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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Do I Understand the Bible? - Thematic

This is our final approach to digging deeper into the Bible. I have shared with you some of my favorite ways to study the Bible, approaches that I have found helpful over the years.

I would love to hear your stories of different Bible study methods you have tried and your experience with them.

So our final method is called the Thematic Study and revolves around following a theme through the Bible or a portion of the Bible. (If the theme is broad, you might want to limit your study to book or section of the Bible.)

The flow of the Thematic Study:

Begin with Prayer. Pause and ask God to teach you through His Spirit and to show you new insights and ways in which this theme applies to your life.

Choose a theme.

Find references in a concordance that deal with your theme.

Read the verses. You may need to read the surrounding verses to gain context and understanding.

To go deeper try comparing translations and define the theme word. (Bible Gateway makes it easy to compare the verses in a variety of translations.)

As you read, jot down answers to the following questions:

  • What do you observe in the verse/passage? What do you learn about the theme?
  • What questions are raised? What answers are found?
  • When you've read the passages and taken notes, review what you've written.
  • What patterns do you notice? What principles do you observe?
  • Summarize what you have learned from this study

Suggested themes:
knowing God's will
praising the Lord in the psalms
Jesus' prayers
Paul's prayers
heavenlies in the book of Ephesians

Thank you for joining in this look at ways to understand the Bible better. 
Take a minute to share a comment about ways of reading or studying the Bible that have helped you. 

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