By Harris Franklin Rall
PALESTINE IN THE TIME OF JESUS (4 B.C.-30 A.D.)
COPYRIGHT, 1806, BY CHARLES FOSTER KENT
At the close of each chapter the student will find the Directions for Study for that chapter. Look at these before beginning the reading of any chapter. A few general suggestions are here given.
First, gain a clear idea of the purpose of the book. It is not a study of the details of Jesus' words and acts. Rather we are looking at his life as a whole, as a great deed for the advancement of God's kingdom. We are studying it as a force in history, as the greatest force.
Keeping this theme in mind, as you begin each chapter note first how it belongs to the movement as a whole, how it is connected with what goes before, and what the new interest is which it takes up. This is usually suggested in the opening paragraph, which should have careful attention.
Read the chapter as a v/hole, if possible at one sitting. Do not try to grasp all the facts at once, but get the drift of the argument and the outline of its thought, so that you can put it into a few words.
Now return for a more careful study. Give especial attention to the Scripture passages that are assigned in the Directions for Study and to the Bible references in the text. Look all these up and read them, forming your own judgment upon the subjects discussed. Remember that your principal study is not the author and his opinions, but the Gospels themselves.
Consider thoughtfully the questions raised in the Directions for Study, and formulate carefully your answers.
Write, and write constantly. Keep a special note-book for this study. Write out the answers to the questions indicated. Write a summary of the thought and argument of each chapter in your own words. Nothing is more helpful to the student than constant writing, especially if he be studying alone. Writing compels more careful and thorough study. By writing we clarify our thought and test our knowledge; we find out what we know when we try to tell it. And writing fixes in mind what we are studying.
Apply. Ask yourself constantly what this all means for yourself and for the life of the world about you. It will not only mean profit to yourself, but give life and zest to all your study.