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Full text of "How to study the Bible for greatest profit : the methods and fundamental conditions of the Bible study that yield the largest results"

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R, A.TORREY 




HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 
FOR GREATEST PROFIT 



By the same Author 

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LONDON 

JAMES NISBET & CO., LIMITED 
at BERNERS STREET 



HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 
FOR GREATEST PROFIT 



THE METHODS AND FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 

OF THE BIBLE STUDY THAT YIELD 

THE LARGEST RESULTS. 



/ 



R. A. TORREY 



Author of "How to Bring Men to Christ," "Baptism With the Holy 
Spirit," etc. 



ELEVENTH THOUSAND 



JAMES NISBET & CO., LIMITED 

az BERNERS STREET 
1903 



PREFACE. 

This book has been written for two reasons: 
first, because it seemed to be needed; second, 
to save the writer time and labor. Letters are 
constantly coming in from all quarters asking 
how to study the Bible. It is impossible to 
refuse to answer a question so important as that, 
but it takes much time to answer it at all as it 
should be answered. This book is written as 
an answer to those who have asked the question, 
and to those who may wish to ask it. Nothing 
is more important for our own mental, moral 
and spiritual development, or for our increase in 
usefulness, than Bible study. But not all Bible 
study is equally profitable. Some Bible study is 
absolutely profitless. " How to study the Bible 
so as to get the largest profit from it," is a ques- 
tion of immeasurable importance. The answer 
to the question, found in this book, has been for 
the most part given in addresses by the author, 
at the Chicago Bible Institute, before the sum- 

5 



6 PREFACE 

mer gatherings of college students, at minis- 
terial conferences and Y. M. C. A. conventions. 
Many, especially ministers, who have heard 
these addresses have asked that they might be 
put in a permanent shape. I have promised for 
two years to comply with this request, but have 
never found time to do so until now. 



CONTENTS. 

\ 

Part First. 

METHODS OF PROFITABLE BIBLE STUDY. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGES, 
Introductory to Methods of Bible Study n 

CHAPTER II. 
Study of Individual Books - 14 

CHAPTER III. 
Topical Study - - 57 

CHAPTER IV. 
Biographical Study 79 

CHAPTER V. 
Study of Types 82 

CHAPTER VI. 

Study of the Books of the Bible in the Order Given 
in the Bible and in Their Chronological Order 85 

CHAPTER VII. 

The Study of the Bible for Practical Usefulness in 
Dealing With Men . . . 88 



CONTENTS 

Part Second. 
FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Fundamental Conditions of the Most Profitable Bible 
Study 95 

CHAPTER II. 
Final Suggestions 116 



PART I. 

THE METHODS OF THE MOST PROF- 
ITABLE BIBLE STUDY. 



HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE. 

CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER TO METHODS OF BIBLE 
STUDY. 

We shall consider the most profitable Methods 
of Bible Study before we consider the Funda- 
mental Conditions of Profitable Bible study. Many 
readers of this book will probably be frightened, 
at first, at the seeming elaborateness and difficulty 
of some of the methods of study suggested. But 
they are not as difficult as they appear. Their 
practicability and fruitfulness have been tested in 
the class-room, and that not with classes made up 
altogether of college graduates, but largely com- 
posed of persons of very moderate education; in 
some cases of almost no education. They do re- 
quire time and hard work. It must be remem- 
bered, however, that the Bible contains gold, and 
almost any one is willing to dig for gold, es- 
pecially if it is certain that he will find it. It is 
certain that one will find gold in the Bible, if he 



12 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

digs. As one uses the methods here recom- 
mended, he will find his ability to do the work 
rapidly increasing by exercise, until he can soon 
do more in fifteen minutes than at the outset he 
could do in an hour. 

The first method of study suggested will be 
found to be an exceptionally good mental train- 
ing. When one has pursued this method of study 
for a time, his powers of observation will have 
been so quickened, that he will see at a glance 
what, at first, he only saw upon much study and 
reflection. This method of study will also train 
the logical powers, cultivating habits of order, sys- 
tem and classification in one's intellectual pro- 
cesses. The power of clear, concise and strong 
expression will also be developed. No other 
book affords the opportunity for intellectual de- 
velopment by its study, that is to be found in the 
Bible. No other book, and no other subject, will 
so abundantly repay close and deep study. The 
Bible is much read, but comparatively little 
studied. It will probably be noticed by some 
that the first method of study suggested is practi- 
cally the method now pursued in the study of na- 
ture; first, careful analysis and ascertainment of 
facts; second, classification of facts. But the 
facts of revelation far transcend those of nature 
in sublimity, suggestiveness, helpfulness and prac- 
tical utility. They are also far more accessible. 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER 13 

We cannot all be profound students of nature; 
we can all be profound students of Scripture. 
Many an otherwise illiterate person has a marvel- 
ous grasp of Bible truth. It was acquired by 
study. There are persons who have studied little 
else, who have studied the Scriptures, by the 
hour, daily, and their consequent wisdom is the 
astonishment and sometimes the dismay of schol- 
ars and theologians. 



CHAPTER 1 1 . 

THE STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS. 

The first method of Bible study that we shall 
consider is the study of the Bible by individual 
books. This method of study is the most thor- 
ough, the most difficult, and the one that yields 
the largest and most permanent results. We 
take it up first because in the author's opinion it 
should occupy the greater portion of our time. 

I. The first work to do, is to select the book 
to study. This is a very important matter. If 
one makes an unfortunate selection he may be- 
come discouraged and give up a method of study 
that might have been most fruitful. 

A few points will be helpful to the beginner: 
I . For your first book-study, choose a short 
book. The choice of a long book to begin with, 
will lead to discouragement in any one but a 
person of rare perseverance. It will be so long 
before the final results, which far more than pay 
for all the labor expended, are reached, that the 
ordinary student will give it up. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS I 5 

2. Choose a comparatively easy book. Some 
books of the Bible present grave difficulties not 
to be found in other books. One will wish to 
meet and overcome these later, but it is not the 
work for a beginner to set for himself. When 
his powers have become trained by reason of 
use, then he can do this successfully and satisfac- 
torily, but, if he attempts it, as so many rashly 
do, at the outset, he will soon find himself 
floundering. The First Epistle of Peter is an ex- 
ceedingly precious book, but a few of the most 
difficult passages in the Bible are in it. If it 
were riot for these difficult passages, it would be 
a good book to recommend to the beginner, but 
in view of these difficulties it is not wise to 
undertake to make it a subject of exhaustive 
study until later. 

3. Choose a book that is rich enough in its 
teaching to illustrate the advantages of this 
method of study and thus give a keen appetite 
for further studies of the same kind. When one 
has gone through one reasonably large and full 
book by the method of study about to be de- 
scribed, he will have an eagerness for it, that will 
make it sure that he will somehow find time for 
further studies of the same sort. 

A book that meets all the conditions stated is 
the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians. 
It is quite short, it has no great difficulties of 



1 6 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

interpretation, meaning or doctrine, and it is 
exceedingly rich in its teaching. It has the fur- 
ther advantage of being the first in point of time 
of the Pauline Epistles. The First Epistle of 
John is not in most respects a difficult book, and 
it is one of the richest books in the Bible. 

II. The second work to do, is to master the 
general contents of the book. The method of 
doing this is very simple. It consists in merely 
reading the book through .without stopping and 
then reading it through again, and then again, 
say a dozen times in all, at a single sitting. To 
one who has never tried it, it does not seem as 
if that would amount to much, but any thought- 
ful man who has ever -tried it will tell you quite 
differently. It is simply wonderful how a book 
takes on new meaning and beauty upon this sort 
of an acquaintance. It begins to open up. New 
relations between different parts of the book be- 
gin to disclose themselves. Fascinating lines of 
thought running through the book appear. The 
book is grasped as a whole, and the relation of 
the various parts to one another apprehended, 
and a foundation laid for an intelligent study of 
those parts in detail. Rev. James M. Gray of 
Boston, a great lover of the Bible and prominent 
teacher of it, says that for many years of his 
ministry he had " an inadequate and unsatisfac- 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS I/ 

tory knowledge of the English Bible." " The 
first practical idea which he received in the study 
of the English Bible was from a layman. The 
brother possessed an unusual serenity and joy in 
his Christian experience, which he attributed to 
his reading of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Mr. 
Gray asked him how he had read it, and he said 
he had taken a pocket copy of the Epistle into 
the woods one Sunday afternoon, and read it 
through at a single sitting, repeating the process 
as many as a dozen times before stopping, and 
when he arose he had gotten possession of the 
Epistle, or rather its wondrous truths had gotten 
possession of him. This was the secret, simple 
as it was, for which Mr. Gray had been waiting 
and praying." From this time on Mr. Gray 
studied his Bible through in this way, and it be- 
came to him a new book. 

Ill . The third work is to prepare an intro- 
duction to the Book. Write down at the top of 
separate sheets of paper or cards the following 
questions: (i) Who wrote this book ? (2) 
To whom did he write ? (3) Where did he 
write it ? (4) When did he write it ? (5) 
What was the occasion of his writing? (6) 
What was the purpose for which he wrote ? (7) 
What were the circumstances of the author when 
he wrote ? (8) What were the circumstances 



1 8 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

of those to whom he wrote ? (9) What 
glimpses does the book give into the life and 
character of the author ? (10) What are the 
leading ideas of the book ? (i i) What is the 
central truth of the book? (12) What are 
the characteristics of the book ? 

Having prepared your sheets of paper with 
these questions at the head, lay them side by 
side on your study table before you, and go 
through the book slowly, and, as you come to an 
answer to any one of these questions, write it 
down on the appropriate sheet of paper. It may 
be necessary to go through the book several 
times to do the work thoroughly and satisfacto- 
rily, but you will be amply repaid. When you 
have finished your own work in this line, and not 
until then, it will be well, if possible, to com- 
pare your results with those reached by others. 
A book that will serve as a good illustration of 
this introductory work is " The New Testament 
and Its Writers," Rev. J. A. McClymont. 

The introduction one prepares for himself will 
be worth many times more to him than any that 
he can procure from others. The work itself is 
a rare education of the faculties of perception, 
comparison and reasoning. 

