Have you ever wondered what God’s word says about a particular topic?
For many of us, we turn to google or to our favorite pastor to discover what the holy Bible says about a particular topic of interest.
What if I told you there was another way? A way you could unlock what the Bible says about your most challenging questions all by yourself. You can do this through topical Bible Studies more commonly known as topical Bible reading plans. In this article, I will walk you through how to do a topical Bible Study.
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What is a Topical Bible Study?
A topical Bible study is a great way to gain deeper understanding on a particular topic, as you come to a conclusion after an in depth study rather than basing your beliefs on a couple verses.
This method of study is especially great for new Christians. Here are some month long examples of topical Bible studies. These printed Bible topics to study are great to incorporate into your daily quiet time or use with a small group.
Personally, I think topical studies of the Bible are fun! They are a great option for those looking to generate interest in studying the Bible as you are studying a specific topic of interest or a personal struggle that you are experiencing in you life. Here is one where I recently delved into the Bible study topic of Halloween to uncover what exactly the Bible had to say about the state of the dead and witchcraft.
What is the Difference Between A Topical Bible Study & A Word Study?
When I first came across the concept of topical Bible Studies, I thought they were pretty much the same thing. However, I eventually realized that they are in fact slightly different. With a word study, the focus is on the actual word. As a reader, you try to gain clarity about the words usage and meaning.
The purpose behind this approach is to gain clarity on the writers original intent of the word. This may include using a tool like the Blue Letter Bible to do your research. Whereas with a topical Bible study your aim is to learn more about your chosen topic.
What is a Good Way to Study The Bible ?
There are several different ways you can opt to study the Bible based on your objective or what you hope to achieve. Here are several Bible Study Methods to consider along with a Bible Study Method Tutorial for more information on getting started with various Bible study methods, pair this with your favorite Bible translation such as the English standard version or even the New American Standard Bible:
- Topical Bible Study
- Character Bible Study
- Devotional Bible Study Method
- Inductive Bible Study Method
- Survey Bible Study Method
- Verse Mapping
- Word Studies
- Bible Journaling
- Scripture Writing
- Read The Bible In A Year
- Scripture Memorization
How To Do A Topical Bible Study
Now that we know what a topical Bible Study is, lets explore how you can approach doing a topical bible Study on your own for spiritual growth. Here is a complete guide to doing a topical Bible study.
1. Choose A Topic – Custom Bible Reading Plan
The first step in doing a topical Bible study is to first choose a topic. Think about what type of study or bible study topics you would like to do. The best way to do this is to brainstorm by using your favorite journal, brainstorm topics of interest that you would like further clarity on or use topical Bibles for topical inspiration. Once completed, choose one topic from the list that you would like to study first.
You can keep the other lists of topics handy for future topical Bible studies. This is a perfect way to keep a running list of topics handy. Various topics for a topical bible study may include: faith, anxiety, love, marriage, fasting and self-care to name a few.
Next you will want to identify keywords that are related to your topic. You will make use of these additional keywords when the time comes to search for verses on your topic using a concordance.
2.Write Down Your Questions
Next, I would encourage you to make note of the questions you have on the topic. What are the burning questions you have about biblical topics? You will refer to these questions and try to answer them as you study verses on the topic in context and try to get a Christian perspective.
Recently, I did a topical study on Halloween. Some of the questions I wrote down during my study included: What does the Bible say about the state of the dead? Do we go to heaven when we die? What does the Bible say about witchcraft?
As I studied each Bible verse in context, I was able to answer these tough questions by referring to the word of God and not solely relying on what I heard in church. You can do the same too!
3.Use A Concordance
The next step in completing a topical study of the Bible is to use a Bible concordance. If you prefer feeling the touch of paper, you can consider purchasing a Bible Concordance to add to your Bible study library. Alternatively, you can use resources like Bible Study Tools, Open Bible or Blue Letter Bible to find relevant verses on your topic. By far Blue Letter Bible is my favorite!
With Blue Letter Bible, all you have to do is input your word and allow it to search for Bible verses on the topic. You can also search using related words related to your topic. Here is what this step would look like using Blue Letter Bible. You are also able to view the Greek or Hebrew translation of the text.
