Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Gospel of Peae: Making it Real - Lesson 06

Lesson 6                            
“That One Bread”                
1 Corinthians 10:14-33
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other passages.)

1.      Context: Read 9:24-11:2, 17-34 to get a sense of the context.  Remember that the focus of our study will not be the issue of meat sacrificed to idols, but on our relationships with others.
2.      WS:  (15-17) The “cup of blessing” and “bread” are the communion, sharing, or participation (koinōnia) with the blood and body of Christ.  What does that mean?
3.      CR: (17) What is another important element of partaking in communion (the Lord’s Supper)? (1 Corinthians 11:18; 12:12, 27) (Also compare with the O.T. custom in Leviticus 7:11-21)
4.      ID:  (14-22) What was the reason(s) for not eating food offered to idols given in verses 14-22?  (Compare with Acts 15:28-29)
5.      ID:  (24) What was a primary motivation or consideration in Paul’s deciding how to handle this controversial issue with others? (Philippians 2.1-5) 
6.      ID: (25-28) If “the earth is the Lord’s” (10:25-26; Psalm 24:1), what was the thinking behind a decision to not eat meat at someone’s house?
7.      CR: (29) Why should my liberty be restrained by someone else’s conscience? (Romans 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 8:8-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)
8.      ID: (24, 31-33) What are some principles that should guide the exercise of our freedom in Christ?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      It is somewhat surprising that Paul, an Apostle, would defer to someone who was wrong about an issue.  Why wouldn’t he just correct them?
2.      What are some of our “meat sacrificed to idols” issues today? 
3.      What are some reasons people do not respect the personal convictions of people they disagree with?
4.      How do you make sure your motives toward another are not clouded by your own convictions about an issue?


I usually have a five step approach to commentaries and study tools. First, I become familiar with the passage.  Second, I use linguistic/language tools to clarify the meaning of the words.  Third, I also check cross references and cultural resources to better understand the meaning of the text.
Fourth, I will refer to a variety of commentaries to get the insights of knowledgeable men on the passage.  I have my favorites, but I try to check commentators from more that one theological perspective.  It both allows me to see original arguments for the other side of an issue and, most importantly, gives me a look at the passage from a different perspective.  I work from more objective to ones that comment on more subjective aspects of the text.  “Healthy skepticism” is the watch word when referring to commentaries.
Finally, I will refer to commentators with a more devotional and application bent.  They are usually not as helpful for dissecting the meaning of the text, but help me think about how the passage applies to everyday living.  Sermons by an accomplished preacher are also helpful with applications, and they can give helpful ideas for presenting the passage if you are going to teach.
I recommend Dr. Constable's Expository (Bible Study) Notes has a lot of articles and commentaries most are scholarly, but not overly academic.
Barne's Notes on the New Testament is old, but fairly thorough and conservative.
David Guzik's Enduring Word Commentaries on the Bible are charismatic, but still very good.
The Bible Centre has dispensational general commentaries, etc...
The Christian Classic Ethereal Library has many old and ancient resources.
Classic Bible Commentaries: Calvin, Darby, Geneva, Gill, Jamieson-Faussett-Brown, Matthew Henry, Wesley
David Cox's Online Religious Library has links to a lot of different resources.
Easy English Bible features 2,800 word vocabulary translations and commentaries that have all the cookies on the lowest shelf.

Paul Apple lesson notes have good insights.
Matthew Henry is not dispensational, but has tons of good applications.
Charles Spurgeon is helpful for developing a homiletic strategy for your text.
One Place has a wealth of popular teachers and preachers and teachers (living and dead) from a variety of backgrounds.
Skeptic’s Annotated Bible helps to anticipate criticisms of the Bible text.
The web is full of outright heresy and questionable materials, but it also has a ton of very excellent resources.  Don’t be afraid, be discerning.  Web sites also tend to come and go, so I hope all of these links still work.

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Lesson 05

Lesson 5                           
“Love Without Hypocrisy”              
Romans 12:9-13
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other passages.)

