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Creative Bible Study

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HARVESTIME INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE

This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute, a program designed to equip believers for effective spiritual harvest. The basic theme of the training is to teach what Jesus taught, that which took men who were fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and changed them into reproductive Christians who reached their world with the Gospel in a demonstration of power.

This manual is a single course in one of several modules of curriculum which moves believers from visualizing through deputizing, multiplying, organizing, and mobilizing to achieve the goal of evangelizing.

For further information on additional courses write:

Harvestime International Institute
3176 A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
U.S.A.
©Harvestime International Institute

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How To Use This Manual

Suggestions For Group Study

II Course Introduction

Course Objectives

PART ONE:  THE SUBJECT OF STUDY

1.   Introducing The Bible

2.   The Books Of The Bible

3.   Versions Of The Bible

PART TWO:  PREPARATION FOR STUDY       

4.   Before You Begin

5.   Bible Study Tools

6.   Principles Of Interpretation

7.   Bible Background

8.   Outlining, Marking, And Charting

PART THREE: CREATIVE BIBLE STUDY

9.   Studying The Bible By The Bible

10.  Devotional Bible Study.

11.  Book Study

12.  Chapter Study

13.  Paragraph Study

14.  Verse Study

15.  Word Study

16.  Topical Bible Study

17.  Biographical Study

18.  The Theological Method

19.  Studying Bible Poetry

20.  Studying Bible Prophecy

21.  The Typological Method

Appendix.

Answers To Self-Tests.

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL

MANUAL FORMAT

Each lesson consists of:

Objectives: These are the goals you should achieve by studying the chapter.  Read them before starting the lesson.

Key Verse: This verse emphasizes the main concept of the chapter. Memorize it.

Chapter Content: Study each section. Use your Bible to look up any references not printed in the manual. 

Self-Test: Take this test after you finish studying the chapter.  Try to answer the questions without using your Bible or this manual. When you have concluded the Self- Test, check your answers in the answer section provided at the end of the book.

For Further Study: This section will help you continue your study of the Word of God, improve your study skills, and apply what you have learned to your life and ministry.

Final Examination: If you are enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination along with this course. Upon conclusion of this course, you should complete this examination and return it for grading as instructed.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS NEEDED

You will need a King James version of the Bible.

SUGGESTIONS FOR GROUP STUDY

FIRST MEETING

Opening: Open with prayer and introductions. Get acquainted and register the students.

Establish Group Procedures: Determine who will lead the meetings, the time, place, and dates for the sessions.

Praise And Worship: Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your training session.

Distribute Manuals To Students: Introduce the manual title, format, and course objectives provided in the first few pages of the manual.

Make The First Assignment: Students will read the chapters assigned and take the Self-Tests prior to the next meeting. The number of chapters you cover per meeting will depend on chapter length, content, and the abilities of your group.

SECOND AND FOLLOWING MEETINGS

Opening: Pray. Welcome and register any new students and give them a manual. Take attendance. Have a time of praise and worship.

Review: Present a brief summary of what you studied at the last meeting.

Lesson: Discuss each section of the chapter using the HEADINGS IN CAPITAL BOLD
FACED LETTERS as a teaching outline. Ask students for questions or comments on what they have studied. Apply the lesson to the lives and ministries of your students.

Self-Test: Review the Self-Tests students have completed. (Note: If you do not want the students to have access to the answers to the Self-Tests, you may remove the answer pages from the back of each manual.)

For Further Study: You may do these projects on a group or individual basis.

Final Examination: If your group is enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination with this course. Reproduce a copy for each student and administer the exam upon conclusion of this course.

MODULE: Deputizing

COURSE: Creative Bible Study Methods

INTRODUCTION

The New Testament Prophet John the Baptist was known as a "voice crying in the wilderness" as he proclaimed the Word of God. His message was fresh, powerful, and relevant to the spiritual needs of his time.

Many people today have become echoes of spiritual truths they hear from those around them. They are not a voice through which God can reveal His message, but are only an echo of what they hear from others. They are like the prophets of whom God said, "steal my words everyone from his neighbor" (Jeremiah 23:30).

In order to speak God's words you must first know what God has said. The purpose of this course is to equip you to understand God's Word. You will need only this manual, a Bible, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to learn these "Creative Bible Study Methods."

A method is an organized way to accomplish something. It is an orderly plan.  Bible study methods are an organized plan to study God's written Word.  The word "creative" means "having the ability to produce that which is new." This course teaches you how to study God's Word for yourself. You will not have to rely on the research of others because you will be able to create your own Bible studies based on your study of God's written Word.

By learning proper Bible study methods you will become a voice through which God can speak His truths to a spiritually hungry world. You will no longer only be an echo of what you hear from others. 

"Creative Bible Study Methods" introduces the Bible as the written Word of the one true God. It explains divisions of the Bible, versions, translations, and paraphrases. First, the course guides you to discover what the Bible teaches about itself, then creative methods are explained and you are given the opportunity to use each method discussed. 

The course also explains how to outline, make study notes, mark your Bible for easy reference, and reduce lengthy passages to simple charts. The course guides you to proper interpretation and application of God's Word. It directs attention to the greatest Teacher of all, the Holy Spirit. If you follow the guidelines presented, you will experience a new, creative spiritual life flowing within you.  

No method of Bible study can replace the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is the spiritual force that endues a method with creative power. He whispers into the human spirit the truths of God's Word which create a new spiritual life flow.

The study of methods is not an end in itself  It is not the final goal. The methods are only a means to accomplish the objective of studying God's Word. It is not enough to learn these methods. You must use what you learn to study God's Word and apply its truths to your life and ministry.

Although you may complete the lessons in this manual, in reality you will never really complete this course. Your study of God's Word will never be finished because its rich spiritual truths can never be exhausted.     

Note: This course teaches Bible study methods, not Bible content. Harvestime International Institute offers another course entitled "Basic Bible Survey" which presents the general background of the Bible, an outline of each book, its author, time of writing, to whom it was written, purpose, key verse, important characters, maps, dates, and charts summarizing general Bible content. Because of the need for a general introduction to the Bible in both Bible study and Bible survey, the first three chapters of these courses are identical while the remaining content differs.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

Explain how the Bible originated.

Describe the organization of the Bible into testaments, major divisions, and books.

Summarize basic history and chronology of the Bible.

Explain the unity and diversity of the Bible.

Explain how different Bible versions developed.

Apply rules for proper interpretation of the Bible.

Summarize what the Bible teaches about itself.

Identify prerequisites for Bible study.

Create outlines, charts, summaries, and text markings to help you retain content.

Apply creative methods to your study of God's Word.

Use Bible study tools.

PART ONE:  THE SUBJECT OF STUDY

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCING THE BIBLE

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Define the word "Bible."

Define the word "Scripture."

Explain the origin of the Bible.

Identify the major purposes of the Bible.

Identify the Old and New Testaments as the two major divisions of the Bible.

Name the four divisions of Old Testament books.

Name the four divisions of New Testament books.

Explain what is meant by the "unity and diversity" of the Bible.

Identify the person upon whom the revelation of both testaments center.

KEY VERSES:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter introduces the Bible which is the written Word of the one true God. The word "Bible" means "the books." The Bible is one volume which consists of 66 separate books.

The word "Scripture" is also used to refer to God's Word. This word comes from a Latin word which means "writing." When the word "Scripture" is used with a capital "S" it means the sacred writings of the one true God. The word "Bible" is not used in the Bible.  It is a word used by men as a title for all of God's Words.

ORIGIN OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is the written Word of God. He inspired the words in the Bible and used approximately 40 different men to write down His words. These men wrote over a period of 1500 years. The perfect agreement of these writers is one proof that they were all guided by a single author. That author was God. Some of the writers wrote down exactly what God said: Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel. (Jeremiah 36:2)

Other writers wrote what they experienced or what God revealed concerning the future: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. (Revelation 1:19) All of the writers wrote under God's inspiration the words of His message for us.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BIBLE

The Bible itself records its main purpose: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  (II Timothy 3:16-17)

The Scriptures are to be used to teach doctrine, to reprove and correct from evil, and to teach  righteousness.  They will help you live right and equip you to work for God.

MAJOR DIVISIONS

The Bible is divided into two major sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The word "testament" means "covenant."  A covenant is an agreement.  The Old Testament records God's original covenant or agreement with man.  The New Testament records the new covenant made by God through His Son, Jesus Christ. What was the subject of these two agreements?  They both concerned restoring sinful man to right relationship with God.  God made a law that sin can only be forgiven through the shedding of blood: without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness). (Hebrews 9:22)

Under God's agreement in the Old Testament, blood sacrifices of animals were made by man to obtain forgiveness for sin.  This was a symbol of the blood sacrifice Jesus Christ would provide under the new agreement with God.  Through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, a final sacrifice for sin was made:

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 

(Hebrews 9:11-15)

Both testaments are the Word of God and we must study both in order to understand God's message.  The terms "old" and "new" testaments are used to distinguish between God's agreement with man before and after the death of Jesus Christ.  We do not disregard the Old Testament simply because it is called "old."

FURTHER DIVISIONS

The Bible is further divided into 66 books. The Old Testament has 39 books. The New Testament contains 27 books. Each book is divided into chapters and verses.  Although  the content of each book is the Word of God, the division into chapters and verses was made by man to make it easy to locate specific passages.  It would be very difficult to find a passage if the books were all one long paragraph. Here is a simple diagram that shows the basic divisions of the Bible:

THE BIBLE: Old Testament (39 books); New Testament (27 Books) 

UNITY OF THE BIBLE

When we speak of the unity of the Bible, we mean two things:

ONE: THE BIBLE IS UNITED IN CONTENT:

Even though the Bible was written by many writers over many years, there are no contradictions.  One author does not contradict any of the others. The Bible includes
discussion of hundreds of controversial subjects. (A controversial subject is one that creates different opinions when mentioned). Yet the writers of the Bible spoke on such subjects with harmony from the first book of Genesis through the last book of Revelation. This was possible because there was really only one author:  God.  The writers only recorded the message under His direction and inspiration. For this reason, the content of the Bible is united.

TWO: THE BIBLE IS UNITED IN THEME

Some people think the Bible is a collection of 66 separate books on different subjects. They do not realize that the Bible is united by a major theme. From beginning to end, the Bible reveals God's special purpose which is summarized in the book of Ephesians: Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. (Ephesians 1:9-11)

The Bible reveals the mystery of God's plan which is the unifying theme of the Bible. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of sinful mankind.  Jesus explained how the Old Testament centered on Him: And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me. (Luke 24:44)

With this introduction, Jesus continued and opened He their understanding that they might understand the scriptures.  (Luke 24:45)

What was the key Jesus gave them to understanding the Scriptures?  The fact that its major theme focused on Him:  Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And Ye are witnesses of these things.  (Luke 24:46-4)

The Old and New Testaments both tell the story of Jesus.  The Old Testament prepares us for its happening and the New Testament tells how it happened.  This unites the Bible in one major theme.  The people who looked forward to Jesus under the Old Testament were saved from their sins through faith in God's promise.  Everyone who looks back to it as having been fulfilled in Jesus Christ is saved in the same way:  Through faith that it happened just as God promised.

DIVERSITY OF THE BIBLE

When we speak of the "diversity" of the Bible we mean that the Bible has variety. It records different ways in which God dealt with people and the different ways in which they responded to Him.

The Bible is written in different moods. Some portions express joy while others reflect sorrow. The Bible includes different types of writing. It contains history, poetry, prophecy, letters, adventure, parables, miracles, and love stories. Because of its variety, the Bible has been further divided into major groups of books.

OLD TESTAMENT DIVISIONS

The books of the Old Testament are divided into four major groups: Law, history, poetry and prophecy.

THE BOOKS OF THE LAW:

There are five books of law.  The names of these books are:

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

These books record the creation of man and the world by God and the early history of man. They tell how God raised up the nation of Israel as a people through which He could reveal Himself to the nations of the world.

These books record the laws of God. The best known parts are the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), the greatest of all commandments (Deuteronomy 6:5), and the second greatest commandment (Leviticus 19:18).

Open your Bible and locate the books of Law in the Old Testament. Locate the three verses mentioned in the preceding paragraph and read them. These are an example of the laws of God recorded in these books.

THE BOOKS OF HISTORY:

There are 12 books of history in the Old Testament. The names of the books of history are:

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

I and II Samuel

I and II Kings

I and II Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Locate these books in your Bible. They are found right after the books of law. The books of history cover a thousand year history of God's people, Israel. Naturally they do not tell everything that happened, but they record the major events and show the results of both following and ignoring God's law.

THE BOOKS OF POETRY:

There are five books of poetry.  The names of the books of poetry are:

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

These books are the worship books of God's people, Israel. They still are used in worship by believers today.  Turn to Psalm 23 and read it. This is an example of the beautiful worship poetry contained in these books.

THE BOOKS OF PROPHECY:

The books of prophecy are the Old Testament are divided into two groups which are called Major and Minor prophetical books. This does not mean the Major Prophets are more important than the Minor Prophets. The title is simply used because the Major Prophets are longer books than the Minor Prophets. There are 17 books of prophecy in the Old Testament. The names of the books of prophecy are:

Major Prophets:

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Minor Prophets:

Hosea                         

Joel

Amos                          

Obadiah                     

Jonah                         

Micah             

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

These books are prophetic messages from God to His people about future events. Many of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, but some remain to be fulfilled in the future. Find these prophetic books in your Bible. They are the last books in the Old Testament.

NEW TESTAMENT DIVISIONS

The New Testament has also been divided into four groups: Gospels, History, Letters, and Prophecy. 

THE GOSPELS:

There are four books in the Gospels. The names of these books are:

Matthew         

Mark               

Luke               

John

These books tell about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Their purpose is to lead you to believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God. Find the Gospels in your Bible and then read John 20:31 which states this purpose.

THE BOOK OF HISTORY:

There is one book of history in the New Testament, the book of Acts. This book tells how the church began and fulfilled Christ's commission to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Locate this book in your Bible.

LETTERS:

There are 21 letters in the New Testament. The names of these letters are:

Romans                                                         

I and II Corinthians                                         

Galatians                                                        

Ephesians                                                      

Philippians                                                      

Colossians                                                      

I and II Thessalonians            

I and II Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

I and II Peter

I, II, and III John

The letters are addressed to all believers. Their purpose is to guide them in living and help them do what Jesus commanded. Romans 12 is a good example of their teaching. Turn to this chapter in your Bible and read it. The letters are also sometimes called "epistles" which means letters.

PROPHECY:

Revelation is the only book of prophecy in the New Testament. It  tells of  the final victory of Jesus and His people. Its purpose is to encourage you to keep living as a Christian should live until the end of time. Its message is summarized in Revelation 2:10.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory:

2. What does the word "Bible" mean?

3. What does the word "Scripture" mean?
4. What are the two major divisions of the Bible?

5. How many books are there in the Bible?

6. Name the four major groups into which Old Testament books are divided:

7. Name the four major groups into which  New Testament books are divided:

8. What is the meaning of the word "testament"?

9. What are four main purposes of the Bible?  Give a Bible reference to support your answer.

10. What is meant by the "unity of the Bible"?

11. What is meant by the "diversity of the Bible"?

12. Read each statement. If the statement is TRUE put the letter T on the blank in front of it.  If the statement is FALSE put the letter F on the blank in front of it:

a._____The Bible is the written Word of the one true God.

b._____Although God inspired the Bible, He used men to write down His words.

c._____Because there were many writers over a period of many years, the Bible contains a lot of contradictions.

d._____There is no united theme of the Bible. It is just a collection of books on different subjects.

e._____The Major Prophets of the Old Testament are more important than the Minor Prophets.

13. Who is the person on which the revelation of both testaments centers?  Give a Bible reference to support your answer.___________ Reference_____________

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The bookmarks on the next page will help you learn the major divisions of the Bible.  Cut out the bookmarks on the lines dividing them and place them in your Bible.  If you have difficulty in locating the place to insert your bookmarks, use the Table of Contents in the front of your Bible.  It lists the books in the order in which they appear in the Bible.  It also provides the page number where each book begins. 

OLD TESTAMENT

Place bookmark 1 at the beginning of the book of Genesis.

Place bookmark 2 at the beginning of the book of Joshua.

Place bookmark 3 at the beginning of the book of Job.

Place bookmark 4 at the beginning of the book of Isaiah.

NEW TESTAMENT

Place bookmark 5 at the beginning of the book of Matthew.

Place bookmark 6 at the beginning of the book of Acts. 

Place bookmark 7 at the beginning of the book of Romans.

Place bookmark 8 at the beginning of the book of Revelation.

You have now located the major divisions of the Bible. Keep using the bookmarks until you can name and locate these divisions by memory.

Old Testament Law (1)

Old Testament History (2)

Old Testament Poetry (3)

Genesis

Joshua

Job

Exodus

Judges

Psalms

Leviticus

Ruth

Proverbs

Numbers

1 Samuel

Ecclesiastes

Deuteronomy

2 Samuel

Song of Solomon

 

1 Kings

 

 

2 Kings

 

 

1 Chronicles

 

 

2 Chronicles

 

 

Ezra

 

 

Nehemiah

 

 

Esther

 

 

 

 

Old Testament Prophecy (4)

Major Prophets

Minor Prophets

 

Isaiah

Hosea

 

Jeremiah

Joel

 

Lamentations

Amos

 

Ezekiel

Obadiah

 

Daniel

Jonah

 

 

Nahum

 

 

Habakkuk

 

 

Haggai

 

 

Zechariah

 

 

Malachi

 

 

 

 

New Testament Gospels (5)

New Testament History (6)

New Testament Letters (7)

Matthew

Acts

Romans

Mark

 

1 Corinthians

Luke

 

2 Corinthians

John

 

Galatians

 

 

Ephesians

 

 

Philippians

 

 

Colossians

 

 

1 Thessalonians

 

 

2 thessalonians

 

 

1 Timothy

 

 

2 Timothy

 

 

Titus

 

 

Philemon

 

 

Hebrews

 

 

James

 

 

1 Peter

 

 

2 Peter

 

 

1 John

 

 

2 John

 

 

3 John

 

 

Jude

New Testament Prophecy

 

 

Revelation

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO: THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify the number of books in the Old Testament.

·         Identify the number of books in the New Testament.

·         Explain why it is important to have a systematic plan for reading the Bible.

·         List four suggestions for successful Bible reading.

KEY VERSE: Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord; give me understanding according to thy Word. (Psalms 119:169)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter you learned that the Bible is the written Word of God. You learned it is divided into two major sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. You learned the four divisions of the Old Testament books:

1.    Law

2.    History

3.    Poetry

4.    Prophecy

You also learned the four divisions of the New Testament books:

1.    Gospels

2.    History

3.    Letters

4.    Prophecy

The following chart summarizes what you have learned about the Bible so far:

The Bible

God’s Written Word

66 Books

Old Testament Divisions

New Testament Divisions

Law

Gospels

History

History

Poetry

Letters

Prophecy

Prophecy

This chapter contains a summary of each of the 66 books of the Bible which make up the major divisions of the Old and New Testaments. It provides an introduction to the content of both testaments. Four suggestions for successful Bible reading are given and you will choose a systematic plan to start reading God's Word.

OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS (39 Books)

BOOKS OF LAW:

Genesis: Records the beginning of the universe, man, the Sabbath, marriage, sin, sacrifice, nations, and government and key men of God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

Exodus: Details how Israel became a nation with Moses as leader.  Israel is delivered from bondage in Egypt and travels to Mt. Sinai where the law of God is given.

