Doctrine of I.C.E. Teaching

December 4, 2010

“ICE” Method of Teaching Scripture
(Principles of teaching theology advocated by C.I. Scofield and Lewis Sperry Chafer of Dallas Theological Seminary.)
“Hermeneutics is the science and art of Biblical interpretation.  It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation.  …In that conservative Protestantism takes only the Bible as authoritative, there is no secondary means of making clear the meaning of the Bible.  Therefore, we know what God has said by the faithful and accurate interpretation of the Scriptures.”  Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, p. 1
The science of hermeneutics demands that we approach any study of the Word of God from three perspectives:
The “I” in “ICE” stands for Isagogics: the historical background of the Bible.  Isagogics recognizes the basic principle of interpretation: the Bible must be interpreted within the framework of its own historical setting.  A pastor-teacher must be a detective in order to reconstruct the life, the customs and the idioms of the times during which the Bible was written as they relate to the Word and the usage of the Word.  In the ancient world, the meaning of a word was determined by its usage; today it is also determined by etymology (the study of words), present day literature, etc. Isagogics helps bridge the historical and cultural gaps by teaching a little more detail about the customs and culture of the people and of the periods of times the passage was written in. It takes us back into history and gives us a more vivid realization of what others experienced when they had learned and applied Bible doctrine.
The “C” in “ICE” stands for Categorical teaching: the organization of principles of doctrine based on the comparison of Scripture with Scripture to determine doctrinal classification.  A Biblical subject may be taught in a number of passages throughout the Old and New Testaments, and these subjects or concepts are pulled together for the student’s consideration by the pastor-teacher.  Each one will increase the meaning of the others.  Tracing a subject through Scripture in order to compile information about that subject is categorical teaching.
The “E” in “ICE” stands for Exegesis: the analysis of each verse within its context, emphasizing grammar, syntax and etymology (study) of words from the original languages (Hebrew, Chaldean, Aramaic and Koine Greek).  Exegesis is absolutely essential in order to determine exactly what concept the writer was trying to convey and what he actually communicated through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Every passage must have an exegetical approach, not simply to the verse itself, but also to the other verses in the context.  Often a verse will seem to have one interpretation; but when it is taken within the framework of its context, it means something quite different.

Sample ICE Study/Teaching Notes
1.    Research the history surrounding Nehemiah
a.    Sin of Judah and Israel lead to captivity
b.    Review Chronology of Rulers of Babylon & Persia
c.    Daniel
i.    70 Years Prophesy (Jer. 25:10-12; 2 Chron. 36:20-21)
1.    70 years from captivity: from Nebuchadnezzar (605 BC ) till edict to rebuild the temple
2.    Babylon conquered by Persia (the “writing on the wall” story)
3.    Cyrus edict (Isa. 44:23-45:13; 48:14; Daniel 5; Ezra 1:1-4) 536 BC
ii.    490 Years Prophesy till Messiah (Daniel 9:25)
1.    From edict to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls till Messiah arrives
2.    Nehemiah gets edict from Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 BC
3.    490 Years = 173,880 days
4.    March 14, 445  plus 173,880 days equals April 6, 32 AD
5.    Christ Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey April 6, 32 AD
d.    Esther – (Ezra – Nehemiah)
i.    Jewish Persian Queen
ii.    Ezra – scribe (focus is rebuild the temple, restore faith)
iii.    Nehemiah – Sent by King Artaxerxes (focus is restore the walls and gates of Jerusalem)
2.    Research Royal Cities of the Persian Empire
a.    Persepolis (Capital)
b.    Babylon
c.    Susa (Heb. Shushan)
i.    Understand the importance of city walls/gates
ii.    Understand diplomatic position, military escort, authority delegation
1.    Cupbearer
2.    Nehemiah appointed Governor of Judah – he has letters from the King and a military escort (Neh. 13:4-31)
Categorical Teaching
“Now all these things happened to them as types, and have been written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.” (1 Cor 10:11)

At first glance Nehemiah Chapter 3 looks like one of those chapters of the Bible that you would be tempted to skip over (tedious reading required).
1.    A long list of names telling where the families worked as they built the walls of Jerusalem – each family was positioned by a different gate.
2.    But, if you have been a student of the Bible for any length of time, you know that God never does anything by accident.
a.    What appears as a mundane list, or accidental information, really contains a hidden message within the obvious message.
3.    In this third chapter of Nehemiah’s Diary, God has just such two messages
a.    (OPEN) The Historical Account of the Restoration of the Walls of Jerusalem
b.    (HIDDEN) The Progress of the Believer’s Walk [see map handout]
Exegesis (Hebrew Word Studies)

1.    The Hebrew names give us spiritual insight
a.    Nehemiah – “God comforts”
b.    Hanani – Nehemiah’s brother, “Gracious”
c.    Eliashib – (el-yaw-sheeb) the High Priest, “God will restore” [Sheep Gate] 1
d.    Hassenaah – (na’ah sen-aw-aw’) “to prick, thorny” [Fish Gate] 3
e.    Jehoiada – (yo-yaw-daw) “Knows God” [Old Gate] 6
f.    Hanun – (khaw-noon’) “favored” [Valley Gate] 13
g.    Malchiah – (mal-kee-yaw’) “King, appointed by God” [Dung Gate] 14
h.    Shallun – (shal-loon’) “secure, reward” [Fountain Gate] 15
i.    [Water Gate] 26
j.    Zadok – (tsaw-doke’) “to make morally right” [Horse Gate] 28
k.    Shemaiah – (shem-aw-yaw’) “God has heard” [East Gate] 29
l.    Malchiah – (mal-kee-yaw’) “King, appointed by God” [Muster Gate] 31

