I Pet 3:15, Getting ready to defend our hope

Week-4 Handout … for the class-session on 05/19/21

Session-4 outline

          Opening prayer

( 5 mins) Another general principle applicable to all methodologies.

( 5 mins) Brief discussion of a third enhancement to the basic methodology

             that was outlined in the Week-1 Handout.

( 2 mins) Results of research into the translation difference at the end of

             I Pet 3:15.  (NAS had “reverence”, while NIV had “respect”.)

(15 mins) Interactive-exercise related to …

              “(God’s gifts are) Conditionally Beneficial”.

( 5 mins) Homework for our final session next week and any remaining




Embedded documents for purposes of convenient reference if/when you utilize the Chaining methodology that we have been discussing.

On page 4, there is a modified list of the five abbreviated sub-topics we have been dealing with … followed by a verbose explanation of each one

   This list should have been presented in week-1, when only the abbreviated

      descriptors were presented.

   Not having the verbose descriptions available probably resulted in some of

      the confusion related to the Homework assigned in week-2 & discussed

      during our 3rd session on May 5th.

And on pages 5 & 6, there is a Summary of the 4 major steps involved in the Chaining methodology … first in verbose format, then with corresponding examples.  These examples include the three enhancements to their week-1 counterparts.

If you want to use these three sheets as reference-documents for “defending our hope” and possibly future-use topics, it might be convenient to print them single-sided … so they can all be viewed simultaneously.


Another general principle that is applicable to all methodologies of “defending our hope”.

   Whenever we have a viable option to discuss spiritual matters with

      non-members … do so in a setting where each of us has an _____ _______.

      It is also ideal if both parties participate in _______________,

      _____________ ___________, and ______________ _______ each reference.

   This procedure reinforces the conclusion of the first sub-topic in

      “defending our hope”. 

   In what way is it reinforced?

   One scenario where this could be relevant is when we have an opportunity

      to “defend our hope” with a Questioner who also professes Christ as

      Lord … but may differ with us on some doctrinal issues.

   Rather than simply noting that “we agree” on the authority of God’s Word …

      in my estimation, it is preferable to cover the matter quickly

      by having an abbreviated study of the “Spiritual Authority” sub-topic.

   Our third (and final) enhancement to the week-1 description of chaining

      will address this circumstance.  It might also help in other scenarios.

   ENH: Applied to the final step in the Chaining process (ie: marking texts

        from your sequenced-list into the main-body of your Chaining-Bible.)

        See “Step-4, Fully-Enhanced example” on the bottom of page 6.

Results of research into the translation difference at the end of I Pet 3:15.

NAS had “reverence”, while NIV had “respect”.  The Greek word is “phobos”.

  I Pet 1:17 has “conduct yourself in phobos”, & clearly the immediate

              context here is reverence for God; though NAS has “fear”.

  I Pet 2:18 has “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all phobos”.

              NAS has “respect”, which makes sense since it is paid to

              human masters. 

  So, in the same letter, the Greek word is used in 2 different senses!

  I Pet 3:15 Since 3: 14-15 are an allusion to Is 8: 12-13, where the message

              was not to fear those (men) who were threatening him, but

              instead to fear the Lord (ie: God the Father) … I would choose

              “reverence” to get the parallel of Is 8.  Don’t fear the men

              who are trying to intimidate you, but fear (aka reverence) the

              Lord (ie: Christ Jesus).  The NAS translators followed Is 8,

              but NIV followed the more common connotation of “respect”.

[Interactive exercise

   Did anybody include a text that implies conditionality … without

      emphasizing one or more specific conditions?     If so, what was it?

   What conditional response is most widely acknowledged?  __________________

   Steve used Jn 3:16 in his “Spiritual Authority” list.  I use it in the

      sub-topic of “Conditionally Beneficial” for the same reason Steve used

      it where he did … because almost everyone is acquainted with it.   

   What is there about this verse that makes it “conditional”?


