And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2
Paul’s words to Timothy still apply to us today. There is a need to raise up teachers who clearly and fearlessly teach the Word of God. It is with this hope in mind that The Bible Teacher’s Guide (BTG) series has been created. The series includes both expositional and topical studies. This guide will be useful for teachers who are preparing to lead small groups or give sermons, or for an individual’s devotional study.
Each lesson is based around the hermeneutical principle that the original authors wrote in a similar manner as we do today—with the intention of being understood. Each paragraph and chapter of Scripture is centered on one main thought often called the Big Idea. After finding the Big Idea for each passage studied, the Big Question was created, which will lead the small group through the entire gamut of the text. Alongside the Big Question, hermeneutical questions such as Observation Questions, Interpretation Questions, and Application Questions have been added. Observation questions point out pivotal aspects of the text. Interpretation questions lead us into understanding what the text means through looking at the context or other Scripture. Application questions lead us to life principles coming out of the text. It was never the intent for all these questions to be used, but they have been given to help guide the teacher in the preparation of his own lesson.
The purpose of this guide is to make the preparation of the teacher easier, as many commentaries and sermons have been used in the development of each lesson. After meditating on the Scripture text and the lesson, the small group leader can follow the suggested teaching outline, if preferred:
- The leader would introduce the text and present the big question in the beginning of the study.
- He would allow several minutes for the members to search out answers from within the text, questions, or ways God spoke to them.
- Then the leader would facilitate the discussion of the findings and lead the group along through observation, interpretation, and application questions provided in the guide.
The leader may find teaching part or the entire lesson preferred and then giving application questions. The leader can also choose to use a “Study Group” method of facilitation where each member prepares beforehand and shares teaching responsibility (see Appendices 1 and 2). Some leaders may find that corporately reading each main section in a lesson, followed by a brief discussion of the topic and an application question, as the most effective method.
Again, The Bible Teacher’s Guide can be used as a manual to follow in teaching, a resource to use in preparation for teaching, or simply as an expositional devotional to enrich one’s own study. I pray that the Lord may bless your study, preparation, and teaching, and that in all of it you will find the fruit of the Holy Spirit abounding in your own life and the lives of those you instruct.