Leviticus: This book was a manual of worship for Israel.  It provides instruction to the religious leaders and explains how a sinful people can approach a  righteous God. It relates to the coming of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Numbers: Records Israel's 40 years of wandering in the wilderness which was a result of disobedience to God. The title of the book is from two numberings (population censuses) taken during the long journey.

Deuteronomy:  Records the final days of Moses' life and reviews the laws given in Exodus and Leviticus.

BOOKS OF HISTORY:

Joshua: Details how Joshua, the successor of Moses, led the people of Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan. It records the military campaigns and the division of the land among the people.

Judges: Israel turned away from God after Joshua's death. This book records the sad story of their repeated sins and the judges God raised up to deliver them from enemy forces.

Ruth: The story of Ruth, a woman of the Gentile nation of Moab, who chose to serve the God of Israel. She became the great grandmother of David. 

I Samuel: This book centers on three persons: Samuel who was the last of the judges of Israel; Saul, the first king of Israel; and David who succeeded Saul as king.

II Samuel: The glorious 40 year reign of King David is recorded in this book.

I Kings: King Solomon's reign and the kings of the divided kingdom through the reigns of Ahab in the north and Jehoshaphat in the south are the subjects of this book.

II Kings: The final decline of Israel and Judah is recalled in this book. God's people fell into deep sin. 

I Chronicles: The reign of David and preparations for building  the temple are recorded here. The time of this book is the same as II Samuel.

II Chronicles: This book continues Israel's history through Solomon's reign with focus on the southern kingdom. It closes with the decree of Cyrus which permitted the return of the people from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra: The return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity is detailed.

Nehemiah: The rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls under the direction of Nehemiah is recalled by this book. The project was begun about 14 years after Ezra's return with the people.

Esther: God's deliverance of the Jews through Esther and Mordecai is the subject of this book.

BOOKS OF POETRY:

Job: This book is the story of Job, a man who lived around the time of Abraham. The theme is the question of why righteous men suffer.

Psalms: The prayer and praise book of the Bible.

Proverbs: Divine wisdom for practical problems of everyday life.

Ecclesiastes: A discussion of the futility of life apart from God.

Song Of Solomon: The romance of Solomon and his Shulamite bride. The story represents God's love for Israel and of Christ for the church.

BOOKS OF PROPHECY:

Several of these books were written during a period when the nation of Israel was divided into two separate kingdoms: Israel and Judah.

Isaiah: Warns of coming judgment against Judah because of their sin against God.

Jeremiah: Written during the later decline and fall of Judah. Told of the coming judgment and urged surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.

Lamentations: Jeremiah's lament (expression of sorrow) over the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon.

Ezekiel: Warns first of Jerusalem's impending fall and then foretells its future restoration.

Daniel: The prophet Daniel was captured during the early siege of Judah and taken to Babylon. This book provides historic and prophetic teaching which is important in understanding Bible prophecy.

Hosea: Theme of this book is Israel's unfaithfulness, their punishment, and restoration by God.

Joel: Tells of the plagues which foreshadowed future judgment.

Amos: During a period of material prosperity but moral decay, Amos warned Israel and surrounding nations of God's future judgment on their sin.

Obadiah: God's judgment against Edom, an evil nation located south of the Dead Sea.

Jonah: The story of the prophet Jonah who preached repentance in Ninevah, capitol of the Assyrian empire. The book reveals God's love and plan of repentance for the Gentiles.

Micah: Another prophecy against Israel's sin. Foretells the birthplace of Jesus 700 years before the event happened.

Nahum: Tells of the impending destruction of Ninevah which had been spared some 150 years earlier through Jonah's preaching.

Habakkuk: Reveals God's plan to punish a sinful nation by an even more sinful one. Teaches that "the just shall live by faith."

Zephaniah: Judgment and restoration of Judah.

Haggai: Urges the Jews to rebuild the temple after a 15 year delay due to enemy resistance.

Zechariah: Further urging to complete the temple and renew spiritual commitment. Foretells Christ's first and second comings.

Malachi: Warns against spiritual shallowness and foretells the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus.

NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS (27 Books)

THE GOSPELS:

The four books known as the Gospels record the birth, life, ministry, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The approach of each book differs:

Matthew: Emphasizes Jesus Christ as King and was directed especially to the Jews.

Mark: Emphasizes Jesus Christ as the Servant of God and was directed especially to the Romans.

Luke: Presents Jesus Christ as the "Son of Man," the perfect man and Savior of imperfect men.

John: Presents Jesus in His position as the Son of God.

BOOK OF HISTORY:

Acts: The one history book of the New Testament records the early growth of Christianity from the time of Christ's return to Heaven through Paul's imprisonment in Rome. The book covers about 33 years and emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit.

LETTERS:

Romans: A presentation of the Gospel which stresses salvation by faith alone.

I Corinthians: Written to correct errors of Christian conduct in the local church.

II Corinthians: Speaks of the true ministry of the Gospel, stewardship, and Paul's apostolic authority.

Galatians: Deals with the error of mixing law and faith. The theme is justification by faith alone.

Ephesians: Encourages believers regarding their position in Christ.

Philippians: Emphasizes the joy of Christian unity.

Colossians: Deals with the error of "Gnosticism," a false teachings which denied Jesus was truly Son of God and Son of Man. The book also emphasizes Jesus as head of the Church.

I Thessalonians: Counsel in Christian living and emphasis on the return of Jesus.

II Thessalonians: Further instruction on the Lord's return and how knowledge of this should affect everyday life.

I Timothy: Stresses sound doctrine, orderly church government, and principles to guide the church in the years to come.

II Timothy: Describes the true servant of Jesus Christ. It also warns of the apostasy (spiritual decline) which had already started.  It presents the Word of God as the remedy to correct all error.

Titus:  Paul's letter to a young minister named Titus who was serving God on the island of Crete.  Doctrine and a Godly life are stressed.

Philemon:  Paul's intercession for a runaway slave of a wealthy Colossian Christian. It illustrates the intercession of Jesus on the behalf of believers who were once slaves to sin.

Hebrews: Explains the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. Presents Jesus as the Great High Priest and the mediator between God and man.

James: Teaches that true faith is evidenced by works, although salvation is by faith alone.

I Peter: A letter of comfort and encouragement to believers, especially those suffering spiritual attacks from outside the church through unbelievers.

II Peter: A warning against spiritual attacks from within. For example, false teachers who had already "crept" into the Church.

I John: Written to combat Gnosticism which denied Christ's position as Son of God and Son of Man. The book emphasizes fellowship and love among believers and assures true believers of eternal life.

II John: Warns against any compromise with doctrinal error and emphasizes that the truth must be guarded in love.

III John: Warns of the sin of refusing fellowship with those who are true believers.

Jude: Another warning against apostasy and false doctrine. The theme is similar to that of II Peter.

BOOK OF PROPHECY:

Revelation: This prophetic book tells of the final events of world history.  It tells of the things which were, are, and which will be in the future plan of God (Revelation 1:19).

SUCCESSFUL BIBLE READING

You will learn much in this course about how to understand and interpret the Bible.  You will also learn methods of creative Bible study. But the first step in understanding the Bible is to begin to read it.  To help you start reading God's Word we have outlined several different reading plans.  These include a plan for those just starting their study as well as a plan for those who are more advanced in the study of God's Word.

First, here are four suggestions for successful Bible reading:

1. READ DAILY:

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalms 1:2) God made your physical body so you must have food daily in order to remain healthy.  In a similar manner, your spirit must be fed daily with the food of the Word of God if you are to be spiritually healthy: It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God. (Luke 4:4)

2. READ SELECTIVELY:

Start by reading the "milk" of the word. These are the simple truths of the Word of God: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby.  (I Peter 2:2)

Later you will mature spiritually to where you can eat "meat" of the Word of God. This means you will be able to understand more difficult teachings of the Bible: For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it . (I Corinthians 3:2)

3. READ PRAYERFULLY:

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord. (Ezra 7:10)

Before you start to read, pray to God and ask Him to help you understand the message He has given you through His written Word. Let your prayer be as the Psalmist David prayed: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalms 119:18)

4. READ SYSTEMATICALLY:

Some people do not understand God's Word because they do not have a systematic plan for reading. They read a chapter here and there and fail to understand how it all fits together. This is like reading a few pages here and there in a text book on medicine and then trying to set up a medical practice.

The Bible tells us to "search the scriptures" (John 5:39). This means to study them carefully. The Bible is like a text book used in school. You must read it in an orderly way if you are to understand its content.  Select one of the following  reading schedules and begin reading your Bible daily.

FOR BEGINNERS

If you have never read the Bible before, start with the book of John in the New Testament. This book was written by one of the Disciples of Jesus Christ named John.  He tells the story of Jesus in a simple way which is easy to understand. Read one chapter in John each day in the order in which they are found in your Bible.  Use the following chart to check off each chapter as you read it.

The Gospel Of John:

1

5

9

13

17

2

6

10

14

18

3

7

11

15

19

4

8

12

16

20

THE SHORT SCHEDULE

The short schedule of Bible reading is designed to provide a basic knowledge of the Bible through selected portions of Scripture.  Read the selected portions in the order in which they are listed.  Use the chart to check off each portion as you complete your reading.

THE NEW TESTAMENT:

John

1 Thessalonians

Ephesians

Mark

1 Corinthians

2 Timothy

Luke

Romans

1 Peter

Acts

Philemon

1 John

Romans

Philippians

Revelation 1-5; 19:6-22:21

THE OLD TESTAMENT:

Genesis

Amos

Exodus 1-20

Isaiah 1-12

Numbers 10:11-21:35

Jeremiah 1-25; 39-33

Deuteronomy 1-11

Ruth

Judges 1-3

Jonah

1 Samuel 1-3, 9-10, 13, 15, 18, 31

Psalms 1-23

2 Samuel 1

Job 1-14, 38-42

1 Kings 1-11

Proverbs 1-9

Nehemiah

Daniel 1-6

THE LONGER SCHEDULE

This reading plan covers the Bible in greater depth than the Short Schedule, but it does not cover the entire Bible.

NEW TESTAMENT:

Mark

Philippians

Matthew

Ephesians

John

2 Timothy

Luke

Titus

Acts

1 Timothy

1 Thessalonians

1 Peter

2 Thessalonians

Hebrews

1 Corinthians

James

2 Corinthians

1 John

Galatians

2 John

Romans

3 John

Philemon

Jude

Colossians

2 Peter

 

Revelation 1-5; 19:6-22; 21

(The Longer Schedule Continued)

OLD TESTAMENT:

Genesis

Jeremiah 1-25 and 30-33

Exodus 1-24

Nahum

Leviticus 1-24

Habakkuk

Numbers 10:11-21:35

Ezekiel 1-24 and 33-39

Deuteronomy 1-11 and 27-34

Obadiah

Joshua 1-12 and 22-24

Lamentations

Judges 1-16

Isaiah 40-66

1 Samuel

Zechariah 1-8

2 Samuel

Malachi

1 Kings

Joel

2 Kings

Ruth

1 Chronicles

Jonah

2 Chronicles

Psalms

Ezra

Job

Nehemiah

Proverbs 1-9

Amos

Song of Solomon

Hosea

Ecclesiastes

Micah

Esther

Isaiah 1-12

Daniel

Zephaniah

 

THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE

The complete Bible reading schedule takes you through the entire Bible in one year.

January

February

1

Genesis l-2

1

Exodus 14-17

2

Genesis 3-5

2

Exodus 18-20

3

Genesis 6-9

3

Exodus 21-24

4

Genesis 10-11

4

Exodus 25-27

5

Genesis 12-15

5

Exodus 28-31

6

Genesis 16-19

6

Exodus 32-34

7

Genesis 20-22

7

Exodus 35-37

8

Genesis 23-26

8

Exodus 38-40

9

Genesis 27-29

9

Leviticus 1-4

10

Genesis 30-32

10

Leviticus 5-7

11

Genesis 33-36

11

Leviticus 8-10

12

Genesis 37-39

12

Leviticus 11-13

13

Genesis 40-42

13

Leviticus 14-16

14

Genesis 43-46

14

Leviticus 17-19

15

Genesis 47-50

15

Leviticus 20-23

16

Job 1-4

16

Leviticus 24-27

17

Job 5-7

17

Numbers 1-3

18

Job 8-10

18

Numbers 4-6

19

Job ll-13

19

Numbers 7-10

20

Job 14-17

20

Numbers 11-14

21

Job 18-20

21

Numbers 15-17

22

Job 21-24

22

Numbers 18-20

23

Job 25-27

23

Numbers 21-24

24

Job 28-31 

24

Numbers 25-27

25

Job 32-34

25

Numbers 28-30

26

Job 35-37

26

Numbers 31-33

27

Job 38-42

27

Numbers 34-36

28

Exodus l-4

28

Deuteronomy 1-3

29

Exodus 5-7

 

 

30

Exodus 8-10

 

 

31

Exodus 11-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

March

April

1

Deuteronomy 4-6

1

I Samuel 21-24

2

Deuteronomy 7-9

2

I Samuel 25-28

3

Deuteronomy 10-12

3

I Samuel 29-31

4

Deuteronomy 13-16

4

II Samuel 1-4

5

Deuteronomy 17-19

5

II Samuel 5-8

6

Deuteronomy 20-22

6

II Samuel 9-12

7

Deuteronomy 23-25

7

II Samuel 13-15

8

Deuteronomy 26-28

8

II Samuel 16-18

9

Deuteronomy 29-31

9

II Samuel 19-21

10

Deuteronomy 32-34

10

II Samuel 22-24

11

Joshua 1-3

11

Psalms 1-3

12

Joshua 4-6

12

Psalms 4-6

13

Joshua 7-9

13

Psalms 7-9

14

Joshua 10-12

14

Psalms 10-12

15

Joshua 13-15

15

Psalms 13-15

16

Joshua 16-18

16

Psalms 16-18

17

Joshua 19-21

17

Psalms 19-21

18

Judges 22-24

18

Psalms 22-24

19

Judges 1-4

19

Psalms 25-27

20

Judges 5-8

20

Psalms 28-30

21

Judges 9-12

21

Psalms 31-33

22

Judges 13-15

22

Psalms 34-36

23

Judges 16-18

23

Psalms 37-39

24

Judges 19-21

24

Psalms 40-42

25

Ruth 1-4

25

Psalms 43-45

26

1 Samuel 1-3

26

Psalms 46-48

27

1 Samuel 4-7

27

Psalms 49-51

28

1 Samuel 8-10

28

Psalms 52-54

29

I Samuel 11-13

29

Psalms 55-57

30

I Samuel 14-16

30

Psalms 58-60

31

I Samuel 17-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

June

1

Psalms 61-63

1

Proverbs 1-3

2

Psalms 64-66

2

Proverbs 4-7

3

Psalms 67-69

3

Proverbs 8-11

4

Psalms 70-72

4

Proverbs 12-14

5

Psalms 73-75

5

Proverbs 15-18

6

Psalms 76-78

6

Proverbs 19-21

7

Psalms 79-81

7

Proverbs 22-24

8

Psalms 82-84

8

Proverbs 25-28

9

Psalms 85-87

9

Proverbs 29-31

10

Psalms 88-90

10

Ecclesiastes 1-3

11

Psalms 91-93

11

Ecclesiastes 4-6

12

Psalms 94-96

12

Ecclesiastes 7-9

13

Psalms 97-99

13

Ecclesiastes 10-12

14

Psalms 100-102

14

Songs 1-4

15

Psalms 103-105

15

Songs 5-8

16

Psalms 106-108

16

I Kings 5-7

17

Psalms 109-111

17

I Kings 8-10

18

Psalms 112-114

18

I Kings 11-13

19

Psalms 115-118

19

I Kings 14-16

20

Psalms 119

20

I Kings 17-19

21

Psalms 120-123

21

I Kings 20-22

22

Psalms 124-126

22

II Kings 1-3

23

Psalms 127-129

23

II Kings 4-6

24

Psalms 130-132

24

II Kings 7-10

25

Psalms 133-135 

25

II Kings 11-14:20

26

Psalms 136-138

26

Joel 1-3

27

Psalms 139-141

27

II Kings 14:21-25; Jonah 1-4

28

Psalms 142-144

28

II Kings 14:26-29; Amos 1-3

29

Psalms 145-147

29

Amos 4-6

30

Psalms 148-150

30

Amos 7-9

31

I Kings l-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

August

1

II Kings 15-17

1

II Kings 20-21

2

Hosea l-4

2

Zephaniah l-3

3

Hosea 5-7

3

Habakkuk 1-3

4

Hosea 8-10

4

II Kings 22-25

5

Hosea ll-14

5

Obadiah/Jeremiah 1-2

6

II Kings 18-19

6

Jeremiah 3-5

7

Isaiah l-3

7

Jeremiah 6-8

8

Isaiah 4-6

8

Jeremiah 9-12

9

Isaiah 7-9

9

Jeremiah 13-16

10

Isaiah 10-12

10

Jeremiah 17-20

11

Isaiah 13-15

11

Jeremiah 21-23

12

Isaiah 16-18

12

Jeremiah 24-26

13

Isaiah 19-21

13

Jeremiah 27-29

14

Isaiah 22-24

14

Jeremiah 30-32

15

Isaiah 25-27

15

Jeremiah 33-36

16

Isaiah 28-30

16

Jeremiah 37-39

17

Isaiah 31-33

17

Jeremiah 40-42

18

Isaiah 34-36

18

Jeremiah 43-46

19

Isaiah 37-39

19

Jeremiah 47-49

20

Isaiah 40-42

20

Jeremiah 50-52

21

Isaiah 43-45

21

Lamentations 1-5

22

Isaiah 46-48 

22

I Chronicles 1-3

23

Isaiah 49-51

23

I Chronicles 4-6

24

Isaiah 52-54

24

I Chronicles 7-9

25

Isaiah 55-57

25

I Chronicles 10-13

26

Isaiah 58-60

26

I Chronicles 14-16

27

Isaiah 61-63

27

I Chronicles 17-19

28

Isaiah 64-66

28

I Chronicles 20-23

29

Micah 5-7icah 1-4

29

I Chronicles 24-26

30

Nahum 1-3

30

I Chronicles 27-29

 

 

31

II Chronicles 1-3

 

 

 

 

September

October

1

II Chronicles 4-6

1

Esther 4-7

2

II Chronicles 7-9

2

Esther 8-10

3

II Chronicles 10-13

3

Ezra 1-4

4

II Chronicles 14-16

4

Haggai 1-2/Zechariah 1-2

5

II Chronicles 17-19

5

Zechariah 1-2

6

II Chronicles 20-22

6

Zechariah 3-6

7

II Chronicles 23-25

7

Zechariah 7-10

8

II Chronicles 26-29

8

Ezra 5-7

9

II Chronicles 30-32

9

Ezra 8-10

10

II Chronicles 33-36

10

Nehemiah l-3

11

Ezekiel 1-3

11

Nehemiah 4-6

12

Ezekiel 4-7

12

Nehemiah 7-9

13

Ezekiel 8-11 

13

Nehemiah 10-13

14

Ezekiel 12-14 

14

Malachi l-4

15

Ezekiel 15-18

15

Matthew 1-4

16

Ezekiel 19-21 

16

Matthew 5-7

17

Ezekiel 22-24

17

Matthew 8-11

18

Ezekiel 25-27

18

Matthew 12-15

19

Ezekiel 28-30

19

Matthew 16-19

20

Ezekiel 31-33

20

Matthew 20-22

21

Ezekiel 34-36

21

Matthew 23-25

22

Ezekiel 37-39

22

Matthew 26-28

23

Ezekiel 40-42

23

Mark l-3

24

Ezekiel 43-45

24

Mark 4-6

25

Ezekiel 46-48

25

Mark 7-10

26

Daniel 1-3

26

Mark ll-13

27

Daniel 4-6

27

Mark 14-16

28

Daniel 7-9

28

Luke l-3

29

Daniel 10-12

29

Luke 4-6

30

Esther l-3

30

Luke 7-9

 

 

31

Luke 10-13

 

 

 

 

November

December

1

Luke 14-17

1

Romans 5-8

2

Luke 18-21

2

Romans 9-11

3

Luke 22-24

3

Romans 12-16

4

John 1-3

4

Acts 20:3-22

5

John 4-6

5

Acts 23-25

6

John 7-10

6

Acts 26-28

7

John 11-13

7

Ephesians 1-3

8

John 14-17

8

Ephesians 4-6

9

John 18-21

9

Philippians 1-4

10

Acts 1-2 

10

Colossians 1-4

11

Acts 3-5

11

Hebrews 1-4

12

Acts 6-9

12

Hebrews 5-7

13

Acts 10-12

13

Hebrews 8-10

14

Acts 13-14

14

Hebrews 11-13

15

James 1-2

15

Philemon/I Peter 1-2

16

James 3-5

16

I Peter 3-5

17

Galatians l-3

17

II Peter 1-3

18

Galatians 4-6

18

I Timothy l-3

19

Acts 15-18:11

19

I Timothy 4-6

20

I Thessalonians l-5

20

Titus l-3

21

II Thessalonians l-3

21

II Timothy l-4

22

I Corinthians 1-4

22

I John l-2; Acts 18:12-19:10

23

I John 3-5

23

I Corinthians 5-8

24

II John, III John

24

I Corinthians 9-12

25

Revelation 1-3, Jude

25

I Corinthians 13-16

26

Revelation 4-6

26

Acts 19:11-20:1; II Corinthians 1-3

27

Revelation 7-9

27

II Corinthians 4-6

28

Revelation 10-12

28

II Corinthians 7-9

29

Revelation 13-15

29

II Corinthians 10-13

30

Revelation 16-18

30

Acts 20:2/Romans 1-4

31

Revelation 19-22

 

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. How many books are in the Old Testament?

