(CRITICAL THINKING ASSIGNMENT)
The student is to only use the English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV) for the completion of this project.
- Structural Analysis
- Identify the key center of the passage.
- Identify the paragraph points of the passage in the writer’s own words
- In a paragraph identify how the biblical writer develops the truth in the passage.
- Give special attention to issues of form and genre (literary type).
- Situation Analysis
- In a paragraph summarize the situation the writer is writing to, from and/or about.
- Purpose Analysis
- In a paragraph summarize the writer’s or God’s purpose for writing the passage.
- Supplementary Studies
- Word Studies.
- Include a revised version of the Word Study assignment.
- Include footnotes.
- Cross Reference studies.
- Include a revised version of the Cross References assignment.
- Preceding & Following Context
- Comments regarding the relationship of the passage under study to the one preceding and following it. (Two to three sentences for each.)
- Personal Observations.
- Include a revised version of the Observation assignment.
- Commentary Work.
- Include a revised version of the Commentary assignment.
- Interpretation Paragraph
- In a paragraph, the student will summarize the meaning of the entire passage.
- Word Studies.
Provide the following.
- Central Idea of the Text
- Central Idea of the Sermon
- Specific Objective
- Sermon Outline
- Sermon Title
- Creative Introduction for the Passage
- Paragraph Title (One for each paragraph in the passage)
- Interpretive Discussion for each Paragraph
- (One for each paragraph in the passage)
- Application for each Paragraph
- (One for each paragraph in the passage)
- Interpretive Discussion for each Paragraph
- Conclusion for the Passage
- Works Cited Page
- Sources should be noted using Turabian format.
- Refer to the handout on how to cite Bible software found on Blackboard. Also see www.SAGUPaw.com for citation help.
- A Rubric is available on Blackboard.
- Consult the example found on Blackboard.
This is provided as an example. Be sure to double-check the syllabus for all requirements.
· THIS is an INDIVIDUAL NOT GROUP PROJECT.
· You may not divide the project into pieces and work as a team.
· The professor utilizes SafeAssignTM to check for academic fraud. SafeAssignTM will compare submitted assignments to other submitted papers and items on the internet.
An Interpretive Analysis
Colossians 1:3-14 is used as an example but is NOT the assigned passage for this semester.
Check the course syllabus for the assigned passage.
Colossians 1:3-14 (ESV)
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Stage One. Structural Analysis
(Summarize the complete passage paying attention to genre and how the truth is developed.)
Summary of Passage: In this passage Paul offers an apostolic prayer for the believers in Colossae. Prayer is an important action to Paul. He begins his prayers with thankfulness for the believers because he has heard the reports of their faith and love that is based upon the gospel. He indicates he is continually praying for the Colossian Christians and then elaborates upon what it is he is praying for as it relates to their situation. He lists how the believers will live a life “worthy of the Lord” and pleasing to the Lord. The life that is pleasing to God is a reflection of one’s salvation by Christ.
Key Center: “we have not ceased to pray for you”(1:9b)
Paragraph Points: (Two paragraphs in the passage, thus two Paragraph Points)
Paragraph 1: “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…” (1:3a)
Paragraph 2: ” we have not ceased to pray for you”(1:9b) (Note that it is the same as the Key Center)
Stage Two: Situation Analysis
Write a final paragraph summarizing the situation the author is writing to, from or about. You only need to provide the summarizing paragraph, not the verse-by-verse identification of Situation Clues. Answer the question, “What was going on in the lives of the writer and recipients?”
Epaphrus had brought news to Paul about the church in Colosse (1:7). This is what appears to have prompted Paul’s letter to them. Evidence here reveals that these believers were being swept in by the desire for knowledge, contrary to a growing and personal knowledge of the Lord. Consequently, they were in danger of giving up their pure faith, love and hope (1:3-5) as well as endangering the effectiveness of their witness (1:6). These issues deeply concerned Paul. As a result, Paul feels compelled to pray for their endurance and patience in the face of these challenges, temptations and trials.
Stage Three: Purpose Analysis
Write a final paragraph summarizing the purpose for which the author is writing. What does the author want the people to do? How does he want them to change? You only need to provide the summarizing paragraph, not the verse-by-verse identification of Purpose Clues. Answer the question, “What is God or the author asking the people to do?”