The answers to our questions will sometimes 
be found in some related book. For example, 
if we are studying one of the Pauline Epistles, the 
answer to our questions may be found in the Acts 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 19 

of the Apostles, or in the Epistle written to the 
place from which the one studied was written. Of 
course, all the questions given will not apply to 
every book in the Bible. 

If one is not willing to give the time and labor 
necessary, this introductory work can be omitted, 
but only at a great sacrifice. Single passages in 
an epistle can never be correctly understood un- 
less we know to whom they were written. Much 
false interpretation of the Bible arises from tak- 
ing some direction manifestly intended for local 
application to be of universal authority. So, 
also, oftentimes false interpretation arises from ap- 
plying to the unbeliever what was intended for the 
saint. Noting the occasion of writing, will clear 
up the meaning of a passage that would be other- 
wise obscure. Bearing in mind the circumstances 
of the author when he wrote, will frequently give 
new force to his words. When we remember 
that the jubilant epistle to the Philippians, with 
its oft-repeated "rejoice in the Lord" and its 
" in nothing be anxious; but in everything by 
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let 
your requests be made known unto God. And the 
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, 
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in 
Christ Jesus," was written by a prisoner awaiting 
possible sentence of death, how much more 
meaningful it becomes. Bearing in mind the 



2O HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

main purpose for which a book was written, will 
help to interpret its incidental exhortations in their 
proper relations. In fact, the answers to all the 
questions will be valuable in all the work that 
follows, as well as valuable in themselves. 

I V. The fourth work is to divide the book into 
its proper sections. This work is not indispensable, 
but still it is valuable. Go through the book and 
notice the principal divisions in the thought, and 
mark these. Then go through these divisions 
and find if there are any natural subdivisions and 
mark these. In this work of dividing the epistle, 
the Revised Version, which is not chopped up 
by a purely mechanical and irrational verse divis- 
ion, but divided according to a logical plan, will 
be of great help. Having discovered the divis- 
ions of the book, proceed to give to each section 
an appropriate caption. Make this caption as 
precise a statement of the general contents of the 
section as possible. Make it also as terse and 
striking as possible, so that it will fix itself in the 
mind. As far as possible let the captions of the 
subdivisions connect themselves with the general 
caption of the division. Do not attempt too elabo- 
rate a division at first. The following division of 
1st Peter, without many marked subdivisions, will 
serve as a simple illustration of what is meant: 

I. Chap, i: i, 2. Introduction and saluta- 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 21 

tion to the pilgrims and sojourners in Pontus, 
etc. 

2. Chap, i: 3-12. The Inheritance reserved 
in heaven and the Salvation ready to be revealed 
for those pilgrims who in the midst of manifold 
temptations are kept by the power of God 
through faith. 

3. Chap, i: 13-25. The pilgrim's conduct 
during the days of his pilgrimage. 

4. Chap, ii: i-io. The high calling, posi- 
tion and destiny of the pilgrim people. 

5. Chap, ii: n, 12. The pilgrim's conduct 
during the days of his pilgrimage. 

6. Chap, ii: 13-17. The pilgrim's duty to- 
ward the human governments under which he 
lives. 

7. Chap, ii: i8:-iii: 7. The duty of various 
classes of pilgrims. 

a. Chap, ii: 18-25. The duty of servants to- 
ward their masters enforced by an appeal to 
Christ's conduct under injustice and reviling. 

b. Chap, iii: 1-6. The duty of wives toward 
husbands. 

c. Chap, iii: 7. The duty of husbands to- 
ward their wives. 

8. Chap, iii: 8-12. The conduct of pilgrims 
toward one another. 

9. Chap, iii: 13-22. The pilgrim suffering for 
righteousness' sake. 



22 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

10. Chap, iv: 1-6. The pilgrim's separation 
from the practices of those among whom he 
spends the days of his pilgrimage. 

11. Chap, iv: 7-11. The pilgrim's sojourning 
drawing to a close and his conduct during the 
last days. 

12. Chap, iv: 12-19. The pilgrim suffering for 
and with Christ. 

13. Chap, v: 1-4. The duty and reward of 
elders. 

14. Chap, v: 5-11. The pilgrim's walk hum- 
ble and trustful, watchful and steadfast and a 
doxology. 

15. Chap, v: 12-14. Conclusion and benedic- 
tion. 

V. The fifth work is to take up each verse in 
order and study it. 

i. The first thing to be done in this verse by 
verse study of the book is to get the exact mean- 
ing of the verse. How is this to be done ? There 
are three steps that lead into the meaning of a 
verse. 

a. The first step is to get the exact meaning 
of the words used. There will be found two 
classes of words: those whose meaning is per- 
fectly apparent, those whose meaning is doubtful. 
It is quite possible to find the precise meaning of 
these doubtful words. This is not done by con- 
sulting a dictionary. That is an easy but danger- 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 23 

ous method of finding the scriptural significance 
of a word. The only safe and sure method is to 
study the usage of the word in the Bible itself, 
and especially in that particular Bible-writer, one 
of whose writings we are studying. To study the 
Bible usage of words one must have a Con- 
cordance. Altogether, the best Concordance is 
Strong's " Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible." 
The next best, Young's ' 'Analytical Concordance. " 
Cruden's Complete Concordance will do, if one 
cannot afford a better. But the student should, 
as soon as possible, procure Strong's " Ex- 
haustive Concordance." All the passages in 
which the word, whose meaning is being sought, 
occurs should be found and examined, and in this 
way the precise meaning of the word will be deter- 
mined. Many an important Bible doctrine turns 
upon the meaning of a word. Thus, for ex- 
ample, two schools of theology divide on the 
meaning of the word "justify." The critical 
question is, does the word " justify " mean " to 
make righteous," or does it mean " to count or 
declare righteous "? The correct interpretation 
of many passages of Scripture turns upon the 
sense which we give to this word. Let one look 
up all the passages in the Bible in which the 
word is found, and there will be no doubt as to 
the Bible usage and meaning of the word. Deut. 
xxv: i; Ex. xxiii: 7; Is. v: 23; Luke xvi: 15; 



24 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Rom. ii: 13; iii: 23, 24; Luke xviii: 14; Rom. 
iv: 2-8, R. V., will serve to illustrate the Biblical 
usage. By the use of Strong's Concordance, or 
Young's, the student will see that the same word 
may be used in the English version as the trans- 
lation of several Greek or Hebrew words. Of 
course, in determining the Biblical usage, we 
should give especial weight to those passages in 
which the English word examined is the trans- 
lation of the same word in Greek or Hebrew. 
Either of the Concordances just mentioned will 
enable us to do this, even though we are not at 
all acquainted with Greek or Hebrew. It will 
be much easier to do it with Strong's Concord- 
ance than Young's. It is surprising how many 
knotty problems in the interpretation of scripture 
are solved by the simple examination of the Bib- 
lical usage of words. For example, one of the 
burning questions of to-day is the meaning of 
I Jno. i: 7. Does this verse teach that " the 
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us " from all 
the guilt of sin; or does it teach us that " the 
blood of Jesus Christ " cleanseth us from the very 
presence of sin, so that by the blood of Christ, 
indwelling sin is itself eradicated ? Many of 
those who read this question will answer it off- 
hand at once, one way or the other. But the 
off-hand way of answering questions of this kind, 
is a very bad way. Take your concordance and 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 2$ 

look up every passage in the Bible in which the 
word " cleanse " is used in connection with 
blood, and the question will be answered con- 
clusively and forever. Never conclude that you 
have the right meaning of a verse until you have 
carefully determined the meaning of all doubtful 
words in it by an examination of Bible usage. 
Even when you are pretty sure you know the 
meaning of the words, it is well not to be too 
sure until you have looked it up. 

b. The second step in ascertaining the mean- 
ing of a verse is to carefully notice the context 
(what goes before and what comes after). Many 
verses, if they stood alone, might be capable of 
several interpretations, but when what goes be- 
fore and what comes after is considered, all the 
interpretations but one are seen to be impossible. 
Take for example Jno. xiv: 18, "I will not leave 
you desolate: I come unto you." (R. V.) To 
what does Jesus refer when He says " I come 
unto you" ? One commentator says, He refers 
to His reappearance to His disciples after His res- 
urrection to comfort them. Another says that He 
refers to His second coming, as it is called. 
Another says He refers to His coming through the 
Holy Spirit's work to manifest Himself to His 
disciples and make His abode with them. Which 
does He mean ? When " doctors disagree," can 
an ordinary layman decide ? Yes, very often. 



26 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Surely in this case. If any one will carefully 
note what Jesus is talking about in the verses 
immediately preceding (verses 15-17) and in the 
verses immediately following (verses 19-26), he 
will have no doubt as to what coming Jesus re- 
fers to in this passage. You can see this by try- 
ing it for yourself. 

A very large proportion of the vexed questions 
of Biblical interpretation, can be settled by this 
very simple method of noticing what goes before 
and what comes after. Many of the sermons one 
hears, become very absurd when one takes the 
trouble to notice the setting of the preacher's 
text and how utterly foreign the thought of the 
sermon is to the thought of the text, regarded in 
the light of the context. 

c. The third step in ascertaining the correct 
and precise meaning of a verse, is the examina- 
tion of parallel passages, /. <?., passages that 
treat the same subject passages, for example, 
that give another account of the same address or 
event, or passages that are evidently intended as 
a commentary on the passage in hand. Very 
often, after having carefully studied the words 
used and the context, we will still be in doubt as 
to which of two or three possible interpretations 
of a verse is the one intended by the writer or 
speaker. In such a case there is always some- 
where else in the Bible a passage that will settle 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 2/ 

this question. Take for example, Jno. xiv: 3, 
" I come again and will receive you unto myself; 
that where I am, there ye may be also." (R.V.) 
A careful consideration of the words used in their 
relation to one another, will go far in determin- 
ing the meaning of this passage, but still we find 
among commentators whose opinion ought to 
have some weight, these four interpretations: 
First, the coming here referred to is Christ's 
coming at death to receive the believer unto 
himself, as in the case of Stephen. Second, the 
coming again at the resurrection. Third, the 
coming again through the Holy Spirit. Fourth, 
the coming again of Christ when He returns per- 
sonally and gloriously at the end of the age. 
Which of these four interpretations is the cor- 
rect one ? What has already been said about 
verse 1 8 might seem to settle the question, but it 
does not; for it is not at all clear that the coming 
in verse 3 is the same as in verse 18, for what is 
said in connection with the two comings is al- 
together different. In the one case it is a com- 
ing of Christ to " receive you unto myself, that 
where I am, there ye may be also "; in the other 
case it is a coming of Christ to manifest Himself 
unto us and make His abode with us. But for- 
tunately there is averse that settles the question, 
an inspired commentary on the Words of Jesus. 
This is found in I Thess. iv: 16, 17. This will 



28 



be seen clearly if we arrange the two passages in 
parallel columns. 



