How to Read the Bible – Part 2 – Student notes 1
Once you’ve taken “How to Read the Bible”, you’ll be prepared to take this more advanced class. There are several ways to study the bible, but they can be summarized in 2 methods:
Topical – this is where you study a topic, like ‘the kingdom of heaven’ or ‘anger’. Use a
topical bible or a concordance. An example is, go to
http://biblehub.com/topical. Under ‘Topical Search’, type in the word or
phrase you want to look up and click on ‘topical’. Then under ‘Bible Search’,
on the right hand side, it will list all the scriptures where your word or phrase
is used. On the left-hand side, if you click on the 1st item under ‘Topical
Search’, it will list all the scriptures where this topic is talked about.
Verse-by-Verse – this is where you study a book of the bible, like Colossians. That’s
what this class will be about. We’re going to use a step-by-step approach.
Step 1 – using the knowledge you obtained in “How to Read the Bible”, identify the type or genre of literature the book is. For example, Colossians is didactic or teaching literature. Look for the author’s reason for writing the book. In Colossians, Paul’s reason for writing the book is in Col 2:8
Step 2 – find out any ______________information on the book that you can. In Colossians, the believers were dealing with people who wanted to fit Jesus into their own religions. So, Paul stresses the uniqueness of Jesus.
Step 3 – if it’s a small book, ___________it several times all the way thru in one setting. This will give you a much better understanding of the flow of what Paul was trying to tell the Colossians. If it’s a larger book, like Romans or Corinthians, break it up into smaller sections and re-read those several times.
Step 4 – outline the book or section if you can. Most study bibles have the book’s outline at the very beginning of the book. Please note that there can be several outlines for one book of the bible, while still talking about the same theme. Outlines are not “inspired by God”.
One good resource is “The Outline Bible”, by Harold Willmington. You can also use
www.ccel.org/exec_outlines.colo.htm. Also use truthsaves.org, then click on ‘outlines’.
You may also want to read the bible book without any chapters and verses in it to get a better flow of the author’s meaning. Go to raylcross.net/FlatBible/index.html.
Another way to do this is to break the book down into complete thoughts. Bibles usually do this by starting new paragraphs.