Last week I attended a special bible class seminar on Homiletics, by Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF. I just want to share with you my notes, in case you want to study the bible with some people. Hope you find this interesting and helpful.
Homiletics is the analysis of biblical passages. There are 5 basic steps to doing it:
1. contents – Get the detail of the passage without any interpretation.
2. divisions – get the summary of the passage.
3. subject sentence – get the title of the passage
4. aim – what is the purpose of this passage
5 applications – how do you engage listeners and co bible students based on what is being taught?
Contents should be 10-20 sentences. They are to be facts only, based on the passage. You are supposed to get the detail of the passage in 20 or less sentences. You should as much as possible, use same words as in the bible.
You should take notes on each verse and summarize what they say. Take not of repeated words in the bible, because there is a significant reason why they are repeated.
Divisions are shortened versions of contents, from 20 or less sentences to 3-4 sentences. You do this without omitting any pertinent information. In just a few sentences you should be able to cover the main topic being centered on in the contents. Everything should be fact-based and no amount of opinion should be included. It should be stated in the bible.
Subject Sentence is composed of 10 words or less. It summarizes the divisions even further. Although less words are used, the topic should be clearer, after omitting unnecessary words or restructuring wordy sentences. With this you also identify the location of passages in the bible which your subject sentence is based on.
Aim is the primary truth that’s being taught throughout the passage. It is truth about God or man, and is doctrinal truth. In doing this, you should ask yourself these questions:
Is it true?
Is it the main truth?
Is it memorable?
Applications are made in question for supposedly designed to be rhetorical questions for one to ponder on. One application per division. The question should target the heart first. It should ask questions that evaluate thinking. In doing this the one preparing should know the target audience, otherwise they wont be able to relate to his questions, and there won’t be much of an effect on them.
These questions should be able to convict them, encourage trust in God, and require change.