1.      Context: Read chapter 12. How does Romans 12.1-4 help set the tone and context for our passage?
2.      WS: (9) The more literal versions say, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” What does it mean for love to be without hypocrisy? Looking up the Greek word will help. ”without hypocrisy/ anypokritos   
3.      CR: (9) Why do you think the admonitions, “Abhor what is evil,” and “Cling to what is good,” are placed in the middle of two mentions of love? (Amos 5:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:11)
4.      ID: (10) List several things from verse ten that characterize Christian relationships with others.
5.      ID: (10) How do honor and giving preference practically relate to kindly affections and brotherly love?
6.      ID:  (11) What is the common thread in the next three admonitions?  How do they relate to verses ten and twelve?
7.      ID: (12) There is a threefold admonition in verse twelve to hope, patience, and prayer. How are they related to each other? How do they support each other?
8.      CR: (12) Two closely related words for hospitality occur five times in the NT.  The word is used in the context of strangers and brothers in Christ. What does the context in this passage show us about the meaning of “stranger love”?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      What do you do when you just don’t feel like loving someone?  Talk about how we love someone who is difficult.
2.      What makes it difficult to prefer or honor others?  Who do you struggle to give preference to? Why?
3.      In addition to having someone over to your home, what are some ways we can show hospitality (be hospitable)?
4.      Sometimes when you have a list of short admonitions, one or two will stand out to you.  Which ones specially relate to our theme of making the Gospel of  Peace real? 


I usually have a five step approach to the use commentaries and study tools.
First, I become familiar with the passage.  I look at the larger context by looking at the general setting and reading the passage before and after the one I am focusing on.  Then I read my specific verses several times.  I continue to read the passage in several versions that include more formal or literal translations (Young’s Literal, KJV, RSV, NASB) and some of the more dynamic translations and paraphrases (like the NIV84, Wuest’s Expanded Translation, NET Bible, Amplified, New Living, and The Message).  I like to compare them verse be verse from literal to dynamic making note of the variations.
Second, I use linguistic/language tools to clarify the meaning of the words.  Third, I also check cross references and cultural resources to better understand the meaning of the text.  I will typically focus on places where there was greater variation between the translations.  I also like to study parallel passages and allusions the New Testament makes to the Old Testament.  During this phase I am making notes about questions I have about the passage meaning.
These links below are to free stuff that is online or downloadable. I put these links on here because they have been a helpful resource for me, not because I endorse the organization that makes it available.  Check out the web site (doctrinal statement, links, sponsoring person or organization) or “google” a person to find out more about them. The important thing is that you understand the perspective and orientation of the source. Be aware of who you are using. Precepts Austin has a lot of links to resources in all categories and has helpful information about how to study the Bible. 

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Lesson 04

Lesson 4   
“Three Examples of ‘This Mind’ ”               
Philippians 2:14-30
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other passages.)

1.      Context: What is the main idea before (2:14) this lesson’s passage? How does it lay a foundation for these verses?
2.      WS: (14-15) “Harmless, blameless, innocent, pure” are all possible translations of the Greek word akeraios.  What does it mean and how does that word relate to the trio of “blameless, harmless, and without fault?”
3.      ID: (14-15) How would complaining and disputing effect our attitude and spirit and keep us from becoming blameless, harmless, and without fault?
4.      CR: (17) What was Paul saying about himself, when he said that he was being poured out as a drink offering?  (2 Corinthians 12:15; 2 Timothy 4:6)
5.      ID: What attitudes and actions do verses 19-22 tell us about Timothy that make him a good example for us? (List several attitudes or actions.)  Which one made him unique?
6.      ID: What attitudes and actions verses 25-30 tell us about Epaphroditus that make him a good example for us? (List several attitudes or actions.)  Which one(s) made him worthy of honor?
7.      ID: What is the common trait that all three of these men demonstrated that made them good illustrations of the mind of Christ (2:5)? 
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      Why is having the “mind of Christ” essential to being a peacemaker?
2.      What keeps us of having Christ’s mind toward others like Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus did?
3.      Can you think of a time you have seen a selfless person help bring peace to a stressful situation? How did it help?
4.      How have you seen grumbling and arguing contribute to strife and dissention among believers?
5.      What has this passage taught you that you should work on?

