See links for more information on Inductive Bible Study method or on using this study with a small group.
Read through at least 3 times the 13 verses composing the Second Letter of John.
OBSERVATION – What does the text say?
- Highlight the key words. Form groupings of ideas.
- Denote the verbs, observing the tenses.
- Underline the phrases that indicate time periods.
- Mark the connecting words and prepositions. Notice what they introduce or connect.
- Indicate the relationships between words using different colors or creating lists. (example – notice the verbs and prepositional phrases used around the key word truth.)
- Connect the cause and effect statements.
- Re-read the letter to observe a word or relationship you had previously not noticed.
INTERPRETATION – What did the text mean to the original listeners?.
- Explore the indications regarding to whom the letter was written. What might be inferred about the author’s relationship with those who would read the letter?
- Create a line graph that traces the progression of ideas. Where is the climax – or is there perhaps more than one?
- Ponder the significance of the different references to time-frames.
- Mull over the author’s imperative statements. Consider what may have been the situation/s that raised the need for these commands.
- Summarize the main emphasis of the author in a way that includes the main groupings of key words. (for example – How does the author connect truth and love in this letter?)
APPLICATION – How does this text apply to our lives?
- Copy the phrase, verse or idea that most challenges you today. Reread it with different emphasis. Look at each word. Take it apart and put it back together. Record the message you are hearing. Then sit in silence with this phrase and let it soak into your heart and life.
- Ponder the application for your community of 2 John 2 as proposed by Richard Rohr from Immortal Diamond:
Conservatives look for absolute truth; liberals look for something “real” and authentic. Spouses look for a marriage that will last “’til death do us part.” Believers look for a God who never fails them; scientists look for a universal theory.We are all looking for an immortal diamond: something utterly reliable, something loyal and true, something we can always depend on, something unforgettable and shining. There is an invitation and an offer for all of these groups from John’s very short Second Letter, 2 John 2.