For 5 years I was the pastor of Trinity International Church in Strasbourg, France. I created this blog with those people in mind. In mid-November 2018 I will become the Senior Pastor of Word of Life Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The focus of this blog will therefore shift, but I pray that people from the blogosphere will continue to find it helpful wherever they might be found.
The churches' websites includes recorded sermons for those who are interested. Click the links below to access them.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Great Bible Study Tool

Which is more realistic? A painting...
One of the greatest challenges in studying the Bible is seeing what is actually there. So often we take a quick look and think that we know what the text says. But to see what the text actually says requires careful and diligent study.

We know this from other areas of life. When we look at a picture we get a general idea of what the picture is about but if we take time and examine things closely we will see more and more details.

One of the best study tools that I have found is the website  Biblearc.com. It is not, like many bible study sites, an aggregation of links to other commentaries or sermons. Instead, it provides tools for a person that wants to dig deeper by actually observing what is in the text.

The name of the site, Biblearc, comes from one of its main features: Bible arcing. Bible arcing is a way to see the logical relationships in a passage. It forces you to think deeply about what the author is saying. By breaking the passage into statements, and then determining how each statement relates the others you gain valuable insights. While it takes a little work to learn how to use this tool, the rewards are well worth the effort. You will see things that you never saw before and grow in confidence that you know what the writer meant.

Here is an example of a simple passage that has been arced.

The benefit of arcing accrues to the person who actually does the arcing, rather than someone who simply looks at an arc. Remember: arcing is a way of looking and actually seeing what is there.

The site also has tool called phrasing which allows you to see the flow and the main points of a passage. This, plus an amazing diagramming function, word search capabilities, and multiple translations give you everything you need to study the passage itself for yourself.

...or a photograph? (Both of Arles, France)

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