D- The Doctrine of the Bible

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D- The Doctrine of the Bible2017-03-30T17:07:04-04:00


The doctrine of the Bible helps us understand the role of scripture in God’s relationship with his people.  What is the nature of the scriptures?  What does it mean to be inspired?  What does it mean to be inerrant?  How does God use the Bible in our lives, churches and spiritual development?  What is the difference between the Old and New Testaments?  How do we make sense of the different types of literature in the Bible?  How do we interpret the Bible?  How should we study the Bible to get the most out of it?  How should we read the Bible to grow spiritually?   These are the questions that a study on the Bible itself should answer.


Key Scriptures are designed to give a biblical overview of the topic in question.  They are extremely valuable for gaining an immediate general understanding of what the Bible teaches on a given subject.  Key Scriptures are the first place you should explore when starting a new subject.  They can be discussed individually, in part, or in whole.  Generic inductive Bible study questions are provided to assist you in your discussion.  Key Scriptures are also good for memorizing and reference.


Psalm 12:6 – The words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. NIV

Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. NIV

Mark 12:24-Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? NIV

Deuteronomy 4:2 – Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. NIV

See also Psalm 119:8-9


Psalms 119:89 – Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. NIV

Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. NIV

Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. NIV

1 Peter 1:24-25 – All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. NIV


Ezekiel 1:3 – The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the LORD was upon him. NIV

Spiritually Nourishing

Deuteronomy 8:3 – He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. NIV

Job 23:12 – I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. NIV

Jeremiah 15:16 – Then your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. NIV


Psalm 119:47 – I delight in your commands because I love them. NIV

Psalm 119:72 – The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. NIV


John 15:3 – You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. NIV

John 17:17 – Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. NIV

Inductive Bible Study Questions

to be used with individual Key Scriptures

  • What is the primary point of this passage?
  • How does this passage challenge us?
  • How does this passage comfort or encourage us?
  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
  • What are the personal & spiritual implications of this text?
  • What does this passage ask or require of us?

Key Scriptures Bible Study

to be used when studying all Key Scriptures together

  • Did any of the scriptures given surprise you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given confuse you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given comfort or excite you?
  • How would you sum up these scriptures to another?
  • What implications do these scriptures have for our lives?
  • Which of these scriptures would you find it valuable to memorize?


D01 – Qualities of God’s Word

Key Words: God’s Word, Guidance, Spiritual Life

The following Discussion Guides are based on various images found in God’s Word for God’s Word.  These images are a rich source of understanding for how God uses his Word in our lives.  Answer the following questions for each of the images and scriptures below to explore the various ways God uses scripture to impact our lives.

  1. What qualities does this object or image have?
  2. How is this object or image useful or beneficial?
  3. How would this object or image have been viewed in ancient times?
  4. How is this image a picture of how scripture works in our lives?
  5. Have you experienced this dynamic with God’s Word in your life?
  6. How does this image reveal or reflect the inspiration of scripture?
  7. In light of this image and what it implies about God’s Word, how should you respond regarding the way you interact with scripture?

Lamp – Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23;

2 Peter 1:19

Honey – Psalm 19:10

Mirror – James 1: 23-25

Seed – 1 Peter 1: 23; James 1: 18

Water – Ephesians 5: 25-27

Sword – Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17

Milk – 1 Peter 2:2

Meat – Hebrews 5: 12-14

Bread – John 6:51

Hammer – Jeremiah 23:29

Fire – Jeremiah 20:9; Luke 24:32

  • Approach all scripture prayerfully open
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God’s Word is Inspired

D02 – Jesus Fulfills the Law – Matthew 5: 17–19

Key Words: God’s Word, Law, Kingdom of God, Inspiration

  1. What is Jesus’s attitude regarding scripture?
  2. What does Jesus teach our attitude towards scripture should be?
  3. What does Jesus teach regarding the inspiration and veracity of the scriptures?
  4. What other qualities does Jesus imply regarding the scriptures?
  5. In what ways did Jesus fulfill the law and prophets?
  6. What is the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 6:10)?
  7. What do the teachings of scripture have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven?
  8. Do you think Jesus was referring to his commands as well as those of the Old Testament?
  9. Did Jesus consider his words to have equal authority as the Old Testament (See John 8:28 & 12:49)? How do the scriptures empower to follow Jesus and live in his kingdom?
  • Approach God’s Word with humility, honesty and teachability
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D03 – The Proof of Scripture – Acts 1:15 – 20

