The Biblearc Blog

Encouragements and Updates from Biblearc

Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Central Purpose of the Cross

“You…he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” (Colossians 1:22)

Diagram of Colossians 1:22

Diagram of Colossians 1:22

What was important enough to be the first thing you thought about this morning? What God cares about is your holiness.

What was the last thing you wrote down to make sure that you would not forget it? Among the central things in God’s plans is your blamelessness.

What was the last thing that you gave up sleep for? The Son of God gave up himself to death that you might be above reproach.

Our lives are filled with important things, only let us not forget God’s priority is our reconciliation to him in holiness!

The Story of Biblearc

“One day my husband came home extremely excited. When I asked him what happened, he said that he had a great idea for an app that would help his Arcing class in seminary. ‘Just a little javascript widget,’ he said, ‘it will take me two weeks to create.’ Six years later he is still working on it.”  Sarah Hubert

That is the story of Biblearc in a nutshell as my wife loves to tell it. Below you can find a few more details.

I (Andy Hubert) learned the Arcing Bible study method in my “Reading the Greek New Testament” course at Bethlehem College and Seminary (then called TBI Track 2) during the 2007-2008 academic year. While I was greatly helped by this approach to studying the Scriptures, I also saw that half my time was spent not meditating on the passage, but rather drawing and erasing arcs with a pencil. Given my background in computer programming (which I thought I was done with), I imagined I could whip up a little javascript app to better facilitate things. Besides underestimating how long it would take to do so, I also underestimated where this project might go and how it might serve the greater Body of Christ.

The old Biblearc

Praise the Lord that no lawsuits were filed over the colors we used to blind people with!

Arcing 101

Arcing 101 is a video-based tutorial with bite-sized steps.

Biblearc’s first stage was not even a website, but rather an offline javascript widget used to create and print an arc. But given that this Internet thing seemed to be a big deal, I decided Biblearc should probably participate. And if we are already talking the Internet, I figured we might as well teach Arcing to those who stumble upon the site. In this way Arcing 101 was born. Together with the volunteer efforts of several of my classmates, we were able to present this video-based tutorial that has served to teach hundreds if not thousands the basics of Arcing. (Arcing 101 remains available for free on Biblearc. Find the link on the right bar of the app.)

Biblearc was growing and it seemed right to place it in new hands—those of the seminary from which it sprang out. Truly being owned by Bethlehem College and Seminary has proven significant for opening doors as well as freeing me up to focus more on envisioning and developing bigger dreams for Biblearc, the next of which arrived during a sleepless night. “Why not change this Arcing site into a framework big enough to house a whole suite of tools?” And so after a year of design and development, the new Biblearc went live.

Suite of Bible study tools

The new Biblearc is an entire suite of Bible study tools.

We will begin our first online, interactive courses in June, and then what will be next? The Lord knows! Only may he continue to teach his people throughout the world to rightly handle the Word of truth, through our efforts and others’.

Discount and Details on the New Biblearc Courses

The Discount

Enroll in a Biblearc course before Sat, May 17th and receive a 10% discount off standard enrollment.

Early enrollment discount

Standard enrollment  $89 (reg. price $99)
One-on-one enrollment  $189 (reg. price $199)
Group enrollment  $69/student (reg. price $75/student)

Enroll now


The DetailsEnroll in a Biblearc course

Live Lectures  Using Google’s Hangouts on Air, we will present the hour-long lectures live at 7:30pm CST. All participants will have the ability to ask questions during the lectures. Those with Standard and Group enrollment will be able to do so via typing and voting on questions. One-on-one enrollment gets you in the Hangout itself so that you can simply indicate you have a question and then ask it real-time via video chat.

Lecture Archives  Watch the lectures as many times as you want and whenever you want via the archives. Whether you miss a lesson or simply want to hear it again, the videos will be available to you minutes after the lecture finishes.

Lecturer  Andy Hubert, the creator of Biblearc and lecturer of Greek at Israel College of the Bible, will be teaching these initial courses live from Israel. Andy holds a Masters of Pastoral and Biblical Studies from Bethlehem College and Seminary.

Group Time  We will organize participants into groups (4-6 students) so that they can learn together. Each group will have a time set for them to do a group video chat with one another via Google Hangouts. Most groups will have their group time from 8:30-9:30pm CST. For students that prefer a different time, we will do our best to arrange an alternative.

One-on-one  For those with One-on-one enrollment, their group time is replaced with a full hour of tutoring time with the lecturer. This time will be facilitated via Google Hangouts and arranged individually with the student to an hour that fits his/her schedule.

Assignments  Students will be assigned 8 assignments throughout the length of the course, twice/week. Each assignment will consist of a passage of scripture to study via Arcing or Bracketing. Each assignment will take between 2-4 hours to complete. Assignments will be turned-in and promptly returned with corrections and feedback to integrate into future assignments.

Work Load  Between the lecture (1 hr/wk), group time (1 hr/wk) and assignments (~6 hrs/wk), participants should be expect to spend ~8 hours/week on this course.

