BIBL 104 New Testament Bible Study Assignment Narrative Bible Study Template (AY1920)(3) (3)


New Testament Bible Study Assignment
Passage: Acts 8:26-39
For this assignment, you will be studying a story from the book of Acts. More specifically, you will be studying the narrative of Philip and the Ethiopian from Acts 8:26-39. You will use the template below to complete a study of this passage. In your study, you will use the skills of Observation, Interpretation, Correlation, and Application that you have become familiar with through your reading in Everyday Bible Study.

I. Observation

A. I have read Acts 8:26-39 in both a formal translation (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, or CSB)
and a functional translation (NIV, NLT, or NCV). Highlight the correct answer. You will find a copy of the NASB, ESV, CSB, and NLT in your myWSB Library.

o Yes

B. Having read the passage in both formal and functional translation, list at least 2 similarities and 3 differences between the way both translations cover this story. You may list as many similarities and differences that you find as long as you meet the minimum amount.

Similarities Differences
Both NKJV and NLT say that Philip went down the road from Jerusalem to Gaza in verse 26. NKJV talks of a chariot while NLT talks of a carriage in verse 29.
Both NKJV and NLT show that an angel and the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip in verse 26 and 29. In verse 35, NLT talks of the good news while in NKJV talks of preaching about Jesus.
In verse 39, NLT says “the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away” while in NKJV talks of “the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away.”

C. Identify the basic elements of the story you are studying

1. Main characters: (List them)
Ethiopian Eunuch
Spirit of the Lord

2. Plot: (50-100 words)

The narrative is about an Ethiopian eunuch who was traveling to his home country from Jerusalem, where he had gone to worship. The spirit told Philip to go to the desert road going from Jerusalem to Gaza. He met the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the book of Isaiah. Philip drew near to the chariot and asked him if he was understanding. The eunuch said he did not understand. Philip went into the chariot and explained to him the good news. Philip later baptized him upon request. Philip was later taken away by the spirit, and the eunuch went rejoicing.

3. Story structure: (50-100 words)
The setting of the story is along the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. The people involved are primarily Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. In the action of the story, the eunuch is traveling home from Jerusalem. He is reading the book of Isaiah without understanding the message. The spirit inspires Philip to go down the road. Philip explains the passage and presents the good news. He later baptizes the eunuch. The story depicts the presentation of the gospel to a non-Jew. It shows the love of God to the entire humankind, Jew, or gentile.

C. List basic observations about this passage using the “Key Question” for observation.
Remember to consult the chapter “How to Ask Key Questions” (Chapter 17) and the chapter on studying Acts (Chapter 37). This will help you be more detailed in your answers to “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”

1. Who:

Ethiopian Eunuch
Spirit of the Lord

2. What:
The Ethiopian eunuch is traveling home from Jerusalem, reading the book of Isaiah. The spirit inspires Philip to go down the road and meet the eunuch. He explains the passage, presents the gospel to him, and baptizes him.

3. Where:
On the road from Jerusalem to Gaza.
4. When:
The event occurs during the persecution of the church by Saul and after the death of Stephen.

5. Why:
The angel directing Philip’s action to present the good news to an Ethiopian eunuch shows the love of God for all humankind, Jew, or gentile. It shows the need to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not understand.

6. How:
The eunuch is reading the book of Isaiah but does not understand. Philip presents the gospel and baptizes him. The story shows the value of presenting the gospel to all people despite their background.

II. Interpretation

A. Determine the author’s main point. In 1-2 paragraphs (100-400 words), explain what you
think the author is trying to communicate in this passage. Remember two things. First, this passage is made up of both action and dialogue. Thus, this passage is both showing and telling us something. Second, words like “I,” “We,” “Us, and “Our” are application words and not interpretation words. Interpretation is about “then and there” and not “here and now.” We were not there, so the passage is not about us. Our “part” in the passage is the application or how we will respond to God’s Word.

The author presents a story about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. The message is directed to the Ethiopian eunuch showing that God had value for his life and thus created an opportunity to receive the gospel. The message also speaks to Philip on the need to present the gospel to any person irrespective of their background. Today’s message is to remind us that God values the life of non-Jews or gentiles and thus wants them to hear the message. The purpose is to remind us today always to be available and open to present the good news of Jesus Christ to all people.

B. Based on your answer above, write out one principle from this passage. You should be able
to express this principle in 1-3 sentences.

Christians must believe in Jesus Christ and study the word. Christians should be ready to present the gospel to all people irrespective of their backgrounds since God loves everyone.