3. How many books are in the New Testament?

4. Why is it important to have a systematic plan for reading the Bible?

5. What were the four suggestions for successful Bible reading?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

·         Review the descriptions of each book of the Bible given in this chapter.

·         Write the name of each book of the Bible below.

·         By the name of each book summarize its basic content in three or four words.

The first two are done as examples for you to follow. (By condensing material in this manner you will be able to develop a general knowledge of the content of the entire Bible.)

Name of book

Content

Genesis

Book of beginnings

Exodus

Exit from Egypt

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO: THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify the number of books in the Old Testament.

·         Identify the number of books in the New Testament.

·         Explain why it is important to have a systematic plan for reading the Bible.

·         List four suggestions for successful Bible reading.

KEY VERSE: Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord; give me understanding according to thy Word. (Psalms 119:169)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter you learned that the Bible is the written Word of God. You learned it is divided into two major sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. You learned the four divisions of the Old Testament books:

5.    Law

6.    History

7.    Poetry

8.    Prophecy

You also learned the four divisions of the New Testament books:

5.    Gospels

6.    History

7.    Letters

8.    Prophecy

The following chart summarizes what you have learned about the Bible so far:

The Bible

God’s Written Word

66 Books

Old Testament Divisions

New Testament Divisions

Law

Gospels

History

History

Poetry

Letters

Prophecy

Prophecy

This chapter contains a summary of each of the 66 books of the Bible which make up the major divisions of the Old and New Testaments. It provides an introduction to the content of both testaments. Four suggestions for successful Bible reading are given and you will choose a systematic plan to start reading God's Word.

OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS (39 Books)

BOOKS OF LAW:

Genesis: Records the beginning of the universe, man, the Sabbath, marriage, sin, sacrifice, nations, and government and key men of God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

Exodus: Details how Israel became a nation with Moses as leader.  Israel is delivered from bondage in Egypt and travels to Mt. Sinai where the law of God is given.

Leviticus: This book was a manual of worship for Israel.  It provides instruction to the religious leaders and explains how a sinful people can approach a  righteous God. It relates to the coming of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Numbers: Records Israel's 40 years of wandering in the wilderness which was a result of disobedience to God. The title of the book is from two numberings (population censuses) taken during the long journey.

Deuteronomy:  Records the final days of Moses' life and reviews the laws given in Exodus and Leviticus.

BOOKS OF HISTORY:

Joshua: Details how Joshua, the successor of Moses, led the people of Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan. It records the military campaigns and the division of the land among the people.

Judges: Israel turned away from God after Joshua's death. This book records the sad story of their repeated sins and the judges God raised up to deliver them from enemy forces.

Ruth: The story of Ruth, a woman of the Gentile nation of Moab, who chose to serve the God of Israel. She became the great grandmother of David. 

I Samuel: This book centers on three persons: Samuel who was the last of the judges of Israel; Saul, the first king of Israel; and David who succeeded Saul as king.

II Samuel: The glorious 40 year reign of King David is recorded in this book.

I Kings: King Solomon's reign and the kings of the divided kingdom through the reigns of Ahab in the north and Jehoshaphat in the south are the subjects of this book.

II Kings: The final decline of Israel and Judah is recalled in this book. God's people fell into deep sin. 

I Chronicles: The reign of David and preparations for building  the temple are recorded here. The time of this book is the same as II Samuel.

II Chronicles: This book continues Israel's history through Solomon's reign with focus on the southern kingdom. It closes with the decree of Cyrus which permitted the return of the people from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra: The return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity is detailed.

Nehemiah: The rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls under the direction of Nehemiah is recalled by this book. The project was begun about 14 years after Ezra's return with the people.

Esther: God's deliverance of the Jews through Esther and Mordecai is the subject of this book.

BOOKS OF POETRY:

Job: This book is the story of Job, a man who lived around the time of Abraham. The theme is the question of why righteous men suffer.

Psalms: The prayer and praise book of the Bible.

Proverbs: Divine wisdom for practical problems of everyday life.

Ecclesiastes: A discussion of the futility of life apart from God.

Song Of Solomon: The romance of Solomon and his Shulamite bride. The story represents God's love for Israel and of Christ for the church.

BOOKS OF PROPHECY:

Several of these books were written during a period when the nation of Israel was divided into two separate kingdoms: Israel and Judah.

Isaiah: Warns of coming judgment against Judah because of their sin against God.

Jeremiah: Written during the later decline and fall of Judah. Told of the coming judgment and urged surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.

Lamentations: Jeremiah's lament (expression of sorrow) over the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon.

Ezekiel: Warns first of Jerusalem's impending fall and then foretells its future restoration.

Daniel: The prophet Daniel was captured during the early siege of Judah and taken to Babylon. This book provides historic and prophetic teaching which is important in understanding Bible prophecy.

Hosea: Theme of this book is Israel's unfaithfulness, their punishment, and restoration by God.

Joel: Tells of the plagues which foreshadowed future judgment.

Amos: During a period of material prosperity but moral decay, Amos warned Israel and surrounding nations of God's future judgment on their sin.

Obadiah: God's judgment against Edom, an evil nation located south of the Dead Sea.

Jonah: The story of the prophet Jonah who preached repentance in Ninevah, capitol of the Assyrian empire. The book reveals God's love and plan of repentance for the Gentiles.

Micah: Another prophecy against Israel's sin. Foretells the birthplace of Jesus 700 years before the event happened.

Nahum: Tells of the impending destruction of Ninevah which had been spared some 150 years earlier through Jonah's preaching.

Habakkuk: Reveals God's plan to punish a sinful nation by an even more sinful one. Teaches that "the just shall live by faith."

Zephaniah: Judgment and restoration of Judah.

Haggai: Urges the Jews to rebuild the temple after a 15 year delay due to enemy resistance.

Zechariah: Further urging to complete the temple and renew spiritual commitment. Foretells Christ's first and second comings.

Malachi: Warns against spiritual shallowness and foretells the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus.

NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS (27 Books)

THE GOSPELS:

The four books known as the Gospels record the birth, life, ministry, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The approach of each book differs:

Matthew: Emphasizes Jesus Christ as King and was directed especially to the Jews.

Mark: Emphasizes Jesus Christ as the Servant of God and was directed especially to the Romans.

Luke: Presents Jesus Christ as the "Son of Man," the perfect man and Savior of imperfect men.

John: Presents Jesus in His position as the Son of God.

BOOK OF HISTORY:

Acts: The one history book of the New Testament records the early growth of Christianity from the time of Christ's return to Heaven through Paul's imprisonment in Rome. The book covers about 33 years and emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit.

LETTERS:

Romans: A presentation of the Gospel which stresses salvation by faith alone.

I Corinthians: Written to correct errors of Christian conduct in the local church.

II Corinthians: Speaks of the true ministry of the Gospel, stewardship, and Paul's apostolic authority.

Galatians: Deals with the error of mixing law and faith. The theme is justification by faith alone.

Ephesians: Encourages believers regarding their position in Christ.

Philippians: Emphasizes the joy of Christian unity.

Colossians: Deals with the error of "Gnosticism," a false teachings which denied Jesus was truly Son of God and Son of Man. The book also emphasizes Jesus as head of the Church.

I Thessalonians: Counsel in Christian living and emphasis on the return of Jesus.

II Thessalonians: Further instruction on the Lord's return and how knowledge of this should affect everyday life.

I Timothy: Stresses sound doctrine, orderly church government, and principles to guide the church in the years to come.

II Timothy: Describes the true servant of Jesus Christ. It also warns of the apostasy (spiritual decline) which had already started.  It presents the Word of God as the remedy to correct all error.

Titus:  Paul's letter to a young minister named Titus who was serving God on the island of Crete.  Doctrine and a Godly life are stressed.

Philemon:  Paul's intercession for a runaway slave of a wealthy Colossian Christian. It illustrates the intercession of Jesus on the behalf of believers who were once slaves to sin.

Hebrews: Explains the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. Presents Jesus as the Great High Priest and the mediator between God and man.

James: Teaches that true faith is evidenced by works, although salvation is by faith alone.

I Peter: A letter of comfort and encouragement to believers, especially those suffering spiritual attacks from outside the church through unbelievers.

II Peter: A warning against spiritual attacks from within. For example, false teachers who had already "crept" into the Church.

I John: Written to combat Gnosticism which denied Christ's position as Son of God and Son of Man. The book emphasizes fellowship and love among believers and assures true believers of eternal life.

II John: Warns against any compromise with doctrinal error and emphasizes that the truth must be guarded in love.

III John: Warns of the sin of refusing fellowship with those who are true believers.

Jude: Another warning against apostasy and false doctrine. The theme is similar to that of II Peter.

BOOK OF PROPHECY:

Revelation: This prophetic book tells of the final events of world history.  It tells of the things which were, are, and which will be in the future plan of God (Revelation 1:19).

SUCCESSFUL BIBLE READING

You will learn much in this course about how to understand and interpret the Bible.  You will also learn methods of creative Bible study. But the first step in understanding the Bible is to begin to read it.  To help you start reading God's Word we have outlined several different reading plans.  These include a plan for those just starting their study as well as a plan for those who are more advanced in the study of God's Word.

First, here are four suggestions for successful Bible reading:

1. READ DAILY:

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalms 1:2) God made your physical body so you must have food daily in order to remain healthy.  In a similar manner, your spirit must be fed daily with the food of the Word of God if you are to be spiritually healthy: It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God. (Luke 4:4)

2. READ SELECTIVELY:

Start by reading the "milk" of the word. These are the simple truths of the Word of God: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby.  (I Peter 2:2)

Later you will mature spiritually to where you can eat "meat" of the Word of God. This means you will be able to understand more difficult teachings of the Bible: For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it . (I Corinthians 3:2)

3. READ PRAYERFULLY:

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord. (Ezra 7:10)

Before you start to read, pray to God and ask Him to help you understand the message He has given you through His written Word. Let your prayer be as the Psalmist David prayed: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalms 119:18)

4. READ SYSTEMATICALLY:

Some people do not understand God's Word because they do not have a systematic plan for reading. They read a chapter here and there and fail to understand how it all fits together. This is like reading a few pages here and there in a text book on medicine and then trying to set up a medical practice.

The Bible tells us to "search the scriptures" (John 5:39). This means to study them carefully. The Bible is like a text book used in school. You must read it in an orderly way if you are to understand its content.  Select one of the following  reading schedules and begin reading your Bible daily.

FOR BEGINNERS

If you have never read the Bible before, start with the book of John in the New Testament. This book was written by one of the Disciples of Jesus Christ named John.  He tells the story of Jesus in a simple way which is easy to understand. Read one chapter in John each day in the order in which they are found in your Bible.  Use the following chart to check off each chapter as you read it.

The Gospel Of John:

1

5

9

13

17

2

6

10

14

18

3

7

11

15

19

4

8

12

16

20

THE SHORT SCHEDULE

The short schedule of Bible reading is designed to provide a basic knowledge of the Bible through selected portions of Scripture.  Read the selected portions in the order in which they are listed.  Use the chart to check off each portion as you complete your reading.

THE NEW TESTAMENT:

John

1 Thessalonians

Ephesians

Mark

1 Corinthians

2 Timothy

Luke

Romans

1 Peter

Acts

Philemon

1 John

Romans

Philippians

Revelation 1-5; 19:6-22:21

THE OLD TESTAMENT:

Genesis

Amos

Exodus 1-20

Isaiah 1-12

Numbers 10:11-21:35

Jeremiah 1-25; 39-33

Deuteronomy 1-11

Ruth

Judges 1-3

Jonah

1 Samuel 1-3, 9-10, 13, 15, 18, 31

Psalms 1-23

2 Samuel 1

Job 1-14, 38-42

1 Kings 1-11

Proverbs 1-9

Nehemiah

Daniel 1-6

THE LONGER SCHEDULE

This reading plan covers the Bible in greater depth than the Short Schedule, but it does not cover the entire Bible.

NEW TESTAMENT:

Mark

Philippians

Matthew

Ephesians

John

2 Timothy

Luke

Titus

Acts

1 Timothy

1 Thessalonians

1 Peter

2 Thessalonians

Hebrews

1 Corinthians

James

2 Corinthians

1 John

Galatians

2 John

Romans

3 John

Philemon

Jude

Colossians

2 Peter

 

Revelation 1-5; 19:6-22; 21

(The Longer Schedule Continued)

OLD TESTAMENT:

Genesis

Jeremiah 1-25 and 30-33

Exodus 1-24

Nahum

Leviticus 1-24

Habakkuk

Numbers 10:11-21:35

Ezekiel 1-24 and 33-39

Deuteronomy 1-11 and 27-34

Obadiah

Joshua 1-12 and 22-24

Lamentations

Judges 1-16

Isaiah 40-66

1 Samuel

Zechariah 1-8

2 Samuel

Malachi

1 Kings

Joel

2 Kings

Ruth

1 Chronicles

Jonah

2 Chronicles

Psalms

Ezra

Job

Nehemiah

Proverbs 1-9

Amos

Song of Solomon

Hosea

Ecclesiastes

Micah

Esther

Isaiah 1-12

Daniel

Zephaniah

 

THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE

The complete Bible reading schedule takes you through the entire Bible in one year.

January

February

1

Genesis l-2

1

Exodus 14-17

2

Genesis 3-5

2

Exodus 18-20

3

Genesis 6-9

3

Exodus 21-24

4

Genesis 10-11

4

Exodus 25-27

5

Genesis 12-15

5

Exodus 28-31

6

Genesis 16-19

6

Exodus 32-34

7

Genesis 20-22

7

Exodus 35-37

8

Genesis 23-26

8

Exodus 38-40

9

Genesis 27-29

9

Leviticus 1-4

10

Genesis 30-32

10

Leviticus 5-7

11

Genesis 33-36

11

Leviticus 8-10

12

Genesis 37-39

12

Leviticus 11-13

13

Genesis 40-42

13

Leviticus 14-16

14

Genesis 43-46

14

Leviticus 17-19

15

Genesis 47-50

15

Leviticus 20-23

16

Job 1-4

16

Leviticus 24-27

17

Job 5-7

17

Numbers 1-3

18

Job 8-10

18

Numbers 4-6

19

Job ll-13

19

Numbers 7-10

20

Job 14-17

20

Numbers 11-14

21

Job 18-20

21

Numbers 15-17

22

Job 21-24

22

Numbers 18-20

23

Job 25-27

23

Numbers 21-24

24

Job 28-31 

24

Numbers 25-27

25

Job 32-34

25

Numbers 28-30

26

Job 35-37

26

Numbers 31-33

27

Job 38-42

27

Numbers 34-36

28

Exodus l-4

28

Deuteronomy 1-3

29

Exodus 5-7

 

 

30

Exodus 8-10

 

 