Bible Study Helps

The Biographical Method:

Elmer Towns is Liberty University’s co-founder and dean of the school's Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  In his online book, How to Study and Teach the Bible he makes the following suggestions for a biographical Bible study. 
When God chose to reveal Himself to us in Scripture, He often does it through people. More than 3,500 individual people are identified in Scripture, their stories will tell you much about God and yourself.
Usually begin by choosing secondary characters rather than major characters. To begin your study in the life of Peter, Paul, Abraham or Moses may overwhelm you with biblical material available on the subject's life and times. Herbert Lockyer advises students of biography to "begin with a person whose story is briefly told."  In the event you feel you must study a major character, limit your study to a specific aspect of that character's life. Rather than examining the entire life of Moses, why not consider the record of his first forty years in Egypt.
Gather all available biblical data on the character. Find and read every verse on the person by looking him or her up in an exhaustive concordance. Also, a good topical Bible may describe the person. Don’t forget to look in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia. When a person has more than one name (i.e., Abram/Abraham, Jacob/Israel, or Saul/Paul), be certain to check each name. The cross-reference notes in your study Bible will also be helpful as you gather biblical data that describes your subject.
  • As you study the background of your subject, attempt to determine the nature of his or her childhood. A good place to begin is a consideration of the meaning of a child's name. Identify his parents, ancestors, and other relatives.  Determine what influence the person(s) family had on them and why?
  • Develop a “timeline” of the basic events in the person’s life.
  • Identify significant turning points in someone’s life. Look for traumatic events which took place in the person's life that were likely to influence them.
  • Determine the weaknesses, failures or negative lessons that are found in this person and the negative principles that should be avoided.  
  • Determine the main characteristics or strengths, i.e. “life-message” of the person from the passage(s) of Scripture and the principles by which they lived.  Determine the positive principles that could be applied to your life
  • Identify any insights this person's life might reveal concerning God and His character. Could this person be considered a type or anti-type of Christ? (Joseph is considered a type of Christ).
  • Determine the conditional promises or threats that apply only to their lives, and the universal promises or threats that apply to your life.
  • Identify the single most important principle illustrated in this person's life. What is his or her “life-message?” Write that principle in a one or two sentences.

For Further Study:

There are some other helpful online resources for biographical method Bible studies.  One is chapter four of R. A. Torey’s book, How to Study the Bible.  Peter Rhebergen also has some helpful information on the biographical method of Bible study. Appendix B of Rick Warren’s book, Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word, part of which is available online, has some helpful questions to use in a biographical Bible study.

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Lesson 03

Lesson 3                       
“Let This Mind Be in You”               
Philippians 2:1-13
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other passages.)

1.      ID: (1) What are the four conditions Paul cites in verse 1 to encourage the Philippians to do the things he asks of them? 
2.      ID: (2) What do the four admonitions in verse two have in common?
3.      ID: (2) How do these four conditions (verse 2) relate to the four admonitions in verse one?
4.      WS: (3,8) The word lowliness of mind / humility (tapeinophrosune) in verse three and humbled (tapeinoō) in verse eight describe an aspect of  the Christ-like mind.  What does it mean to be humble?  Why is that essential for a peacemaker?
5.      CR: (5) Several verses in Philippians speak about our thinking (or attitude). (1:7; 2:2; 2:5; 3:15-16; 3:19; 4:2; 4:10)  What do they teach us about how we should think about the Lord, ourselves, and others?
6.      ID: (5-11) Make a list of everything verses 5-11 reveal about Christ.
7.      ID: (5-8) What were the priorities of Christ that motivated Him to humble himself?
8.      CR: (10-11) What does Isaiah 45:23 help us understand about verse 10-11?
9.      CR: (12) What does it mean to work out your own salvation? How do we do that? (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 4:11; 12:1-6; 2 Peter 1:10)
10.  (13) Notice the combination (and tension) that verse 13 has with verse 12b.  (similar to 1 Corinthians 15:10) Comment on this.
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      What are some of the wrong attitudes and priorities that keep us from having the mind of Christ?
2.      How would you need to change your attitude so it is more like Christ’s?
3.      Doesn’t reflecting on the humility of Christ make Him appear more beautiful and glorious to you? Write out your words of praise to Him.
4.      How does the admonition in verse 4 make us a better peacemaker? Can you give an example?