A Closer Look at Types Found in the Gates of Nehemiah

The Sheep Gate (v. 1-2) [Salvation]
·    Start with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (John 10).
·    First gate repaired, for without the sacrifice, there is no salvation.
·    The sheep gate had no locks or bars
·    This is the only gate that was sanctified, setting it apart as a special gate.
The Fish Gate (v. 3-5) [Service]
·    Believers are to be out soul-winning, being “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).
The Old Gate (v. 6-12) [Grounded in God’s Word]
·    This is the oldest of the gates, was always opened, but not everyone used this gate.
·    It speaks of the old paths and the old truths of the Word of God (Jer. 6:16 and 18:15).
·    The world forever looks for “some new thing” (Acts 17:21)
o    Refuse God’s salvation through faith
o    Culture is always changing
The Valley Gate (v. 13) [Suffering & trials]
·    The Valley Gate was one of the lowest spots in the city
·    Valleys are a part of our Christian Walk
·    After teaching comes trials è valley
·    Count is all joy when you are tried! (James 1:2-5)
The Dung Gate. (v. 14) [Santification]
·    Even lower than the Valley Gate
·    The lowest point in the city
·    Raw waste and trash would run out of this gate and deposited in the Valley of Gehena outside the city walls (smelly and dirty)
·    Imagine how difficult it would be to repair a gate in such a place! This speaks to us of the need for the cleansing of our souls (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 John 1:9).
The Gate of the Fountain (v. 15-25) [Renewal/Revival]
·    Illustrates the ministry of the Holy Spirit; see John 7:37-39.
·    Speaks of the need to be Filled with the Spirit
It is interesting to note the order of these gates: first, there is humility (Valley Gate), then cleansing (Dung Gate), and then the filling of the Spirit (Fountain Gate).
The Water Gate (v. 26-27) [Daily refreshment from the Word]
·    Speaks of the Word of God, which cleanses the believer (Eph. 5:26; Ps. 119:9).
·    This is the seventh gate mentioned, and seven is the Bible number for perfection, completeness—the perfect Word of God.
·    This gate needed no repairs! “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).
The Horse Gate (v. 28) [Spiritual warfare]
·    There will always be spiritual battles in the Christian life, and we must be ready to fight. (2 Tim. 2:1-4; Ephesians 6:10-18)
The East Gate (v. 29-30) [Look for the Return of Christ]
·    Look to the second coming of Jesus Christ, Matt. 24:27.
·    In Ezek. 10:16-22; 11:22-25., the prophet saw God’s glory depart from the temple by the east gate, But later (43:1-5) he saw God’s glory return “from the way of the east.”
The Gate Miphkad (v. 31-32) [Bema Judgment – Decorations]
·    Speaks of the Bema Seat Judgment of the Saints
·    The Hebrew word miphkad means “appointment, account, census, mustering.” It carries the idea of troops showing up for review. (Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-20; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11-15)
Bible Study Reference Tools

On-Line Expositor’s Search Engines
· Powerful search engine for commentaries, Exegesis, Greek word studies
· The NeXt Bible Learning Environment – leads the way for a new generation of online Bible study and research tools. It offers a vast and growing library of trustworthy content all integrated into an easy-to-use online environment. This puts high quality Bible study tools and resources within reach of the whole world without charge.
· Excellent Web site for Isagogic research, historical maps and pictures
· FREE high quality Bible graphics, maps, photographs

Greek Word Study Books
(The following is a list of helpful Greek Word Study Tools:)
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985
The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998
The Complete Word Study New Testament
Chattanooga, Tennessee: AMG International, Inc. 1991
Wuest’s Word Studies (3 volumes)
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973

Audio (MP3) Expositors On-Line
FREE Entire “Through the Bible” 5-Years Series (Audio MP3 and Guidelines)
Ray C. Stedman Library – Ray Stedman is one of the foremost pastors and biblical expositors of the twentieth century. The core of Ray’s teaching, authentic Christianity, continues to revolutionize the lives of countless individuals and churches. It is the sole mission of to preserve and expand an exhaustive library of Ray’s messages and books so that this rich legacy of authentic Christianity might be passed on to a new generation, for the glory of God and the building up of the body of Christ.

Recommended Software
·    e-Sword Bible Software
A very good FREE Bible study software that includes various translations, commentaries, and Bible dictionaries.

·    SwordSearcher Bible Software
Layman’s entry-level professional Bible study software. 30-Day free trial. $49.95

Professional Bible Software
These are powerful search engines and up to 4,000 electronic Bible study resources (commentaries, lexicons, Bible dictionaries etc.) make it fast and easy to do simple and complex searches of multiple sources, then pull materials together for orderly presentation—excellent for word and topical studies based on English or original Hebrew and Greek.
·    QuickVerse Bible Software –
·    BibleWorks 7 –
·    Logos Bible Software –