The Heart Of The Method: Topic And Theme In Chapter Six Of Effective Bible Literature

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In the section titled “The Heart of the Method: Topic and Theme” found in chapter six of Effective Bible Teaching by Wilhoit and Ryken, the authors argue for a unity of the theme of the message with a focus on the larger idea. They present the concept of a theme (thesis) which is the general overall idea of a biblical passage. They explain the need for the creation of a topic (subject) to describe what the passage covers. Then is the discovery of what the author intends to assert about the passage. This practical way of presenting the test allows teaching and studies to maintain a focus that governs the entire lesson. The result of the activity is a single statement or phrase that effectively captures the main idea of the passage and narrows …show more content…
By using the teaching, a central unifying idea can become the main thought and focus. Then creating a topic and a theme creates a manageable, single focused, and correct representation of the text, which prevents overly specific or excessive universal explanations of a passage. The topic and theme can be “linked to the audience” which allows for instruction based on group structures such as age, demographics, or knowledge. Literary form also becomes a critical point of evaluation as it exposes certain elements that help evaluate the topic. Octavio J. Esqueda explains that grammatical structure helps derive meaning and understand the underlying tone and atmosphere of a passage. Patterns such as repetition of the phrase “For His lovingkindness is everlasting” in Psalm 136 expresses God’s mercy, and reminds the reader of His love. The form of a passage may be one of many specific literary types for example a picture, an anatomy, an example, or a portrayal. These steps help the Bible student maintain an obvious and consistent point.

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Bibliography

Esqueda, Octavio J. “How to Study the Bible.” In The Teaching Ministry of the Church. 2nd ed, edited by William R. Yount, 222-223. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2008.

Wilhoit, Jim, and Leland Ryken. Effective Bible Teaching. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

Wilkinson, Bruce. The 7 Laws of the Learner. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers,

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