Jno. xiv: 3. 



I come again The Lord himself sha11 



and will receive you unto 
myself 

that where I am there ye 
may be also. 



/ Thess. iv: 16, 



descend 

we ... shall be caught up 
... to meet the Lord 

so shall we ever be with the 
Lord. 



The two passages manifestly match exactly in 
the three facts stated, and beyond a doubt refer 
to the same event. But if any one will look at 
all closely at I Thess., iv: 16, 17, there can be 
no doubt as to what coming of our Lord is re- 
ferred to there. " The Treasury of Scripture 
Knowledge " will be of great assistance in find- 
ing parallel passages. These are the three steps 
that lead us into the meaning of a verse. They 
require work, but it is work that any one can do, 
and when the meaning of a verse is thus settled 
we arrive at conclusions that are correct and 
fixed. After taking these steps it is well to con- 
sult commentaries, and see how our conclusions 
agree with those of others. Before we proceed 
to the next thing to be done with a verse after its 
meaning has been determined, let it be said, that 
God intended to convey some definite truth in 
each verse of scripture, and any one of from two 
to a dozen interpretations of a verse is not as 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 29 

good as another. With every verse of scripture 
we should ask, not What can this be made to 
teach? but What was this intended to teach? and 
we should not rest satisfied until we have settled 
that. Of course, it is admitted a verse may 
have a primary meaning and other more remote 
meanings. For example, a prophecy may have 
its primary fulfilment in some personage or event 
near at hand, e. g. , Solomon, and a more remote 
and complete fulfilment in Christ. 

2. We are not through with a verse when we 
have determined its meaning. The next thing 
to do is to analyze the verse. This is most inter- 
esting and profitable work. It is also a rare 
education of the various faculties of the intellect. 
The way to do it is this: Look steadfastly at the 
verse and ask yourself, What does this verse 
teach? and then begin to write down: This verse 

teaches, ist, ; 2d, ; 3d, , etc. At 

the first glance very likely you will see but one 
or two things the verse teaches, but, as you look 
again and again, the teachings will begin to mul- 
tiply, and you will wonder how one verse could 
teach so much, and you will have an ever grow- 
ing sense of the divine authorship of the Book. 
It is related of the younger Prof. Agassiz that a 
young man came to him to study ichthyology. 
The Professor gave him a fish to study and told 
him to come back when he had mastered that 



30 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

fish and get another lesson. In time the young 
man came back and told Prof. A. what he had 
observed about the fish. When he had finished, 
to his surprise he was given the same fish again, 
and told to study it further. He came back 
again, having observed new facts, and, as he sup- 
posed, all the facts about the fish. But again he 
was given the same fish to study, and so it went 
on, lesson after lesson, until that student had 
been taught what his perceptive faculties were 
for, and also taught to do thorough work. In 
the same way ought we to study the Bible. We 
ought to come back to the same verse of the 
Bible again and again, until we have gotten, as 
far as it is possible to us, all that is in the verse. 
Then the probability is that when we come back to 
the same verse several months afterward we will 
find something we did not see before. It may 
be, that an illustration of this method of analysis 
will be helpful. Let us take I Pet. i: I, 2. 
(Here we have an instance in which the verse di- 
vision of our Authorized version is so manifestly 
illogical and absurd that in our analysis we can- 
not follow it, but must take the two verses to- 
gether. This will often be the case.) 

I Pet., i: I, 2. These verses teach: 

(i.) This epistle is by Peter. 

(2.) The Peter who wrote this epistle was an 
apostle of Jesus Christ. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 31 

(3.) Peter delighted to think and speak of 
himself as one sent of Jesus Christ. (Comp. 
II Pet., i: i.) 

(NOTE Apostle is Greek for Latin Mission- 
ary.'} 

(4.) The name, Jesus Christ (used twice in 
these two verses). Significance: 

a. Saviour. 

b. Annointed One. 

c. Fulfiller of the Messianic predictions of 
the O. T. "Christ" has especially 
reference to the earthly reign of Christ. 

(5.) This Epistle was written to the elect, es- 
pecially to the elect who are sojourners of the 
dispersion in Pontus, i. *., Paul's old field of 
labor. 

(NoTE The question whether speaking of the 
dispersion implies that the destination of this 
Epistle was to Jewish Christians will have been 
taken up and answered in the introduction to the 
Epistle.} 

(6.) Believers are: 

a, elect or chosen of God. 

b, foreknown of God. 

f, sanctified of the Spirit. 

d. sprinkled by the blood of Jesus Christ. 
e t sojourners or pilgrims on earth. 

f t subjects of multiplied grace. 
g t possessors of multiplied peace. 



32 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

(7.) Election. 

a. Who are the elect ? Believers. Comp. 
vs. 5. 

b. To what are they elect ? 

a, obedience. 

b, sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. 
According to what are they elect? The fore- 
knowledge of God. Comp. Rom. viii: 29, 30. 

In what are they elect? Sanctification of the 
Spirit. 

The test of election: Obedience. Comp. II 
Pet. i: 10. 

The work of the three persons of the Trinity 
in election 

a. The Father foreknows. 

b. Jesus Christ cleanses from guilt by His 
blood. 

c. The Spirit sanctifies. 

(8.) God is the Father of the elect. 

(9.) The humanity of Christ: seen in the men- 
tion of His blood. 

(10.) The reality of the body of Jesus Christ: 
seen in the mention of His blood. 

(n.) It is by His blood and not by His ex- 
ample that Jesus Christ delivers from sin. 

(12.) Peter's first and great wish and prayer 
for those to whom he wrote was that grace and 
peace might be multiplied. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 33 

(13.) It is not enough to have grace and peace. 
One should have multiplied grace and peace. 

(14.) That men already have grace and peace 
is no reason to cease praying for them, but rather 
an incentive to prayer that they may have more 
grace and peace. 

(15.) Grace precedes peace. Comp. all pas- 
sages where these words are found together. 

This is simply an illustration of what is meant 
by analysing a verse. Tho whole book should 
be gone through in this way. 

There are three rules to be observed in this 
analytical work. ist. Do not put anything into 
your analysis that is not clearly in the verse. 
One of the greatest faults in B ible study is read- 
ing into passages what God never put into them. 
Some men have their pet doctrines, and see them 
everywhere, and even where God does not see 
them. No matter how true, precious or scrip- 
tural a doctrine is, do not put it into your analysis 
where it is not in the verse. Considerable ex- 
perience with classes in this kind of study leads 
me to emphasize this rule. 2d. Find all that 
is in the verse. This rule can only be carried 
out relatively. Much will escape you, the verses 
of the Bible are such a great deep, but do not 
rest until you have dug, and dug, and dug, and 
there seems to be nothing m ore to find. 3d- 
State what you do find just as accurately and ex- 



34 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

actly as possible. Do not be content with put- 
ting into your analysis something like what is in 
the verse, but state in your analysis precisely 
what is in the verse. 

VI. The sixth work in the study of the book is 
to classify the results obtained by the verse by 
verse analysis. By your verse by verse analysis 
you have discovered and recorded a great number 
of facts. The work now is to get these facts into 
an orderly shape. To do this, go carefully 
through your analysis and note the subjects 
treated of in the Epistle. Write these subjects 
down as fast as noted. Having made a complete 
list of the subjects treated in the book, write 
these subjects on separate cards or sheets of pa- 
per, and then, going through the analysis again, 
copy each point in the analysis upon its appro- 
priate sheet of paper, e. g. , every point regarding 
God the Father upon the card at the top of 
which this subject is written. This general class- 
ification should be followed by a more thorough 
and minute subdivision. Suppose that we are 
studying the First Epistle of Peter. Having com- 
pleted our analysis of the Epistle, and gone over 
it carefully, we will find that the following sub- 
jects, at least, are treated in the Epistle: (i) 
God. (2) Jesus Christ. (3) The Holy Spirit. 
(4) The Believer. (5) Wives and Husbands. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 35 

(6) Servants. (7) The New Birth. (8) The 
Word of God. (9) Old Testament Scripture. 
(10) The Prophets, (n) Prayer. (12) Angels. 
(13) The Devil. (14) Baptism. (15) The Gos- 
pel, (i 6) Salvation. (17) The World. (18) 
Gospel Preachers and Teachers. (19) Heaven. 
(20) Humility. (21) Love. 

These will serve for general headings. But 
after the material found in the analysis is ar- 
ranged under these headings, it will be found to 
subdivide itself naturally into numerous subdi- 
visions. For example, the material under the head 
God can be subdivided into these subdivisions: 
I . His names. (The material under this head is 
quite rich). 2. His Attributes. (This should be 
subdivided again: (i) His Holiness. (2) His 
Power. (3) His Foreknowledge. (4) His Faith- 
fulness. (5) His Long-suffering. (6) His Grace. 
There are twenty-five or more points on God's 
Grace in the Epistle. (7) His Mercy. (8) His Im- 
partiality. (9) His Severity.) 3. God's Judg- 
ments. 4. God's Will. 5. What is Acceptable to 
God. 6. What is Due to God. 7. God's Dwelling 
Place. 8. God's Dominion. 9. God's Work. 
What God does. 10. The Things of God, e. g. t 
" The mighty hand of God," " the house of God," 
" the gospel of God," " the flock of God," " the 
people of God," " the bondservants of God," " the 
Word of God," " the Oracles of God," etc., etc. 



36 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

An illustration in full of the classified arrange- 
men of the teaching of a book on one doctrine, 
will probably show better how to do this work 
thar any abstract statement, and it will also il- 
lustrate in part how fruitful is this method of 
study. We will take I Peter again its teach- 
ing regarding the Believer. 

WHAT THE EPISTLE TEACHES ABOUT THE BE- 
LIEVER. 