Paul’s words, “For this reason…” points to his concern that the Colossian believers not sacrifice their faith, love, hope and witness in the face of the error and difficulties that challenged the church. (1:9) Consequently he prays for them (1:9). His over-arching desire is that God would help them know how to respond to these challenges (1:10). He wants them to live in such a way that Christ is honored and pleased in their lives regardless of the challenges they face (1:11-12). He specifies what this includes: being fruitful in good works; a growing knowledge of God; evidencing endurance and patience by God’s power and strength, and a grateful attitude expressed in thanksgiving. (1:11-14)
Stage Four: Supplementary Studies
Copy and Paste the CORRECTED version of your Word Study Assignment in this Section.
Col. 1:9 In this context “knowledge” means a “precise and correct knowledge.”[footnoteRef:1] Paul was praying that they would so completely know God by discernment that they would know the will of God. (epignosis) [footnoteRef:2] [1: “Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament,” Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, n.p., Accordance 12 Bible Software.] [2: Colin Brown, ed., New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 1976), Accordance 12 Bible Software.]
Col. 1:9 In this context “spiritual” conveys the sense of belonging to the realm of spirit/Spirit – of the essence or nature of spirit/Spirit. Paul did not want the believers in Colossae to depend upon their own natural wisdom. (pneumatikos) [footnoteRef:3] [3: Ibid, Accordance 12 Bible Software.]
Col. 1:10 In this context “walk” is used figuratively to mean the way a person lives – their lifestyle. The word can be used literally to mean “to walk about.” Paul is not asking the believers to physically walk in a specific way. Instead he is asking them to live in a way that pleases the Lord. (peripateo) [footnoteRef:4] [4: Ibid, Accordance 12 Bible Software.]
The student will have SEVEN more word study entries here. This example has three as an example of formatting and content.
(You will need a minimum of SIX Cross References with a comment on its significance.)
Colossians 1:3 with 1 Thessalonians 1:2. Paul gives thanks to God and prays for the church in Thessalonica in the same way that he thanks God and prays for the church in Colossae.[footnoteRef:5] [5: Timothy S. Morton, Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Enhanced and Expanded, Accordance 12 Bible Software, 2010), paragraph 35643.]
Colossians 1:4 with Colossian 1:9 Paul repeats the idea that he has heard about the faith in the church of Colossae.[footnoteRef:6] [6: Ibid]
Colossians 1:5 with Ephesians 1:13 Paul affirms to both the believers in Colosse and Ephesus that the gospel is the word of truth. [footnoteRef:7] [7: Ibid ]
Colossians 1:9 with 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Paul also prays for the believers in Thessalonica like he does for the believers in Colosse. [footnoteRef:8] [8: Ibid]
Colossians 1:10 with 2 Corinthians 5:9 Paul states in both verses that it is necessary to walk or live in a way that pleases the Lord. [footnoteRef:9] [9: Ibid ]
Colossians 1:13 with Ephesians 6:12 The theme of “darkness” referring to evil forces or sin is repeated. [footnoteRef:10]ERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: [10: Ibid ]
Copy and Paste the CORRECTED version of your Personal Observations Assignment in this Section.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you ,
· Verb: Paul and his companions were praying for the church in Colossae.
4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
· Cause and Effect: There is a cause, faith, and an effect from verse three, Paul giving thanks in prayer. Paul thanks God because he’s heard about the faith of the Colossians. If he had not heard of their faith then he would not have been thankful.
5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
· Pronoun: Paul uses the word “you” to refer to the Church in Colossae.
6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
· Specific to General Statement: Paul writes in verse five that the “hope” of “heaven” heard in “the gospel” was for the church in Colossae (specific) and also for the whole world (general).
7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant . He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
· Emotional Terms: Paul holds Epaphras in high regard for his ministry. Using the terms “dear fellow servant” has the effect of causing an emotional response from the reader.
8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
· Action/Role of People: Epaphras has “made known” the love of the church in Colossae for Paul and his companions.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding ,
· Purpose/Result Statement: The purpose for Paul and his companions to pray is so that the believers in Colossae will know God’s will and have much wisdom and understanding.
10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God ;
· List: Paul provides a list of four items that he prays will be the result of the Colossians being filled with the knowledge of God’s will and having the wisdom and understanding of the Spirit.
11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
· Pronoun: The pronoun “his” can be traced back to the previous verse when Paul writes about the knowledge of God. So the pronoun “his” refers to God.
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
· Actions/Roles of God : Paul demonstrates that it is God the Father who qualifies the believer to share in the inheritance of the saints. It is not a person’s own righteousness that qualifies them.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
· Conjunction: God has not only delivered the believers in Colossae from darkness, or evil, but he has also brought them into the kingdom of Jesus.
