12 Ways to Study God’s Word… (Part 2 of 3)
Yesterday we posted 4 or 12 Bible study methods that I spoke on in our senior high Sunday School class a few months ago. Here are 4 more and come back tomorrow for the final 4.
The Biographical Method
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It involves picking a biblical character and studying his or her life as presented by Scripture. But it isn’t just about storing information on the person. The reason you study biblical characters is to see why they were spiritual successes or failures. Once you discover that, you can either emulate what made them spiritually successful or avoid what made them fail. With more than 3000 biblical characters, this form of Bible study offers an almost endless supply of opportunities.
The Topical Method
In many ways this is like the thematic study, only more extensive. When studying the Bible topically, you typically attack a broad subject in Scripture (or in a specific book of the Bible)—like prayer or sin. Also, unlike a thematic study, you ask every question you can muster. What you get at the end is a broad idea of what the Bible (or a book in the Bible) says about the topic.
The Word Study Method
Many of the great doctrines of Scripture revolve around a single word, such as grace, atonement, or faith. This study method allows you to focus on what some of these words mean in the original language. The method requires more reference books than the other studies, because you’ll need sources to be able to uncover the meaning of the biblical words in the original languages. The method is based on two things. First, the meaning you find from a word must be based on the original languages. Second, context must give you the ultimate meaning of the word you’re studying, not the English translation.
The Book Background Method
This method helps you get a good feel for the background of the biblical passage or book you are studying. You do it by focusing on understanding the history, culture, geography, and political events surrounding the passage. Of course, this method is highly dependent upon collecting quality Bible study reference tools.