Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bible Study Methods: Word Studies

Do you wonder how to study the Bible -- on your own? Going beyond Bible reading to actual studying gives us a deeper level in understanding God's word, just as scuba diving gives a deeper understanding of sea life than watching the tide roll in.

In the next few of weeks, we'll be looking at some methods that are helpful to me in learning more from the Bible. These posts are going to focus on very practical, simple ways you can began studying the Bible today. The first method we'll explore is the most simple and my favorite: word studies.

What Is A Word Study?

A word study is where you take a word and search all the times it is used in the Bible. You only need a couple of simple tools to do this study:

Paper and pen for notes (or if you prefer, take notes on your laptop).
A thorough Bible concordance that lists every word in the Bible (i.e. Strong's)

Or...

A Bible search website like Blue Letter Bible or Bible Gateway.

Choose a word to study. For this example, we'll use “meekness”.

The Steps

Step 1 Look up “meekness” in your concordance or type it in the website search bar.

Step 2 “Meekness” occurs 14 times in the King James Bible. Write each one down or copy and paste in a Word document.

Step 3 Investigate the verses. My favorite questions to ask are:

  • Is this a positive or negative quality?
  • Are there other qualities that are repeatably used with this one?
  • What kind of people does this word characterize?
  • How does God view this quality?
  • How do we get this quality?
  • In what situations can this quality be applied?


Using just the 14 “meekness” verses, here are my answers:


  • Positive. All 14 verses reveal meekness is a godly virtue that God highly values. 
     
  • Righteousness (Psalm 45:4, Zephaniah 2:3 and 1 Timothy 6:11), Gentle(ness) (2 Corinthians 10:1 and Titus 3:2), Love (1 Corinthians 4:21, Ephesians 4:12 and 1 Timothy 6:11) and Longsuffering (Ephesians 4:12 and Colossians 3:12).

  • Those who have the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) 
     
  • God delights in meekness as a fruit of His Spirit, commands it in His elect (Colossians 3:12) and says it is necessary for receiving His word. (James 1:21) 
     
  • Yes, we are commanded to be meek. (1 Timothy 6:11 and Titus 3:2)
     
  • Meekness is born in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. It is not something we can gain on our own, but only by being born of God's Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

  • 4 of the 14 verses are about how to confront a sinning brother or unbeliever (see the verses).

Step 4 Use these verses to answer any other questions you have about “meekness”. To dive deeper, read several verses surrounding these 14 or broaden your search to include other word forms like “meek” (used 17 times).

Step 5 Apply what you've learned.

A Bible study is only complete if we go from being hearers to being doers. If it doesn't change your life from the heart out, you just wasted your time. Search the scriptures with a heart of obedience and with God's grace DO IT!

You have now completed a thorough Bible study and know how to do a thousand more! This can be done with any word in the Bible and this simple study alone will lead you to becoming very acquainted with the Word.

Have you ever done a Bible word study? If not, what would you like to learn most about them in the future?

 

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