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins .
· Means: Paul is stating to the believers in Colossae that the means to be redeemed and forgiven is through the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
PRECEDING PASSAGE CONTEXT:
(You will need two or more sentences to summarize the preceding passage context.)
The previous passage of Colossians 1:1-2 contains an introduction by Paul. It holds to the form of many other of his epistles by containing a greeting. First, he establishes or asserts his apostleship, that God has called him to be His representative. He then names his partner in missions, Timothy, and greets the church in Colosse.
FOLLOWING PASSAGE CONTEXT:
(You will need two or more sentences to summarize the following passage context.)
In the passage that follows (1:15-23) Paul uses his comment about the Son the Father loves to lead into a passage that focuses on the supremacy of Christ. In it he emphasizes the importance of “continuing in your faith,” a theme he has emphasized in the passage under study (see 1:10-12).
Consult at least three commentaries two times each to determine the meaning of difficult verses and summarize here. You may choose any verse or verses. (Six total commentary references)
1. Col. 1:9-14 This is an example of a prayer of petition that follows a prayer of thanksgiving (1:3-8).[footnoteRef:11] [11: Curtis Vaughan, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelin, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979), Accordance 13 Bible Software.]
2. Col. 1:3 “Always” probably indicates regularity, not that Paul was praying all the time and only praying. Praying three times a day was a ritual for Jews which Paul had done since childhood and would have continued to do as a Christ-follower.[footnoteRef:12] [12: N.T. Wright, Tyndale Commentary Colossians and Philemon, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986), Accordance 13, Bible Software.]
3. Col 1:6 Paul use language of personification to talk about the Gospel. The Gospel came. The Gospel bears fruit. The Gospel has gone throughout the world. As a former Pharisee, Paul sees this as the direct result of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies.[footnoteRef:13] [13: Ibid, Colossians 1:6 ]
4. Col. 1:9 The knowledge of God spoken of here is descriptive of a growing personal relationship with God and is not theoretical or speculative.[footnoteRef:14] [14: Ralph Martin, Colossians: The Church’s Lord and the Christian Liberty. (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1992), Accordance 13 Bible Software.]
5. Col. 1:10 When Paul writes, “please him in every way” he is not saying that the Colossian believers should be afraid but that their obedience comes out of their “glad obedience” to God. Pleasing God is in direct opposition to the Colossians pleasing their own desires in every aspect of their lives. As Paul writes, “in all things.”[footnoteRef:15] [15: G. J. Wenham and D. A. Carson. New Bible Commentary, (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Accordance 13, Bible Software.]
6. Col. 1:14 “Redemption” and “forgiveness of sins” are directly related to one another. Paul is telling the Colossians that they could not have one without the other.[footnoteRef:16] [16: Ibid, Colossians 1:14]
In a paragraph or two, based upon your research, provide the meaning of the passage under study. Bring in your research from word studies, observations, cross references and commentaries.
Paul shows a high level of appreciation and thankfulness for the church in Colossae. The basis of his thankfulness is the news of the deep faith the church has. He encourages the church that they are part of a worldwide entity that is growing based upon that same faith. One principle is that it is appropriate to be thankful for the faith of other believers in Christ.
The proper response to the Colossian church’s demonstration of faith is that Paul and his companions pray for their continued growth. They are to be so engaged with the Spirit of God that He fills their minds with wisdom. This knowledge is a God inspired, correct, and precise knowledge. (Notice this is from the word study) That wisdom leads to a relationship with Christ that is growing. (Notice this is from the commentary work.) The theme of “walking” in a way that pleases the Lord is something that Paul had previously told the Church in Corinth, so this is a familiar theme. (Notice this is from the cross references.) The reason Colossian believers were to pursue a lifestyle that pleases God was because He rescued them from their sins, or “darkness.” A principle is that everyone should pray for other believers that they would pursue a lifestyle that pleases God.
Stage Five: Communication Outline
Central Idea of the Text: Paul prays without fail for the Colossian church to be full of wisdom and understanding.
Key Center: “We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)
Central Idea of the Sermon: Prayer is essential to live a life full of the wisdom of God.
(Think in behaviors. Once someone hears your explanation of the message, what will they do? How will their behavior be different? Note that this is what you will ask the congregation to do in the conclusion of the message. What are specific ways the church will do the purposes found in the passage?)
1. People in our church will complete a prayer request form for a situation in which they need God’s to the knowledge of God’s will. Then they will trade their request with someone else in the church so that each can pray for the other’s request during the week.
