An African Model For Bible Study

(or the Lumko method, after the Institute which promotes it)

This method involves using reading the same passage from the Bible using different translations, beginning with an opening prayer.
A participant reads the first passage out loud, slowly. The group reflects for about one minute, in silence, upon what word or phrase catches my attention? Then, each shares his/her word/phrase **without comment** and without adornment.
Another participant reads the same passage out loud using a different translation. The group reflects for 3--5 minutes in silence on: where does this passage touch my life? Then, each participant shares, beginning with "I hear/see...."
A third participant reads aloud the same passage, from yet a different translation. The group reflects for 3--5 minutes in silence: From what I have heard and shared, what does God want me to be/do today? This week? How does God invite me to change? Each person then shares, beginning "I believe God wants me to...."
At the end, each participant prays for the person on his/her right, praying only for what that person expressed in the prior step.


The Ignatian Method of Bible Study

Aim for about 50 minutes to an hour for the Bible study. Come back together for about 20 minutes of sharing.
Bibles for each person
notebook/paper/pen for each
Bible Companion
... or such reference books as available
(small group process)
Read the passage aloud.
Read a one volume commentary, or some other information to get the context..
Review material on either side of the pericope.
Read the passage aloud.
Spend one or two minutes in silence and inner stillness.
(individual process)
Ask (and answer) the question: Who/what/where am I in the passage?
Read the passage slowly.
Reflect/journal on what you saw, heard, did from your perspective.
Sit in silent prayer. Ask God to speak through the scripture to you.
Reflect/journal on your insights.
(large group process)
Share the experience.


An Anglican Bible Study


a method for individual or small group study, based on scripture, tradition and reason
(Richard Hooker's "Anglican Theological Method," represented by the 3-legged stool)

©Michael Anne Haywood 2002


Notes for the Bible Study Leader.
These are broad suggestions for An Anglican Bible Study, a method of examining scripture which involves basic scholarship, looking at both commentary and concordance, delving into Christian tradition, and using one's own experience and reason.
It may be that your group will only want to focus on some of these ways to study a Bible passage, choosing a few points to represent study from each "leg" of Hooker's "three-legged stool": of scripture, tradition and reason. You know your group and can make the best choices together. You also know the time you have available. Limits of time may necessarily narrow your focus. Don't expect to explore every question in every step.
Opening prayer
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.(BCP, ECUSA, 1979, p. 236)
Or pray individually or together in a group,
God, you speak to me in so many ways: in nature, in the lives of men and women and children past and present, in "mountaintop" experiences and in everyday, ordinary routine. Now I turn to your scriptures for new perspectives. Grant me openness of mind and heart, that I may find your guidance in these words which I will study. May the things I will learn enter the very fabric of my life, and may I grow in grace and live my life more faithfully. Amen.
1. Select a pericope (puh-RICK-oh-pee -- a passage of scripture, literally, "something you can draw a line around"). Choose something that appeals to you, from the Gospels, Epistles, Old Testament -- whatever looks interesting.
(The selection may be made in advance or at the beginning of the Bible study.)
2. Read the selection, looking for the major theme. Read the pericope in several different translations.
Action Message: We are to love everyone, even people who mistreat us.)
In a larger group (like 12 or more) or if time is limited, you may want to divide up, having one group focus on Study from the perspective of Scripture, and another group focus on Study from the perspective of Tradition, coming back to share their discoveries and conclusions and then working together on Study from the perspective of Reason.
3. Study from the perspective of Scripture:
(Consider as many of these as you like, or as time allows.)
  • Why was it written? To whom was this message addressed? How would they have reacted?
  • Read a commentary (or several) on this passage. What helpful perspectives emerge?
  • Look up other passages that deal with the major Theme and its Action Message. (Use a concordance to help you find them, looking up the key word of the Theme.) What do these other passages have to add to the concept? Do they expand the message, focus it, contradict it? How do you resolve the contradictions? (Were the scripture passages intended for different people? a different time? a different place? different circumstances? Is there a different principle active in each case?)
    (In a group, individuals or pairs may look at various commentaries and various concordances and Bibles and share what they find.)
    2. Study from the perspective of Tradition:
    (Consider as many of these as you like, or as time allows.)
    • Why was this pericope important enough that it was kept in early oral tradition and then included in the canonized written scriptures? How did it shed new light or affirmation of existing beliefs for the people who first heard it?
  • How has the Church incoporated the Theme and Action Message in religious practice (historically and today)? How is it expressed in the Creeds, liturgy, doctrine, theology, hymnody and in Christian practices? (The BCP may help. You might want to look up the creeds, catechism, and historical documents. Of course, hymnals will help in exploring hymnody -- hymnals from various denominations may be very revealing of differing perspectives.)
  • How do you see this principle lived out in the lives of people in your parish? in other parishes? other denominations? in other religious traditions (non-Christian faiths)?
      3. Study from the perspective of Reason:
      (Consider as many of these as you like, or as time allows.)
      • How does this principle fit with or differ from what you know of God and God's will?
    • How does the Action Message of this pericope apply in modern society? Does it still fit people's needs? Is it universal, applicable to everyone today? How do you see it in the lives of people in your community? the world -- different cultures?
    • In what situations does this message apply, for you personally, and for your society?
    • What is your personal experience with the principles of this pericope, for yourself and for people you've observed?
    • How does this passage of scripture enrich or improve human nature?
    • How does this pericope enrich your life?
    • What do you need to treasure, expand or change in your perspectives and actions?
    • Why is this message worth keeping in mind? What would be the consequences if it were forgotten, ignored or denied?
    • What insights does this pericope bring to you?
    • What questions or issues does this pericope raise for you?
    • How do you go about living out this principle in your daily life?
    • Where does this principle take you, and how do you feel about it?
      4. Contemplative Summation:
    Lord, help me to take the gifts of this Scripture passage with me. Show me how to build into my life the truths which I have found.
    • Read the pericope aloud, in your favorite translation or written in your own words, applicable to your life.
  • Silent prayer.

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