31

Exodus 11-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

March

April

1

Deuteronomy 4-6

1

I Samuel 21-24

2

Deuteronomy 7-9

2

I Samuel 25-28

3

Deuteronomy 10-12

3

I Samuel 29-31

4

Deuteronomy 13-16

4

II Samuel 1-4

5

Deuteronomy 17-19

5

II Samuel 5-8

6

Deuteronomy 20-22

6

II Samuel 9-12

7

Deuteronomy 23-25

7

II Samuel 13-15

8

Deuteronomy 26-28

8

II Samuel 16-18

9

Deuteronomy 29-31

9

II Samuel 19-21

10

Deuteronomy 32-34

10

II Samuel 22-24

11

Joshua 1-3

11

Psalms 1-3

12

Joshua 4-6

12

Psalms 4-6

13

Joshua 7-9

13

Psalms 7-9

14

Joshua 10-12

14

Psalms 10-12

15

Joshua 13-15

15

Psalms 13-15

16

Joshua 16-18

16

Psalms 16-18

17

Joshua 19-21

17

Psalms 19-21

18

Judges 22-24

18

Psalms 22-24

19

Judges 1-4

19

Psalms 25-27

20

Judges 5-8

20

Psalms 28-30

21

Judges 9-12

21

Psalms 31-33

22

Judges 13-15

22

Psalms 34-36

23

Judges 16-18

23

Psalms 37-39

24

Judges 19-21

24

Psalms 40-42

25

Ruth 1-4

25

Psalms 43-45

26

1 Samuel 1-3

26

Psalms 46-48

27

1 Samuel 4-7

27

Psalms 49-51

28

1 Samuel 8-10

28

Psalms 52-54

29

I Samuel 11-13

29

Psalms 55-57

30

I Samuel 14-16

30

Psalms 58-60

31

I Samuel 17-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

June

1

Psalms 61-63

1

Proverbs 1-3

2

Psalms 64-66

2

Proverbs 4-7

3

Psalms 67-69

3

Proverbs 8-11

4

Psalms 70-72

4

Proverbs 12-14

5

Psalms 73-75

5

Proverbs 15-18

6

Psalms 76-78

6

Proverbs 19-21

7

Psalms 79-81

7

Proverbs 22-24

8

Psalms 82-84

8

Proverbs 25-28

9

Psalms 85-87

9

Proverbs 29-31

10

Psalms 88-90

10

Ecclesiastes 1-3

11

Psalms 91-93

11

Ecclesiastes 4-6

12

Psalms 94-96

12

Ecclesiastes 7-9

13

Psalms 97-99

13

Ecclesiastes 10-12

14

Psalms 100-102

14

Songs 1-4

15

Psalms 103-105

15

Songs 5-8

16

Psalms 106-108

16

I Kings 5-7

17

Psalms 109-111

17

I Kings 8-10

18

Psalms 112-114

18

I Kings 11-13

19

Psalms 115-118

19

I Kings 14-16

20

Psalms 119

20

I Kings 17-19

21

Psalms 120-123

21

I Kings 20-22

22

Psalms 124-126

22

II Kings 1-3

23

Psalms 127-129

23

II Kings 4-6

24

Psalms 130-132

24

II Kings 7-10

25

Psalms 133-135 

25

II Kings 11-14:20

26

Psalms 136-138

26

Joel 1-3

27

Psalms 139-141

27

II Kings 14:21-25; Jonah 1-4

28

Psalms 142-144

28

II Kings 14:26-29; Amos 1-3

29

Psalms 145-147

29

Amos 4-6

30

Psalms 148-150

30

Amos 7-9

31

I Kings l-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

August

1

II Kings 15-17

1

II Kings 20-21

2

Hosea l-4

2

Zephaniah l-3

3

Hosea 5-7

3

Habakkuk 1-3

4

Hosea 8-10

4

II Kings 22-25

5

Hosea ll-14

5

Obadiah/Jeremiah 1-2

6

II Kings 18-19

6

Jeremiah 3-5

7

Isaiah l-3

7

Jeremiah 6-8

8

Isaiah 4-6

8

Jeremiah 9-12

9

Isaiah 7-9

9

Jeremiah 13-16

10

Isaiah 10-12

10

Jeremiah 17-20

11

Isaiah 13-15

11

Jeremiah 21-23

12

Isaiah 16-18

12

Jeremiah 24-26

13

Isaiah 19-21

13

Jeremiah 27-29

14

Isaiah 22-24

14

Jeremiah 30-32

15

Isaiah 25-27

15

Jeremiah 33-36

16

Isaiah 28-30

16

Jeremiah 37-39

17

Isaiah 31-33

17

Jeremiah 40-42

18

Isaiah 34-36

18

Jeremiah 43-46

19

Isaiah 37-39

19

Jeremiah 47-49

20

Isaiah 40-42

20

Jeremiah 50-52

21

Isaiah 43-45

21

Lamentations 1-5

22

Isaiah 46-48 

22

I Chronicles 1-3

23

Isaiah 49-51

23

I Chronicles 4-6

24

Isaiah 52-54

24

I Chronicles 7-9

25

Isaiah 55-57

25

I Chronicles 10-13

26

Isaiah 58-60

26

I Chronicles 14-16

27

Isaiah 61-63

27

I Chronicles 17-19

28

Isaiah 64-66

28

I Chronicles 20-23

29

Micah 5-7icah 1-4

29

I Chronicles 24-26

30

Nahum 1-3

30

I Chronicles 27-29

 

 

31

II Chronicles 1-3

 

 

 

 

September

October

1

II Chronicles 4-6

1

Esther 4-7

2

II Chronicles 7-9

2

Esther 8-10

3

II Chronicles 10-13

3

Ezra 1-4

4

II Chronicles 14-16

4

Haggai 1-2/Zechariah 1-2

5

II Chronicles 17-19

5

Zechariah 1-2

6

II Chronicles 20-22

6

Zechariah 3-6

7

II Chronicles 23-25

7

Zechariah 7-10

8

II Chronicles 26-29

8

Ezra 5-7

9

II Chronicles 30-32

9

Ezra 8-10

10

II Chronicles 33-36

10

Nehemiah l-3

11

Ezekiel 1-3

11

Nehemiah 4-6

12

Ezekiel 4-7

12

Nehemiah 7-9

13

Ezekiel 8-11 

13

Nehemiah 10-13

14

Ezekiel 12-14 

14

Malachi l-4

15

Ezekiel 15-18

15

Matthew 1-4

16

Ezekiel 19-21 

16

Matthew 5-7

17

Ezekiel 22-24

17

Matthew 8-11

18

Ezekiel 25-27

18

Matthew 12-15

19

Ezekiel 28-30

19

Matthew 16-19

20

Ezekiel 31-33

20

Matthew 20-22

21

Ezekiel 34-36

21

Matthew 23-25

22

Ezekiel 37-39

22

Matthew 26-28

23

Ezekiel 40-42

23

Mark l-3

24

Ezekiel 43-45

24

Mark 4-6

25

Ezekiel 46-48

25

Mark 7-10

26

Daniel 1-3

26

Mark ll-13

27

Daniel 4-6

27

Mark 14-16

28

Daniel 7-9

28

Luke l-3

29

Daniel 10-12

29

Luke 4-6

30

Esther l-3

30

Luke 7-9

 

 

31

Luke 10-13

 

 

 

 

November

December

1

Luke 14-17

1

Romans 5-8

2

Luke 18-21

2

Romans 9-11

3

Luke 22-24

3

Romans 12-16

4

John 1-3

4

Acts 20:3-22

5

John 4-6

5

Acts 23-25

6

John 7-10

6

Acts 26-28

7

John 11-13

7

Ephesians 1-3

8

John 14-17

8

Ephesians 4-6

9

John 18-21

9

Philippians 1-4

10

Acts 1-2 

10

Colossians 1-4

11

Acts 3-5

11

Hebrews 1-4

12

Acts 6-9

12

Hebrews 5-7

13

Acts 10-12

13

Hebrews 8-10

14

Acts 13-14

14

Hebrews 11-13

15

James 1-2

15

Philemon/I Peter 1-2

16

James 3-5

16

I Peter 3-5

17

Galatians l-3

17

II Peter 1-3

18

Galatians 4-6

18

I Timothy l-3

19

Acts 15-18:11

19

I Timothy 4-6

20

I Thessalonians l-5

20

Titus l-3

21

II Thessalonians l-3

21

II Timothy l-4

22

I Corinthians 1-4

22

I John l-2; Acts 18:12-19:10

23

I John 3-5

23

I Corinthians 5-8

24

II John, III John

24

I Corinthians 9-12

25

Revelation 1-3, Jude

25

I Corinthians 13-16

26

Revelation 4-6

26

Acts 19:11-20:1; II Corinthians 1-3

27

Revelation 7-9

27

II Corinthians 4-6

28

Revelation 10-12

28

II Corinthians 7-9

29

Revelation 13-15

29

II Corinthians 10-13

30

Revelation 16-18

30

Acts 20:2/Romans 1-4

31

Revelation 19-22

 

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. How many books are in the Old Testament?

3. How many books are in the New Testament?

4. Why is it important to have a systematic plan for reading the Bible?

5. What were the four suggestions for successful Bible reading?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

·         Review the descriptions of each book of the Bible given in this chapter.

·         Write the name of each book of the Bible below.

·         By the name of each book summarize its basic content in three or four words.

The first two are done as examples for you to follow. (By condensing material in this manner you will be able to develop a general knowledge of the content of the entire Bible.)

Name of book

Content

Genesis

Book of beginnings

Exodus

Exit from Egypt

 

 

 

 

 

PART TWO:  PREPARATION FOR STUDY

CHAPTER FOUR

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify prerequisites to effective Bible study.

·         Identify two ways God provided for studying His Word.

·         Recognize the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

·         Explain the difference between the milk and meat of the Word of God.

·         Identify three steps for moving from the milk to the meat of the Word of God.

·         List three practical suggestions for studying God's Word.

KEY VERSE: He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:47)

INTRODUCTION

Many people try to begin Bible study the same way they study any other book. They take their Bible, open it, and start to read. But often their study does not last long. They find it difficult to understand what they read. They do not recognize how the Bible relates to everyday living and may even think it is a rather dull book.  The Bible explains that only certain people will be able to understand God's Word. People fail at Bible study because
they are not spiritually prepared to study the Word of God.

The Bible is like a door which leads into the presence of God. Behind that door are great spiritual treasures. But you must have the key to unlock the door or you will  never be able to enter in and explore these treasures. The Bible reveals how to understand God's Word. It provides the key to unlock the door to spiritual understanding.

PREREQUISITES TO BIBLE STUDY

A prerequisite is something you must do before you can do something else. The Bible is the Word of God.  It is not like any other book and you cannot study it as you do other books.  There are prerequisites--things you must do before you can begin--if you are to understand the deep spiritual things of God. If you want to understand the Bible you must first know the Author of the Bible. Jesus said: He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because
ye are not of God. (John 8:47)

You cannot understand God's Words without knowing God.  How do you come to know God?  Jesus told Nicodemus, who was a religious leader in the nation of Israel: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (John 3:3)

A man may be educated, learned, cultured, and even religious, but the understanding of Scripture will be hidden from him until his spiritual eyes have been opened by the new birth.

Nicodemus asked Jesus, "How can these things be?" He did not understand what Jesus meant. Jesus answered and said: Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (John 3:10)

Nicodemus was a religious leader of Israel, yet he did not know about being born again. In fact, he asked . . .How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (John 3:4)

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth of which He was speaking was a spiritual birth.  This new birth experience comes through faith in Jesus Christ. You must confess you are a sinner. You must believe Jesus died for your sins, ask forgiveness for your sins, and accept Him as your personal Savior. 

The person who has not been born again cannot receive the truth of God's Words: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14)

The unsaved man may admire the Bible for its literary beauty and value. He may study it historically or geographically. But the spiritual truths of God's Word will remain hidden until he receives forgiveness of sin: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18) 

GOD'S PROVISIONS

From the moment you accept Jesus as your Savior and experience the new spiritual birth, your mind will begin to understand spiritual truths in God's Word.  Just as a new born baby in the natural world needs physical nourishment from food, a person who is spiritually reborn needs nourishment. Their food for this spiritual growth and development is the Word of God. There are two ways God has provided to help you study His Word:

TEACHERS:

God chooses certain believers as leaders in the Church. One of the special leadership positions is that of being a teacher of God's Word: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers. (I Corinthians 12:28)

And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers; For the perfecting  of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

God provides teachers to explain God's Word and guide you to spiritual maturity.

A SPECIAL TEACHER:

God has a second way for you to learn His Word.  He  commands you to study it yourself: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)

God has provided a special Teacher to help you when you study His Word.  When Jesus was living on earth He personally taught His followers the truths of God.  But Jesus knew that after His death and resurrection He would be returning to Heaven so He told His followers that a special Teacher would be sent to help them understand God's Word.  That Teacher is the Holy Spirit: But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of  truth is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that
shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. (John 16:13)

The coming of the Holy Spirit is recorded in Acts chapter 2. Read this chapter in your Bible. God wants you to experience this same infilling of the Holy Spirit.*  Through the Holy Spirit you receive a special ability from God to understand His Word: But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. (I John 2:27)

The Holy Spirit is a creative power. It was the Spirit of God that breathed into man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).  It was that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  (Romans 8:11).  It is that creative power of the Holy Spirit that takes ordinary study and turns it into CREATIVE study of God's Word.  

We said in the introduction to this course that to be creative is to produce something new.  The teaching of the Holy Spirit produces a new flow of spiritual understanding.  The Holy Spirit makes the Bible new, fresh, and relevant to your life.

GOD'S WORD:  MILK AND MEAT

There are two levels of spiritual depth in God's Word.  We call these the "milk" level and the "meat" levels. The "milk" of God's Word refers to simple truths that even a child can understand, such as the plan of salvation.  The "meat" of God's Word refers to deeper spiritual truths which are not so easy to understand.

*  If you have not received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, order the Harvestime International Institute course "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit."

Some people have received Jesus as their Savior and been filled with the Holy Spirit, but they do not seem to grow in their understanding of God's Word. They are still feeding on the milk of the Word. 

In the natural world there is nothing wrong with milk for a newborn baby. The same is true in the spiritual world. When you are first born again you should desire the milk of God's Word: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.  (I Peter 2:2)

But there comes a time in the natural world that a baby must start to eat solid foods if he is to mature physically. This is also true in the spiritual world. There is a time when you must move on from the milk of God's Word to the meat: For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason and use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

Paul said that when it was time for believers to move from spiritual milk to meat, some were not ready: For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (Hebrews 5:12)

Why was this so? Why is it that some believers go deep into God's Word while others never get beyond a surface understanding of the Bible? Why are some people always hungering for "deeper things" in God's Word instead of experiencing them?  Paul wrote: And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (I Corinthians 3:1-3)

They could not move from milk to meat because they were carnal Christians. This means they were spiritually immature. They had envy, strife, division, and other sins in their lives.  When a Christian is carnal, he will not be able to understand the deeper truths of God's Word. He will remain on milk until he repents and grows up enough spiritually that he can digest meat.

It is God's desire that you move from the milk to the meat of His Word. This is how you increase your knowledge of God's Word: Whom shall He teach knowledge? And who shall be made to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. (Isaiah 28:9)

It is important that you move from the milk to the meat for it is upon spiritually mature believers that God pours out His Spirit: Whom shall He teach knowledge?  and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing:  yet they would not hear. (Isaiah 28:9-12)

God wanted to bless His people with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  He wanted to revive them and give them spiritual rest, but they could not enter in because they had not heard His Words. They could not move on to spiritual meat because they were not weaned from the milk of the Word.

HOW TO MOVE FROM MILK TO MEAT

Now, the big question is… How does a newborn Christian move from the milk to the meat of God's Word?

DESIRE THE MILK:

First, you must desire the milk of the Word. You must gain an understanding of the basic principles of the Word of God: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby. (I Peter 2:2) You cannot start with spiritual meat.  You must first desire and learn to digest spiritual milk.

BE OBEDIENT TO GOD'S WORD:

This is the most important step.  Carnal Christians do not obey what they learn in the milk God's Word so they are not able to mature on to meat. The Bible teaches that it is not enough to hear His Word. You must be obedient. You must become a "doer" of the Word and not a "hearer" only: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)

An increase in spiritual understanding comes through meditation on and obedience to God's Word. This is how we move from milk to meat. David wrote: Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies… I have more understanding than all my teachers:  for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts… Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way. (Portions of Psalm 119:99-104)

Because David kept God's precepts and was a doer of the Word, his understanding increased. God will not take you on to the deeper revelations if you have not acted upon what you have learned in the milk of the Word.

SEARCH FOR THE MEAT:

In the natural world, chewing meat requires more physical effort than drinking milk. The same is true in the spiritual world. Discovering the meat of God's Word requires more spiritual effort than living on the milk of the Word. Proverbs chapter 2 tells how to search for the meat: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If you seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hid treasures: Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5) 

These are the steps to discovering and understanding the knowledge of God:

1. Receive my words: You must be teachable.

2. Hide my commandments with thee: You must accept the Word and integrate it into your life and spirit. Do not try to change the Word to agree with your way of living.

3. Incline thine ear unto wisdom: Really listen to what God is saying to you through His Word. Listening requires changes in living where indicated.

4. Apply thine heart to understanding: Apply yourself diligently to understanding (interpreting) the Word.

5. Seek her as silver and search for her as for hid treasures: If someone told you there was a hidden treasure in property you own, what would you do? You would start digging. You would conduct a systematic search until you found the treasure. It would become a  priority of your life.

When you make God's Word a priority and begin to systematically search for His wisdom, you will find it. But it must become a priority of life. You must approach it with as much excitement and dedication as if you were searching for treasure. If you follow these guidelines and search for the meat of God`s Word, these are the results:

1. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord: Verse 5

2. And find the knowledge of God: Verse 5

3. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea every good path:  Verse 9

4. It will be pleasant unto thy soul: (You will find satisfaction)  Verse 10

5. Discretion shall preserve thee: Discretion is the ability to make sound judgment and decisions: Verse 11

6. Understanding shall keep thee: Verse 11

7. You will be delivered from all evil: Verse 12

SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

Here are some  practical suggestions for Bible study.

SET A SPECIAL TIME:

Set a special time each day when you will study.  The time you select will depend on your personal schedule or preference.  Some prefer to study early in the morning when they are fresh and rested.  Some find their best time to be late at night when everyone else in their household has retired.  Whatever time you select, set it apart as a regular appointment time with God to study His Word.

SELECT A SPECIAL PLACE:

Select a place that is as free from noise and interruption as possible. Be sure to have good lighting to enable you to read without eye strain.  If it is possible, select a place where you can leave your study materials, i.e., Bible, pencil, paper, and any Bible study books you may have.  This way you do not have to spend time each day collecting these items before you start your study.

START A SPECIAL WAY:

Start each study session with prayer.  Ask God to open your understanding so you will be able to receive His Word.  The Psalmist David prayed: Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord; give me understanding according to thy Word.  (Psalm 119:169)

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2.Why do many people fail when they start studying the Bible?

3.What does the word "prerequisite" mean?

4. What is the key prerequisite for understanding the Bible?

5. List two ways God has provided for you to study His Word.

6. Who was the great Teacher sent from God after Jesus returned to Heaven?

7. What is meant by the "milk " of the Word of God?

8. What is meant by the "meat" of the Word of God?

9. List three steps that move a believer from the milk to the meat of the Word of God:

10.List three practical suggestions for Bible study which were discussed in this chapter:

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Turn to I Corinthians 3:1-3 in your Bible.  List three words Paul used to describe carnal Christians.

2. From Proverbs  2: l-5, list five steps given for searching for the meat of God's Word.  

3. Study Proverbs 2:5-12.  List seven results of applying these steps to the study of God's Word.

 

CHAPTER FIVE: BIBLE STUDY TOOLS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Explain three uses of a concordance.

·         Use a concordance.

·         Use a Bible dictionary.

·         Use a Bible word study book.

·         Use a topical textbook.

·         Use a Bible encyclopedia.

·         Use a Bible commentary.

·         Use a Bible atlas.

·         Use a Bible handbook.

KEY VERSES: Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. (Psalm 119:98-100)

INTRODUCTION

Bible scholars have written special books that are helpful in studying the Bible. This chapter explains how to use these Bible study tools. It is not necessary to have these special books in order to study the Bible. Do not be concerned if you cannot afford or do not have access to them. This course teaches you how to study the Bible yourself. All that is necessary for you to have is a Bible.

If you do not have these tools at the present time, it is still important for you to know what study aids exist. This is why we have included this chapter on Bible study tools. If you do have access to Bible study tools, we want you to know how to use them because they will be helpful to you. There are several ways you might gain access to such books.
Perhaps you can obtain them by purchasing them at a Christian bookstore or from the publisher. If you cannot afford to purchase these books, perhaps you can borrow them. If you live near a Christian Bible college, you might be able to use their library. Perhaps a minister or Christian friend living near you has some of these books and will let you use them.

Bible study tools are important, but they cannot substitute for studying the Bible itself. You should use these tools only after you have done your own study of the Word. Consulting a Bible study book before studying the Bible itself influences your mind with the comments of man before you have studied the words of God.  Those who wrote Bible commentaries and other study tools obtained their material the way any student can get it: From the Bible itself.

It is not necessary to depend on the research of others. If Bible study tools are not available to you, do not despair. Within you dwells the creative power of the Holy Spirit. He is the special teacher sent by God who will guide you into all truth. That is better than all the Bible study tools provided by men. If these tools are available, learn to use them to supplement your own study of God's Word, but do not depend on them. Depend on the creative revelation of the Holy Spirit. 

BIBLE CONCORDANCE

A Bible concordance provides an alphabetical listing of the main words in the Bible with the immediate context of each word. If you have limited funds with which to purchase materials, this is the most important tool for Bible study and should be your first choice. Two good concordances are:

The Analytical Concordance to the Bible by Robert Young published by Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong published by Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. (Strong's is used for the following study explaining the use of a concordance.)

