There’s More than One Way to Stump a Commentator…

16 Apr

If you’ve kept up for my blog for a little while, you’ll remember that I suffered a bit of angst attemtping to outline the book of 1 John.Β  The progression in that book… well, there really isn’t one. It’s all intertwined and free flowing and beautiful, but not linear.

Well, I’m working on the book of Hebrews now, and finding it to be going nearly as slowly, but for an entirely different reason. The author of Hebrews is very linear and very logical, and I can track with the points quite easily. However, the style is so tremendously skillful and fluid from one point to the next, it’s difficult to figure out where to put the division.

I never thought I’d wish someone would have used less effective transitions between paragraphs… whew.


Posted by on April 16, 2007 in Bible, Hebrews, Life Happens...


8 responses to “There’s More than One Way to Stump a Commentator…

  1. ruthbloem

    April 16, 2007 at 10:24 am

    how do you outline a book? do you use commentaries to do that?

  2. Amanda Beattie

    April 16, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I use commentaries some, especially on sections that are really tricky. But mostly, I try to do it on my own as much as possible. This way, I get to actually work through the text myself and get a good idea of what is really being said.

    What I do is I copy and paste the entire book into a Word Document (except for really huge books). No paragraphs, no chapter headings. Then I go through and try to break it up into smaller chunks, looking for whole thoughts. So I can separate it out, “Oh, this section is about Melchizedek, this section is about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, this section is about faith,” etc.

    Once I have it broken down into smaller pieces, then I try to organize it into more of a point-by-point structure, looking for the main points and overarching themes. That’s when I actually start plugging it into an outline with the main points and subpoints. Sometimes I’ll discover while I work that I need to adjust my sections a little bit, either making them bigger or smaller.

    I’m not sure this is the technically correct way to do it, or even the easist way overall, but it’s the way I’ve found works for me.

  3. ruthbloem

    April 17, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Okay! Wow thanks. It sounds like a good thing to try. I’ve found that i’m still struggling with how to outline and/or study a book.
    I’ll try your way, and maybe I should start with something else then Isaiah … πŸ™‚
    But still, I love the challenge that I find in Isaiah…but then again…I just can’t get through the book…I think I’ll try a new testament book like colossians or something.
    Thanks Amanda!

  4. Amanda Beattie

    April 17, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Isaiah is a really intense book!! It’s definitely worth studying, but for getting used to outlining, it’s certainly easier to start smaller. πŸ™‚

    Have fun studying! I pray that the Lord will open the Scriptures to you as you diligently seek Him. πŸ˜€

  5. Christine

    April 20, 2007 at 6:44 am

    Mmmm… Hebrews. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks, as you have Hebrews on the brain. If I seem to be following you around a lot, waiting for you to talk, don’t get too weirded out, ok?

  6. Christine

    April 20, 2007 at 6:45 am

    (Yikes. I almost said “to” instead of “too”. It’s an easy typo to make, but it’s one of those weird little things that bothers me. I’m glad I spotted it before I clicked “submit”.)

  7. Christine

    April 20, 2007 at 6:46 am

    ((Um…. why did I just post that last comment? How excessively silly! Then again.. this one isn’t exactly any better. Hmm…. oh well.))

  8. Amanda Beattie

    April 21, 2007 at 12:19 am

    An extra comment AND double parenthesis. That’s way cool. πŸ˜€


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