Manuscript Bible study is an INDUCTIVE and ENJOYABLE way to study Scripture… together!
A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t. —Charles Spurgeon
Well, maybe the same can be said for… a Bible that is Marked Up!
We’re just getting started but all materials will be FREELY AVAILABLE for your use. We hope this site becomes a fun, interactive experience, used by those leading manuscript studies; who can find resources here and, in turn, provide input for others. So, come back often!
To contact us, Click Here. Have you ever done manuscript study? What do you think? Are you up for it?
“To you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God…” (Mark 4:11).
The secret of the kingdom of God is unusual. It’s an unknown that is meant to be known. How? By doing what the disciples did in the Gospel of Mark: Hang around Jesus. In fact Jesus himself is the secret who ALSO unlocks the secret when we listen, learn and respond to him. We increasing discover more of this secret as we follow the One who provides abundance and joy.
The (real) secret is meant to be known, meant to be transformative, meant to be proclaimed. Come discover him… and discover it… with us!
READ & STUDY—Look for the W’s: WHO is involved | WHEN did it happen | WHERE is it happening | WHAT is taking place | HOW is it happening… then comes interpretation by asking… WHY questions regarding what the author’s message is about.
MARK IT UP!: Use colored pens and pencils. A four-colored pen can be very handy. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, just mark it!
Use the pens/pencils to draw: –Circles around places or people –Boxes around whatever you’d like –Underlines of key words/phrases –Clouds around words wherever you feel like it –Identify change of scene, watch for contrast, repetition, key words, etc. –Put lots of NOTES in the right-hand margin and in between lines!
REFLECT, PRAY, ACT: How does what your reading and studying apply to you and where you are with God, others, etc.? Keep some kind of personal journal–say, on the backside of the manuscript. Use it to record your thoughts, prayers and new actions.
DISCUSS: Come together one-on-one or in a group. You’ll likely have a facilitator to lead discussion but no one is the expert. The goal is that each person in the group contributes their insights. If you’re quiet, please speak up, and if you’re too talkative… well… not so much!
Each Bible translation has it’s place. Some are more literal, making them better for study. Some more flowing, making them better for reading. We chose a more literal translation–the ESV (which is based on the RSV)–because our focus is on STUDYING. What follows is an article describing the differences.
How Do I Pick Out A Bible, Pastor Tom Brahears–June 29, 2011
If you’re like me and were raised with the King James Version you’d say “Now, that’s the Bible!” It’s what I’m used to. But that’s not the reason so select it. We need to take a balanced approach to this, understanding the nature of Biblical translations. All translations have certain characteristics that make them unique. Bible translations can be review in two primary ways:
1. What underlying Greek text does the translation use? Is it the “Majority” or “Received” text (a group of late Greek text that primarily comes from the Byzantine area) or the Eclectic/Critical text (mixture of different types of manuscripts, primarily using the earliest text). The KJV, NKJV, and many older translations used the former, while the newer and more up-to-date Bible’s such as the NAS, NIV, ESV, NLT, NET, etc. use the latter. It’s best to use the latter since most scholars believe that they represent the better manuscripts.
2. Each Bible has a different purpose but all are useful. Was it written for study or reading? Was it written for the seminary or the church? If you can, you should have a variety of translations for different purposes. I use the NASB for study but the NIV for classes I teach. I think it’s important for you to understand the differences. Here [also shown on the chart] are the three translation methods:
Formal Equivalence: These try to translate word for word (although this is quite difficult). Examples: NAS, KJV, ASV, ESV. Less readable, but better for study in contemporary languages. Why? Because they will usually attempt to make fewer interpretive decisions on any text that can be understood in many ways. This allows the reader to struggle through the options.
Dynamic Equivalence: Translations that seek to translate thought for thought. Examples: NIV, TNIV, NRSV, etc. Not quite as good for deep study, but usually better for reading and memorization. Dynamic equivalence translations make good pulpit or teaching Bibles.
