In our current series of audio lessons on the letter to Titus, (you are following along, aren’t you?) it is illustrated that, while the Surveillance Worksheet or whatever you use to make your initial observations still does not help us ‘draw the fish’ (to draw upon the Agassiz article). As Dr. Agassiz has said, “a pencil is one of the best of eyes.”

In the Agassiz article, the student looks at the fish from many angles and makes some very keen observations about the construction of the fish, after discovering that he could do a better job by drawing the fish. And, this proved successful for mostly the outer construction – the fins, the eyes, etc. The student thinks he has done a pretty good job, but is disappointed to learn the Dr. Agassiz was not impressed, so much so that he chides the student for missing an obvious feature.

So drawing the fish had helped the student see things he had not seen before, but he still had not looked closely enough. The text of the Bible can be that way, too. And, so the Surveillance Worksheet is one way to start drawing the fish, so to speak. It makes a segment of study the focus since you are not saddled with a large book, or distracted trying to stay on the same page. There is plenty of white space to make those initial observations. You feel less concerned about writing in the Bible since you are writing on a piece of paper. You can use many different colored pens and pencils for identifying points of emphasis and lists, comparisons and contrasts. But, you can’t really move the text around and organize it in groups.

So, it makes more apparent the need for the Analytical Chart. Because, in it you actually reconstruct the text and can group it in an organized fashion.

Here is a cutaway from the Analytical Chart showing a couple of examples. I have emphasized by using color – blue in one example and red in the other. There is no significance especially to the use of particular colors – they are just to differentiate.

The blue color happens to highlight the references to time – ‘long ages’ and ‘time’. I have arranged the text so that they appear in line with each other. The other example uses red to highlight the progression in terms – ‘word’, ‘proclamation’, and ‘commandment’. ‘Word’ is a general term; ‘proclamation’ is a step up in intensity; ‘commandment’ is much higher in intensity.

Further, arranging the text in this way allows you see the primary and secondary cores. The core is the part of the sentence that involves the main subject, the verb, and the object.

F.F. Bruce has observed that in the Old Testament, there is no indirect speech1F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (3d ed.; Westwood, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1963), p. 45.. However, in the New Testament, there is an abundance of long sentences with secondary clauses. In the case of the example below from Irving Jensen’s Independent Bible Study, the core is revealed in the  phrases in dark blue.

Notice, too, that the verses have been arranged in a way that enables one to analyze the text. Remember that the Bible is literature, and it is the best kind. It has all types of literature within it. When you take the time to really study and apply yourself to the task of analysis, the rewards are many.

“But if you bear the name “Jew,”

and rely upon the Law,

and boast in God,

and know His will,

and approve the things that are essential,

being instructed out of the Law,

and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind,

  • a light to those who are in darkness,
  • a corrector of the foolish,
  • a teacher of the immature,

having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?

You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?

You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?

You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?”

(Rom 2:17-23 NASB)

Another beautiful example is found in Ephesians 1:3-14. In this example, the core runs throughout the passage. It is reconstructed by placing the core in the middle.

We plan to talk a bit more about this as it occurs in Titus Segment 1 after this week’s lesson… stay tuned.