I. His PRIVILEGES. 

1. His Election. 

a, He is foreknown of the Father, 1 : 2. 

b, He is elect or chosen of God, i: i. 

c, He is chosen of God, according to His 

foreknowledge, i: 2. 

d, He is chosen unto obedience, 1:2. 

<?, He is chosen unto the sprinkling of the 

blood of Jesus, i : 2. 
/, He is chosen in sanctification of the Spirit, 

i: 2. 

2. His Calling. ^ 

a, By whom called: 
God, 1:15. 

The God of all grace, 5: IO. 

b, To what called: 

The imitation of Christ in the patient tak- 
ing of suffering for well doing, 2: 20, 21. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 3? 

To render blessings for reviling, 3: 9. 
Out of darkness into God's marvellous 

light, 2: 9. 
To God's eternal glory, 5: 10. 

c, In whom called: 
In Christ, 5: 10. 

d, The purpose of his calling: 

That he may show forth the praises of 

Him who called, 2 : 9. 
That he may inherit a blessing, 3: 9. 
His Regeneration. 
He has been begotten again 

a, of God, i : 3. 

b, unto a living hope, 1 : 3. 

c t unto an inheritance incorruptible, unde- 
filed, that fadeth not away, reserved in 
heaven, i: 4. 

d, By the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1:3. 
t, Of incorruptible seed by the word of 

God that liveth, etc., i: 23. 
His Redemption. 
He has been redeemed, 

a, not with corruptible things, as silver and 

gold,: i 1 8. 

b, with precious blood, even the blood of 

Christ, i: 19. 

c> from his vain manner of life, handed down 
from his fathers, i : 1 8. 



38 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

d, His sins have been borne by Christ, in 
His own body, on the tree, 2: 24. 

5. His Sanctification. 

He is sanctified by the Spirit, 1 : 2. 

6. His Cleansing. 

He is cleansed by the blood, I ; 2. 

7. His Security. 

a, He is guarded by the power of God, i: 5. 

b, He is guarded unto a salvation ready, or 

prepared, to be revealed in the last 
time, 1:5. 

c, God careth for him, 5: 7. 

d, He can cast all his anxiety upon God, 5: 

7- 
f t The God of all grace will perfect, stablish, 

strengthen him, after a brief trial of 

suffering, 5: 10. R. V. 
/, None can harm him if he is zealous of 

that which is good, 3: 13. 
g, He shall not be put to shame, 2: 6. 

8. His Joy. 

a, The character of his joy. 
(i) . His present joy. 

A great joy, i : 8. R. V. 
An unspeakable joy, i : 8. 
A joy full of glory, i : 8. 
(NOTE This present joy cannot be hindered 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 39 

by being put to grief, because of mani- 
fold temptations, i: 6.) 
(2) His future joy: exceeding, 4: 13. 
b, In what he rejoices: 

(1) In the salvation prepared to be re- 
vealed in the last time, i : 6. 

(2) Because of his faith in the unseen 
Jesus Christ, i: 8. 

(3) In fellowship in Christ's sufferings, 

4: 13- 
r, In what he shall rejoice. 

(i) In the revelation of Christ's glory, 

4: 13- 
NOTE Present joy in fellowship with the 

sufferings of Christ, is the condition of 

exceeding joy at the revelation of 

Christ's glory, 4: 13. 

9. His Hope. 

a, Its character. 

(1) A living hope, i: 3. 

(2) A reasonable hope, 3: 15. 

(3) An inward hope, " in you," 3: 15. 

b. In whom is his hope, 
(i) In God, i: 21. 

Cj The foundation of his hope. 

(i) The resurrection of Jesus Christ, 
i: -21. 



40 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

10. His Salvation. 

a, A past salvation. 

(1) Has been redeemed, I: 18-19. 

(2) Has been healed, 2: 24. 

NOTE By baptism, after a true likeness, 
the Believer, as Noah by the flood, has 
passed out of the old life of nature into 
the new resurrection life of grace, 
3: 21. 

b, A present salvation. 

(i) He is now receiving the salvation of 
his soul, i : 9. 

c, A growing salvation, through feeding on 

His word, 2:2, R. V. 

d, A future salvation: ready or prepared to 

be revealed in the last time, 1:5. 

11. The Believer's Possessions. 

a, God as his Father, i: 17. 

b, Christ as his 

(1) Sin bearer, 2: 24. 

(2) Example, 2:21. 

(3) Fellow sufferer, 4: 13. 

c, A living hope, 1:3. 

d, An incorruptible, undefined, unfading in- 

heritance reserved in heaven, i : 4. 

e, Multiplied grace and peace, i : 2. 

f, Spiritual milk without guile for his food, 

2: 2. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 41 

g, Gifts for service each believer has, or 
may have, some gift, 4: 10. 

12. What Believers Are. 

a, An elect race, 2: 9. 

b, A royal priesthood, 2 : 9. 
f, A holy priesthood, 2: 5. 
d, A holy nation, 2 : 9. 

f, A people for God's own possession, 2 : 9, 
R. V. 

f, Living stones, 2: 5. 

g, The House of God, 4: 17. 
A, A spiritual House, 2:5. 

*, The flock of God, 5: 2. 

/, Children of obedience, i: 14, R. V. 

k, Partakers of, or partners in, Christ's suf- 
ferings, 4: 13. 

/, Partakers of, or partners in, the glory to 
be revealed, 5:1. 

m, Sojourners or strangers, i: I. 

, Foreigners on earth: he has no civil rights 
here: his Citizenship is in heaven, 2, 1 1, 
com. Phil. 3: 20, R. V. 

o, A sojourner on his way to another coun- 
try, 2: i. 

/, A Christian: representative of Christ, 4: 
16. 

1 3. The Believer's Possibilities, 
a, He may die unto sin, 2 : 24. 



42 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

b t He may live unto righteousness, 2: 24. 
NOTE We must die unto sin if we are to 
live unto righteousness \ 2: 24. 

c, He may follow in Christ's steps, 2:21. 

d, He may cease from sin, 4: i. 

f, He may cease from living to the lusts of 

men, 4: 2. 

f, He may live unto the will of God, 4: 2. 
NOTE It is through suffering in the flesh that 
he ceases from sin and living to the lusts 
of men, and lives to the -will of God. 

14. What was for the Believer. 

a. The ministry of the Prophets was in his 

behalf, i: 12. 

b, The preciousness of Jesus is for him, 2: 7, 

R. V. 

1 5 . Unclassified. 

a, Has the gospel preached to him in the 

Holy Ghost, 1:12. 

b, Grace is to be brought unto him at the 

revelation of Jesus Christ, i: 3, com. 
Eph. 3: 7. 

c, Has tasted that the Lord is gracious, 2: 3. 

II. THE BELIEVER'S TRIAL AND SUFFERINGS. 

I. The fact of the Believer's sufferings and 
trials, i: 6. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 43 

2. The nature of the Believer's sufferings and 

trials. 

a, He endures griefs, suffering wrongfully, 

2: 19. 

b, He suffers for righteousness' sake, 3: 14. 

c, He suffers for well doing, 3: 17; 2: 20. 

d, He suffers as a Christian, 4: 16. 

e, He is subjected to manifold temptations, 

i: 6. 

/, He is put to grief in manifold temptations, 
i: 6. 

g, He is spoken against as an evil doer, 
2: 12. 

h, His good manner of life is reviled, 3: 16. 

/', He is spoken evil of because of his sepa- 
rated lite, 4: 4. 

/, He is reproached for the name of Christ, 
4, 14. 

k, He is subjected to fiery trials, 4: 12. 

3. Encouragements for believers undergoing 

fiery trials and suffering. 

a y It is better to suffer for well doing than 
for evil doing, 3:17. 

b, Judgment must begin at the House of 
God, and the present judgment of be- 
lievers through trial, is not comparable 
to the future end of those who obey not 
the gospel, 4: 17. 



44 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

e, Blessed is the believer who does suffer for 

righteousness' sake, 3: 14, comp. Matt. 
5: 10-12. 

d, Blessed is the believer who is reproached 
for the name of Christ, 4: 14. 

f, The Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of 

God rests upon the believer who is re- 
proached for the name of Christ, 4: 14. 
/, The believer's grief is for a little while, I : 
6, R. V. 

g, The believer's suffering is for a little 

while, 5: 10, R. V. 

//, Suffering for a little while will be followed 
by God's glory in Christ, which is eter- 
nal, 5: 10. 

', The suffering endured for a little while is 
for the testing of faith, 1 : 7. 

j, The fiery trial is for a test, 4:12. 

k t The faith thus proved ;is more precious 
than gold, 1 : 7. 

/, Faith proven by manifold temptations will 
be found unto praise, and honor, and 
glory, at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 
i: 7- 

m, It is that his proved faith may be found 
unto praise and glory and honor at the 
revelation of Jesus Christ, that the be- 
liever is for a little while subjected to 
manifold temptations, i: 7. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 45 

, It is pleasing to God when a believer, for 
conscience toward God, endures grief, 
suffering wrongfully, 2: 19, R. V. 

o, It is pleasing to God when a believer 
takes it patiently, when he does well 
and suffers for it, 2 : 20. 

/, Through suffering in the flesh we cease 
from sin, 4: i. 

q, Those who speak evil of us shall give 
account to God, 4: 5. 

r, Sufferings are being shared by fellow be- 
lievers, 5: 9. 

j, Christ suffered for us, 2: 21. 

?, Christ suffered for sins once (or once for 
all), the righteous for the unrighteous, 
that He might bring us to God, being 
put to death in the flesh, but quick- 
ened in the spirit, 3: 18. 

, Christ left the believer an example that 
he should follow in His steps, 2: 21. 

v. In our fiery trials we are made partakers 
of, or partakers in, Christ's sufferings, 

4: 13- 
w, When His glory is revealed we shall be 

glad also with exceeding joy, 4: 13. 
How the believer should meet his trial and 

sufferings. 

a, The believer should not regard his fiery 
trial as a strange thing, 4: 12. 