A concordance is helpful in three ways:

1. To Locate All The References To A Word: For example, if you want to study about angels you can look up the words "angel" and "angels" in a concordance. You will find a complete listing of each place these words are used in the Bible. This will enable you to look up each reference on the subject. You can also look up names of Bible characters and do biographical studies using the concordance. For example, if you look up the name "Moses" it lists all of the Bible references to him. 

Each reference to a word is represented by the first letter of the word. For example, look at the listing for the word "begotten": The word "begotten" is indicated by the initial "b" in each reference listed. Abbreviations are used for the books of the Bible rather than spelling out the name of each book.

Begotten

 

 

b Seth were eight hundred years

Gen 5:4

3205

b of thy father, she is thy

Lev 18:11

4138

have I b them that thou

Num 11:12

3205

The children that are b of them

Deut 23 8

3205

and then sons of his body b

Judg 8:30

3318

or who hath b the drops of dew

Job 38:28

3205

this day have I b thee

Ps 2:7

3205

thine heart, Who hath b me these

Is 49:21

3205

for they have b strange children

Hos 5:7

3205

as of the only b of the Father

Jn 1:13

3439

the only b Son, which is in the

Jn 1:18

3439

that he gave his only b Son

Jn 3:16 

3439

the name of the only b Son of God

Jn 3:18

3439

my Son, this day have I b thee

Acts 13:33

1080

2. To Locate A Specific Text: Perhaps you remember just a word or two from a Bible verse and you want to find the verse in the Bible. Use the words you remember to locate the text. For example, if you remember the word "begotten" from the verse "For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son,"  you can look up the word "begotten" in the concordance. There you will find all the references to "begotten" listed. Go down the list until you find the verse you are looking for . . . "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." By using the concordance you discovered that this verse is located in John 3:16. Now you can find the verse in your Bible.

3. To Find The Meaning Of A Word: At the end of each listing under a word in the concordance you will find a number. In the back of the concordance there are two dictionaries. One dictionary is in Hebrew, the language in which the Old Testament was written. The other dictionary is in Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. You do not need to know Hebrew or Greek to use these dictionaries. Use the number which is at the end of the listing in the concordance:

Jo 3:16 that he gave his only b son. . . 3439

Look up the number in the Hebrew dictionary if it is a word used in the Old Testament. Look up the number in the Greek dictionary if it is a word used in the New Testament. We are studying the word "begotten" as it is used in John 3:16. Since it is a New Testament word we will look up number 3439 in the Greek dictionary.  This is how the listing in the Greek dictionary looks:

(1) (2) (3) (4)

3439 Hoyoyevhs monogenes, mon-og-en-ace’;

(5) (6)

from 3441 and 1096; only-born, i.e., sole-only begotten child.

The numbers in brackets ( ) do not appear in the dictionary. These are coded to the following explanations:

(1) This is the number by which you find the Greek word.

(2) This is the word written in Greek.

(3) This shows how the word is pronounced in Greek.

(4) This shows the division of the word into syllables (parts) and where the accent (emphasis) is placed when you say the word in Greek.

(5) This provides the numbers of the "root" words for the word  "begotten." These are the original words from which the word "begotten" came. (You can look these up in the Greek dictionary too if you desire. Look them up by their numbers).

(6) This gives the meaning of the word "begotten." When you do not understand the meaning of a word in the Bible this method of word study will help you.  You will learn more about word study later in this course.

BIBLE DICTIONARY

A Bible dictionary lists words of the Bible in alphabetical order and explains the meaning of each word. A Bible dictionary is not the same as a regular word  dictionary. A regular dictionary gives the meanings of words as they are now used. A Bible dictionary gives the definitions of Bible words as they were used in the original context of Scripture.  Here is a sample listing from a Bible dictionary:

BEARD (berd), with Asiatics a badge of manly dignity in contrast to the Egyptians, who usually shaved the head and the face. As a sign of mourning, it was the custom to pluck it out or cut it off. The Israelites were forbidden to shave off the corners of the beards, probably because it was regarded as a heathenish sign (Lev. 19:27). To compel a man to cut off his beard was to inflict upon him a shameful disgrace (II Sam. 10:4)

The following are recommended Bible dictionaries:

Unger's Bible Dictionary by Merrill Unger.  Published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary by Merrill C. Tenney published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

WORD STUDY BOOKS

Word study books go beyond the basic Bible dictionary in defining words used in the Bible. They provide the Greek or Hebrew word and various meanings given to the same word. A word study book also provides the references in a which  word is used. Here is an example from a word study book:

AXE: From AXINE, an axe, kin to agumi, to break, is found in Matthew 3:10 and Luke 3:9

This listing shows the Greek Word, tells it is related to another word ("agumi"), explains the meaning of the word, and tells where the word is used in the Bible.

The following word study books are suggested:

An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words and An Expository Dictionary of Old Testament words, both  by W.E. Vine published  by Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, U.S.A.

BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA

A Bible encyclopedia also lists various Bible subjects and words in alphabetical order and defines them. But it provides a more extensive discussion than a dictionary. Here is an example from a Bible encyclopedia:

BEGOTTEN Heb. Yalad (Lev. 18:11; Job 38:28; Psalm 2:7; etc.); Gk. Yennao (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).; NEB also “sired), “become your father”, etc. In the RSV the term occurs mainly of God’s act in making Christ His Son: “You are my son; today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7), quoted in Acts 13:33 in reference to His resurrection (Rom 1:4). The same passage is cited in Heb 1:5 as proving Christ’s filial dignity, transcending the angels in that “the name he has obtained is more excellent then theirs,” i.e., the name of son; and again (5:5) of God’s conferring upon Christ the glory of the priestly office.

 

Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia by C.F. Pfeiffer, V.F. Vos, and John Rea; published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, (five volumes) published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. 

BIBLE COMMENTARY

A commentary is a book that provides comments about Scriptures in the Bible. It comments on the Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse. A commentary is helpful in explaining passages which are difficult to understand. But remember: This is one person's ideas as to what the Scriptures mean. Commentaries are only opinions of man. This is why it is important that you study the Bible for yourself and not depend only on the comments of others.

There are many different Bible commentaries. Some commentaries consist of one volume which covers the entire Bible. Other commentaries devote one book of comments to each book of the Bible. Suggested commentaries:

The Wycliff Bible Commentary by Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison published in by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Matthew Henry's Commentary of the Whole Bible published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

BIBLE ATLAS

A Bible atlas or geography contains maps and information on the lands of the Bible. It helps you locate and understand the geographical setting in which the incidents in the Bible happened. The following atlases are recommended:

Compact Bible Atlas with Gazetter published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

Hammond's Atlas of the Bible Lands by  Harry T. Frank published by Scripture Press, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.A.

Oxford Bible Atlas by Herbert G. May published by Oxford University Press, New York, New York, U.S.A.

The Macmillan Bible Atlas published by Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, New York, U.S.A.

TOPICAL TEXTBOOKS

A topical textbook is a book which organizes the Bible under major topical listings and gives the verses where these topics are discussed. Here is an example from a topical textbook:

GIDEON. Call of by an angel, Judg. 6:11,14. His excuses, Judg. 6:15. Promises of the Lord to, Judg. 6:16. Angel attests the call to, by miracle, Judg. 6:21-24. He destroys the altar of Baal, and builds one to the Lord, Judg. 6:25-27. His prayer tests, Judg. 6:36-40. Leads an army against and defeats the Midianites, Judg. 6:33-35; 7; 8:4-12. Ephriamites chide, for not inviting them to join in the campaign against Midianites, Judg. 8:1-3. Avenges himself upon the people of Succoth, Judg. 8:14-17. Israel desires to make him king, he refuses, Judg. 8;22-23. Makes an ephod which becomes a snare to the Israelites, Judg. 8:24-27. Had seventy sons, Judg. 8:30. Death of, Judge 8:32; Faith of, Heb. 11:32

Nave's Topical Bible lists 20,000 topics with 100,000 Bible references. It was written by Orville J. Nave and published by Guardian Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

Zondervan Topical Bible lists 21,000 topics with over 100,000 Scripture references published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

BIBLE HANDBOOKS

A Bible handbook is usually a one volume summary of selected information about the Bible. It contains helpful maps and charts, definitions, information on Bible times, and summaries of the books of the Bible. A Bible handbook presents a general overview of the Bible. The following are good Bible handbooks:

Unger's Bible Handbook, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Eerdman's Handbook To The Bible, Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

INTERNET

For those who are computer literate and have access to the Internet, it is a wonderful resource for Bible study tools. Many of the study tools mentioned in this chapter can now be accessed via the Internet. Input the key words "Bible study resources" or "Bible studies." You may also input the title of the study aid you are seeking.  For example, "Nave's Topical Bible" will locate this resource for you.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. What are the three main uses of a concordance?

3. Look at the words in List One, then look at the definitions in List Two.  Write the number of the definition which best describes the word on the blank in front of it.

List One

List Two

___Topical textbook

 

1.  Provides comments on the Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter.

___Bible dictionary

 

2.  Like a regular dictionary, but defines words as they are used in the Bible rather than modern times.

___Bible encyclopedia

 

3.  Provides maps and information on the geographical setting of the Bible.

___Commentary

4.  Lists topics of the Bible and scriptural references for them.

___Bible atlas

 

5.  Provides explanation for words in more detail than a Bible dictionary.

___Word study books

 

6.  Provides general information on the Bible: Background, history,  etc.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

If you have access to Bible study tools, complete the following exercises:

1. Use a concordance to locate the following verse.  Complete the verse and record the Bible reference: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this  condemnation ­­­_______________”
Reference:

2. Use the concordance, a Bible dictionary, and a word study book to study the word "lasciviousness."  Summarize its meaning:

3. Look up Jude 1:4 in a Bible commentary and see what comments are made about this verse.  Summarize what you learn:

 

CHAPTER SIX: PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain what it means to "rightly divide" the Word of truth.

·         List six rules for properly interpreting the Bible.

·         Define each of these six rules.

·         Define verbal and plenary inspiration.

KEY VERSE: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)

INTRODUCTION

Read the Key Verse again. "Rightly dividing" as used here is taken from the rules for Old Testament sacrifices and means to "cut straight." In the Old Testament, when a person brought a sacrifice for sin, the animal was divided into three parts.  One part was offered to God. Another part was given to the one who brought the offering. The third part went to the priest. From this practice the expression "rightly dividing" developed.  It means to "give to each that which belongs to him."

In Bible study it is important to rightly divide the Word of God. This means you must understand what is being said to whom. You must also interpret and apply the meaning correctly.

There are three major groups to which the Word addresses itself. These are listed in I Corinthians 10:32: Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God. (I Corinthians 10:32)

All Scriptures were given FOR us, but not all verses are directed TO us. For example, God told Noah to build an ark. The story is recorded as an example from which you are to learn spiritual truths but it does not mean YOU should build an ark. Some of the Bible is directed to the Jews. Portions are directed to the Gentiles (nations other than the Jews). Other portions are directed to the Church (all those who are true believers in Jesus Christ).

In order to find the correct meaning from the Bible you must learn to rightly divide it. Another word for this is "interpretation" which means to give something proper meaning. You must learn how to arrive at the proper meaning for each Scripture. Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders of His time: Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

Spiritual error results from not knowing God's Word. There are certain principles you must follow in order to properly interpret the Bible. There are six basic rules for
 interpreting the Bible which help to "rightly divide" the Word of God.

THE RULE OF DIVINE AUTHORITY

The rule of divine authority means that we accept the Bible as the final authority. We believe that all the Bible is inspired by God, from Genesis through Revelation: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16)

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:19-21) There are two different types of inspiration:  Verbal and plenary inspiration. By verbal inspiration we mean that every word in the original manuscripts was inspired by God.  By plenary inspiration we mean full inspiration of all Scripture as opposed to partial inspiration. Every portion of the Bible is inspired. When we accept the rule of divine authority, then there is no conflict between the Bible and history or science. If there is an apparent conflict it is because:

1. We have failed to understand science or history. or else. . .

2. The current scientific knowledge is not accurate. When conflicts are apparent, the Bible is taken as the final authority because it is the divinely inspired Word of God. In the past, when apparent conflicts between the Bible and history or science arose, later investigations always proved the Bible to be correct.

THE RULE OF LITERAL INTERPRETATION

To interpret the Bible literally means to believe it means exactly what it says.  Always interpret the Bible literally unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. When the Bible says Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, accept it literally. When the Bible tells about the walls of Jericho falling down, accept it as it is recorded by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible does contain various "types." Certain persons, places, or events, while literal in themselves, also represent something that will happen in the future. Chapter Twenty-One of this course will help you recognize these. 

Symbols are also used in the Bible. A symbol stands for a meaning in addition to its ordinary one. For example, in Mark 14:22 the wine is used as a symbol of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (They were not drinking actual blood.) Symbols are often used in Bible prophecy. For example the great image of which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed in Daniel has symbolic significance. Each part of the image represented a future world kingdom (Daniel 2). The Bible usually explains symbols when they are used. For example, Daniel's interpretation of the symbolic image is recorded in Daniel 2:31-45. Jesus often used parables when He taught. A parable is a story that is told for the purpose of illustrating a spiritual truth. Whenever Jesus used a parable it is always stated in the Bible. If it does not say it was a parable then the story should be accepted as an actual event.

THE RULE OF CONTEXTUAL CONSIDERATION

Every verse of the Bible should be studied in its context. This means it should be studied in relation to the verses which precede and follow it, as well as in relation to the rest of the Bible. Many false doctrines and cults have been created because verses or parts of verses were taken out of their context.

For example, the Bible says there is no God.  Did you know that? You will find this in Psalm 14:1. Right there it says "there is no God." But if we read all the passage then we have this: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  (Psalm 14:1) The complete verse in its context is quite different in meaning than the portion removed from the context.

To study a verse in its context ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who Is Speaking Or Writing? Although all the Bible is God's Word, different men were used in writing and speaking it.

2. What Is Being Said? Summarize the main points of what is being said by the speaker or writer.

3. To Whom Is It Being Said? Israel? The Gentile nations? The Church? A specific individual?

4. Why Was It Said? What is the purpose in the passage? The Bible itself states purposes for some books and passages: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name. (John 20:30-31) For other parts of Scripture the reason for writing is not so clearly stated. You must examine the context more closely to determine why the message was recorded.

5. When Was It Said? The time and circumstances of some scriptures help us understand the meaning. For example, when there was confusion in church services at the church of Corinth Paul wrote a special passage of scripture. He told the women to keep silent in the Church. Did this mean women could not sing, pray, teach, or worship out loud in the Church? To find the answer, we must examine when, why, and to whom this was said. In Jewish church services men were seated on one side of the building and women on the other. The Corinthian women were disrupting services by shouting questions to their husbands on the other side of the room.  This was the occasion when Paul found it necessary to write: 

Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. (I Corinthians 14:34)

Interpreting a Scripture within its context helps explain the meaning of the passage. Taking a verse out of context can result in incorrect understanding. Often the context of a Scripture in the Bible gives the interpretation. A good example of this is the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-9. If you continue to read the context, the parable is interpreted in verses 18-23. In many cases similar to this the Bible interprets itself within the context. This is why contextual consideration is important.

THE RULE OF FIRST MENTION

The rule of first mention is as follows: The first time a word, phrase, object, or incident is mentioned in the Bible, it gives the key to its meaning anywhere else it occurs. For example, in Genesis 3  there is the first mention of fig leaves. Here, Adam used fig leaves to try to cover his own sin and nakedness by his own efforts. Fig leaves speak of self-righteousness, rejection of God's remedy, and an attempt to justify ones self before God.

This is the meaning of fig leaves wherever they are mentioned afterwards in the Bible. For example, the last time fig leaves are mentioned is by Jesus in Matthew 21 and Mark 11 and 13. Here we find a fig tree with leaves but no fruit. Jesus cursed it and it withered away. To understand this act we need to remember the law of first mention and go back to Genesis 3. Fig leaves represent man's rejection of God's remedy and a self-righteous attempt to justify himself. The fig tree represented the self-righteous nation of Israel who had rejected Jesus. They rejected Him as King and would not accept His plan of salvation from sin. They were trying to be righteous through their own self-efforts.

THE RULE OF REPETITION

All the Bible is divinely inspired. There are no unessential parts of the Bible. Each word is inspired and necessary. For this reason, when something is repeated in Scripture it is for special emphasis. It means that a truth is of such special importance that it needs to be repeated.

John 3 illustrates this rule of repetition. Jesus tells Nicodemus of the necessity of the new birth experience and repeats it three times: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:7)

Remember: Whenever the Bible repeats, it is the Holy Spirit's way of saying "Stop and really look at this."

THE RULE OF CUMULATIVE REVELATION

This rule is actually stated in the Bible: Know this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  (II Peter 1:20- 21)

The Schofield Bible gives this translation: No prophecy of scripture is its own interpretation; That is, it is not isolated from all the that the Word has given elsewhere. The rule of cumulative revelation is this: The full truth of God's Word on any subject must not be gathered from an isolated passage. The cumulative (total) revelation of all the Bible says regarding a truth must be considered. This is why it is called the rule of "cumulative" revelation.

You cannot base your doctrine, teaching, or beliefs on a few isolated verses about a subject. You must keep studying until your interpretation becomes consistent with the whole of the Scriptures.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What does it mean to "rightly divide" the Word of truth?

3. What is meant by "verbal" inspiration of the Bible?

4. What is meant by "plenary" inspiration of the Bible?

5. List each rule for interpretation which was discussed in this chapter.  After each rule explain briefly what it means:

 

What it means:

Rule 1:

 

Rule 2:

 

Rule 3:

 

Rule 4:

 

Rule 5:

 

Rule 6:

 

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

There are several passages in the Bible which confirm the inspiration of the Word by God.  Look up each passage in your Bible and summarize it: Scripture

Scripture

Summary

Hebrews 1:1

 

I Thessalonians 2:13

 

II Timothy 3:16

 

I Corinthians 14:37

 

I Corinthians 2:7-13

 

I Corinthians 11:23

 

Galatians 1:11,12,16,20

 

Ephesians 3:1-10

 

I Peter 1:10,11,21

 

II Peter 3:16

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: BIBLE BACKGROUND

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Identify major historical periods of the Bible.

Describe everyday life in Bible times.

Define Biblical archaeology.

KEY VERSE: Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever. (Psalm 119:152)

INTRODUCTION

Each part of the Bible occurred at a specific time in history and in a specific cultural context. Proper understanding of a passage often relates to these factors.  This chapter gives a brief summary of the history of the Bible and explains details of everyday life in Bible days.

CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY

Chronological history tells when an event occurred in the past. "Chronological" means in order or sequence. Chronological history organizes events of the past in proper order. In most of the world the dating of time is divided into two major periods. These two periods are shown by the use of initials after the number of the year:

B.C. Numbers marked with these initials mean an event happened before the birth of Christ.

A.D. Numbers marked with these initials mean an event happened after the time of the birth of Christ.

When we say something happened 250 B.C., it means it happened 250 years Before Christ.  When we say an event happened 700 A.D., it means it happened 700 years after the birth of Christ. When a number has B.C. after it, the larger the number is the older the date is. When a number has an A.D. after it, the larger number is the more recent date. This chart will help you understand dating:

B.C.

A.D.

500 B.C.

300 B.C.

100 B.C.

100 A.D.

300 A.D.

500 A.D.

This date is older because it occurred 500 years before Christ.

This date is current because it occurred 500 years after Christ.

There are several ways we are able to know the chronological history of Bible events:

1. The Bible itself provides the dates of some events.

2. Early records of historians provide dates. 

3. Through archaeology, which is the study of ancient things. It is a science which gains knowledge of times past from the study of existing remains of their civilizations. Biblical archaeology is the study of remains found in Bible lands. Some of the historical record of the Bible has been gained by dating these remains.

CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE BIBLE

The chronological history of the Bible is most easily divided into twelve major periods. Chart One shows the major periods of Bible chronology. Look at Column Two on the chart. It shows the 12 periods of Bible history starting with "Creation to Abraham" and concluding with "Spread Of The Gospel."

Columns One and Three show when the books of the Bible were written. Note that between the Old and New Testament there was a period of 386 years during which no books were written. Refer to this chronology as you study the Bible. It will help you determine when events happened:

One

Two

Three

Genesis

1. Creation to Abraham

2. Abraham to Moses

 

Exodus

3. The Exodus

 

Leviticus

 

Numbers

 

Deuteronomy

 

Joshua

4. The Conquest

 

Judges

5. The Judges

 

Ruth

 

 

6. The Kingdom

Job

 

Psalms

 

Proverbs

 

Ecclesiastes

 

Song of Solomon

1 Samuel

Isaiah

2 Samuel

Jeremiah

 

Lamentations

1 Kings

Ezekiel

2 Kings

Daniel

 

Hosea

 

Joel

 

Amos

1 Chronicles

7. Two Kingdoms

Obadiah

2 Chronicles

8. Judah alone

Jonah

 

 

Micah

 

 

Nahum

 

 

Habakkuk

 

9 The Captivity

Zephaniah

Ezra

 

 

Nehemiah

 

Haggai

Malachi

10. The Restoration

Zechariah

 

 

 

Matthew

11. Life of Christ

 

Mark

 

Luke

 

John

 

 

Romans

 

1 and 2 Corinthians

 

Galatians

 

Ephesians

 

Philippians

 

Colossians

 

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Acts

12. Spread of the Gospel

1 and 2 Timothy

 

 

Philemon

 

 

Titus

 

 

Hebrews

 

 

James

 

 

1 and 2 Peter

 

 

1, 2 and 3 John

 

 

Jude

 

 

Revelation

Now read the description of major events which occurred in these 12 periods of Bible history:

1. Creation to Abraham (From creation to 2000 B.C.): The creation of the universe, the fall of man into sin, the murder of Abel by Cain, Noah and the flood, and the Tower of Babel are some of the major Bible events of this period.

2. Abraham to Moses (200-1500 B.C.): This period covers approximately 500 years. The experiences of one man, Abraham, and his descendants are the focus of this period. From Abraham God raised up the nation of Israel through which He wanted to reveal Himself to the nations of the world. This period includes the stories of Isaac, the son of Abraham, and of Isaac's son, Jacob. The period climaxes with the story of Joseph, Jacob's son, who was sold into slavery in Egypt and became a great ruler.  Jacob and his family later joined Joseph in Egypt.

3. The Exodus (1500-1460 B.C.): Between the close of Genesis and the opening of Exodus approximately 100 years passed. The family of Jacob multiplied into the nation of Israel during this time. The Egyptians became fearful because of the rapid increase of the Israelites so they made them slaves. Moses was raised up and under his leadership the Israelites miraculously departed from Egypt. After spending a year at Mt. Sinai, they wandered for 38 years in the desert. This period closes with the death of Moses and the leadership of Israel being assumed by a man named Joshua.

4. The Conquest of Canaan (1460-1450 B.C.): During this period Joshua led Israel into Canaan to possess the land God had promised them. When the ungodly people of this area were conquered militarily, the land was divided among the 12 tribes of Israel. This period of 10 years is recorded in the book of Joshua.

5. The Judges (1450-1102 B.C.): This was a time during which God raised up judges to rule the people of Israel. It is a dark period of time in the story of Israel as it was a time of spiritual failure. This period lasted for 348 years.

6. The Kingdom (1102-982 B.C.): Samuel, the last judge of Israel, established the Kingdom of Israel and anointed Saul to be king. Three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon each reigned about 40 years. During this time the nation of Israel attained the highest glory in their history. The government was firmly established and Israel's borders were expanded. The story of this period, as well as the three following periods, are recorded in I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, and I and II Chronicles.  The kingdom period lasted for 120 years and then the kingdom was divided.

7. The Two Kingdoms (982-722 B.C.): When the evil son of Solomon, Rehoboam, came to the throne, the Northern tribes revolted. They established a separate kingdom of Israel. The Kingdom in the south became known as the Kingdom of Judah. For about 259 years Israel was divided into these two kingdoms.

8. Judah alone (722-587 B.C.): Israel, the Northern Kingdom, was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The people were taken captive into Assyria. After the fall of Israel, the southern Kingdom of Judah lasted 135 years. Judah's kings had shown more loyalty to God and the people had not gone so deep into sin.

9. The Captivity (587-538 B.C.): In spite of the warnings of the prophets, Judah finally went deeper into sin until God let them be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and taken captive into Babylon. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed and the people of God, who a few hundred years before had miraculous crossed the Jordan River, now marched away in chains.

10. The Restoration (538-391 B.C.): When a king by the name of Cyrus became leader of Babylon, he permitted God's people to return and rebuild Jerusalem and their temple of worship. Zerubbabel led the group who returned to reestablish themselves in the promised land. The records of this period are found in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. This period of restoration lasted for 147 years.

Between the Testaments (391-5 B.C.) The Old Testament closes with the reestablishment of God's people, Israel, in Canaan. Then came a period of about 400 years between the Old and New Testaments. There were no Bible books written during this period so information on the time comes from secular writings.

During this time Palestine was ruled by the Persians (536-333 B.C.), the Greeks (333-323 B.C.), the Egyptians (323-204 B.C.), the Syrians (204-165 B.C.), the Maccabeans (165-63 B.C.), and Rome (63 B.C. through the time of Christ).

11. Life of Christ (5 B.C. to 28 A.D.): After 400 years, John the Baptist was raised up by God to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus was to be the Savior of sinful mankind.  The promise of this plan of salvation was first made in the garden of Eden when man originally sinned (Genesis 3:15). Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin, revealed Himself to Israel as the Messiah, was rejected, crucified for the sins of all mankind, and resurrected by the power of God.   Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record this period of 33 years.

12. The spread Of The Gospel (28-100 A.D.): This period covers the events after Christ's return to Heaven following His resurrection. It records the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and throughout the world,

 

Chart Two:  Judges Of Israel

The Old Testament refers to many events which happened when Israel was ruled by Judges.   Judges ruled before Israel had kings. The stories of the judges are recorded in the book of Judges.  Use this chart to help you identify when events occurred during the period of the judges:

Judges of Israel

Name

Dates B.C.

Number of Years

Othniel

1400-1360

40

Ehud

1360-1280

80

Shamgar

1280

1

Deborah

1280-1240

40

Gideon

1240-1200

40

Abimelech

1200-1197

3

Tola

1197-1174

23

Jair

1174-1152

22

Jephthah

1152-1146

6

Ibzan

1146-1138

8

Elon

1138-1128

10

Abdon

1128-1121

7

Samson

1121-1101

20

 

Chart Three:  Kings Of Israel And Judah

Many Old Testament events are mentioned as having occurred during the reigns of different kings of Israel and Judah.  This chart will help you date these events:

Kings Of Israel:

KINGS OF ISRAEL

Name of King

Years of Reign

Dates B.C.

Reference

Jeroboam I

22

976-954

I Kings 11:26-14:20

Nadab

2

954-953

I Kings 15:25-28

Baasha

24

953-930

I Kings 15:27-16:7

Elah

2

930-929

I Kings 16:6-14

Zimri

(7 days)

929

I Kings 16:9-20

Omri

12

929-918

I Kings 16:15-28

Ahab

21

918-898

I Kings 16:28-22:40

Ahaziah

1

898-897

I Kings 22:40-II Kings 1:18

Jehoram

11

897-885

II Kings 3:1-9:25

Jehu

28

885-857

II Kings 9:1-10:36

Jehoahaz

16

857-841

II Kings 13:1-9

Jehoash (Joah)

16

841-825

II Kings 13:10-14:16

Jeroboam II

40

825-773

II Kings 14:23-29

Zechariah

1/2

773-772

II Kings 14:29-15:12

Shallum

(1 month)

772

II Kings 15:10-15

Menahem

10

772-762

II Kings 15:14-22

Pekahiah

2

762-760

II Kings 15:22-26

Pekah

20

760-730

II Kings 15:27-31

Hoshea

9

730-721

II Kings 15:30-17:6

 

KINGS OF JUDAH

Name of King

Years of Reign

Dates B.C.

Reference

Rehoboam

17

976-959

I Kings 11:42-14:31

Abijam

3

959-996

I Kings 14:31-15:8

Asa

41

956-915

I Kings 15:8-24

Jehosphahat

25

915-893

I Kings 22:41-50

Johoram

8

893-886

II Kings 8:16-24

Ahaziah

1

886-885 

II Kings 8:24-9:29

Athliah

6

885-879

II Kings 11:1-20

Joash

40

879-840

II Kings 11:1-12:21

Amaziah

29

840-811

II Kings 14:1-20

Azariah (Uzziah)

52

811-759

II Kings 15:1-7

Jotham

18

759-743

II Kings 15:32-38

Ahaz

19

743-727

II Kings 16:1-20

Hezekiah  

29

727-698

II Kings 18:1-20:21

Manasseh

55

698-643 

II Kings 21:1-18

Amon

2

643-640

II Kings 21:19-26

Josiah 

31

640-609

II Kings 22:1-23:30

Jehohaz

(3 months)

609

II Kings 23:31-33

Jehoiakim

11

609-597

II Kings 23:34-24:5

Jehoiachin

(3 months)

597

II Kings 24:6-16

Zedekiah

11

597

II Kings 24:17-25:30

 

Chart Four:  Old Testament Prophets

Since much of the Old Testament are books of prophecy, it is important to know when the prophets lived and prophesied.  Use this chart to date events during the periods of the prophets.

Old Testament Prophets

Prophet

Prophesied To:

Dates

Jonah

Assyria

Before Captivity (800-650)

Nahum

Assyria

Before Captivity (800-650)

Obadiah

Edom

Before Captivity (800)

Hosea

Israel

Before Captivity (750)

Amos

Israel

Before Captivity (750)

Isaiah

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Jeremiah/Lamentations

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Joel

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Micah

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Habakkuk

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Zephaniah

Judah

Before Captivity (800-606)

Ezekiel

Judah

During Captivity (606-536)

Daniel

Judah

During Captivity (606-536)

Haggai

Judah

After Captivity (536-400)

Zechariah

Judah

After Captivity (536-400)

Malachi

Judah

After Captivity (536-400)

 

LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES

The  Bible, historians, and archaeological studies have provided information on the everyday life of the people of Israel in Bible times. Prior to the time when they went to Egypt the people of Israel lived in tents.  They moved about with their flocks and herds in search of fresh pasture and water.

After the exodus from Egypt and the years traveling in the desert, Israel settled in their promised land of Canaan. From that time on the life of ordinary people followed a pattern that changed little throughout the years.

Peasant men worked either in the fields or in a village craft while the women and children kept the home. Farming and shepherding were both important occupations. There was some fishing and all kinds of village crafts including carpentry, pottery, and leather work. Water was in short supply since the land was hot and dry most of the year. Water was drawn from a village  well in a goatskin  bucket. This was an important place of socializing for the women.

People wore long flowing robes in order to keep cool. The material of the robe was decided by wealth.  The wealthy could afford brightly dyed cloth.  Often clothes indicated a man's profession. For example, the priests wore special clothing and the rabbi (religious leader of Israel) wore a blue-fringed robe.  Shoes were made of cow hide soles with leather thongs which fastened to the ankle.

Marriages were arranged by parents and there was little social mixing between young people. Because the bride was a working asset, she had to be paid for with a bride price. Domestic life centered in the home.

In Old Testament times there was no school for common men's children. They were taught skills and religion by their parents. By the time of Jesus, a girl's education was still entirely her mother's responsibility. Boys went to a school at the synagogue from age six on. The Old Testament was the textbook they used to learn history, geography, literature, and law.  Exceptional students were sent to Jerusalem to learn from the Rabbis. Each boy also had to learn a trade. When a boy became 13 years old, he became "Bar Mitzvah" which is Jewish for "a son of the law." This meant that he was considered to be a man.

Death among the people of Israel called for elaborate ceremonies of mourning. Sometimes professional mourners would be hired. In New Testament times bodies were anointed and wrapped in special grave clothes. Poor people were buried in common graves or caves, but the wealthy had tombs dug out of rocks and sealed with a flat boulder.

There was no division between civil and religious law in Israel. The gate of the city or village was the place where problems were formally judged. The highest court in New Testament times was the Sanhedrin which consisted of 70 men who met in the temple. The Roman authorities, who were in control of Israel during New Testament times, allowed the Israelites to pass any sentence under their law except the death penalty. The religious life of Israel centered first on the tabernacle and later on the temple in Jerusalem. Old Testament religious regulations were administered by the priests and the Levites.  he greatest religious day of the year was the day of Atonement. On this day the high priest entered the innermost room of the temple to make atonement for his own sins and the sins of the people.

Other festivals included the Passover, which was a way of remembering Israel's escape from Egypt. The feast of Pentecost marked the beginning of harvest and the feast of Tabernacles was the harvest festival. The feast of Purim recalled Esther's deliverance of Israel, and the feast of trumpets marked the start of the new year.

Between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament regular worship shifted from the main temple to the local synagogue. This practice started in the days when Israel was in captivity and there was no temple in Jerusalem. Only men took an active part in the synagogue service. The women and children sat in a different section. The pattern of the service included statement of a creed, prayers, and readings from the law and prophets. This was followed by a sermon and a time when the men could question the minister.

The Old Testament Scriptures were written on sacred scrolls which only the doctors of law might open. Whenever possible visits were made to the temple at Jerusalem which had been rebuilt. The temple was similar to Solomon's original temple of Old Testament times but on a larger scale.

The story of the Bible is set against this background of traditional family and rural life which did not change for centuries. It was also set against the background of warring empires around Israel  and the influence of the Roman Empire. Rome had extended to control the people of Israel during the time of Jesus.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Matching:  For each period in List One find the description that best fits it in List Two and write the letter on the blank in front of the period it describes.

List One; Periods

List Two

_____Creation To Abraham

a.  Acts and the Epistles tell this story.

_____Abraham to Moses

b.  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell this story.

_____The Exodus

c.  Israel's deliverance from Egypt happened.

_____The Conquest

d.  Israel conquered the Promised Land during this period.

_____The Judges

 

e.  This was a period of great sin during which God raised up judges to deliver Israel.

_____The Kingdom

f.   Israel was split into two kingdoms in this period.

_____The Two Kingdoms

 

g. A period during which Saul, David, and Solomon reigned as kings.

_____Judah Alone

 

h.  Israel and Judah were in bondage during this period.

_____The Captivity

 

i.   Jerusalem and the temple were rebuilt during this period.

_____The Restoration

j.  Judah was the only kingdom.

_____Life of Christ

 

k. The stories of Noah, Cain, Abel, and Tower of Babel happened during this period.

_____Spread of the Gospel

 

l.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were key men during this period.

3. History or chronology tells _____________ it happened.

4. What is Biblical archaeology?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

l. If you are especially interested in Bible chronology obtain the New Chronological Bible published by World Bible Publishers.  The Chronological Bible is a King
James version of the Bible which is organized on the basis of chronology.  This means that instead of being organized by books (Genesis through Revelation) that the chapters and verses are presented in chronological order that events happened in the past or will occur in the future.

The content of Genesis through Revelation is organized in the Chronological Bible under twelve major sections:

·         Development of the Early World

·         Development of Israel As A Tribe

·         Development of Israel As A Nation

·         Development of Israel and As Kingdom

·         Division of Israel into Dual Kingdoms

·         Survival of Israel in the Southern Kingdom

·         Captivity of Israel in Babylonia

·         Restoration of Israel as a Nation

·         Preservation of Israel during the Intertestamental period  

(this is the period of time between the writing of the Old and New Testaments)

·         Inauguration of the Kingdom of God on Earth

·         Continuation of the Kingdom of God on Earth

·         Consummation of the Kingdom of God on Earth

The Narrated Bible published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, is also a good tool for chronological study of the Bible.  This book does not give the actual Bible text, but provides Bible references in chronological order and a brief narrative (commentary) on each reference.

2. If you are interested in Biblical archaeology, the following books are suggested:

Beginnings In Biblical  Archaeology by Howard Vos published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Archaeology in Bible Lands by Howard Vos published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: OUTLINING, MARKING, CHARTING

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Use a method of Bible marking.

·         Create an outline.

·         Create a summarizing chart.  

KEY VERSE: The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.  (Psalm 119:144)

INTRODUCTION

The development of three basic skills will improve any method of Bible study. These skills are marking, outlining, and charting. They are the subjects of this chapter.

MARKING

Marking is a method of emphasizing key Bible passages. Marking makes it easy for you to locate verses on specific subjects. To mark your Bible you underline selected verses. If you have different colors of pencils you can color code your underlining. If you do not have colored pencils you can use symbols in the margin by key verses. Use the following colors or codes:

Red: For verses which relate to salvation. Red represents the blood of Jesus. You could also use the symbol of a cross for verses about salvation.

Green: This is the color of growing things. Use this color to underline verses about spiritual growth. You could also use a flower to represent  growth.

Blue: This is the color of the heavens. Use this color to mark verses relating to the second coming of Jesus Christ, the New Jerusalem, and Heaven. If you are using symbols, use a crown  to mark the verses in the margin of your Bible. The crown represents the Kingdom of Heaven.

Brown: A field of wheat ready to harvest is brown in color. Jesus used the example of harvest when speaking of evangelism. Use the color brown to mark verses related to evangelism. You could also use the symbol (#) which is a symbol standing for the word number. Use it to remind you of the great number of people who have yet to hear the Gospel message.

You can select additional colors to mark verses on other important subjects: Purple, pink, yellow, black, etc. You can also use additional symbols and assign them meanings:         

OUTLINING

An outline is a method of organizing study notes. It puts information in summary form to use in ministry and future study. An outline centers on a selected theme.  This theme becomes the title of the outline which usually reflects the subject of study. After identifying the subject of study, the next step is to identify main points which tell something about the subject. Next there will be sub-points. The prefix "sub" means they come under or tell something about the main point.

There are many ways to outline. We have selected one which uses special numbers called Roman numerals for the main points. If you are not familiar with Roman numerals, a list is provided for you in the "For Further Study" section of this chapter. Subpoints on the outline are shown with capital letters of the alphabet. If there are further points under these, they are shown with regular numbers. Study the following example which summarizes how to make an outline:

PLACE THE TITLE HERE

 

I.         This is the Roman numeral for "l" used for the first main point.

 

            A.        This is a capital letter used for a subpoint relating to the main point.

                        1. If there was another subpoint relating to this, it would be marked with                

                            the number l.

                        2. Perhaps there are other points relating back to subpoint A.

                            If so, continue to place them in numerical order.

 

B. Main point I may have several subpoints. If so, continue down through the alphabet using capital letters in order. Each one of these subpoints should relate to the main point.

 

II.        To present another main point use the next Roman numeral.

 

            A.        Subpoints follow the same pattern under every main point.

 

 

As an example, we have prepared a brief outline of Romans 12:1-2. First read the verses: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

The outline of this passages follows:

STEPS FOR FINDING GOD'S WILL

 

I.         Present your bodies a living sacrifice:

 

            A.        Holy.

            B.        Acceptable unto God.

 

II.        Be not conformed to this world:

 

            A.        Be transformed.

                        1.         We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

             

III.       These steps will help us prove (find) the will of God which is:

 

            A.        Good.

            B.        Acceptable.

            C.        Perfect.

 

 

You can see how this outline clearly summarizes the steps to God's will given in Romans 12:1-2.