2. We will provide post-it notes on which people will write their requests for God’s guidance, knowledge, and will. After writing on the post-it note, the person will nail the request to a cross that is placed in the altar area.
3. Our church will have a time in small groups when prayer can be made for one another so they will have God’s wisdom in a difficult situation.
4. Our church will establish a prayer ministry by which people can 24/7 submit a request by text, social media, email, or a submission form on the church’s web site.
· One Interpretation Point, One Principle, One Application Point per Paragraph in the Passage.
· If the passage has two paragraphs = Then you will write Two Interpretations, Two Principles, and Two Applications
· If the passage has three paragraphs = Then you will write Three Interpretations, Three Principles, and Three Applications
Sermon Title: Paul’s Unceasing Petitions to the Heavenly Father
(This is a rephrasing of the Key Center. Do not use the same words found in the biblical text.)
Introduction: Technology is incredible. You can receive a text, Snap, tweet, or call anytime from anyone, anywhere in the world. At this point in history, you have to work to be unavailable. Communication is now 24/7. There are times that I am awakened in the middle of the night by the tone of a received text message or email. I know, I should have set it on vibrate, but did not.
However, have you ever texted someone and they don’t text back? Like for a day? Or have you ever been ghosted in a relationship? Or left on read? That stinks! You know the other person is there, but they have stopped responding. It’s frustrating.
In our present day, you can be as available 24/7, which also means you can ignore someone 24/7. Paul writes to the Colossians about the continual conversation he has with Christ and that he can’t ignore that communication. Let us look at the text.
Paragraph Title 1: Paul’s Unending Thankfulness for the Colossians. (*Notice this is a rewording of the Paragraph Point)
Interpretation 1: (Give a one-paragraph description of both the interpretation of this paragraph and the resulting biblical principle. Include elements of your supplementary studies here. See example below.)
Application 1: (Give a one-paragraph application of the biblical principle. Relate how someone will live the principle out in a situation. Be specific. Think in behaviors. See example below.)
Paragraph Title 2: Paul’s Continual Conversation with God about the Colossians.( Note that it is a different wording from the Sermon Title)
Interpretation 2: This is one of Paul’s great prayers in the New Testament. It is a prayer of petition. (Note this is from the commentary work.) He teaches what the content of a believer’s prayer should be. The knowledge God gives is not something theoretical or speculative. It is precise truth. (Note this is from your word study.) Therefore, the believer should not only pray for himself but others to know God’s will through His wisdom and understanding. This prayer is given so that the Colossian church will live a life worthy of their salvation and that they will please God by the way they live. A life worthy is one where the believer is growing in his or her relationship with Christ. (Note this is from the word study.)
Principle 2: A life of prayer is vital to live a holy life.
Application 2: Let us apply the truth to our lives. The next time you are faced with a temptation, count to ten. In those ten seconds, quickly ask God to give you His wisdom and His strength to say, “No.” to the temptation. Perhaps you struggle with anger. Your boss humiliates you in front of co-workers by saying how you are not doing your job up to his standards. You want to punch his lights out. Count to ten. Pray. Ask God for wisdom. Take the high, holy road. Sometimes it is difficult to live a holy life, one set apart and pleasing to God. However, Paul says that if we will ask God for His understanding and wisdom then we will receive power to live in a way that pleases Him.
Conclusion: (Refer to the Sermon Objective you previously created.)
I know it can be difficult to live a holy life, one pleasing to God, but do not give up. On each seat, you will find a prayer request form. Go ahead and write down a situation in which you need the knowledge of God’s will. After you have done this, trade your request with someone else in the church so that each of you can pray for the other’s request during the week. You can develop deeper friendships with people who will be like Paul praying for the Colossians. You will meet people who will care about the real you and will pray with you believing that God will fill you with wisdom and understanding so you can live the life that pleases Him.
Brown, Colin, ed., New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 1976. Accordance 13 Bible Software.
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, n.p. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.
Accordance 12 Bible Software.
Martin, Ralph, Colossians: The Church’s Lord and the Christian Liberty. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1992. Accordance 13 Bible Software.
Morton, Timothy S., Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Enhanced and Expanded, Accordance 13 Bible Software.
Vaughan, Curtis, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelin, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979. Accordance 13 Bible Software.
Wenham, G. J. and D. A. Carson. New Bible Commentary, Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994. Accordance 13, Bible Software.
Wright, N.T. Tyndale Commentary Colossians and Philemon. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986. Accordance 13, Bible Software.
Be sure to indicate that you used the approved Bible software.
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