   Going round-robin, each participant is invited to share 3 verses from

   his/her list.  ie: Though His gifts are made “universally available” …

   for an individual to benefit from them, what conditional (human) response

   is indicated?


   We will probably run out of time before our starter-lists are exhausted.

** If that proves to be the case, please email your full starter-list, & I

      will send them in a single email to each participant by Sunday.

Homework for our final session, next week


   Try to take the sub-topic “Spiritual Authority” through steps 2, 3, & 4

      of the chaining methodology.

      I want to do this exercise for next week’s homework … in case you

         encounter questions that we can discuss as a group.

      Refer to the “Chaining methodology: Summary sheets 1 & 2”

         for details and examples.

      As we mentioned in week-1, you may want to make your first attempt 

         in a $1 KJV Bible from a Dollar Store.  This would enable you to

         make changes without “messing up” your regular study-Bible.


   This decision means that we will probably not have an interactive

   exercise related to “God’s soul-saving gifts”.

      If you want to prepare this starter-list, and if we have more time than

         expected in week-5, we can certainly share those starter-lists with

         one another.


                 Main-Topic: “Defending our hope”

Modified sub-topic abbreviations … and corresponding verbose descriptions:

   H-Link 1 = Sub-topic 1 = Spiritual Authority

   H-Link 2 = Sub-topic 2 = A Universal Problem

   H-Link 2 = Sub-topic 2 = Sin, A Universal Problem*

   H-Link 3 = Sub-topic 3 = God’s soul-saving Gifts

   H-Link 4 =    Sub-topic 4 = Universally available

   H-Link 5 =    Sub-topic 5 = Conditional Efficacy

   H-Link 5 =    Sub-topic 5 = Conditionally Beneficial*

* The Link 2 and Link 5 abbreviations were changed on 05/07/21,

     due to ambiguity associated with the original verbiage.

Verbose descriptions corresponding to each of the five sub-topics above:

_1 Spiritual Authority:  Reliable (and unreliable) sources of authority …

      with regard to spiritual matters. 

   (Be prepared to study the relationship between the old & new covenants.

    This can be made into another standalone main-topic.)

_2 Sin, A Universal Problem:  Every accountable person (with one noteworthy

      exception) is guilty of sin.  The consequences of this are horrific

   (Be aware of the Calvanist-doctrine of “Original Sin”.)

A segue– Mt 19: 25-26  Without God’s intervention, salvation is impossible.

  (This might go at the end of Sub-Topic 2 or the start of Sub-topic 3)

_3 God’s soul-saving Gifts: God has made available some spiritual gifts which

      can un-do the horrible consequence(s) of unresolved sin.  Identify &

      describe some Scriptural terms &/or phrases which are used in

      connection with these soul-saving gifts. 

_4 (God’s gifts are) Universally Available: Part of the good-news message is

      that God’s soul-saving gifts are available to everyone … in spite of

      any sins a person has committed.  Affirm this universal availability.

_5 (God’s gifts are) Conditionally Beneficial: Though available to everyone,

      a human response is required to actually benefit spiritually from the

      gifts God has offered.  Identify the condition(s) upon which God

      resolves the spiritual consequences of sin for an individual person.

At this point, the Questioner should have progressed from being

    baffled by our hope … to understanding our basis for it!  If (s)he is

    also interested in having that same hope … then we could proceed to

    study together the sub-topic of “Counting the Cost”.

                       Chaining methodology: Summary sheet-1

           Verbose explanation of the 4 major steps of the chaining process

The verbiage in these explanations excludes the imagery of “chains & links”.  To see that verbiage included, refer back to pages 3-6 of the “Week-1 Outline”.

_1. After deciding on a Main-topic of study, divide that main-topic into 

       several smaller, more manageable, properly-sequenced sub-topics.

    [See “Step-1 example” on “Summary sheet-2”]

_2. Prepare logically-sequenced lists of texts … to accurately portray the

       Scriptural picture of each of the sub-topics identified in step-1.