CHARTING

Another method of organizing study materials is through charting. You will be given several charts to complete during this course to help you develop this skill.  Charting is important because it helps you visualize what you have studied. Charting summarizes in brief form what you learn and helps you remember it.

There are two basic ways to draw a chart:

HORIZONTAL CHART:

Draw your chart lengthwise on a sheet of paper. Draw a line across the page and block off as many divisions as needed for your particular study. The horizontal chart is good to use in book study. You can find an example of it in Chapter Eleven.

VERTICAL CHART:

This type of chart is drawn vertically on a sheet of paper. A large rectangle is drawn and divisions are made within it. Vertical charts are best for shorter portions of material or for chapter studies. Here is an example of a vertical chart on James 1:26-27. First read the passage: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:26-27)

Now study the chart:

Test of Religion

Personal Description

Test

Result

Religion

Seems to be religious

Control of tongue

Deceives himself

Vain tongue

Unspotted from world

Visits poor

Undefiled before God

Keeps self holy, undefiled

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is wrong with the following outline structure?

TITLE

I. This is the first main point.

A. This is a subpoint relating to the main point.

B. This is the second main point.

3. What are the two main ways to draw charts?

4. What is meant by "marking" as related to Bible study?

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY1.

Study James 3:2-6 in your Bible. Complete the outline below:

THE HUMAN TONGUE

I. If we offend not in word we are: (see verse 2)

A.

B.

II. Examples of the power of small things:

A. The bit in a horse's mouth is used for two purposes:  (see verse 3)

1.

2.

B. The helm of a ship: (verse 4)

1.

C. A small fire:  (verse 5)

1. III. The tongue is also small but it:  (verses 5-6)

A.   Boasts great things.

B.   Is a world of iniquity.

C.  

D.

E.

2. Now complete the following chart which covers a portion of James 3:2-6:

3. The following chart of Roman numerals is for use in creating outlines according to the pattern given in this chapter:

1

I

2

II

3

III

4

IV

5

V

6

VI

7

VII

8

VII

9

IX

10

X

11

XI

12

XII

13

XIII

14

XIV

15

XV

16

XVI

17

XVII

18

XVIII

19

XIX

20

XX

30

XXX

40

XL

50

L

60

LX

70

LXX

80

LXXX

90

XC

100

C

 

PART THREE:  CREATIVE BIBLE STUDY

 

CHAPTER NINE: STUDYING THE BIBLE BY THE BIBLE

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Identify symbols of the Word of God used in the Bible.

Study God's Word by using the Bible.

Identify the source of the Word.

Distinguish between the milk and meat of the Word.

KEY VERSE: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18)

INTRODUCTION

One of the best ways to begin Bible study is to learn what the Bible says about itself. That is the subject of this chapter.  In this lesson you will learn about the symbols of God's Word and specific facts about God's Word revealed in the Bible itself.

In most Institute courses when we refer to Scriptures we write them out within the context of the lesson. This is done to save you time. But we have not written out the verses in this lesson for a special reason. One of the purposes of this lesson is to familiarize you with using your Bible, so we have listed only the references. As you study the lesson, look up each reference in your Bible. If you are not familiar with the location of the books, look in the front of your Bible. Most Bibles have a "Table Of Contents" which lists the page number where the book begins.  When you find the page number listed for a book, you will be at chapter one of that book.  Then look up the correct chapter and verse number:

THE SOURCE OF THE WORD

The source of the Bible is God Himself.  Read Psalm 68:11.  This confirms that God is the source of the Word.  I Thessalonians 2:13 explains that the Bible is God's Word and that its source is not man.  When Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry, He made it clear that the source of His words was God.  See John 14:10 and 24; 17:8 and 14; and 3:34. 

THE HISTORY OF THE WORD

The Bible reveals much about its own history, answering questions such as "How long has the Word existed?" and "Who first wrote down the words of God?" Read Hebrews 11:3. This verse reveals that the world in which we live was framed (created) by the Word of God. Read Genesis chapter l in your Bible which tells the story of creation and you will find this to be true. God literally spoke the world into existence. You can read more about this in II Peter 3:5-7. Hebrews 1:3 says that He continues to uphold the world and all things by the Word of His power. Psalm 33:6 says that the heavens were made by the Word of God.

God is eternal. He has no beginning and end. Since God is inseparable from His Word (He is the Word), then the Word has no beginning and no end  Like God, His Word has always existed. Read Exodus 20:1-17 in your Bible. This is the first record of God inspiring a man (Moses) to write down His Words.

Read John chapter l in your Bible. Note closely verses l-5 and 14. This passage refers to Jesus as the Word. It reveals that the Word (Jesus) was with God and was God in the beginning. It confirms how God and His Word created the world. Jesus has always existed with the Father, but in verse 14 it tells how the Word (Jesus) became flesh and came to live on earth in human form. Verses 11-12 record how He was rejected by His own people but how those who receive Him can become children of God.

BOOKS, SCROLLS, AND STONES

God's Word was written in many forms throughout the years.  It was written on stones by Moses (Exodus 20:1-17) and on great stones when Israel entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 27:1-8). God's Word was written in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24-26) and on scrolls (Jeremiah 36:2). A scroll is a long piece of paper with wooden spools (rollers) in each end. When you read or write on a scroll you start at one end and unroll the paper as you progress. God even inspired songs in His Word. See Deuteronomy 31:19-22. David wrote God's Word in poetic form which was often sung. The book of Psalms is the worship and hymn book of the Bible.

INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE

One of the most important things the Bible reveals about itself is that it is a book inspired by God. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God spoke to holy men to write His message. Look up II Timothy 3:16-17 in your Bible. These verses confirm that God's Word is inspired. They also reveal that it is profitable in four major areas of Christian life: 

1.    For doctrine

2.    For reproof

3.    For correction

4.    For instruction in righteousness

These verses are the main objectives of God's Word. These result in the man of God being perfect (mature) and thoroughly furnished (equipped) for all good works.

THE ETERNAL WORD  

In the natural world many books are valid only for a short period of time. For example, a book on medical procedures may be valid for a few years. When better medicines or better methods of treatment are developed the book is no longer applicable. God's Word is eternal and  applicable in all times. It was relevant in the past, it is relevant in the present, and it will be relevant in the future  (see Psalm 119:89). Read I Peter 1:23. This verse reveals that God's Word not only abides forever, it also lives forever. God is and always has been. We serve a living God. God is inseparable from His Word. Because God lives, His Word lives and is relevant for all time. Read Isaiah 40:8. This verse confirms that God's Word will stand (exist) forever. It will not perish like the things you see around you in the natural world.

TWO BASIC DIVISIONS

The Bible speaks of two basic divisions of God's Word. There is the milk of the Word and the meat of the Word. The milk of the Word is basic truth easily understood.  The meat of the Word is the deeper teachings of God's Word which bring spiritual maturity. You can read about these in Hebrews 5:13-14 and I Peter 2:2.

PURPOSES OF THE WORD

God gave His Word to accomplish specific purposes. A purpose is a goal or objective.
According to the Bible, some of these purposes are as follows:

·         The Word produces faith in the Gospel:  Acts 4:4

·         It cleanses: John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26

·         If you hear and believe, it brings eternal life: John 5:24

·         It is the basis for eternal judgment:  John 12:48

·         Unclean spirits are cast out by the Word: Matthew 8:16; Luke 4:36

·         Miraculous signs follow preaching of the Word convincing of the truth of the Gospel: Mark 16:20

·         It gives assurance of salvation:  I John 1:2-6

·         You are born again by the Word:  I Peter 1:23;  Psalm 119:41

·         The Word bears record of the truth of the Gospel:  I John 5:7

·         You are sanctified by the Word:  I Timothy 4:5

·         There is hope in His Word:  Psalm 130:5; 119:49, 81

·         There is healing in His Word: Psalm 107:20

·         It keeps you from the path of the destroyer:  Psalm 17:4

·         It is spirit and life:  John 6:63

·         It brings joy and rejoicing:  Jeremiah 15:16

·         Faith is increased by the Word:  Romans 10:17

·         It brings comfort:  I Thessalonians 4:18: Psalm 119:50, 52

·         It brings spiritual nourishment:  I Timothy 4:6

·         It brings answered prayer:  John 15:7

·         It is the key to success:  Joshua 1:8

·         If you hear and keep it you are blessed:  Luke 11:28

·         It is profitable for spiritual growth:  II Timothy 3:16-17

·         It brings blessings when it is kept and cursings when it is not kept:  Deuteronomy 28

·         It is a weapon in the time of temptation:  Matthew 4

·         It converts the soul:  Psalm 19:7

·         It makes wise the simple:  Psalm 19:7

·         It enlightens:  Psalm 19:8

·         It warns:  Psalm 19:11

·         Keeping the Word brings great reward:  Psalm 19:11

·         It permits access to Heaven:  Revelation 22:14

·         It brings the blessing of walking in righteousness:    Psalm 119:1-3

·         It makes you wiser than your enemies, teachers, and the ancients:  Psalm 119:98-104

·         It quickens:  Psalm 119:25

·         It strengthens:  Psalm 119:28

·         It is the basis of God's mercy towards you:  Psalm 119:58

·         It brings delight:  Psalm 119:92

·         It gives the simple understanding:  Psalm 119:130, 169; 104

·         It brings deliverance:  Psalm 119:170

THE WORD IS NOT VOID 

As we have seen, there are many purposes for God's Word. The Bible teaches that the Word will accomplish the purposes for which it exists. Read Isaiah 55:11.  Here God says that His Word will not return void which means that God does not make empty promises. What He says will happen. Every word of the Bible was written for a purpose and that purpose will be accomplished.

SYMBOLS OF THE WORD

The Bible uses many different symbols to describe the Word of God. A symbol is something that represents something else. For example, each star in the flag of the United States of America represents one of the 50 states which make up that nation. The star is a symbol of a state. The following are symbols used in the Bible to describe God's Word. Look up each verse and read it in your Bible: 

A Mirror: James 1:23-27 When you look into a mirror in the natural world, it reflects your physical image. When you look into God's Word, just like a mirror, the Bible reflects your true spiritual condition.

A Laver: Ephesians 5:26-27 A laver is the Biblical term for a basin which holds water used for cleansing. The water of the Word of God cleanses you spiritually.

A Lamp: Psalm 119:105

A Light: Psalm 119:105,130; Proverbs 6:23 Both a lamp and light give guidance. They enable you to see in the dark.  The Word of God provides spiritual guidance and helps you find your way out of the darkness of sin.

Rain: Isaiah 55:10-11

Water: Ephesians 5:26 Both rain and water are refreshing. The Word of God is compared to rain and water because it refreshes you spiritually.

Food: Jeremiah 15:16; I Peter 2:1-2; I Corinthians 3:1-2; Hebrews 5:12-14

A Diet: Hebrews 5:12 The Bible is compared to food which quenches natural hunger because it quenches spiritual hunger. Just as food permits natural growth, the Bible permits spiritual growth. Some parts of the Bible are called the milk of the Word because they are easily understood. Other portions are called the meat of the Word because the passages are more difficult to understand. God wants you to progress from the milk to the meat of His Word. Learning how to study the Bible will help you accomplish this objective.

A Fire: Jeremiah 23:29; 20:9 In the natural world a fire is used to refine precious metals. The fire burns out all the impurities. God's Word acts as a fire in your spiritual life to burn out impure thoughts, words, and deeds.

A Hammer: Jeremiah 23:29 A hammer can break rock in pieces. The Word of God can take sin-hardened hearts, break them, and make them pliable in the hands of God.

A Scalpel: Hebrews 4:12 A scalpel is a sharp knife used by doctors for surgery to cure illness. God's Word performs spiritual surgery. It corrects spiritual sickness.  It removes spiritual growths and infections from your life.

A Sword: Ephesians 6:17

A sword in the natural world is a weapon.  The Word of God is your spiritual sword. It is a weapon to use against your spiritual enemy, Satan.

Medicine: Psalm 119:25 Just as medicine in the natural world cures physical illness, God's Word works as a medicine to cure spiritual sickness.

Seed: Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15; I Peter 1:23; James 1:18 God's Word is like seed. When it is planted in your heart--if it finds receptive ground—it will grow and produce spiritual fruit in your life.

Honey: Psalm 19:10 Honey is a very sweet substance in the natural world. God's Word is compared to honey because it is sweet spiritually.  Studying God's Word brings spiritual sweetness in your life.

Gold: Psalm 19:9-10 In the natural world, gold is one of the most precious metals. The Bible is compared to gold because of its spiritual value.

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORD

In addition to these symbols, the Bible provides other descriptions of God's Word. It is:

·         The Spirit of Life:  John 6:63

·         The words of eternal life:  John 6:68

·         Precious:  I Samuel 3:1

·         Pure: Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6; 19:7; 119:140

·         Truth and soberness: Acts 26:25

·         Truth:  John 17:17; Colossians 1:5; Psalm 119:142

·         True from the beginning:  Psalm 119:160

·         Tried:  Psalm 18:3

·         Right: Psalm 33:4; 19:8; 119:75

·         The Word of life:  I John 1:1; Philippians 2:6

·         The Word of salvation:  Acts 13:26

·         The Word of faith:  Romans 10:8

·         Perfect:  Psalm 19:7

·         Counselor:  Psalm 119:24

·         Faithful:  Psalm 119:86

·         Settled:  Psalm 119:89

·         Heritage:  Psalm 119:111

·         Word of righteousness:  Psalm 119:123

·         Righteous and very faithful:  Psalm 119:138

·         Upright:  Psalm 119:137

·         Delight:  Psalm 119:143

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

It is not enough to hear, read, or study God's Word.  The Bible teaches that you must respond to God's Word.  You are to:

·         Let it fall upon good ground in your heart:  Mark 4, Luke 8, Matthew 13

·         Hear it and do it to be wise:  John 12:47

·         Keep the Word:  John 14:23

·         Believe on Jesus in order for God's Word to abide in you: John 5:38

·         Continue in His Word: John 8:31

·         Not live only on physical food, but also for the Word:  Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3

·         Praise His Word:  Psalm 56:4, 10

·         Give thanks for it:  Psalm 119:62

·         Magnify His Word even above His name: Psalm 138:2

·         Engraft His Word in your heart:  James 1:21

·         Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only:  James 1:22-23

·         Ask forgiveness for sin so His Word can abide in you:  I John 1:10

·         Desire the milk of His Word:  I Peter 2:2

·         Let the Word of God dwell in you richly:  Colossians 3:16

·         Rightly divide the Word of God:  II Timothy 2:5

·         Search the Scriptures: John 5:39; Acts 17:11

·         Declare His Word: Psalm 119:26-27

·         Choose His Word:  Psalm 119:30

·         Stick to His Word:  Psalm 119:31

·         Run the way of His Word:  Psalm 119:32

·         Keep it:  Psalm 119:33

·         Observe it:  Psalm 119:34

·         Delight in it:  Psalm 119:35; 70; 77; 143; 174

·         Incline your heart unto it:  Psalm 119:36

·         Desire to have it established in your life: Psalm 119:38

·         Long after it:  Psalm 119:40

·         Use it to answer others:  Psalm 119:42

·         Hope in it:  Psalm 119:43, 47

·         Keep it forever:  Psalm 119:44

·         Seek His precepts:  Psalm 119:45

·         Be willing to speak it before leaders:  Psalm 119:46

·         Meditate on it:  Psalm 119:48; 78; 148

·         Not decline from it:  Psalm 119:52

·         Walk according to its teachings:  Psalm 119:59

·         Not delay to keep His Word:  Psalm 119:60

·         Not forget it:  Psalm 119:61, 83, 93, 153, 176

·         Choose companions who also fear the Word and keep it:  Psalm 119:63

·         Believe it:  Psalm 119:66; 128

·         Keep it with your whole heart:  Psalm 119:69

·         Value it more than gold and silver:  Psalm 119:72

·         Desire to learn it:  Psalm 119:73

·         Hope in the Word:  Psalm 119:74; 81

·         Find comfort in it:  Psalm 119:76;82

·         Desire for it to change your heart:  Psalm 119:80

·         Not forsake it:  Psalm 119:87

·         Seek after it:  Psalm 119:94

·         Consider it:  Psalm 119:95

·         Long for God's Word:  Psalm 119:131

·         Order your steps in the Word:  Psalm 119:133

·         Be grieved when God's Word is not honored:  Psalm 119:136; 158

·         Stand in awe of God's Word:  Psalm 119:161

·         Love it:  Psalm 119:163, 165, 167

·         Speak His Word:  Psalm 119:172

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORD

In addition to making the proper response to God's Word, you have a responsibility for the Word of God. The early Church assumed this responsibility as they went everywhere preaching the Word of God (Acts 8;4; 13:49; 12:24). They asked God for boldness to speak the Word (Acts 4:29 and 31) and the Word of God increased throughout the world because of their efforts (Acts 6:7; 19:20) Here is what the Bible reveals about YOUR responsibility for the Word of God:

·         You are to preach His Word throughout the world:  Matthew 16:15; Luke 24:47; Mark 16:15.

·         If you are taught in God's Word then you have a responsibility to teach others: Galatians 6:6.

·         You are to preach the Word:  II Timothy 4:2

·         You are to speak His Word without fear:  Philippians 1:4.

·         God puts His Word in you so you can speak it to others:  Deuteronomy 18:18-19; Isaiah 51:16; Jeremiah 1:9; 3:12;  5:14; 26:12; Ezekiel 2:6-7.

·         You should not speak your own words but you should speak His words:  Isaiah 58:13

·         You are not to be ashamed of the Word:  Mark 8:38

·         You are to teach it to your children:  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

WARNINGS IN THE WORD

Here are some warnings God gives concerning His Word:

·         Persecution comes because the Word of God is preached:  Mark 4:7

·         Some people will even be killed because of their witness for the Word: Revelation 6:9; 20:4.

·         The Word can be ineffective in your life because of traditions of man: Mark 7:13.

·         You can pervert the Word of the Lord:  Jeremiah 23:36.

·         You can corrupt the Word of the Lord:  II Corinthians 2:17

·         You can use the Word deceitfully:  II Corinthians 4:2

The Bible says not to listen to every word you hear: Proverbs 14:15. (This means that everyone who claims to speak God's Word is not really doing so.) There are false teachers who do not teach the true Word of God (Jude l). You are  to withdraw yourself from these people (I Timothy 6:3-5. False teachers do not speak the true Word of God. They speak their own words. They also speak:

1.    Lying words: Jeremiah 29:23

2.    Vain words: Ephesians 5:6

3.    Enticing words: Colossians 2:4

4.    Flattering words: I Thessalonians 2:5

5.    Vain babblings: I Timothy 6:21

6.    Feigned words: II Peter 2:3

7.    Swelling words: II Peter 2:18; Jude 16

8.    Malicious words: III John 10

In conclusion, the Bible gives a final warning regarding the Word in Revelation 22:18-19: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this
book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. List at least five symbols used in the Bible to represent the Word of God.

