Front Page
Series Contents
Series Theme: Bible Study Approaches















1. Introduction

2. The Approach

3. The Approach Applied





























1. Introduction

2. The Approach

3. The Approach Applied




















1. Introduction

2. Gaps to be bridged

3. Styles of Writing

4. Indirect Speech










Title:   4. The 10 P's Method of Study


A page that explains a variety of approaches to Studying the Bible





1. Introduction


This is a page that simply gives one particular approach that we have encountered and which you may find helpful. Try it and see. If this method doesn't work for you, try another.

We first of all present the approach and then go on to provide an application of it. We have had this for so long that we no longer know its origin. Some may find this a particularly contrived or complicated approach but it does help you dig deeper.


2. The Approach


Part A - for Beginners:

1. The POINTS of the passage -  what are the key things it is saying?

2. The PROBLEMS of the passage - what don't I seem to understand at first sight which need investigating?

3. The PROFIT of the passage - what is the benefit of reading it, the teaching or lessons gained from it?

4. The PERSONAL APPLICATION of the passage - what is it saying to me?

5. The PROMISE of the passage - is there something God is offering me in it?


Part B - additional considerations for deeper study:

6. The PARALLELS - other verses with similar truth.

7. The PRODUCT - putting together the truth of all of them.

8. The PRESENTATION - a title for the study.

9. The POSSIBLE DIFFICULTIES - problems others may have, if I teach this passage?

10. The PATTERN - the results in simple outline.




3. The Approach Applied

Study Passage:
Matthew 8:18-22


1. The POINTS of the passage   

It seems that Jesus is teaching that being a follower of his is not as easy as it might first seem. There is:

•   a religious teacher who apparently throws his lot in with Jesus.

•   a warning from Jesus that he hasn't a home base.

•   a second disciple who wants to remain at home until his father has died.

•   a challenge from Jesus to follow life (implied), and let those who want to carry on without it, do that. 


2. The PROBLEMS of the passage

Jesus seems to be rather harsh with the second disciple, telling him to leave others to sort out a family funeral. I need to understand this in the context of what Jesus is saying: a) following him is uncertain, and now b) you can't hold conflicting allegiances.


3. The PROFIT of the passage

It makes me stop and realise that there is more to following Jesus than just "being saved".


4. The PERSONAL APPLICATION of the passage

It tells me that Jesus says that he doesn't have a base and is constantly on the move. Being his follower means it's not so much that I'm to be part of some established organisation, but that it is more a case of following him, and he's constantly on the go - I'm to be flexible and responsive to him in my faith!  Faith seems to be something far less tangible than the organisational thing that it so often seems today.

I also see Jesus saying don't wait until my family claims have gone.  I can't let allegiance to people delay or hinder my allegiance to Jesus.


5. The PROMISE of the passage

This passage doesn't seem to offer a promise, only a challenge!



Verses with similar meanings that I've found are:

•   2 Cor 5:7 - we live by faith, not by sight

•    Matt 6:24   - No one can serve two masters

•    Matt 10:37   - anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.

•    Matt 16:25 - whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 


The Christian life is not about organisational religion, but about submitting all of my life to Jesus, to let him be Lord. This is not necessarily comfortable because faith means risk!



A possible title:  "The call and cost of following Jesus"



It may be that others will be nervous and defensive about the thought of being called to a flexible and responsive lifestyle where Jesus has prior claim over all things.  The need to understand that is seen in the final verse, and Jesus is not being unkind or insensitive, simply  that he's stating an obvious thing: you can't have life and death together, it's one or the other.



v.18 Jesus sets off.                                               Onwards

v.19 A teacher states his availability.                        Offer

v.20  Jesus shatters any hopes of comfort and ease in following him.             


v.21 A disciple seeks permission to stay home.                                          


v.22  Jesus severs his ties with the past.                                                 




Not the easiest of methods for some passages, but certainly a thought provoking approach!


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