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Evaluation of this devotional is graded on a participation only basis. To receive points for the unit devotional, you must write one original post in response to your instructor’s prompt. Content of the posting is not graded.

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After reading this week’s devotional, post your personal thoughts on what the Devotional means to you and how you find it applicable in your study right now.

Today, I am so excited to introduce an interesting article to you. I believe you will also enjoy this paper since you are working on your research methodology section.

Have you ever thought of the Bible in terms of research? Could you come up with an example of research from the Bible? No idea? Rieger (2010, p 44) identified four instances of research conducted in the Bible.

  • Gideon in Judges 6 “carefully conducts two simple consecutive empirical tests under identical conditions with startling results that appear to run counter to logic and naturalistic explanation.”
  • The dietary evaluation study is “conducted at the Babylonian court to train young men to serve King Nebuchadnezzar, as recorded in Daniel 1:3-19. Modern evaluation research literature refers to it as an ‘exemplary model for the utilisation of research in making educational policy decisions.’”
  • Luke, who is the writer of the Gospel of Luke, “refers to using primary sources—eye witnesses—in his historical research, as he ‘carefully investigated everything from the beginning…to write an orderly account.’”
  • The author of the book of Ecclesiastes “is engaged in inquiry that approximates what is regarded now as autoethnography; a subcategory of ethnography, which is a form of qualitative research.”

The fourth example, the book of Ecclesiastes, was the focus of this paper and Rieger evaluated trustworthiness of the Solomon’s study: “Methodologically, Solomon endeavours to bring reliability to his data and credibility to their analysis through repeated observations and revisiting of particular experiences, or examining similar situations. An example of this are the data in relation to fatalism referred to in Eccl. 3:1, 8:6–7, 9:12, 10:14. Similarly, ‘wise’ and ‘wisdom’ occur more than fifty times, bridging different parts of the text when it is sometimes difficult to discern a systematic ‘unified flow of thought’” (p. 47).

If Solomon, the King of Wisdom, had made such an effort to guarantee the trustworthiness of his study, what about us? I pray that you wrestling with the research design will be comforted by this Solomon’s case, and further that God will give you wisdom when you elaborate on your design plan as Solomon.

BTW, can you think of any other example of research found in the Bible and identify its methodology?

Rieger, W. (2010). Ecclesiastes as research: Autoethnography through a rear-vision mirror. TEACH Journal of Christian Education, 4(2), 44-50.

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