    Begin by identifying all texts that might be included in studying this

       subject and creating a Randomly-sequenced Starter-list.

    Re-arrange the random list in a way that is meaningful with your

       personalized presentation-style so that the study flows smoothly.

       (ie: Somebody else might re-arrange the same Starter-list into a

            different Final-list.)

**  This re-arranging is a crucial part of the process, and may take

       significant time and thought to complete.

    If some texts from your Starter-list do not even end up being part of the

       chained references in Step-4, retaining them in a labeled section on

       the bottom of your Final-list is recommended … for future reference).

**  Retaining your Final-list for each sub-topic is also recommended.

    [See “Step-2 example” on “Summary sheet-2”]

_3. Using a set of abbreviated descriptors to represent the sub-topics

       from Step-1, create a chart with the following information:

         A heading which identifies the main-topic.

         Two (or optionally three) columns identifying:

           The abbreviated sub-topic descriptions,

           The First Book/Chapter/Verse to be referenced for each sub-topic,

              and Optionally,

           The Last Book/Chapter/Verse to be referenced for each sub-topic.

    The chart(s) can be stored on the inside back-cover of the Bible.

    [See “Step-3 Fully-Enhanced example” on “Summary sheet-2”]

_4. Using the final, logically-sequenced version of the texts associated with

       each sub-topic … build the in-body links for following-the-chain from

       one text to the next.

    Flag each text to be read during the study with “**” in the left margin.

    Mark the immediate-context of the flagged texts with braces (for your use

       only, since it is unlikely to be shared during the study).

    Flag the next-text to be read with “->” in the right margin, optionally

       identifying the next-text for the ABBR-chain as well as the basic

       identification of the next-text for the (default) FULL-chain.

    [See “Step-4 Fully-Enhanced example” on “Summary sheet-2”]

                       Chaining methodology: Summary sheet-2

         Examples of the 4 major steps of the chaining process


Step-1 example

   Main-Topic: Defending my hope (based on I Pet 3:15)

      Properly Sequenced Sub-Topics:        

         _1. Spiritual Authority

         _2. Sin, A Universal Problem

         _3. God’s soul-saving Gifts,

         _4. (His gifts are) Universally Available

         _5. (His gifts are) Conditionally Beneficial

        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

        (_6.) Counting the Cost


Step-2 example

  1. Randomly-sequenced list of applicable texts (Starter-list)

   Reference     Content

   Mt 28: 18     All AUTHORTY … has been given to Me

   II Tim 3:16   All Scripture is inspired by God

   Prov 3:5      Trust the LORD, not your own understanding

  1. Logically-sequenced list of applicable texts (Final-list)


   Reference     Content                                     Order in Step-2A

   II Tim 3:16   All Scripture is inspired by God                  2nd

   Mt 28:18      All AUTHORTY … has been given to Me               1st

   Prov 3:5      Trust the LORD, not your own understanding        3rd

Step-3 Fully-Enhanced example

   Main-Topic: Defending my hope (based on I Pet 3:15)


 Properly-Sequenced Sub-Topics      First Logically-     Last Logically-

                                     sequenced text       sequenced text 

    Spiritual Authority             II Tim 3:16          Prov 3:5

    Sin, A Universal Problem        1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse      Last Bk/Cpt/Verse

    God’s Soul-Saving Gifts         1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse      Last Bk/Cpt/Verse

    …   …   …   …                   …   …   …   …        …   …   …   …

   (Counting the Cost)              1st_Bk/Cpt/Verse      Last Bk/Cpt/Verse


Step-4, Fully-Enhanced example

II Tim 3 …     

          13                                                  Nothing


        | 14                                                  Nothing

        | 15                                                  Nothing

     ** | 16  All Scripture …                            FULL ->  Mt 28:18

        |                                                ABBR ->  Prov 3:5

        | 17                                                  Nothing


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