Welcome to Week Four in How To Study the Bible series! (To begin the series click here.)
As you explore Mark 5 and 6 this week, you will…
1) learn how to do inductive Bible Study
2) learn how Jesus heals and mentors
3) learn how to use maps and Bible dictionaries
Review of Week Three: (more) Parables & Translations in Mark 4
First, you learned how Jesus used parables to teach many truths. You also learned how cross-referencing with other Bible passages can bring added information to the parable.
Second, you learned about the various translations of the Bible and how they can work together to yield a clearer understanding.
What is Inductive Bible Study?
To study the scriptures through an inductive study is to use reasoning to draw conclusions from a series of observations.
It’s a process of noticing lists, comparisons, places, people, actions and reactions. Cross-references and Bible study tools then add insights to your observations. Prayerfully, you then consider how to apply your conclusions to 21st century life.
The core of inductive study is: observation, interpretation, then application.
Inductive Bible Study of Mark 5
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of this day! Guide us now as we journey through your Word. Grant us open hearts and clear minds as we pause in our day to hear from You. In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen!
This post outlines a brief overview for inductive Bible Study. An excellent and more thorough explanation can be found at the Precept Ministries. Monica Sharman’s Know-Love-Obey site also shares valuable step-by-step instructions. Or… google “inductive Bible study” to choose from the thousands of blogs and authors who write about this Bible study method.
1) Gather supplies: pencil, colored pencils (for extra fun!), Bible you can write in…a lot. Or you can download Mark 5 here.
2) Read Mark 5.
3) Reread Mark 5 and make OBSERVATIONS by highlighting and listing and comparing (the photo for this post shows a portion of the page from my Bible after highlighting and listing)
- Highlight all mentions of locations
- Highlight words of change such as then, immediately, but, therefore
- Highlight names including references to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit (use different colors or symbols for each)
- Highlight references to time such as next day, afterward, etc (I draw a little clock)
- Highlight words that repeat in all of their forms (in Mark 5 highlight demons, touch, hand, heal … all in different colors or symbols)
- Write lists in the margins (list of consequences, etc)
- Make a list of promises (if any), comparisons (light vs dark; life vs death; etc)
- Answer the questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how for each event
4) Make INTERPRETATIONS. Your lists and highlights from Step 3 help focus attention on what the text says. Look back over the chapter.
Did you notice that Mark 5 includes two primary sections (5:1-20 and 5:21-5.43)?
- The first section shows Jesus healing the demon-possessed man in Gerasenes. Jesus then places a powerful call on his life in Mark 5:19.
- The second section of the chapter shows Jesus continuing to heal while also teaching. The woman ceases to bleed and Jairus’ daughter rises from the dead! Both come from powerful displays of faith (Mark 5:23 and Mark 5:28).
Next… what needs clarification? Use a bible dictionary! The Holman Bible Dictionary is an excellent resource.
- To better understand the health of the bleeding woman, you may want to know more about medical care during the 1st century.
- Look up diseases. When you click through, you learn that priests were often assigned medical duties. It would be completely natural for this woman to seek the help of a rabbi… not just for a spiritual moment but for physical healing also.
- Six additional bible dictionaries are loaded on Bible Study Tools.
5) Draw APPLICATION for your life. Now that you are more familiar with the events of chapter 5, are there principles that apply to life in the 21st century?
Prayer and careful application are necessary at this stage in your study. Some passages are meant to be strictly descriptive of the authors’ times in Palestine while other passages are prescriptive and meant to apply to all believers in all times. Cross-referencing is critical here!
For example: Jesus tells the formerly demon-possessed man to return home and share the gospel. It is consistent throughout scripture that we are called to witness to what Jesus has done in our lives. This is prescriptive. However, it is not consistent with scripture that Jesus calls all of us to return to our hometown to preach. This is descriptive of this man’s journey. For more discussion on him, read Who Was the First Missionary?
Another application: we can be whole in Christ when we press through to Him! Please take six minutes to listen to the most beautiful application of the second half of this chapter in Nicole C. Mullen’s song, One Touch.
Click “play” and be blessed….
Do an inductive Bible study of Mark 6. Use similar colors/highlights from your work in Mark 5. Answer the who, what, where, when, why and how questions. Notice the changes in locations. Map them! Look up “carpenter” (Jesus’vocation) and “tunic” (on the packing list) in one of the Bible dictionaries.
How can you apply lessons from this chapter to your life? Please share what you learned! God’s Word is the living Word. He uses it to touch us where we are. Your circumstances are likely shared by others. Your insights will most certainly bless others!