Basic Study Helps

Basic Study Helps

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
~  2 Timothy 2:15






Left click on the image for a larger picture. (Will open in a new window.)
Note: There is a typo on the chart above. Under the “But Now” heading, the reference should be Eph. 2:13.

“It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or wrythen, but of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after.” ~  Miles Coverdale (1488-1569)

For Your Consideration:


1) The chart above provides a snapshot of how the entire volume of Scripture is layed out chronologically, doctrinally, historically, prophetically and dispensationally. There is alot of information there and even more that is not immediately apparent. However, while presenting it first as a “basic” Bible study help might seem to be putting the cart before the horse, it also provides an accurate, safe and proper framework upon which to hang any Bible verse or topic you may be interested in studying.


2) The quote from Miles Coverdale, roughly 450 years ago(!), shows both honesty and wisdom. Much confusion exists today due to verses being taken out of context and used to prove one point or another. Many times, the contexts of verses shed entirely different lights on the apparent contents of those verses than if they were to be used alone. Additionally, it is the context that aides in eliminating every supposed, alleged and imagined contradiction between verses which in fact do appear, on the surface, to say opposite things.


3) There is one thing missing from the chart and the quote above: the single-most-important thing.


The chart provides a technical reference and framework upon which to hang the various Biblical themes and doctrines. The quote above shows a logical approach to the proper intellectual study of Scripture. So…, what’s missing?  The attitude of your heart!  Hebrews 4:12,13 make an unmistakable revelation – that the Word of God is both alive and placed on an equal footing with God Himself! Read those verses carefully.


In other words, the Word of God is the only book on the planet that when you read it… it reads you! And it will provide you with exactly that for which your are looking. God designed it that way. If you want the truth of God including the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of your soul – you’ll find it there. If you’re looking to prove you’re right about something and everyone else is wrong – you can do that too. If you want an excuse to sin continually after being saved – yep, it’s there. If you want to prove you shouldn’t eat certain meats, or work on certain days or that you should sell all that you have – you’ve got it.  Now you have to twist, stretch and remove from context many verses to prove some of those things but, it’s being done the world over to the great detriment of the Church, the Body of Christ.


The point is: Tread carefully!  Examine your own heart continually on your journey to discover the mind and will of God.


4) Don’t know if you caught it  but, the statement above about the Bible being “alive” is not found in Hebrews 4:12….  Or is it?     …Which brings us to the fourth help that will be of great value to your study.


In the English language, words and meanings are constantly changing and evolving – not usually for the better. Herein lies a great value in the Authorised Version of the Bible. The Elizabethan English used during its translation is all but dead – a wonderful thing – because the words of that language are fixed in their meanings. This is a very good thing for Bible believers and students. It is easy to “update” a verse into our modern language and change its meaning entirely; even disastrously. Much better than modern interpretations of a so-called outdated language would be a reference to explain exactly what some of those no-longer-utilized words actually meant when they were used.


Checking such a reference would uncover that a then commonly understood meaning of the word “quick” was “alive,” as used in Hebrews 4:12. Interesting indeed.


One very good reference that’s available is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary. Its definintions are significantly closer to the Elizabethan English than we are now. A hard copy is one of the few extra-Biblical books we recommend but, for your added convenience, here’s a link to the 1828 online. (This is not our site so we cannot guarantee availability.)


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Alternate Location (in case the site above is unavailable)


We encourage you to study diligently, prayerfully and with a humble heart that you, “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” (Ephesians 3:18) of the things that God has for you.


“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
~ Psalms 119:11


The Next Step?

Grab a notebook and your Bible and go check out some of the Critical Issues of Grace here.