III. Correlation

A. How does this passage from Acts fit within the metanarrative of the Bible? State that type of
story you believe this to be (creation, fall, redemption, or new creation) and explain why you believe this to be so? Your explanation should be 1 paragraph (100-200 words) in length.

The story fits in the meta-narrative of the Bible since it relates to man’s redemption after the fall. In the redemption story, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for all the debts of sins. Therefore, whoever believes in him will never perish but have eternal life. Redemption is to all humankind irrespective of their ethnic background. Initially, Jesus came to the Jews, but they rejected him. He went to the gentiles and Samaritans who embraced the gospel. The presentation of the gospel and baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch shows God’s love for all humankind that he gave his son that whoever believes in him will never perish but have eternal life.

B. How does your principle from Acts 8:26-39 fit with the rest of the Scripture? This principle
is the one you have written out in 1-3 sentences in the Interpretation section. If your principle is a true Biblical principle, it will be reflected throughout the Scriptures. Where is the principle discovered in this New Testament narrative found elsewhere in the Scriptures? Your explanation should be 1 paragraph (100-200 words) in length.

The principle is that Christians must believe in Jesus Christ, study the word, and present the gospel. The principle is reflected in other parts of the scripture, for instance, the story of the sinful tax collector Zacchaeus. The story shows that even though he was sinful and did not know Jesus, he waited for him on a tree. He went with Jesus in his home, accepted the gospel, and reforming. Everyone is welcome in the kingdom of God despite their human shortcoming, sin, or background. An Ethiopian eunuch and a tax collector were not fit for the kingdom according to Jewish standards, but Christ approved them.

C. How does this passage from Acts 8:26-39 reflect the person and work of Jesus Christ?
State and explain at least one way that the principle of this passage identifies something of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Your explanation should be 1 paragraph (100-200 words) in length.

The passage reflects the person and work of Jesus Christ, who was caring and concerned about the lives and well-being, irrespective of their background. Jesus Christ was caring for all, including Jews and gentiles. Another way the passage reflects Jesus is through the presentation of the gospel to the whole world. When Jesus died, he presented the gospel in hell. He was willing to go to any extent to ensure people receive the message and secure their salvation. Similarly, the spirit leads Philip to unfamiliar territory to preach to a eunuch who had come to Jerusalem from Ethiopia to worship. The message is about Jesus, who is calling for the salvation of whosoever, believes in him.

IV. Application

What points of application can be made using the Four Questions for Application? State and explain 1 point of application for each of these four questions. Your explanation for each of these points should be 1 paragraph (100-200 words) in length.
A. The question of duty
The question of duty is to focus on presenting the gospel to everyone irrespective of their background or ethnic group. The passage calls us to spend time reading and understanding the word of God and understanding it. The clarity of the word is effective in explaining to others the gospel. The passage reminds us to remain tuned to the spirit to ensure we receive direction on where and when to minister to other people. It reminds us always to be available to be sent or used by Christ in his redemption mission. The message reminds us to be open in presenting the gospel to all people.

B. The question of character

The question of character implies the need to study God’s word that has the power of salvation. The eunuch was reading the word but did not understand the implication. Nevertheless, due to his devotion to studying the prophet’s book, God helped him understand the message. It shows the need to be always available to receive direction from God on where and how to do his work. The message shows that Christ is the ultimate hope for all human beings. It reminds Christians of developing a character like that of Christ. The Christ-like character involves a readiness to present the gospel to people from all walks of life without discrimination.

C. The question of goals

The passage calls upon Christians to set goals that coincide with the purposes of heaven. The goal of Philip was to present the gospel to people from all walks of life. He was available when the spirit sent him to go and present the message to the Ethiopian eunuch. Christians should set goals of presenting the gospel to other people who do not know Christ. They should aspire to reach out and bring more souls to Christ. They should also spend time reading the word like the eunuch. It is also important for Christians to always ask the spirit to interpret God’s word and share the same message with others.

D. The question of discernment

Christians should discern the moments the spirit wants to send them to various places to minister to other people seeking God. They should discern the times and seasons and avoid being busy away from the work of God. Christians should remain keen on the leading of the spirit in discerning what various passages speak to people in different situations. Philip discerned that the Ethiopian eunuch was reading the word without understanding the meaning. He presented the gospel to him and brought him unto salvation. Christians should discern the guidance of God in their everyday work. The discernment should be towards performing the work of Jesus Christ of bringing the lost into his kingdom.

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