self-published, 1952; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980); 

Oletta Wald, The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study, rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002);
Note: This newly revised edition is also available in Kindle.

Compiled by:

John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

End Notes:

[1] The notes from the previous sessions have been posted to the Wayside Gospel Chapel blog at

[2] I  jokingly remark that this list is going to heaven with me where I will get in line and wait for answers to these questions! If you think of anything that I have left out send it my way as the list is a work in progress until the place of the answers, i.e., “glory,” is reached. 
The title comes from an apocryphal account of Dr. Albert Einstein lecturing to physics students in the doctoral program at Princeton. He was developing the corollaries of the theory of relativity. When he got to the proof that the universe had an outer edge, one of the students raised his hand. When called on the student asked, “Dr. Einstein, what is beyond the outer edge of the universe?” Dr. Einstein replied, “None of your business young man!” I refer to this account as apocryphal since I failed to retain the source where I read it many years ago, and can no longer document it despite ongoing searches. Therefore, despite the fact that it is a good story, since I cannot vouch for its veracity, I must for the time being refer to it as an “apocryphal” good story. If anyone comes across some evidence that would document the historicity of this incident I would appreciate having that information!

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