Tag Archives: epistles

Preaching Through James: Alistair Begg

Here is a brief biography of Pastor Alistair Begg from the Truth for Life website:

Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry since 1975. Following graduation from The London School of Theology, he served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. In 1983, he became the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio.  He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life.  The teaching on Truth For Life stems from the week by week Bible teaching at Parkside Church. He and his wife, Susan, were married in 1975 and they have three grown children.

And here is his expository series from the New Testament epistle of James (free download available after you click on link):

When Trials Come, Part 1 – James 1:1

When Trials Come, Part 2 – James 1:2

Asking God for Wisdom – James 1:5

Rich Man, Poor Man – James 1:9

The Genuine Article – James 1:12

When Tempted… – James 1:13

The Word of Truth – James 1:18

Don’t Kid Yourselves! – James 1:22

Do What It Says – James 1:22-25

Religion, Part 1 – James 1:26

Religion, Part 2 – James 1:27

Favoritism, Part 1 – James 2:1-4

Favoritism, Part 2 – James 2:1-7

Favoritism, Part 3 – James 2:8

False Faith – James 2:14

Faith: True or False? – James 2:14

Abraham and Rahab – James 2:21

A Warning to Would-Be Teachers – James 3:1

The Power and Danger of the Tongue – James 3:3

Who Is Wise? – James 3:13

The Wisdom from Heaven – James 3:13

Such “Wisdom” – James 3:14

Fights and Quarrels – James 4:1

Submitting to God, Part 1 – James 4:7

Submitting to God, Part 2 – James 4:7

Saying No to Slander – James 4:11

Only One Judge – James 4:11

Planning Properly, Part 1 – James 4:13

Planning Properly, Part 2 – James 4:13

Listen, You Rich Men – James 5:1

Ill-Gotten Gain, Part 1 – James 5:1

Ill-Gotten Gain, Part 2 – James 5:1

Be Patient, the Lord Is Coming, Part 1 – James 5:7

Be Patient, the Lord Is Coming, Part 2 – James 5:7

Telling the Truth – James 5:12

Prayer and Praise – James 5:13

If Anyone Is Sick…, Part 1 – James 5:14

If Anyone Is Sick…, Part 2 – James 5:15

Confession and Prayer – James 5:16

Bringing Back the Wanderers – James 5:19-20

Resources to Diagram a Passage by Arcing/Tracing

Arcing and tracing are great ways to analyze the flow of an argument in a passage, especially discourse (such as the epistles; it is more difficult to use for narratives).

Note: Arcing and Tracing have the same goal. Arcing uses curves (arcs) whereas tracing uses brackets (usually easier to read). One can easily translate an arc diagram into a traced one or vice versa, depending on one’s preferences. Arcing in the Piper booklet below is presented as on a horizontal plane, utilizing only verse/proposition numbers without the text. The method on the BibleArc website uses text and arcs it vertically. Tracing uses the text with brackets instead of curves. Now that I’ve confused you, be sure to check out the resources below for clarification.

• www.BibleArc.com has to be one of the most innovative and helpful websites I’ve seen. It allows you to arc a passage of Scripture, save as a .pdf, and share with others. It has all the tools for dividing the verses into propositions and labeling them with their relationships to each other. It even allows you to save your own arcs on the web at the site to go back and edit or download again. (HT: Matthew Wireman)

• For more on “arcing,” see John Piper, Biblical Exegesis: Discovering the Meaning of Scriptural Texts (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God Ministries, 1999), 48pp. booklet with chart. Order fromwww.desiringGod.org at <http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/Booklets/ByTopic/54/85_Biblical_Exegesis/> or download for free at <http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/booklets/BTBX.pdf> (booklet only; chart not included in online version).

Here’s a video of Piper talking about arcing:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYcsXanMlvM&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

• For more on “arcing” and “tracing,” see Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1990), 77-126. These two chapters are available online for free from links at his faculty webpage <http://www.sbts.edu/theology/faculty/thomas-schreiner/>:

“Diagramming and Conducting a Grammatical Analysis,” in Interpreting the Pauline Epistles (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 77-96. Non-exclusive, one-time permission is granted to use this chapter, excluding any permission of a third source. The permission applies to this usage only. Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 1990. <http://www.sbts.edu/documents/tschreiner/book_IPE_chapter5.pdf>

Tracing the Argument,” in Interpreting the Pauline Epistles (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 97-126. Non-exclusive, one-time permission is granted to use this chapter, excluding any permission of a third source. The permission applies to this usage only. Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 1990. <http://www.sbts.edu/documents/tschreiner/book_IPE_chapter6.pdf>

Here are some additional tips to make use of these methods.

1. Pray. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see Him in His Word (cf. Ps. 119:18).

2. Choose a literal translation for this step of study (it does not have to be the same translation you preach from). The New American Standard is probably the best choice for its accurate rendering of prepositions. (Other options: ESV, NKJV)

3. Choose a passage. Try to find a unit in the length of a paragraph. Start with shorter units while learning tracing.

4. Divide the verses into propositions (a proposition is an assertion or statement about something and can even be a sentence fragment).

5. Read the passage and highlight key words that will serve as indicators of the relationships between propositions.

6. Find the relationships within each verse itself first. Then find relationships with neighboring verses. Then begin to link to other verses/relationships in the text.

7. Use your findings to structure the passage (outline it).

8. Summarize the argument of the passage and identify the exegetical idea/main point.

9. Now you are ready to do further study (observing repeated/contrasted words and concepts, looking up meanings of individual words, noting the verbs, relating the passage to the rest of the book and the whole Bible, finding application, etc.).

Preaching through Titus: James Hamilton

Dr. Jim Hamilton, pastor of Kenwood Baptist Church and professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (both in Louisville, Kentucky), preached through the book of Titus in April and May of 2010.  Here are links to the sermon audio (.mp3 format).

Titus 1:1-4

Titus 1:5-16

Titus 2:1-15

Titus 3:1-15

You can access more resources from Dr. Hamilton here:  www.jimhamilton.info.