Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Steps to the Study of Scripture Part V


4.  Secondary Literature

Are you tired yet? You should be! You have been working hard thus far. You have finished your basic work on your bible study. Now it is time to use some helps to make sure you have a good grasp and understanding of the portion of scripture you have chosen to study. At this point you want to make sure that in regards to the purpose and place of your text you are on tract. In order to do this, it is time to…

4.1 Consult Commentaries

Don’t avoid commentaries. Know when to use them. Do not read them first! You should have one, maybe two commentaries on each book of the bible. Naturally you don’t have to buy them all at once. You can purchase one or two prior to beginning a new study on a new book of the bible.

You can buy these commentaries used and in paperback in many cases. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. I now buy all my books from

It is important to utilize commentaries during your study for at least three (3) reasons:

·        In order to look at various options of scholars for some of the difficulties you have had at various points in your study

·        To see one or two other interpretations of your passage in order to compare your own interpretation and make any necessary adjustments

·        To be alerted to information that you may have overlooked in your study that may prove to be crucial 

4.2  Other Reference Material

Consult some bibliographical aids or helps for additional insight and information. This would be the right time to check bible dictionaries, bible encyclopedias, bible maps and/or charts, bible atlases, cultural help books, church history books, and concordances.

These reference materials can give you tremendous insight into the historical and cultural nuances which might be contained within your passage. Understanding these various nuances can help you further understand the passage you are studying. Remember, to arrive at a right application of the passage, you must arrive the right interpretation. 

Continued on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

1 comment:

Arlee Bird said...

I am fortunate in that my father had many fine commentaries and other books that he passed on to me after he left this Earth. Many of the commentaries can also be found on line. One of the Bible sites (Bible Gateway perhaps?) not only offers several translations that can be read comparatively but also accompanying passages from several major commentaries.

Tossing It Out