Often our concern for our own interests and reputation can be significant impediments to reconciling with a brother (or sister) and glorifying God.  If we were concerned about God’s reputation more than our own, we might be surprised at how His reputation increased as ours decreased.  This story illustrates that point.
by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries
The pastor of a church I attended during college clearly understood the importance of seeking peace with an estranged brother. He demonstrated this the Sunday I brought a friend named Cindy to church for the first time. I had met Cindy at school and learned that she was struggling in her spiritual life, largely because the church she attended provided little biblical teaching. Thinking that she might find meaningful instruction and encouragement from my church, I had invited her to worship with me one Sunday.
I was unprepared for what took place shortly after Cindy and I took our seats, because I had forgotten that during the previous week's Sunday school period my pastor and an elder had gotten into a public argument. Pastor Woods called for the attention of the congregation and asked the elder with whom he had quarreled to join him at the pulpit. "As most of you know," Pastor Woods said, "Kent and I had an argument during Sunday school last week. Our emotions got out of hand, and we said some things that should have been discussed in private."
As I thought of the first impression Cindy must be getting, my stomach sank. "Of all the days to bring someone to church," I thought, "why did I pick this one?" I was sure this incident would discourage Cindy from coming to my church again.
Pastor Woods put his arm around Kent's shoulders and went on. "We want you to know that we met that same afternoon to resolve our differences. By God's grace, we came to understand each other better, and we were fully reconciled. But we need to tell you how sorry we are for disrupting the unity of this fellowship, and we ask for your forgiveness for the poor testimony we gave last week."
Many eyes were filled with tears as Pastor Woods and Kent prayed together. Unfortunately, I was so worried about what Cindy might be thinking that I completely missed the significance of what had happened. Making a nervous comment to Cindy, I opened the hymnal to our first song and hoped she would forget about the whole incident. The rest of the service was a blur, and before long I was driving her home. I made light conversation for a few minutes, but eventually Cindy referred to what had happened: "I still can't believe what your pastor did this morning. I've never met a minister in my church who had the courage and humility to do what he did. I'd like to come to your church again."
During subsequent visits, Cindy's respect for my pastor and for Kent continued to grow, and before long she made our church her spiritual home. She saw real evidence of God's presence and power in those two men. Their humility highlighted God's strength and helped Cindy to take Christ more seriously. As a result, she committed herself to Christ and began to grow in her faith. As I watch that growth continue to this day, I still thank God for those two men and their willingness to obey the Lord's call to peace and unity.

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Lesson 02

Lesson 2                            
“Christ’s Prayer for Us”                   
 John 17.20-26
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text, “Who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding grammatical and theological definitions and usages in other passages.)

1.      Context: When did Jesus pray this prayer (in the chronology of the passion week)?
2.      Context: How does John 17:19 set the stage for this last part of Christ’s prayer?
3.      ID: Who was Jesus praying for in John 17:9-19?  Who is the subject of his prayer (“they” or “them”) in verses 20-26?  Who referred to and what are the key words in these verses?
4.      Read 17:20-26 slowly several times and then in other versions (jkv, rsv, nasb,  niv, nlt, chs). 
5.      ID: (20-22) Note the five occurrences of the word “one.”  In what sense does this passage mean 1) that the Father is one in the son? And 2) that “they” are one with the Father and Son?
6.      ID: (21) What is one result of believers being one and being in the Father and the Son?
7.      WS: Verse 22 refers to the “glory” the Father gave to the Son and the son gave to those who believed.  What does the word glory mean in this passage and in what way has Jesus given believers glory?  glory -- doxa
8.      WS: Verse 23 says, “that they may be made perfect in one.” The word for perfect is teleioō.  What does “perfect” mean in this context? (kjv, nasb, nkjv, esv, nltperfect (ed) (ly); niv, netcomplete (ly) )
9.      ID: (25) Does Jesus addressing the Father as “righteous Father” have a special significance to this passage?  What is it?
10.  ID: (26) What should be in us?  Look at the way the word love (agape) is used in verses 23-24.  What will that love look like in us?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      What does it mean for us to be one? What are some ways we work against this?
2.      How unified do you think we are at TBC?
3.      What do we need to work on? How can you help?
4.       Are there people that you don’t have peace with? What are some things that are contributing to that? (Don’t forget to think about your part.)