46 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

b, The believer should expect fiery trial, 

4: 12. 

c, When the believer suffers as a Christian 

let him not be ashamed, 4: 16. 
</, When the believer suffers as a Christian 

let him glorify God in this name, 4: 16. 
/, When the believer suffers fiery trials he 

should rejoice, insomuch as he is made 

partaker of Christ's suffering, 4: 13, 

R. V. 

f. When the believer suffers, let him not 

return reviling with reviling, or suffer- 
ing with threatening; but commit him- 
self to Him that judgeth righteously. 
2: 23. 

g, When the believer suffers, he should in 

well-doing commit the keeping of his 
soul unto God, as unto a faithful Cre- 
ator, 4: 19. 

III. THE BELIEVER'S DANGERS. 

1. The believer may fall into fleshly lusts 
that war against the soul, 2:11. 

2. The believer may sin, 2: 20, R. V. 

3. The believer may fall into sins of the 
gravest character, 4: 15. (Note in this 
verse the awful possibilities that lie dor- 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 47 

mant in the heart of at least a sincere pro- 
fessed believer. ) 

4. The believer's prayers may be hindered, 
3: 7- 

5. The believer is in danger that his high 
calling and destiny tempt him to despise 
human laws and authority, 2: 13. 

6. The believer is in danger that his high 
calling lead him to lose sight of his lowly 
obligations to human masters, 2: 18. 

7. Young believers are in danger of disregard- 
ing the will and authority of older believ- 
ers. 5:15. 

IV. THE BELIEVER'S RESPONSIBILITY. 

1. Each believer has an individual responsi- 
bility, 4: 10, R. V. 

2. Each believer's responsibility is for the gift 
he has received, 4; 10. 

V. THE BELIEVER'S DUTIES. 

I . What the believer should be. 
a, Be holy in all manner of living. 

(1) Because God is holy, i: 15. 

(2) Because it is written " ye shall be 

holy," i: 16, R. V. 
d, Be like Him who called him, i: 15-16. 



48 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

c. Be sober, (or of a calm, collected, 

thoughtful spirit,) i: 13; 4: 7; 5: 8. 

d. Be sober, or of a calm, etc. , unto prayer, 

47. 

e. Be of a sound mind : because the end of 

all things is approaching, 4: 7. 
/. Be watchful, 5: 8. 
g. Be steadfast in the faith, 5 : 9. 
h. Be subject to every ordinance of man. 

(1) For the Lord's sake, 2:13. 

(2) To the King, as supreme, 2:13. 

(3) To governors, as sent by the King for 
the punishment of evil doers, and for 
praise to them that do well, 2: 14. 

(4) Because this is God's will, 2:15. 
/. Be like minded, 3: 8. 

j. Be sympathetic, 3:8. 
k. Be tenderhearted, 3: 8. 
/. Be humble minded, 3: 8. 
m. Be ready. 

(1) Always. 

(2) To give an answer to every man that 

asketh a reason of the hope that 
is in him. 

(3) With meekness and fear. 

(4) In order to put to shame those who 

revile their good manner of life in 
Christ, 3: 1 6. 
n, Should not be troubled, 3: 14. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 49 

2. What the Believer shoicld not do. 

a, The believer should not fashion himself 
according to the lusts of the old life of 
ignorance, i: 14. 

6, The believer should not render evil for 
evil, 3: 9. 

c, The believer should not render reviling 

for reviling, 3: 9. 

d, The believer should not fear the world's 

fear, 3: 14. 

e t The believer should not live his remain- 
ing time in the flesh to the lusts of 
men, 4: 2. 

3. What the Believer should do. 

a, He should live as a child of obedience, I : 

14. 

b, Pass the time of his sojourning here in 

fear, i: 17. 
, Abstain from fleshly lusts that war against 

the soul, 2: ii. 
d, Observe God's will as the absolute law of 

life, 2:15. 

c, Let his conscience be governed by the 

thought of God and not by the conduct 

of men, 2: 19. 
/, Sanctify Christ in his heart as Lord, 3: 

15. R. V. Comp. Is. 8: 13. 
g. Live his remaining time in the flesh to the 

will of God, 4: 2. 



5O HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

A, Put away 

(1) All malice, 2:1. 

(2) All guile, 2:1. 

(3) Hypocrisies, 2:1, 

(4) Envies, 2: i. 

(5) All evil speaking, 2:1. 

i. Come unto the Lord as unto a living stone, 

2:4. 
/, Show forth the excellencies of him who 

called him out of darkness into His mar- 
vellous light, 2 : 9. 
k, Arm himself with the mind of Christ : /. e. 

to suffer in the flesh, 4:1. 
/, Cast all his care upon God because he 

careth for him, 5 : 7. 
m, Stand fast in the true grace of God, 5 : 

12. 

, Withstand the devil, 5 : 9. 
o t Humble himself under the mighty hand of 

God, 5 : 5. 

(1) Because God resisteth the proud and 

giveth grace unto the humble, 5 : 
5-6. 

(2) That God may exalt him in due time, 

5:6. 

/, Glorify God when he suffers as a Christ- 
ian, 4 : 16. 

q, See to it that he does not suffer as a thief 
or as an evil doer or as a meddler in 
other men's matters, 4:15. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 5 1 

r, Rejoice in fiery trial, 4:13. 
s, Toward various persons. 

(1) Toward God fear, 2 : 17. 

(2) Toward the King honor, 2 : 17. 

(3) Toward Masters be in subjection 

with all fear (not only to the good 
and gentle, but to the forward) 2 : 
18. 

(4) Toward the Brotherhood, 
Love, 2: 17; i: 22; 4: 8. 

Love from the heart, i: 22, R. V. 

Love fervently intensely, i: 22; 
4:8. 

Gird themselves with humility as 
with a slave's apron unto one an- 
other, i. e., 

ist, Be one another's slaves. 
2nd. Wear humility as a token 
of their readiness to serve one 
another, 5:5, com. Jno. 13:4-5. 

Minister the gift he has received from 
God among the brethren as a good 
steward of the manifold grace of 
God, 4: 10. 

Use hospitality one to another with- 
out murmuring, 4: 9. 

Salute one another with a holy kiss, 
5: 14. 



52 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

(5) Toward his revilers. 

Render blessing for reviling, 3: 9. 

(6) Toward the Gentiles. 

Have his behavior seemly among the 
Gentiles, 2: 12. 

NOTES ist. The reason why he should 
have his behavior seemly among the 
Gentiles; that the Gentiles might glo- 
rify God in the day of visitation, 2: 12: 
2nd. This seemly behavior should con- 
sist in good works which the Gentiles 
could behold, 2 . 12. 

(7) Toward foolish men. 

By well doing put to silence their 
ignorance, 2: 15. 

(8) Toward all men honor, 2: 17. 

NOTE The especial duties of believing hus- 
bands and wives, toward one another, 
comes under a special classification. 

t, Long for the sincere milk of the word, 

2: 2. 

u, Gird up the loins of his mind, 1:13. 
v, Grow, 2: 2. 
w. Set his hope perfectly on the grace to be 

brought unto him at the revelation of 

Jesus Christ, i: 13, R. V. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 53 

VI. THE BELIEVER'S CHARACTERISTICS. 

1. His faith and hope is in God, 1:21. 

2. Believes in God through Jesus Christ, i: 
21. 

3. Calls on God as Father, i: 17. 

4. Believes in Christ, though he has never 
seen Him, i : 8. 

5. Loves Christ though he has never seen 
Him, i: 8. 

6. Is returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop 
of his soul, 2: 25. 

7. Has purified his soul in obedience to the 
truth, i: 22. 

8. Has unfeigned love for the Brethren, 

i: 22. 

9. Has a good manner of life, 3: 16. 

10. Does not run with the Gentiles among 
whom he lives, to the same excess of 
riot, (lives a separated life), 4: 4. 

11. Refrains his tongue from evil. 3: 10. 
Refrains his lips that they speak no 
guile, 3: 10. 

12. Turns away from evil, 3: n. 

13. Does good, 3:11. 

14. Seeks peace, 3: n. 

15. Pursues peace, 3: n. 

NOTE From n to 14. would very properly 
come under duties. 



54 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

VII. THE BELIEVER'S WARFARE. 

The believer has a warfare before him, 4: I. 
The mind of Christ is the proper armament 

for this warfare, 4: i. 
The warfare is with the devil, 5 : 8-9. 
Victory is possible for the believer, 5 : 9. 
Victory is won through steadfastness in the 

faith, 5: 9. 

V 1 1. We come now to the seventh and last 
work. This is simply to meditate upon, and so 
digest, the results obtained. At first thought it 
might seem that when we had completed our 
classification of results our work was finished, but 
this is not so. These results are for use: first, 
for personal enjoyment and appropriation, and 
afterward to give out to others. The appropria- 
tion of results is effected by meditation upon 
them. We are no more through with a book 
when we have carefully and fully classified its 
contents than we are through with a meal when 
we have it arranged in an orderly way upon the 
table. It is there to eat, digest and assimilate. 
One of the great failures in much of the Bible 
study of the day is just at this point. There is ob- 
servation, analysis, classification, but no medita- 
tion. There is perhaps nothing so important in 
Bible study as meditation. (See Josh, i: 8; Ps. 



STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS 5$ 

i: 2, 3.) Take your classified teachings and go 
slowly over them, and ponder them, point by 
point, until these wonderful truths live before 
you and sink into your soul, and live in you, and 
become part of your life. Do this again and 
again. Nothing will go further than meditation 
to make one great and fresh and original as a 
thinker and speaker. Very few people in this 
world think. 

The method of study outlined in this chapter 
can be shortened to suit the time and industry of 
of the student. For example, one can omit the 
Fifth work (V.), and proceed at once to go through 
the Book as a whole and note down its teachings 
on different doctrines. This will greatly shorten 
and lighten the work. It will also greatly detract 
from the richness of the results, it will not be as 
thorough, as accurate or as scholarly, and will 
not be nearly so good a mental discipline. But 
many people are lazy, and everybody is in a 
hurry. So if you will not follow out the fuller 
plan the shorter is suggested. But any man can 
be, if he will, a scholar at least in the most im- 
portant line that of Biblical study. 

A still briefer plan of Book Study and yet very 
profitable, if one has no time for anything better, 
is to do the Second work (I I.) and then go through 
the Epistle verse by verse looking up all the ref- 
erences given in " The Treasury of Scripture 



$6 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Knowledge." But we urge every reader to try 
the full method described in this chapter with at 
least one short book in the Bible. 