Paraphrase: Translations that seek to use common language and idioms to get the basic point across in a very readable way. Examples: Message, Philip’s Translation, NLT, GNB, etc. While paraphrases are not good for study or memorization, they are very readable and cause you to read the text differently than you normally would. In this respect, they have great value.
>>For a more a more specific description of each transaltion and another chart,Click Here.
The words of the Bible are the very words of God. The words of the Bible are truth and life.* This is why the ESV Bible is a word-for-word, “essentially literal” translation—to convey every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture; to capture the majesty, truth, and beauty of the Bible, in a clear and compelling way.
The ESV Bible carries forward the trusted legacy of the Bible in English—the legacy established first in the Tyndale New Testament (1526) and the KJV Bible (1611). With this legacy as the foundation, the ESV Bible (2001) reflects the beauty and majesty of the original languages, first captured centuries ago by these early Bible translations.
But the ESV also provides the most recent evangelical Christian Bible scholarship and enduring readability for today. The ESV translation process itself was based on the trusted principles of essentially literal translation, which combines word-for-word accuracy with readability and literary excellence.
Likewise, the ESV translation team was built on the trusted foundation of over 100 evangelical Christian scholars and pastors worldwide, committed to the truth, authority, and application of the Bible to all of life.
Manuscript study started under the late Paul Byer in 1953. Paul was an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff seeking to help students dig into Scripture. For more details on its history, Click Here.
Now fast forward to… 1986 and pardon the BIG HAIR / BIG GLASSES. Here Paul both explains manuscript study and leads a group through it.
A person doesn’t have to have a breadth of Bible knowledge to join in because manuscript study puts EVERYONE ON THE SAME LEVEL, with the same passage in front of them and no need to “jump all around the Bible.” Even a person with no biblical background can feel right at home and not intimidated as a participant.
Okay, so here’s another video with a little different take on manuscript study–actually a lot different. We’ll call it a CONTRAST to Paul Byer’s substance, but hey, it’s only 2 1/2 minutes long and kind of fun.
Manuscript study is all about SUBSTANCE but it’s also about STYLE as well–a FUN, EASY-TO-LEARN and INVITING approach to learning more about who God is and who we are in relationship to him… together!
In its own way the video covers the three steps of inductive Bible study:
“Who, what, where and how….” — Observation
“Why’s that there? What’s the author trying to say?” — Interpretation
“Head, heart, hands and feet….” — Application
MANUSCRIPT STUDY HANDBOOK
Lindsay Olesberg writes a 253 page, one-of-a-kind book on how to get the most out of the Bible. What’s unique about Lindsay’s work is how she highlights the manuscript study method. Well written with a lot of hands-on exercises, this is an excellent reference for those desiring to go deeper in their study of Scripture. To order the book, Click Here.
HOW TO LEAD, MANUSCRIPT STYLE
Ever thought of leading a manuscript study? If you haven’t, we hope you will. Leading a manuscript group study differs slightly from leading a regular Bible study because group members get the opportunity to study right before they discuss. So, you can ask general observation questions–Who, Where, When, What and How–and expect the group to facilitate more of the discovery process. Here’s the basic steps.
–READ the section together out loud. Such reading gives the group a sense of initial togetherness.
–STUDY individually for 15-30 minutes—as long as group members are engaged—with colored pens/pencils.
–DISCUSS your observations together which can be done one-to-one or within the small group.
Ask the W questions: Who’s involved & where? What’s going on & when? How’s it happening?
–DRAW OUT key interpretative questions/conclusions (the whys) within a small group discussion. Good observations will naturally lead your group to solid interpretations.
–WRAP-UP with the leader summarizing key points which leads to personal application.
–APPLY your insights through further one-to-one or small group sharing, prayer and action.
Group members can read and study their manuscript ahead of time if they’d like but this is not required. Group meetings are typically 1 1/2 to 2 hours long and include time for personal study. Group size can range from just a few to dozens as long as the group breaks up into smaller groups for discussion and prayer.