Key Words: God’s Word, Inspiration, Prophecy

  1. What does Peter say regarding Judas and scripture?
  2. Why did one of their number have to betray Jesus?
  3. Which Old Testament scriptures is Peter referring to?
  4. What does Peter’s response to this situation give us regarding Peter’s view of scripture?
  5. Would it seem strange to you to live through a specific and personal prophecy as Peter and the disciples did?
  6. What does Peter say regarding how scripture came to us?
  7. Why did the scripture have to be fulfilled?
  8. What are the implications of scripture not being fulfilled?
  9. How would you respond to the fact that there are hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in the Bible?
  10. What does this imply about the truth and reliability of scripture?
  • These questions are only suggestions, allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
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D04 – The Inspiration of Scripture – 2 Peter 1: 16-21

Key Words: God’s Word, Inspiration, Prophecy, Messiah

  1. What two sources does Peter cite in verses 18 and 19 regarding the veracity of Jesus and his identity as the Messiah and Son of God?
  2. How does the presence and work of Christ enhance and clarify the word of the prophets?
  3. What does this imply about the prophets? What does this imply about Christ?
  4. Describe Peter’s understanding of how scripture came to us?
  5. Does Peter leave room for human error… explain?
  6. How is God’s Word both a work of God and a work of man?
  7. How does this passage shed light on the inspiration of the Word of God?
  8. What hints does this passage give regarding the inspiration of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament?
  • These questions are simply a foundation for you to build upon
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Spiritual Benefits of God’s Word

D05 – A Guide for Life – Acts 17:11

Key Words: God’s Word, Inspiration, Spiritual Leaders, Guidance

  1. Why were the Bereans considered to be of more noble character than the Thessalonians?
  2. How did the Bereans validate ideas they received from various teachers, including Paul?
  3. How would you define the posture of the Bereans towards God’s Word?
  4. What exactly was the practice of the Bereans?
  5. What does this practice to examine the scriptures every day teach us regarding the centrality of God’s Word within our lives and spiritual communities?
  6. How and why does the practice of the Bereans lead to such noble character?
  7. What can we learn from the Bereans and their approach to spirituality?
  8. Does this passage imply anything special regarding the words of Paul?
  • Create your own study by adding and subtracting questions as needed
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D06 – The Wonders of God’s Word – Psalm 19: 7-11

Key Words: God’s Word, Fearing God, Inspiration, Benefits of God’s Word

  1. What synonyms does the Psalmist use for scripture in this passage?
  2. What does this reveal about the nature of God’s Word?
  3. What adjectives or concepts does the Psalmist use to describe God’s Word?
  4. Have you found these descriptions of God’s Word to be true?
  5. How does the text describe how desirable God’s Word is? How does the text describe the value of God’s Word?
  6. How does the text describe the benefit of God’s Word in our lives?
  7. Verse 9 speaks of fearing the Lord; how does fearing the Lord and honoring his Word work together?
  8. According to this verse, summarize what our attitude towards God’s Word should be.
  • Your questions are probably better than mine
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D07 – The Value of God’s Word – 2 Timothy 3: 16-17

Key Words: Inspiration, Righteousness, Benefits of God’s Word, Church

  1. What is Paul trying to communicate when he says that scripture is God breathed?
  2. Does this mean that scripture is inspired, inerrant, both or neither?
  3. What practical value does scripture have in the lives of believers?
  4. How does the text teach we are equipped to do God’s work?
  5. What is the scripture useful for?
  6. If the term “righteousness” means “right relationships,” what is “training in righteousness?”
  7. What role does scripture play in our relationships with other believers… or the church?
  8. How does the text teach we are equipped to do God’s work?
  9. What is the scripture useful for? If the term “righteousness” means “right relationships,” what is “training in righteousness?”
  10. How would you sum up the value of scripture in the lives of believers and in the church?
  • Interrogatives are keys that unlock wonderful secrets 
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D08 – A Culture of Truth – Colossians 3:16

Key Words: God’s Word, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Community

  1. Describe the picture of how Christians are to relate to the Word of God?
  2. How does Paul using the term “Word of Christ” lend credibility to the New Testament as scripture?
  3. What practical steps can we take to enable the scripture to dwell in us?
  4. What is the benefit of scripture richly dwelling within us?
  5. How does the Word of Christ build up Christians?
  6. How does the Word of Christ build up churches?
  7. How is it possible for everyone in a church to teach one another using God’s Word?
  8. What does this text teach about the culture that should define God’s people?
  • Be like a detective who interrogates scripture 
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God’s Word Reveals Jesus