CHAPTER III. 

TOPICAL STUDY. 

A second method of Bible study is the Topical 
Method. This consists in searching through the 
Bible to find out what its teaching is on various 
topics. It is perhaps the most fascinating 
method of Bible study. It yields the largest 
immediate results, though not the largest ulti- 
mate results. It has advantages. The only 
way to master any topic, is to go through the 
Bible, and find what it has to teach on that topic. 
Almost any great subject will take a remarkable 
hold upon the heart of a Christian man, if he 
will take time to go through the Bible, from 
Genesis to Revelation, and note what it has to 
say on that topic. He will have a more full and 
more correct understanding of that topic than he 
ever had before. It is said of Mr. Moody, that 
many years ago he took up the study of " Grace " 
in this way. Day after day he went through the 
Bible, studying what it had to say about " grace." 
As the Bible doctrine unfolded before his mind his 
heart began to burn, until at last, full of the sub- 

57 



58 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

ject and on fire with the subject, he ran out on to 
the street, and, taking hold of the first man he 
met, he said: " Do you know grace ? " " Grace 
who ? " was the reply. " The grace of God that 
bringeth salvation." Then he just poured out 
his soul on that subject. If any child of God 
will study " Grace," or " Love," or " Faith," or 
" Prayer," or any other great Bible doctrine, in 
that way, his soul too will become full of it. 
Jesus evidently studied the Old Testament script- 
ures in this way, for we read that " beginning at 
Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto 
them in all the scriptures the things concerning 
Himself." (Luke, xxiv: 27.) This method of 
study made the hearts of the two who walked 
with Him to burn within them. (Luke xxiv: 32.) 
Paul seems to have followed his Master in this 
method of study and teaching. (Acts xvii: 2, 3.) 
But the method has its dangers. Its very fas- 
cination is a danger. Many are drawn by the 
fascination of this method of study to give up 
all other methods of study, and this is a great 
misfortune. A well-rounded, thorough-going 
knowledge of the Bible ; s not possible by this 
method of study. No one method of study 
will answer, if one desires to be a well-rounded 
and well-balanced Bible student. But the great- 
est danger lies in this, that every man is almost 
certain to have some line of topics in which he 



TOPICAL STUDY 59 

is especially interested, and if he studies his 
Bible topically, unless he is warned, he is more 
than likely to go over certain topics again and 
again, and be very strong in this line of truth, but 
other topics of equal importance he neglects, and 
thus becomes a one-sided man. We never know 
one truth correctly until we know it in its proper 
relations to other truths. I know of people, for 
example, who are interested in the great doc- 
trine of the Lord's Second Coming, and pretty 
much all their Bible studies are on that line. 
Now this is a precious doctrine, but there are other 
doctrines in the Bible which a man needs to 
know, and it is folly to study this doctrine alone. 
I know others whose whole interest and stud}) 
seems to center in the subject of " Divine Heal- 
ing." It is related of one man that he confided 
to a friend that he had devoted his time for 
years to the study of the number " seven " in 
the Bible. This last is doubtless an extreme 
case, but it illustrates the danger in Topical 
Study. It is certain that we will never master 
the whole range of Bible truth if we pursue the 
Topical Method alone. A few rules concerning 
topical study will probably be helpful to most of 
the readers of this book. 

I. Be systematic. Do not follow your fancy 
in the choice of topics. Do not take up any 
topic that happens to suggest itself. Make a list 



6O HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

of all the subjects that you can think of that are 
touched upon in the Bible. Make it as compre- 
hensive and complete as possible. Then take 
these topics up one by one in logical order. The 
following list of subjects is given as a suggestion. 
Each one can add to the list for himself and sub- 
divide the general subjects into proper sub-divi- 
sions. 

LIST OF TOPICS. 
GOD. 

God as a Spirit. 

The Unity of God- 

The Eternity of God. 

The Omnipresence of God. 

The Personality of God. 

The O mnipotence of God. 

The Omniscience of God. 

The Holiness of God. 

The Love of God. 

The Righteousness of God. 

The Mercy or Loving Kindness of God. 

The Faithfulness of God. 

The Grace of God. 
JESUS CHRIST. 

The Divinity of Christ. 

The Subordination of Jesus Christ to the 
Father. 

The Human Nature of Jesus Christ. 



TOPICAL STUDY 6l 

The Character of Jesus Christ. 

His Holiness. 

His Love to God. 

His Love to Man. 

His Love for Souls. 

His Compassion. 

His Prayerfulness. 

His Meekness and Humility. 
The Death of Jesus Christ. 

The Purpose of Christ's Death; 

Why did Christ die ? 

For Whom did Christ Die ? 

The Results of Christ's Death. 
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The Fact of the Resurrection. 

The Results of the Resurrection. 

The Importance of the Resurrection. 

The Manner of the Resurrection. 
The Ascension and Exaltation of Jesus 

Christ. 
The Return or Coming Again of Jesus 

Christ. 

The Fact of His Coming Again. 

The Manner of His Coming Again. 

The Purpose of His Coming Again. 

The Results of His Coming Again. 

The Time of His Coming Again. 
The Reign of Jesus Christ. 



62 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

Personality of the Holy Spirit. 

Deity of the Holy Spirit. 

Distinction of the Holy Spirit from God 
the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ. 

The Subordination of the Holy Spirit to the 
Father and to the Son. 

Names of the Holy Spirit. 

The work of the Holy Spirit: 
In the Universe. 
In Man in General. 
In the Believer. 
In the Prophet and Apostle. 
In Jesus Christ. 
MAN. 

His Original Condition. 

His Fall 

The Present Standing before God and Pres- 
ent Condition of Man outside of the Re- 
demption that is in Jesus Christ. 

The Future Destiny of those who Reject the 
Redemption that is in Jesus Christ. 

Justification. 

The New Birth. 

Adoption. 

The Believer's Assurance of Salvation. 

The Flesh. 

Sanctification. 



TOPICAL STUDY 63 



Cleansing. 
Consecration. 

Faith. 

Repentance. 

Prayer. 

Thanksgiving. 

Praise. 

Worship. 

Love to God. 

Love to Jesus Christ. 

Love to Man. 

The Future Destiny of Believers 
ANGELS. 

Their Nature and Position. 

Their Number. 

Their Abode. 

Their Character. 

Their Work. 

Their Destiny. 
SATAN OR THE DEVIL. 

His Existence. 

His Nature and Position. 

His Abode. 

His Work. 

Our Duty Regarding Him. 

His Destiny. 
DEMONS. 

Their Existence. 



64 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Their Nature. 

Their Work. 

Their Destiny. 

For a student who has the perseverance to 
carry it through, it might be recommended, to 
begin with the first topic on a list like this, and 
go right through it to the end, searching for every- 
thing the Bible has to say on these topics. This 
the author of this book has done, and, thereby, 
gained a fuller knowledge of truth along these 
lines, and an immeasurably more vital grasp of 
the truth, than he ever obtained by somewhat 
extended studies in systematic Theology. Many, 
however, will stagger at the seeming immensity of 
the undertaking. To such it is recommended to 
begin by selecting those topics that seem more 
important. But sooner or later settle down to a 
thorough study of what the Bible has to teach 
about God and Man. The " Abstract of Sub- 
jects, Doctrinal and Practical," in the back of 
" The Bible Text Cyclopedia " is very suggestive. 

II. Be thorough. Whenever you are study- 
ing any topic, do not be content with examining 
some of the passages in the Bible that bear upon 
the subject, but find, as far as possible, every 
passage in the Bible that bears on this subject. 
As long as there is a single passage in the Bible 
on any subject that you have not considered, 



TOPICAL STUDY 65 

you have not yet gotten a thoroughly true knowl- 
edge of that subject. How can we find ajl the 
passages in the Bible that bear on any subject ? 
ist. By the use of the Concordance. Look up 
every passage that has the word in it. Then 
look up every passage that has synonymous 
words in it. If, for example, you are studying 
the subject of prayer, look up every passage 
that has the word " pray" and its derivatives in it, 
and also every passage that has such words as 
"cry," "call," "ask," "supplication," " inter- 
cession," etc., in it. 2nd. By the use of a Bible 
text book. A text book arranges the passages 
of Scripture, not by the words used, but by 
the subjects treated, and there is many a verse, 
for example on prayer, that does not have the 
word " prayer " or any synonymous word in it. 
Incomparably the best Bible text book is Inglis' 
" The Bible Text Cyclopedia." 3rd. Passages not 
discovered by the use of either concordance or 
text book will come to light as we study by 
books, or as we read the Bible through in course, 
and so our treatment of topics will be ever 
broadening. 

III. Be exact. Get the exact meaning of each 
passage considered. Study each passage in its 
connection, and find its meaning in the way sug- 
gested in the chapter on " Study of Individual 



66 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Books." Topical study is frequently carried 
on in a very slip-shod fashion. Passages, torn 
from their connection, are strung or huddled 
together because of some superficial connec- 
tion with one another, and without much 
regard to their real sense and teaching, and 
this is called "topical study." This has 
brought the whole method of topical study 
into disrepute. But is possible to be as exact 
and scholarly in topical study as in any other 
method, and when we are the results will be in- 
structive and gratifying, and not misleading. 
But the results are sure to be misleading and un- 
satisfactory if the work is done in a careless, in- 
exact way. 

IV. Classify and write down your results. In 
the study of any large subject one will get together 
a great mass of matter. Having gotten it, it 
must now be gotten into shape. As you look it 
over carefully, you will soon see the facts that 
belong together. Arrange them together in a 
logical order. An illustrative topical study is 
given below. What the Bible teaches concern- 
ing the Deity of Jesus Christ. 



TOPICAL STUDY 67 

JESUS CHRIST: His DEITY. 

Divine names. 

a. Luke, 22: 70. 

" The Son of God." This name is given 
to Christ forty times. Besides this the 
synonymous expression " His son," " My 
son," are of frequent occurrence. That 
this name as used of Christ is a distinctly 
Divine name appears from Jno. 5: 18. 

b. Jno. i: 1 8. 

"The only begotten Son." This occurs 
five times. It is evident that the statement, 
that " Jesus Christ is the Son of God only 
in the same sense that all men are sons of 
God" is not true. Compare Mark xii: 6. 
Here Jesus Himself, having spoken of all 
the prophets as servants of God, speaks 
of Himself as " one," " a beloved Son." 

c. Rev. i: 17. 

