Archive for March, 2013

Principle by Principle: Understanding the Word Study

One of the distinguishing components of the Principle Approach Curriculum framework is cultivating the habit of research by beginning with the Bible through the Word Study.  The word study is more than going to a dictionary to look for the definition of the word in question. It is the tool of biblical scholarship that places the student on the pathway of reflective thinking and deductive reasoning derived from the elevation of Scripture.  God’s Word is the center of the learning.

HCA students are reaping the following benefits from Word Study:

  • Builds vocabulary
  • Increases reading comprehension
  • Establishes precise word usage in written and oral communication
  • Cultivates the habit of critical thinking
  • Produces deductive reasoning skills
  • Sharpens discernment of truth from error
  • Inculcates lifetime habits of scholarship and aids in establishing a Biblical worldview
  • Reveals the biblical meanings of words and God’s principles of knowledge and wisdom for application in every aspect of life

So how does one do a Word Study?

  1. Define the selected word by using the Webster 1828 dictionary.
  2. Define key words within the Webster definition.
  3. Record relevant Scriptures that use the selected word. A Bible Concordance is needed for this. Doing a word search found in www.biblegateway.com could be used instead.
  4. Relate the selected word to my life by writing its definition in my own words.
  5. Deduce Biblical principles from the study of the selected word.
  6. File the written record of the study in my notebook for future reference.

The most challenging aspect of the Word Study is step 5. Based on Biblical facts, we draw out, or deduce Biblical truths (this is the process of Biblical reasoning) and identify them in the form of principles to the word being studied. The reasoning builds upon truth already researched.

The above steps represent the sequence used by the model Word Study. They are however not meant to be followed in a lock stepped fashion. For example, relating and reasoning (steps 4 and 5) can be or are usually done simultaneously.

For Example: Word study on renew.

by blogger Principledlearner

1.     I defined the selected word from the dictionary and underlined a key word from the definition which need further clarification.

RENEW, v.t. [L. renovo; re and novo, or re and new]

  1. To renovate; to restore  to a former state, or to a good state, after decay or depravation; to rebuild; to repair.

Asa renewed the altar of the Lord. 2 Chron. 15.

    7.To make new; to make fresh or vigorous; as, to renew youth; to renew strength; to renew the face of the earth.

Ps. 103, Is. 40, Ps, 104.

    8. In theology, to make new; to renovate; to transform; to change from natural enmity to the love of God and his law; to  implant holy affections in the heart; to regenerate.

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12. Eph. 4.

2.     The key word within definition 1) I looked up was restore.  I wanted further illumination on renew  by looking further into this word.

 RESTORE, v.t. [L. restauro. This is a compound of re and the root of store, story, history. The primary sense is to set, to lay or to throw,  as in Gr. Solid.]

4. To bring back or recover from lapse, degeneracy, declension or ruin to its former state.

Loss of Eden, till one greater man restore it, and regain the blissful seat.

       -Our fortune restored after the severest afflictions.

5. To heal; to cure; to recover from disease.

His hand was restored whole like as the other. Matt. 12

9. To revive; to resuscitate; to bring back to life.

Whose son he had restored to life. 2 Kings 8.

10. To return or bring back after absence. Heb. 13.

3.     Record relevant scripture on renew.

2 Chronicles 15:8

“And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of the land of Judah and Banjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim, and renewed  the alter of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

Psalm 51:10

“Create in me a clean hard, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” 

Psalm 103:5

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that they youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Isaiah 40:31

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 

Lamentations 5:21

“Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew  our days as of old.”

Romans 12:2

“And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

2 Corinthians 4:16

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 

Ephesians 4:23

“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;”

Colossians 3:10

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed  in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” 

Titus 3:5

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

4.  My personal definition of renew.

To be renewed  means a fresh start, a new beginning, a return to what God had in mind for my life when He created me; it means to be aligned with God’s will for me. And this renewal is possible when I truly desire it, wholeheartedly long for it, deliberately seek after it, and when I patiently wait on the Lord. It is also only by God’s mercy that this work of grace can be effected.

To be renewed means to have a mind and heart washed and cleansed daily so that I can walk in God’s light, moment by moment.

To be renewed also assumes that I had moved away from a good state of something; relationship, position, standing. Over the years, my heart has grown cold and I’ve allowed sinful attitudes to creep stealthily into my life. I now want to be restored to the former relationship I had enjoyed with the Lord: I desire to re-establish what was good and virtuous; I need to replace what is wrong or corrupted with what is right and godly. I need to be healed.

5.  Biblical principles deduced from word study in the light of HCA’s educational responsibility

  1. We have the responsibility of renewing our minds before teaching HCA students.
  2. We need to renew our understanding of what education is all about and to put away methods and ideas of education that are not biblical.
  3. God can and will help us be renewed for the task of educating the next generation.
  4. We need to be continually renewed  for the task ahead.
  5. As our minds are renewed, our lives will be transformed, and our approaches to education will also be transformed as it glorifies more and more of Christ and less and less of man. 

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