Lesson 2: Book Review
The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by  Ken Sande is a practical theology of reconciliation, forgiving, and peacemaking.  Resolving a conflict is one thing, but the book goes beyond that to principles for life-changing reconciliation with family, coworkers, and fellow believers.  In the book he makes reference to the passages in this year’s Bible study.  An example is this passage from The Peacemaker (pp. 47-48) that comments on John 17:20-23.
Unity is more than a key to internal peace.  It is also an essential element of your Christian witness.  When peace and unity characterize your relationships with other people, you show that you are God’s child and he is present and working in your life (Matt. 5:9).  The converse is also true: When your life is filled with unresolved conflict and broken relationships, you will have little success in sharing the good news about Jesus’ saving work on the cross.  This principle is taught repeatedly throughout the New Testament.
One of the most emphatic statements on peace and unity in the Bible is found in Jesus’ prayer shortly before he was arrested and taken away to be crucified.  After praying for himself and for unity among his disciples (John 17:1-19), Jesus prayed for all who would someday believe in him.  These words apply directly to every Christian today:
"My prayer is not for them [my disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:20-23 emphasis added
Jesus prayed these words during the final hours of his life.  As death drew near, the Lord focused on a single concept he knew to be of paramount importance for all those who would believe in him.  He did not pray that his followers would always be happy, that they would never suffer, or that their rights would always be defended.  Jesus prayed that his followers would get along with one another.  This was so important to him that he tied his reputation and the credibility of his message to how well his followers would display unity and oneness.  Read his prayer once more and think about how important unity is to him.  Is it equally important to you?
The book is available online or in the TBC bookstore.  It would be a great supplement to this year’s study series, “The Gospel of Peace: Making It Real.”

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Intro and Lesson 01

In April of 1992 there were three days of widespread and destructive rioting in South Los Angles following the acquittal of three police officers in the beating of Rodney King.  On the third day of the rioting King made his famous appeal, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”  These kind of “wars and fights” are what we can expect from a lost world.
It is, however, tragic when that same appeal is so appropriate for believers.  This is unfortunate, because “God has called us to peace,” and our squabbling and divisions are not consistent with the “Gospel of peace” that we embrace at salvation and should continue to grow in.
When Christians fight, what does it say to a watching world?  We believers have become too accepting of unresolved conflict as a normal reality in our lives and churches.  It may be normal for the world, but it should be abnormal in the church.  The common thread in the passages we will study this year is the theme of peace making and living in peace with others.  As we study these passages, I hope that we will become more passionate peace lovers and more effective peace makers.
These 20 lessons combine both a topical and verse by verse approach to Bible study.  The passages are chosen because they share the common theme of peace making, but each lesson approaches its passage with a verse by verse approach.  We will “dig into” each passage with inductive, cross reference, and word study questions and then discuss specific ways to apply them to our lives.  
May God develop in us a Christ minded perspective of peace and reconciliation in His Church, our families, and other areas.  And may He make us into passionate and effective peace makers.
A unique feature of this Bible study is that the Word document has hyperlinks to Bible study tools and cross references in the questions.  Request the “electronic” version of the lessons from your Bible study location leader or from Pastor Martin at .
The word study questions include the English word that has a link to the BlueLetterBible.  This resource includes pronunciation of the Greek word, definitions, a link to Vine’s Dictionary, and a few other features.  The English spelling of the Greek word has a link to the Bible Study Tools lexicon which also has links to all the occurrences of the Greek word in the New Testament.
When there are cross references they are linked to the NKJV in the Bible. Usually you will notice that extra verses before and after the verse are there to help you with the context.  The page will have the option for you to switch to another version.
Occasionally there are other links to recommended sources or other information that you should find helpful.  All these links are not intended to change the way we study a passage, but to just give us quicker access to helpful resources. 
The second page of each lesson will often contain Bible study tips or an article that relates to the passage we studied that week.  Concentrate on the main study and read the second part if you have extra time during the week.