" The first and the last. " Comp. Is. xli:4; 
xliv: 6. In these latter passages it is 
"Jehovah," "Jehovah of hosts," who is 
"the first and the last." 

d. Rev. xxii: 12, 13, 16. 

First, " the Alpha and Omega." 
Second, " the beginning and the ending." 
In Rev. i: 8, R. V. It is the Lord God 
who is the Alpha and Omega. 



68 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

e. Acts iii: 14. 

"The Holy One." In Hosea xi: 9, and 
many other passages, it is God who is 
"the Holy One." 

/. Mai. iii: i; Luke ii: n; Acts ix: 17; Jno. 
xx: 28; Heb. i: n. 

" The Lord." This name or title is used 
of Jesus several hundred times. The 
word translated " Lord " is used in the 
New Testament in speaking of men nine 
times, e. g., Acts 16: 30, Eph. iv: I, Jno. 
xii: 21, but not at all in the way in which 
it used of Christ. He is spoken of as 
" ///^Lord" just as God is, cf. Acts iv: 26 
with iv: 33. Note also Matt, xxii: 43-45, 
Phil, ii: 21, Eph. iv: 5. If any one doubts 
the attitude of the Apostles of Jesus to- 
ward Him as Divine, they would do well 
to read one after another the passages 
which speak of Him as Lord. 

g. Acts x: 36. 
"Lord of all." 

h. I Cor. ii: 8. 

" The Lord of Glory." In Ps. xxiv: 8-10, 
it is " the Lord of Hosts " who is the 
King of Glory. 

/. Is. ix: 6. 

(i) " Wonderful " (cf. Judges xiii: 18, R. 
V.) 



TOPICAL STUDY 69 

(2) "Mighty God." 

(3) " Father of Eternity. " See R. V. 

marg. 

j. Heb. i: 8. 

" God." In Jno. xx: 28, Thomas calls 
Jesus " my God," and is gently rebuked 
for not believing it before. 

k. Matt, i: 23. 
"God with us." 

/, Tit. 2: 13, R. V. 
" Our great God." 

m t Rom. 9: 5. 

" God blessed forever." 

Proposition: Sixteen names clearly imply- 
ing Deity are used of Christ in the Bible, 
some of them over and over again, the 
total number of passages reaching far into 
the hundreds. 
Divine Attributes. 

a, Omnipotence. 

(1) Luke 4: 39. Jesus has power over 

disease, it is subject to His word. 

(2) Luke;: 14-15; 8: 54-55; Jno. 5:25. 
The Son of God has power over 

death, it is subject to His word. 

(3) Matt: 8: 26-27. 

Jesus has power over the winds and 
sea, they are subject to His word. 

(4) Matt. 8: 16; Luke 4: 35, 36, 41. 



7O HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, has 
power over demons, they are sub- 
ject to His word. 

(5) Eph. i : 20-23. 

Christ is far above all principality and 
power and might, and dominion 
and every name that is named, not 
only in this world, but also in that 
which is to come. All things are 
in subjection (R. V.), under His 
feet. All the hierarchies of the 
angelic world are under Him. 

(6) Heb. i: 3. 

The Son of God upholds all things by 

the word of His power. 
Proposition. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 

is omnipotent. 
b, Omniscience. 

(1) Jno. 4: 16-19. 

Jesus knows men's lives, even their 
secret history. 

(2) Mark 2:8; Luke 5: 22; Jno. 2: 24- 

25; (Acts i: 24.) 

Jesus knows the secret thoughts of 
men. He knew all men. He knew 
what was in man. (cf. 2 Chron. 
6:3o;Jer. 17:9, 10. Herewesee 
that God " only knoweth the hearts 
of the children of men.") 



TOPICAL STUDY 71 

(3) Jno. 6: 64. 

Jesus knew from the beginning that 
Judas would betray Him. Not only 
men's present thoughts but their 
future choices were known to Him. 

(4) Jno. i: 48. 

Jesus knew what men were doing at 
a distance. 

(5) Luke 22: 10, 12; Jno. 13: i; Luke 

5: 4-6. 

Jesus knew the future regarding not 
only God's acts, but regarding the 
minute specific acts of men, and 
even the fishes of the sea. 

NOTE Many, if not all, of these items of 
knowledge up to this point could possibly, 
if they stood alone, be accounted for by 
saying that the Omniscient God revealed 
these specific things to Jesus. 

(6) Jno. 21 : 17; 16: 30; Col. 2: 3. 
Jesus knew all things, in Him are hid 

all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge. 
Proposition. Jesus Christ is omniscient. 

NOTE There was, as we shall see when we 
study the Humanity of Christ, a voluntary 
veiling and abnegation of the exercise of 



72 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

His inherent Divine omniscience. (Mark 
n: 12-14; Phil. 2: 7.) 

c t Omnipresence. 

(1) Matt. 18: 20. 

Jesus Christ is present in every place 
where two or three are gathered 
together in His name. 

(2) Matt. 28: 20. 

Jesus Christ is present with every 
one who goes forth into any part 
of the world to make disciples, etc. 

(3) Jno. 3: 13. 

The Son of man was in heaven while 
He was here on earth. 

NOTE This text is doubtful. (See R. V. 
and the Variorum Bible.} 

(4) Jno. 14: 20; II. Cor. 13: 5. 
Jesus Christ is in each believer. 

(5) Eph. 1:23. 

Jesus Christ filleth all in all. 
Proposition. Jesus Christ is omnipresent. 
d. Eternity. 

Jno. i: i; Mic. 5: 2; Col. i: 17; Is. 

9: 6; Jno. 17: 5 (Jno. 6: 62; Jno. 

8: 58; I Jno. i: I, 27); Heb. 13: 8. 

Proposition. The Son of God was from all 

eternity. 



TOPICAL STUDY 73 

e. Immutability. 

Heb. 13: 8; i: 12. Jesus Christ is 
unchangeable. He not only always 
is, but always is the same. 
/. Phil. 2: 6. 

Jesus Christ before His incarnation was 
in the form of God. 

NOTE " Morphe" translated "form" means 
" the form by which a person or thing 
strikes the vision; the external appear- 
ance" (Thayer, Grk-Eng. Lexicon of 
the N. T.) 

g. Col. 2: 9. 

In Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the 

Godhead in a bodily way. 
Proposition. Five or more distinctively di- 
vine attributes are ascribed to Jesus 
Christ, and all the fulness of the 
Godhead is said to dwell in Him. 

3. Divine Offices. 

a, Creation. 

Heb. i: 10; Jno. 1:3; Col. i: 16. 

The Son of God, the eternal Word, the 

Lord, is creator of all created things. 

t>, Preservation. 

Heb. i : 3. The Son of God is the pre- 
server of all things. 



74 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

c, The forgiveness of sin. 

Mark 2: 5-10; Luke 7: 48-50. 

Jesus Christ had power on earth to forgive 

sins. 

NOTE He taught that sins were sins 
AGAINST HIMSELF. Luke 7: 40-4.7, both 
Simon and the woman as sinners were 
debtors to Hint, but in Ps. 57.- 4 sin is 
seen to be against God and God only.") 

d, Raising of the dead. 
Jno. 6: 39-44; 5: 28-29. 

It is Jesus Christ who raises the dead. 
Ques. Did not Elijah and Elisha raise the 
dead? No; God raised the dead in an- 
swer to their prayer, but Jesus Christ will 
raise the dead by His own word. Dur- 
ing the days of His humiliation it was 
by prayer that Christ raised the dead. 
Jno. n: 41. 

e, Transformation of bodies. Phil. 3: 21, 
R. V. 

Jesus Christ shall fashion anew the body of 
our humiliation into the likeness of His own 
glorious body. 
/, Judgment. II Tim. 4: i, R. V. 

Christ Jesus shall judge the quick and the 
dead. 



TOPICAL STUDY 75 

NOTE -Jesus Himself emphasized the Divine 
character of this office. (Jno. 5.' 22-23.} 

g, The bestowal of eternal life. 

Jno. 10: 28; 17, 2. 

Jesus Christ is the bestower of eternal life. 
Proposition. Seven distinctively Divine of- 
fices are predicated of Jesus Christ. 

4. Statements which in the O. T. are made dis- 
tinctly of Jehovah God taken in the N. T. to 
refer to Jesus Christ. 

a, Ps. 102: 24-27, comp. Heb. i: 10-12. 

b, Is. 40, 3-4, comp. Matt. 3: 3, Luke i: 68, 
69, 76. 

c t Jer. u: 20; 17, 10, comp. Rev. n: 23. 

d, Is. 60: 19 (Zech. 2: 5) comp. Luke 2: 32. 

e, Is. 6: i; 3: 10, comp. Jno. 12: 37-41. 
/, Is. 8: 13-14, comp. i Pet. 2: 7-8. 

g, Is. 8: 12-13, comp. i Pet. 3: 14-15, R. V. 

h, Num. 21 : 6-7, comp. i Cor. 10, 9. (See 
R. V.) 

i, Ps. 23: i;Is. 40: 10-11, comp. Jno. 10: n. 

j, Ez. 34: u; 12: 16, comp. Luke 19: 10. 

k, Lord in the O. T. always refers to God 
except when the context clearly indicates 
otherwise: Lord in the N. T. always re- 
fers to Jesus Christ except where the con- 
text clearly indicates otherwise. 
Proposition. Many statements which in the 



76 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

O. T. are made distinctly of Jehovah God 
are taken in the N. T. to refer to Jesus 
Christ, /. e. , in N. T. thought and doctrine 
Jesus Christ occupies the place that Jeho- 
vah occupies in O. T. thought and doc- 
trine. 

5. The ^vay in which the name of God the 
Father and Jesus Christ the Son are cou- 
pled together. 

II Cor. 13: 14. 

Matt. 28: 19. 

I Thess. 3: ii. 

1 Cor. 12: 4-6. 

Tit. 3: 4,5, comp. Tit. 2: 13. 

Rom. 1 : 7. Many instances of this sort (see 

all the Pauline Epistles). 
Jas. i: i. 
Jno. 14: 23, " we, " i. e. , God the Father and I. 