D09 – The Key to Scripture – John 5: 36–40

Key Words: God’s Word, Truth, Jesus – Word

  1. According to this passage, what is the relationship between Jesus and the Father?
  2. What is the relationship between Jesus and the scriptures?
  3. Why does Jesus indicate that his views on scripture are superior to theirs?
  4. What does Jesus teach is the key that unlocks a proper interpretation of scripture?
  5. What does Jesus teach is the purpose of the scripture?
  6. According to the text, what is the key to his Word dwelling in us?
  7. What is the key to the eternal life described by the scriptures?
  8. How would you sum up the relationship between Jesus and the scriptures in the life of a Christian?
  • The insight is found in scripture; questions are simply tools to mine the ore
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D10 – A Message of Life – The John 20: 30-31

Key Words: God’s Word, Messiah

  1. What did John say is the purpose of writing his account of the life of Christ?
  2. Do you think other New Testament writers shared the same outlook or purpose as John?
  3. In light of his purpose, what events and teachings do you think John included in his book?
  4. What indication does John give that he is only hitting the high points of the teachings and deeds of Jesus?
  5. Why is it significant that Jesus is the Christ?
  6. Why is it significant that someone made the effort to chronicle his life in a way that affirms his true identity?
  7. Is it significant to you that Jesus is the Christ: the prophesied Messiah… or does that not mean much to you?
  8. Does understanding John’s purpose and perspective change how you read his book?
  • Follow the lines of curiosity 
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God’s Word Gives Hope

D11 – A Message of Hope – Romans 15:4

Key Words: God’s Word, Hope, Encouragement

  1. According to this passage, why was scripture written?
  2. How do you suppose Paul understood the role of scripture in our lives?
  3. What concepts in scripture are meant to encourage us?
  4. What specific concepts in scripture encourage you?
  5. Do you think Paul had any specific encouraging concepts in mind as he penned these words?
  6. How and why does scripture inspire us to hope?
  7. How hard would it be to live the Christian life without scripture… explain?
  8. How much confidence and assurance would we have if we did not have scripture?
  9. Why is it important for Christians to remain in God’s Word?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
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D12 – Assurance of Life – 1 John 5:13

Key Words: God’s Word, Assurance, Faith, Salvation

  1. Why did John write this letter?
  2. What does he specifically desire for his readers?
  3. Why is assurance of salvation absolutely critical for believers?
  4. Break down the word “know.”
  5. How is “know related to faith? How is “know” related to assurance?
  6. How is “know” related to confidence?
  7. How is “know” related to hope?
  8. How is “know” related to boldness?
  9. How is “know” related to evangelism and missions?
  10. How is “know” related to love and service?
  11. How do we know that Jesus is the Son of God and that we truly have eternal life?
  12. Describe how God’s Word works in and through our lives? What happens to Christians who are not in God’s Word?
  • Seek to connect the dots with other scriptures and Bible content 
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  1. Read the Bible through in 3 months.
  1. Learn the 66 books of the Bible in order.
  1. Research how and why the New Testament was complied. What external forces influenced the church to compile the cannon?  Who made the decision regarding which books were in and which were out?  Why were certain books included in the cannon while others were not?  How would you explain to another why the New Testament is inspired?
  1. Interview the most knowledgeable Bible expert you know. Ask them which reference works are the most helpful to them and why.  Ask what tips they would give to someone just beginning to study the Bible?
  1. Research and list the different types of literature found in the Bible: poetry, history, etc… Write out the implications for the interpretation of each.  Discuss these with your coach.
  1. Do a study of Bible Prophecy. How many Messianic prophecies were fulfilled in Christ?  How many other Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled?  How many years before Christ were these prophecies written?  How do we know these dates are correct?  What does this say regarding the inspiration of the Old Testament as well as the identity of Christ?  Defend your position with your coach playing devil’s advocate.
  1. Contrast and compare three different approaches to hermeneutics (the study and interpretation of the Bible). Write out your top 10 rules for Bible interpretation.  Discuss with your coach?
  1. Complete a book study for any book of the Bible. Include author, date, nature, purpose and outline of the book.  Create a list of at least 10 truths taught by this book.  Create another list of at least 10 applications.  Create 4 Bible study lessons from your studies.  Discuss with your coach?


  1. Scripture and Truth by D. A. Carson
  2. What the Bible is all About by Henrietta Mears
  3. Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren
  4. 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders
  5. How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur, David Arthur and Pete De Lacy
  6. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible by Gordon D. Fee
  7. Understanding the Bible by John R. W. Stott
  8. New Testament Foundations Volumes 1 and 2 by Ralph P. Martin
  9. Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
  10. Willmington’s Guide to the Bible by H. L. Willmington
  11. Thompson Chain Reference Bible by Frank Charles Thompson