Grading  Students will receive a pass/fail grade upon completion of the course based upon their assignments.

Enroll now


Common Questions

Can I still take the course if I cannot make the live lectures?

Yes. You of course lose the ability to ask questions during lectures, but you can submit questions for upcoming lectures. The lectures themselves will all be archived for you to watch at your convenience. We will do our best to arrange a group time that works for you.

What is Arcing?

See the post

What is Bracketing?

See the post

What is the difference between Arcing and Bracketing?

See the post


Arcing and Bracketing…What’s the Difference?

Arcing and Bracketing are both study methods that serve to graphically display the flow of thought in a biblical text. Thus, in one way they are the same thing with just a difference graphical representation. Yet, each method possesses its own strength. Arcing’s strength is to most clearly display how groups of propositions relate to one another. Bracketing’s strength is to most clearly display the main point of the passage.

Consider the arc and bracket of Romans 3:21-26 below.

Arc of Romans 3:21-26

Notice now easy it is to see from the arc that 25a-25b relates to 25c-26b as an Action-Purpose relationship. God put Jesus forward as propitiation (action) in order to show God’s righteousness and that he might both just and the justifier (2 purposes).

Bracket of Romans 3:21-26

Here, the bracket makes it crystal clear what the main point is, as seen by the longest line. “The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law.” This is the main point that this entire passage supports and explains.

See also What is Arcing? and What is Bracketing?

Also available: new online, interactive courses in Arcing and Bracketing.

What is Bracketing?

Bracketing is a graphical tool used to study the logical flow and discern the main point of a passage.

The way we connect things we say is of utmost importance. Whether I seek to please God in order that he might love me, or because he has loved me will affect my eternal destination. Likewise, discerning the main point of a text is critical to understanding it correctly. But how does one ensure that he/she is seeing the author’s main point in the text and not just his/her own favorite point? Bracketing is a tool that helps achieve these aims by forcing you to consider every clause in a paragraph and account for how it relates to the passage as a whole.

For example, consider what Jesus says in John 12:47-48.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

What does Jesus mean by saying that he will not judge the person but his words will? The answer is found by paying close attention to the connecting word at the beginning of verse 49.

For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.

“For” is a word that indicates a grounding statement—in this case a grounding statement of explanation. Why is it that Jesus’ words will judge the one who does not keep them even though judgment was not Jesus’ purpose in coming? Because Jesus’s words are the Father’s words. The point is not that Jesus will not judge in any way, for several other passages make clear that he will. The point is that Jesus is not coming independent of the Father to be harsh and supply new reasons for judgement. Jesus came to save, not to judge. Still, we must be careful, for since his words are from God the Father we will have to give account for how we responded to them. But these words are not only a basis of judgment, but also the way to eternal life. Therefore Jesus continued to speak.

And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (verse 50)

Bracket of John 12:44-50

Want to learn more? Take an online Biblearc course.

See also What is Arcing? and Arcing and Bracketing…What’s the Difference?

What is Arcing?

“Arcing is a graphical tool used to discern, display and discuss the flow of thought in the Biblical text.” – From the Arcing Path Course.

Most Christians know that the Bible commands us to humble ourselves before God. Most Christians also know that we are invited to cast all our cares upon him. However, most do not know that these two realities are not independent of one another, but rather intricately connected.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

What is the logical relationship between these two ideas? What does one have to do with the other? These are the sorts of questions that Arcing forces you to ask and answer. And when you ask and answer these questions, you see so much more in the Word.

Arc of 1 Peter 5:6-7

So, understand that the way in which you humble yourself before God is by giving him your anxious thoughts. When we do so because we know that he cares for us, we do indeed humble ourselves under his might hand.

Learn the ins and outs of Arcing via the Arcing Path Course.

See also What is Bracketing? and Arcing and Bracketing…What’s the Difference?

New Online, Interactive Courses in Arcing and Bracketing

Have you tried to learn arcing or bracketing, but struggled to figure it out by yourself? If so, we have very exciting news for you.

Announcing month-long intensive Biblearc courses. These courses are online so that anyone can participate and go way beyond your typical online class in three big ways:

Enroll in a course

  1. The weekly lectures will be presented live via Google’s Hangouts on Air so that you can ask questions during the lessons.
  2. Participants will receive thoughtful feedback on assignments, twice/week.
  3. Organized weekly Google Hangout group time so that students can help one another learn.

By including these elements, we hope to create a more interactive experience than typical online learning has to offer. And if you want even more, we give you the option to sit in the front of the class and get personal time with the instructor each week via One-on-One enrollment.

Would you like to learn arcing or bracketing with your church Bible study? Group enrollment is also available at a discounted price and has the big advantages of accountability and studying with your friends.

The first round of courses will run through the month of June and include Arcing level 1 and Bracketing level 1 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings respectively.  Enroll or get more details.

We hope you join us!

Arcing snippet

Bracketing snippet