Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about a particular topic?
Maybe you are going through a challenging time in your life and wondering, what does
For many of us, we turn to google or to our favorite pastor to discover what the 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. 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. Here are some month long examples of topical Bible studies.
Personally, I think topical Bible studies are fun! They are a great option for those looking to generate interest in studying the Bible as you are studying a topic of interest or a personal struggle that you are experiencing in you life. Here is one where I recently delved into the 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 the Bible Study Method Tutorials for more information on getting started with the different methods:
- Topical Bible Study
- Character Bible Study
- Devotional Bible Study Method
- Inductive Bible Study Method
- Survey Bible Study Method
- Verse Mapping
- Word Study
- 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.
1. Choose A Topic
The first step in doing a topical Bible study is to first choose a topic. Using your favorite journal brainstorm topics of interest that you would like further clarity on. Once completed, choose one topic from the list that you would like to study first.
You can keep the other topics as ideas for future topical Bible studies. Popular topics for a bible study include: faith, anxiety, love, marriage, fasting and self-care to name a few. You will next 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 the topic? You will refer to these questions and try to answer them as you study verses on the topic in context.
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 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. Here is what this 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 verse 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 review 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.
5. Summarize Your Findings
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 Study 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 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.
Are you ready to start a topical Bible study to grow your understanding of scripture? Give one of these topical bible reading plans a try!
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.
Purpose Topical Bible Reading Plan by Undoubted Grace
Do you know what your purpose is? Have you struggled to find your purpose in the midst of the busyness of life?
This Bible Journal will guide you through an exploration of the word of God as you learn more about what He says about the plans and purpose he created you for!
If doing a topical Bible study is totally your jam, you could consider investing in a topical Bible. A topical bible simply takes passages of scripture and organizes them by topic. Here are some popular topical bibles to consider:
The 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!
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.
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