Lesson 1                               
“Peace: A Word Study”                
Misc. Scriptures
The goal of this lesson will be to understand the Biblical concept of peace, Christ’s heart for believers, and why the Gospel is called “the gospel of peace.”  As you study the verses in this lesson, be careful to make note of the context of each one.
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
1.      What does the Greek word that peace translates mean ? peace / eirene (i-ray'-nay )  See the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article on peace. 
2.      What does the Hebrew word usually translated peace mean?  peace / shalom (shä·lōm') has extensive comments on the Hebrew word shalom.
3.      The “God of peace” is a title used in Romans 15:33; 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; and Hebrews 13:20. What do these verses that describe the “God of peace” say that He will do? (Compare with 1 Corinthians 14:33 and 2 Corinthians 13:11)
4.      What does “peace with God” mean? (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:19-20) 
5.      What does the “peace of God” mean? (Philippians 4:7; Colossians 3:15)
6.      What is the Gospel? (See footnote 23 of the “TBC Philosophy of Worship,” Isaiah 52:7, & 
7.      What is being emphasized when the Gospel is referred to as “the Gospel of Peace?” (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15)
8.      What does it mean that we are called to peace? (1 Corinthians 7:15; Colossians 3:15)
9.      The word "peace" occurs 429 times in 400 verses in the KJV.  What are a few of your favorite verses about peace?  A favorite sermon? Why are they special?
10.  Write your own brief definition of peace and support it with some Scriptures.
The WALK: What should I do?
1.       Who do you know that you would describe as a man or woman of peace?  What has earned them that description?
2.       Do you think you have peace with God? Why?
3.       Do you feel like you have the peace of God?  Why do you think that?
4.       Can you say you are at peace with someone you don’t know?
5.       Take a few minutes and pray for each other to experience the peace with and of God and peace with others.
Lesson 1    Bible Study Tips

Word Studies
One of the great things about the internet is that there are some great Bible study resources that can be used for free.  If you don’t have the internet or prefer not to use it, most of these tools are available in book form.

In each lesson you will be asked to do a word study.  You can make it brief or detailed depending on your time and interest in the word.  Here are some basic steps adapted from David Sargent’s “Bible Study Methods.”  Try to at least do steps two and three.

1.      Find its English definition in the English dictionary.  and  are two of the good online dictionaries.

2.      Compare words used to translate the word in various translations.
Compare a more literal version like New American Standard or King James Version with the New KJV or English Standard Version and with a more dynamic translation like the New International Version or New Living Translation.  You can find these at

3.      Note the definition of the original word (Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic). You can also find the origin and root meaning of the word, how the word was used by the secular culture of the day. is a good place to get this information. 
If you are using the electronic copy of this sheet, the English word has a hyperlink to the Blue Letter Study Bible lexicon which includes a link to Vine’s and to Thayer’s Lexicon.  The Greek transliteration has a link to Bible Study Tools lexicon which includes a links to the other NT passages that use the word.  This will make things much quicker.

4.      Discover just where the word is used in the Bible.  Where does the word first appear?  Where does it first appear in the book you are studying?  How is it used in other places by the author of your passage and in other places? Which writers or books used the word more often?  has this information in is lexicon function.

5.       It is also helpful to determine how the word was used in the Bible and how it would have been understood in the culture to which the Bible was originally addressed.  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testaments Words ( and the Precept Austin ( and click on the “Greek Word Studies” button) websites are helpful here.