3. Many purposes for the Word of God were listed in this chapter.  Can you list at least three of them?

4. Why are you not to believe every word you hear?

5. What warning is given to those who add to God's Word?

6. What warning is given to those who take away from what is written in God's Word?

7. Who is the source of the Word?

8. Whose words did Jesus speak?

9. The two main divisions of Bible content are the_________and the________of the Word.

10. According to the Biblical record, who was the first man to write down God's Words?

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Of all the chapters in the Bible, Psalm 119 speaks most frequently about the Word of God.  It is also the longest chapter in the Bible. There are several different words used to refer to God's Word in this chapter.  Each time they are used they add to our knowledge of His Word.  Read Psalm 119 and underline the following words each time they occur:

1.    word

2.    words

3.    judgments

4.    statutes

5.    precepts

6.    law

7.    commandments

8.    thy way

9.    thy testimonies

After you  underline each use of these words in Psalm 119, read the chapter once again and create a chart to summarize your study.   Follow the pattern below. List each verse number that contains one or more of these words and then summarize what the verse teaches about God's Word.

Continue this pattern:

Verse Number

Summary

1

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TEN: DEVOTIONAL BIBLE STUDY

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

List the steps of the devotional method of Bible study.

Do a devotional Bible study.

KEY VERSE: Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. (Psalm 119:148)

INTRODUCTION

The first method of Bible study which you will learn is called the devotional method. This chapter defines, explains, and  presents an example of a devotional Bible study.  The "For Further Study" section provides an opportunity to apply what you have learned by actually doing a devotional study.

THE METHOD DEFINED

The devotional method gets its name from the word "devotion" which means "dedication, consecration, worship, and sincere attachment to a cause or person."  The devotional method of Bible study increases dedication and consecration to God. It leads to worship and a deeper personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  This method involves not only study of God's Word but also the application of its truths. It is against this method that Satan raises his greatest opposition. Satan is not concerned about study just to gain knowledge. He is vitally concerned when Bible study results in application which brings positive changes in your spiritual life.  It is not enough to just be "hearers of the Word." A person who is a hearer of the Word is one who studies God's Word but never applies the Word to his life: But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)

You will learn many methods of Bible study in this course but each method should result in application. Whether you do a  book, chapter, verse, word, or any other study, you should always apply what you learn to your life and ministry.

THE METHOD EXPLAINED

Use the form provided in the "For Further Study" section of this lesson to do your devotional study. Here are the steps for doing the study:

STEP ONE: RECORD PASSAGE INFORMATION

Record the name of the book in which the passage you are studying is found. Then record the chapter and verse numbers you have selected to study.

STEP TWO: IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT

Read the portion of Scripture which you have selected to study. Select a title that summarizes the subject and record it on your chart.

STEP THREE: IDENTIFY THE KEY VERSE

Which verse provides the best summary of the Scripture portion you are studying? Write the verse and reference on your chart.

STEP FOUR: SUMMARIZE

In your own words, summarize what the portion of Scriptures teaches.

1. Outline the main points covered.

2. Use a chart to summarize the passage.

3. Make a brief summary statement.

4. Paraphrase the passage. Paraphrasing is when you  take a verse and summarize it in your own words. Follow the text, but put it in the language of today. (See the example section of this chapter).

STEP FIVE: MEDITATE

It is important to read and study the Bible but you must also learn to meditate on God's Word. The word "meditate" means to think, dwell on, and ponder. After you select a Bible portion to study, identify its subject and key verse, and summarize its teachings, then meditate on the passage. God told Joshua that meditating on His Word was the key to success: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Joshua 1:8)

Read slowly through the passage. Read it aloud. Imagine the Lord speaking to you personally with this passage. Consider what it says to you personally by using some of the questions suggested under Step Six in this lesson. One important way to meditate on the Word is to memorize it. When you memorize portions you are able to recall them at any time and think about them. The key verse you select is a good portion to memorize. Make some note cards as illustrated below.  Write the verse on one side of the card.  Write the reference where the verse is found on the other side of the card:

Side One:

     

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 

 

Side Two:

     

Psalms 119:11

 

Read the verse several times aloud and then try to repeat it without looking at the card.
After you say the verse check your card to see if you have said it correctly. Look at the reference side of the card and try to say the verse. Look at the verse side of the card and try to remember the reference. Save your Scripture memory cards and continue to review and meditate on them. 

STEP SIX: MAKE APPLICATION

Now you are ready to apply what you have learned during meditation. Application is when you personally apply to your life and ministry the truths you have learned.
Sometimes you cannot immediately apply everything you learn, but begin to apply all you can. God will help you apply the truth of His Word even if it means you must take one small step at a time in the process of application.

The following questions will help you apply God's Word to your life:

Example to follow: Is there an example to follow in this portion of Scripture?

Error to avoid: Is there an error or sin which should be avoided?

Duty to perform: Does this portion of Scripture call for action. Are you told to do something? If so, what action are you to take?

Promise to claim: Is there a promise in this passage which you can claim?

Relationship to develop: What does this passage teach about your relationship with God through Jesus Christ? What does it teach about God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit?  What does it teach about your relationship with others in your family, community, church congregation, and the world. What does it teach about your relationship with yourself?

Changes to make: What changes should you make in your life in view of what you have learned in this Scripture portion? Be specific.

Prayer to pray: Pray a personal prayer regarding this passage. Ask God to help you apply the truths you have learned. Prayer personalizes the principles taught in God's Word. You may even want to write out your prayer as in the example provided in this chapter.

EXAMPLE OF THE DEVOTIONAL METHOD

STEP ONE: RECORD PASSAGE INFORMATION

Book: Galatians

Chapter: 5

Verses:16-25

STEP TWO: IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT

Subject:  Works of the Flesh and Fruit of the Spirit

STEP THREE: IDENTIFY THE KEY VERSE

Key Verse: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:25)

STEP FOUR: SUMMARIZE

l. The following is an example of an outline summary:

WORKS OF THE FLESH AND FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

I. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. Those who live in the flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Fleshly works include:

A. Adultery

B. Fornication

C. Uncleanness

D. Lasciviousness

E. Idolatry

F. Witchcraft

G. Hatred

H. Variance

I. Emulations

J. Wrath

K. Strife

L. Seditions

M. Heresies

N. Envyings

O. Murders

P. Drunkenness

Q. Revellings

II. The fruit of the Holy Spirit which God desires to give us contrasts the works of the flesh:

A. Love

B. Joy

C. Peace

D. Longsuffering

E. Gentleness

F. Goodness

G. Faith

H. Meekness

I. Temperance

III. We are to:

A. Walk in the spirit (verse 16,25)

B. Be led of the spirit (verse 18)

C. Live in the spirit (verse 25)

2. The following is an example of a summarizing chart:

Works of the Flesh and Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25)

Works of the Flesh (Fulfilling Lusts)

Fruit of the Spirit (Living in the Spirit)

Adultery

Love

Fornication

Joy

Uncleanness

Peace

Lasciviousness

Longsuffering

Idolatry

Gentleness

Witchcraft

Goodness

Hatred

Faith

Variance

Meekness

Emulations

Temperance

Wrath

 

Strife

 

Seditions

 

Heresies

 

Envyings

 

Murders

 

Drunkenness

 

Revellings

 

 

3. Here is an example of a summary statement:

This passage presents two contrasts: The lusts of the flesh and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If we belong to Jesus, we are to crucify the lusts of the flesh and live, walk, and be led by the Holy Spirit. The works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

4. Here is an example of a paraphrase of Galatians 5:24-25: "Those who belong to Christ have destroyed the desires, loves, and lusts of the flesh. If we claim that the Holy Spirit lives in us, then we should act like it!"

STEP FIVE: MEDITATE

Verses to memorize and meditate on: Verses 16-18 and 25-26. Also memorize the list of spiritual fruit which God wants to develop in my life. Meditate and study on the meaning of each fruit of the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to be gentle, good, meek, temperate, etc?

STEP SIX: MAKE APPLICATION

Example to follow: Developing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Error to avoid:  Works of the flesh.

Duty to perform: Walk in the Spirit (verses 16,25); Be led of the Spirit (verse 18); Live in the Spirit (verse 25).

Promise to claim: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Verse 16.

Relationships to develop: My relationships with others should demonstrate love, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness. I need to develop joy, peace, goodness, faith, and temperance in every area of my life. I learned that God wants my relationship to Him to be based on holiness in conduct. If I truly belong to Christ it will affect my relationship to others, myself, and God.

Changes to make: The three areas I need most to change:

Temperance: Control my appetite. Develop self control and discipline.

Faith: Be more believing of God's promises.

Love: Show love to those around me who are unlovable.

Prayer to pray: Dear Heavenly Father: Help me walk in your Spirit, be led of your Spirit, and live each moment in your Spirit. Cleanse my life from the works of the flesh. Help me to crucify worldly desires. Develop the beautiful fruit of the Holy Spirit in me. In Jesus name, amen.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is the devotional method of Bible study?

3. List the six steps of the devotional method.

4. What does it mean to be a "doer of the Word" and not a "hearer" only?  Give a Scripture reference to support your answer.

5. Why does Satan fight the use of the devotional method of Bible study?

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Study Philippians 4:4-9 using the devotional method of Bible study. Use this form to do this and other devotional Bible studies.

DEVOTIONAL BIBLE STUDY

Book:

Chapter:

Verses:

Subject:

Key verse:

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

Meditation:

 

 

 

Application:

 

 

 

Example to follow:

 

 

 

Error to avoid:

 

 

 

Duty to perform:

 

 

 

Promise to claim:

 

 

 

Relationship to develop:

 

 

 

Changes to make:

 

 

 

Prayer to pray:

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: BOOK STUDY

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain how to do a Bible book study.

·         Do a Bible book study.

·         Create a book study chart.

·         Create an outline of a book of the Bible.

KEY VERSE: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word. (Psalm 119:9)

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter you will learn how to survey an entire book of the Bible. You will also learn how to create a chart and an outline to summarize your studies. An example of the book study method is included and you are given the opportunity to do such a study in the "For Further Study" section of this chapter. In following chapters you will learn how to study the chapters, paragraphs, verses, and words of a book.

A book survey is an example of "synthetic" Bible study. This word means to study something as a whole to gain a general knowledge of its content. Later, when  we divide a book into chapters, paragraphs, verses, and words, we will be doing "analytical" Bible study. To analyze something is to separate it into its various parts and examine each individually. An analytical study is more detailed than a synthetic study.

DEFINITION OF THE METHOD

A book study is important because the chapters,  paragraphs, verses, and words of a book must be interpreted in proper context.  A book study provides knowledge of this context.

EXPLANATION OF THE METHOD

Here are three steps to study a book of the Bible:

STEP ONE:  INITIAL SURVEY:

Read the entire book at one sitting to identify the theme (subject) of the book. Choose a title that summarizes the theme. You will use this title on the Book Study Chart. This will also become the title of your outline. Determine the purpose for which the book was written,  to whom it was written, and theauthor. Some books state the name of the author but for the names of others you will need to consult an outside Bible study resource.*  Each author had a special reason for writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  This purpose is usually reflected in the content of the book. Determine the geographic setting of the book. This is where the events occurred. Record this on the Book Study Chart.

Summarize the basic life and ministry principle in one sentence. This is the basic truth of the book which is applicable to your life or ministry. There are many principles taught in a single book, but try to determine the most important for this summary statement. Remember, the chapter divisions in the Bible are not divinely inspired. They were made by man for ease in locating specific passages in the Bible. When you read the entire book without chapter divisions you are reviewing the message as it was originally given. In this first reading do not be concerned with details. Survey the book for general information: Theme, author, purpose, to whom, geographic setting, and basic life and ministry principle. Read quickly to gain an overview of the entire book. Do not stop  and analyze what you are reading.You will do that later.

*  If you do not have access to Bible study materials, this information is given in the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Basic Bible Survey."

STEP TWO:  BOOK STUDY CHART:

Read the book a second time. Note the major divisions of the book. These divisions may be determined by subject matter, events, biographical material, geographical settings, or other such factors.

Create titles for each chapter of the book. The  chapter title should reflect the general content of a chapter but it should not be so general that it could fit any chapter of the Bible. Think of titles as handles with which to grasp the content of the chapter. Keep them short so they are easy to remember. Enter these chapter titles on the Book Study Chart.

Select the key verse of the book. The key verse should be one that best summarizes the purpose or content of the book. Enter the reference on the Book Study Chart. As you read, list the names of major characters in the space provided on the chart. This list will provide a selection from which to do biographical studies.  You will learn how to do such studies later in this course.

Record key words and phrases on the chart. Key words and phrases are those basic to understanding the book. They are often repeated frequently or explained in detail in the book. You can use this list for word studies which you will learn how to do later in this course.

STEP THREE:  BOOK OUTLINE:

The final step in book study is to create an outline.  Read the book again.  As you read, create an outline of the entire book.  Some of the division and chapter titles on your Book Study Chart will become main points in your outline.  The purpose of your outline is to summarize the entire content of the book.

EXAMPLE OF THE METHOD

STEP ONE: INITIAL SURVEY:

Book: The book selected for survey is Philippians.

Theme: The theme of the book is an appeal for Christian unity.

Author: The author of the book is the Apostle Paul.

Written To: The book was written to the Christians in the city of Philippi.

Purpose: The general purpose of the book was twofold:  It was to  thank the Philippians for their support of his ministry and appeal for Christian unity.

Key Words: Rejoice, joy.

Key Verse: Philippians 2:2

Characters: Euodias, Syntyce, Timotheus, Epaphroditus, Clement, Caesar's household.

Life And Ministry Principle: The basic life and ministry principle is unity brings joy.

STEP TWO:  BOOK STUDY CHART:

Author: Paul

To: Believers at Philippi

Purpose: To thank them for support and appeal for Christian unity

Key Words: Rejoice, joy

Key Verse: Philippians 2:2

Characters: Euodias, Syntyce, Timotheus, Clement Epaphroditus, Caesar's household

Life And Ministry Principle: Christian unity brings joy.

BOOK BOOK  STUDY  CHARTName Of Book: Philippians  

Title For Chart: An Appeal For Christian Unity12345

Chapter Titles

STEP THREE:  BOOK OUTLINE:

Philippians: An  Appeal For Christian Unity

I. Introduction:

A. Greeting 1:1-2

1. From Paul and Timotheus.

2. To: Saints in Christ Jesus, bishops, and deacons at Philippi.

B. Prayer for Philippians 1:3-11

C. Personal matters 1:12-26

1. Events which have served to spread the Gospel 1:12-18

2. Faith that he will be released 1:19-21

3. His questioning as to whether it is best to live or die 1:22-26

II. Exhortations for unity 1:27-2:18

A. Appeal for unity in suffering 1:27-30

B. Unity in Christ 2:1-11

C. Spiritual growth brings unity 2:12-18

III.   Paul's plans 2:19-30

A. Hopes to send Timothy 2:19-23

B. Hopes to come himself 2:24

C. Is sending Epaproditus 2:25-30

IV.   Warnings 3:1-4:1

A. Against Judaizing teachers 3:1-16

B. Against false teachers 3:17-21

V. Exhortations 4:1-9

A. Unity between Euodias and Syntyce 4:1-3

B. Unity in joy 4:4

C. Unity in moderation 4:5

D. Unity in prayer 4:6

E. Unity in mind 4:7-8

F. Unity between knowledge and actions 4:9

VI.  Thanks for their gift 4:10-20

VII.  Benediction 4:21-23

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Write the number of the definition in front of the type of study it best describes.

Type of Study

Definition

____Analytical Bible Study

1.  To survey something for general content; a book survey.

____Synthetic Bible Study

2.  To study the individual parts in detail.

3. List the three steps of the Book Study Method.

4. What are six basic things to record when doing the initial survey of a book?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Do a book study of one of the New Testament books. For your first study we suggest that you choose one of the shorter books. Use the steps of the book study method which you learned in this chapter. Summarize your study with a book chart and outline. Use the following form as a guide for this and future book studies.   If the book contains more chapters than space provides on the form, you will need to use more than one form in order to complete your study. 

Book Study Chart

Name of Book:

Title for Chart:

 

Chapter Numbers

Chapter

Titles

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Words:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Verse:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life and Ministry Principles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWELVE: CHAPTER STUDY

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         List four steps in the chapter study method.

·         Study the Bible by chapters.

·         Create a chapter chart to summarize your studies.

·         Create a chapter outline.

KEY VERSE: Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)

INTRODUCTION

In the last chapter you learned how to survey an entire book of the Bible. You will now learn how to study an individual chapter within a book of the Bible. An example of chapter study is provided and you are given the opportunity to do such a study in the "For Further Study" section of this lesson.

THE METHOD DEFINED

Chapter study is exactly what the title conveys. It is the study of God's Word chapter by chapter. 

THE METHOD EXPLAINED

STEP ONE: SELECT A CHAPTER TITLE

Record on the Chapter Study Chart the name of the book and chapter number you are studying. Read the entire chapter  and give it a title which reflects its content.   (If you have done a book survey, you will have already selected a chapter title. Chapter Eleven on book study explains how to select chapter titles).

STEP TWO: MARK PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS

Mark the paragraph divisions within the chapter. In some Bibles the paragraphs are marked with a special paragraph mark (). In other Bibles they are marked with a boldface verse number. (Boldface means that the number is darker than the numbers in front of other verses.) If your Bible has neither paragraph marks or boldface markings then you must determine the paragraph divisions yourself. To do this you must know the definition of a paragraph: "A paragraph is a group of verses which relate to the same subject matter. When the subject changes, then a new paragraph has begun." Mark the paragraph divisions in your Bible by drawing a circle around the verse number where each paragraph begins.

STEP THREE:  CREATE A CHAPTER STUDY CHART

On the Chapter Study Chart record the title of the chapter. List the verses of the paragraph divisions  (see example). Then give each paragraph a title which reflects the content of that paragraph.  Use the column with the heading "Notes" to record your thoughts about the relation between parts of the chapter (see example).  These notes will assist you in creating the chapter outline.

STEP FOUR: CREATE A CHAPTER OUTLINE

In the last chapter you learned how to outline an entire book of the Bible. Now you will do a more detailed outline of one chapter. You already selected a title for the chapter when you did the chapter chart. Use this for the title of your outline. Use the paragraph divisions and paragraph titles for the main points. Then select subpoints and outline the verses in each paragraph of the chapter. Record the verse numbers by the points and subpoints. Also include any other Bible references which relate to the subject and explain it more fully (see example). If the number of paragraphs exceeds the spaces on the chapter study form use additional forms.  For long chapters in the Bible you may use several forms.

EXAMPLE OF THE METHOD

We have selected the book of Jude, which is a book with only one chapter, to use as an example of the chapter study method.

STEP ONE: SELECT A CHAPTER TITLE

The title selected for the one chapter in Jude is "Warning Against False Teachers."

STEP TWO:  MARK PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS

The chapter was divided into paragraphs starting with verses 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16,
17, 19, 20, 22, 24.  These verses were circled in the Bible to mark the paragraph divisions.

STEP THREE: CREATE A CHAPTER STUDY CHART

Here is an example of a chapter study chart:

Chapter Study Chart

Book: Jude

Chapter: 1

Chapter Title: Warning against False Teachers

Verses

Paragraph Title

Notes

1-2

Introduction

Jude author

3

Purpose

Contend for faith

4

Certain Men

Five identifying characteristics

5-7

Historical Record 

Israel, Angels, Sodom/Gomorrah

8-10

Description Begun

Five more characteristics

11

Description by Example

Cain, Balaam, Core

12-13

Description by Comparison

Spots in feasts, clouds, trees, waves, stars

14-15

Future Judgment

By Lord and saints, prophesied by Enoch

16

Description Continued

Five more characteristics

17-18

Remember the Words

Warning by Jesus

19

Description Continued 

Three more characteristics

20-21

Avoiding Deception

A four point plan

22-23

How To Deal With Them