Another neat way to search is to use Boolean search operators. One you will especially find helpful is to incorporate an asterisk.
Using an asterisk – This will allow the search platform to return any word that begins with the root word truncated by the asterisk. Example: If I search forgive* it will include other words in the search that include the root word forgive such as forgiveness or forgiven.
Open Bible is similar, you input your verse and it spits out a list of verses on your chosen topic. Bible Study Tools also has a list of topical Bible verses for quick reference.
4. Study Each Verse In Context
Next you will want to review each topical bible verses that you identified from your research, 10-20 verses is a good starting point. As you read ensure that you read a couple verses before and after to ensure you get the full picture of what the verse is trying to convey. Using your favorite highlighter, circle key phrases or words that stand out, defining words that you come across and that you don’t understand.
As you study, frequently refer to your questions to try and answer them. You can never go wrong with asking: who, what, when, why, and how to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of the text during your Bible study time.
5. Summarize Your Findings
Now its time for the practical application. Once you have completed your study, I find it helpful to write a summary of your findings which you can refer to in the future. Make a note of your key findings and verses from the study. You could even go a step further and add the verses to your list of verses to memorize.
Topical Bible Reading Plans
While you can create your own topical Bible study plan, an easy way to get started with topical Bible studies is simply to try already prepared topical bible study lessons. This is a great way to experiment with Bible Study Methods to see which ones you like the best.
There are lots of topical bible study plans available on the market, some include simple bible reading plans with the list of topical bible verses while others include commentary or even incorporate other Bible study methods such as Bible Journaling.
Topical Bible Studies
Are you ready to start a topical Bible study to grow your understanding of scripture and knowledge of God? Give one of these topical bible reading plans a try.
Faith Approved – 20-Day Bible Study Journal of Hebrews 11-What is faith? If someone were to ask you this question, how would you respond? This Bible study will take you on a journey through the lives of the men and women of old who gained approval through their faith. Discover how you can apply their experiences to your own personal walk with God.
Deborah Bible Study-A 5-page digital bible study on the life of Deborah + beautiful scripture cards. Also be sure to check out her other studies on various women of the Bible.
Choosing Confidence Bible Study by Arabah Joy
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
What about in a group? Or when you see a status update from “those” gals? This Bible study will help you step into the purpose that God has for you and help you choose to walk in confidence.
Faith Over Fear Topical Bible Reading Plan by The Holy Mess
Have your emotions been higher than normal lately? Are you experiencing more fear and anxiety because of the events that have shaken our communities and world? This 30 Day Faith Over Fear Bible Reading Plan is great to read and study to help calm your fears and keep you focused on Christ in hard times.
30 Day of Joy bible Reading Plan and Bible Journaling Kit by Hope Joy In Christ
Bible Journaling is a great way to focus in on the main point of a passage and connect with God creatively. This Tool Kit focuses on what the Bible says about Joy and teaches you how to get started with bible Journaling.
Topical Study Bibles
If doing a topic Bible study is totally your jam, you could consider investing in a topical Bible. Topic Bibles simply takes passages of scripture and organizes them by topic. Here are some popular topical bibles to consider:
The John MacArthur Topical Bible
Wouldn’t you like to have all the Scriptures on an important Bible topic, such as marriage, end times, the Holy Spirit, or money management in one place and instantly available – not just the references but the entire passage? It includes more than 20,000 Bible topics, designed for beginners as well as seasoned scholars. Purchase the MacArthur Study bible on Amazon.
For the individual interested in saving hours of time but wanting to be challenged by what God has to say about a given subject, “Nave’s Topical Bible” is the passport that will allow immediate and successful entry to the many points of interest. “Nave’s Topical Bible, ” is the best known of all topical bibles, and has been a valuable Bible-study reference and a best-seller for more than 75 years. Purchase Nave’s Topical Bible on Amazon! for ideas of Bible Studies by topic for the topical method of study.
Have you tried topical Bible studies? We would love to hear about some of your favorite topical Bible studies. Drop your favorites in the comments below and be sure to checkout these free resources.
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