2 Pet. i: i. (Comp. R. V.) 
Col. 2:2. (See R. V.) 
Jno. 17: 3. 

Jno. 14: i, comp. Jer. 17: 5-7. 

Rev. 7: 10. 

Rev. 5: 13; comp. Jno. 5: 23. 

Prop. The name of Jesus Christ is coupled 
with that of God the Father in numerous 
passages in a way in which it would be 
impossible to couple the name of any 
finite being with that of the Deity. 



TOPICAL STUDY 77 

6. Divine Worship to be given to Jesus Christ. 

a. Matt. 28: 9; Luke 24: 52; Matt. 14: 33, 
comp. Acts 10: 25-26; Rev. 22: 8-9; 
Matt. 4: 9-10. 

Jesus Christ accepted without hesitation a 
worship which good men and angels de- 
clined with fear (horror). 

Ques. Is not the verb translated worship in 
these passages used of reverence paid to 
men in high position? Yes; but not in 
this way by worshippers of Jehovah, as is 
seen by the way in which Peter and the 
angel drew back with horror when such 
worship was offered to them. 

b. i Cor. i: 2; 2 Cor. 12: 8, 9; Acts 7: 59. 
(R. V.) 

Prayer is to be made to Christ. 

c, Ps. 45: 11; Jno. 5: 23; comp. Rev. 5: 8, 
9, 12, 13. 

It is God the Father's will that all men pay 
the same divine honor to the Son as to 
Himself. 

d, Heb. i: 6; Phil, 2: 10, n. (Comp. Is. 
45: 21, 23.) 

The Son of God, Jesus, is to be worshiped 

as God by angels and men. 
Proposition. Jesus Christ is a person to be 
worshiped by angels and men even as 
God the Father is worshiped. 



78 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

General Proposition. By the use of numer- 
ous Divine names, by the ascription of all 
the distinctively divine attributes, by the 
predication of several divine offices, by 
referring statements which in the O. T. 
distinctly name Jehovah God as their 
subject to Jesus Christ in the N. T., 
by coupling the name of Jesus Christ 
with that of God the Father in a way in 
which it would be impossible to couple 
that of any finite being with that of the 
Deity, and by the clear teaching that 
Jesus Christ should be worshiped even as 
God the Father is worshiped in all 
these unmistakable ways, God in His 
word distinctly proclaims that Jesus 
Christ is a Divine Being, is God. 
One suggestion remains to be made in regard 

to topical study. Get further topics for topical 

study from your book studies. 



CHAPTER I V. 

BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY. 

A third method of study is the Biographical. 
This needs no definition. It consists in taking 
up the various persons mentioned in Scripture 
and studying their life, work and character. It 
is really a special form of Topical Study. It 
can be made very interesting and instructive. 
It is especially useful to the minister with a view 
to sermon building, but is profitable for all Christ- 
ians. The following suggestions will help those 
who are not already experienced in this line of 
work. 

1. Collect all the passages in the Bible in 
which the person to be studied is mentioned. 
This is readily done by turning in Strong's Con- 
cordance to the person's name, and you will find 
every passage in which he is mentioned given. 

2. Analyze the character of the person. This 
will require a repeated reading of the passages 
in which he is mentioned. This should be done 
with pencil in hand, that any characteristic may 
be noted down at once. 

79 



80 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

3. Note the elements of power and success. 

4. Note the elements of weakness and failure. 

5. Note the difficulties overcome. 

6. Note the helps to success. 

7. Note the privileges abused. 

8. Note the opportunities neglected. 

9. Note the opportunities improved. 

10. Note the mistakes made. 

11. Note the perils avoided. 

12. Make a sketch of the life in hand. Make 
it as vivid, living and realistic as possible. Try 
to reproduce the subject as a real, living man. 
Note the place and surroundings of the dif- 
ferent events, e. g., Paul in Athens, Corinth, 
Philippi. Note the time relations of the different 
events. Very few people in reading the Acts of 
the Apostles, for example, take notice of the rapid 
passage of time, and so regard events separated 
by years as following one another in close 
sequence. In this connection note the age or 
approximate age of the subject at the time of the 
events recorded of him. 

13. Summarize the lessons we should learn 
from the story of this person's life. 

14. Note the person in hand in his relations 
to Jesus, e. g., as a type of Christ (Joseph, 
David, Solomon and others), forerunner of 
Christ, believer in Christ, enemy of Christ, 



BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY 8 1 

servant of Christ, brother of Christ (James and 
Jude), friend, etc., etc. 

It will be well to begin with some person who 
does not occupy too much space in the Bible, as, 
e. g., Enoch or Stephen. Of course many of 
the points mentioned above cannot be taken up 
with some characters. 

Suggestive books in character studies are 
Stalker's Lives of Christ and Paul, and 
Stalker's "Imago Christi"; Rev. F. B. Meyer's 
" Elijah," and also other O. T. characters; Mr. 
Moody's " Bible Characters." 



CHAPTER V. 

STUDY OF TYPES. 

A fourth method of study is the Study of Types. 
We have illustrations of this in the Bible itself, 
as for example in the Epistle to the Hebrews. 
It is both an interesting and instructive method 
of study. It shows us the most precious truths 
buried away in what once seemed to us a very 
dry and meaningless portion of the Bible. It 
need scarcely be said that this method of study 
is greatly abused and overdone in some quarters. 
But that is no reason why we should neglect it 
altogether, especially when we remember that 
not only Paul but Jesus were fond of this method 
of study. The following may serve as principles 
to govern us in this method of study: 

i . Be sure you have Bible warrant for your 
supposed type. If one gives free rein to his 
fancyin this matter, he can imagine types every- 
where, even in places that neither the human or 
divine author of the book had any intention of a 
typical sense. Never say this is a type unless 
you can point to some clear passage of Scripture 



STUDY OF TYPES 83 

where the truth said to be typified is definitely 
taught. 

2. Begin with the more simple and evident 
types, e.g., the Passover (comp. Ex. 12 with I 
Cor. 5: 7 etc.), the High Priest, the Tabernacle. 

3. Be on your guard against the fanciful and 
overstrained. Fancy is almost sure to run 
away with any man who is blessed with any 
imagination and quickness of typical discernment, 
unless he holds it in check. Our typical sensi- 
tiveness and sensibleness will become both 
quickened and chastened by careful and circum- 
spect exercise. 

4. In studying any passage of possible typical 
suggestion, look up all the Scripture references. 
The best collection of references is that given in 
" The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge." 

5. Study carefully the meaning of the names 
of persons and places mentioned. Bible names 
often have a very deep and far reaching suggest- 
iveness. Thus, for example, iHebron, which 
means " joining together," " union " or " fellow- 
ship," is deeply significant when taken in con- 
nection with its history, as are all the names of 
the Cities of Refuge, and indeed very many 
Scripture names. Was it accidential that Beth- 
lehem, the name of the place where the Bread 
of Life was born, means " House of bread " ? 



84 HOW UO STUDY THE BIBLE 

C. H. M.'s notes on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 
Numbers and Deuteronomy are suggestive to one 
who has had little experience in the study of 
types. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE STUDY OF THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE IN THE 
ORDER GIVEN IN THE BIBLE AND IN THEIR 
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 

A fifth method of Bible study is the old- 
fashioned method of the study of the Bible in 
course, beginning at Genesis and going right on 
until Revelation is finished. This method of 
study is ridiculed a good deal in these days, but 
it has some advantages which no other method 
of study possesses. It is sometimes said, you 
might as well begin at the top shelf of your library 
and read right through, as to begin at the beginning 
of this library of sixty-six books and read right 
through. To this it is a sufficient answer, If you 
had a library that it was important to master as 
a whole, that you might understand the separate 
books in it, and that was as well arranged as the 
Bible is, then this method of going through your 
library would be excellent. The advantages of 
studying in the Bible in course are: First, It is the 
only method by which you will get an idea of the 
Book as a whole. The more we know of the 

85 



86 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Bible as a whole, the better prepared we are for 
the understanding of any individual portion of it. 
Second, It is the only method by which you are 
likely to cover the whole Book, and so take in the 
entire scope of God's revelation. It will be many a 
long year before any man covers the whole Bible 
by Book studies, or even by Topical studies. Every 
part of God's word is precious, and there are 
gems of truth hidden away in most unexpected 
places, e. g., I Chron, iv: 10, we hit upon these 
priceless gems by studying the Bible in course. 
Third, It is the best method to enable one to get 
hold of the unity of the Bible and its organic 
character. Fourth, It is a great corrective to 
one-sidedness and crankiness. The Bible is a 
many sided book, it is Calvinistic and Arminian, 
it is Trinitarian and Unitarian, it clearly teaches 
the Deity of Christ and insists on His real 
Humanity, it exalts faith and demands works, it 
urges to victory through conflict and asserts most 
vigorously that victory is won by faith, etc., etc. 
If we become too much taken up with any one 
line of truth in our Book or Topical studies, and 
we are more than likely to, the daily study of the 
Bible in course will soon bring us to some con- 
trasted line of truth, and bring us back to our 
proper balance. Some people go insane through 
becoming too much occupied with a single line of 
truth. The thoughtful study of the whole Bible 



STUDY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER 87 

is a great corrective to this tendency. It would 
be well to have three methods of study in progress 
at the same time: first, the study of some book; 
second, the study of topics (perhaps topics sug- 
gested by the book studies); third, the study of 
the Bible in course. Every other method of 
study should be supplemented by studying the 
Bible in course. Some years ago I determined 
to read the A. V. through every year, the R. V. 
through every year, and the N. T. in Greek 
through every year. It has proved exceedingly 
profitable, and I would not willingly give it up. 

A sixth method of study is closely related to 
the fifth method and has advantages of its own 
that will .appear as soon as the method is de- 
scribed. It is studying the various portions of 
the Bible in their Chronological Order. In this 
way the Psalms are read in their historical set- 
tings, as are prophecies, epistles, etc. The 
whole Bible has been excellently arranged for 
Chronological study in Miss Petrie's Clews to Holy 
Writ. (American Tract Society.) The course 
as outlined by Miss Petrie covers three years, and 
there are questions given for study and examina- 
tion. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE FOR PRACTICAL USEFUL- 
NESS IN DEALING WITH MEN. 

The seventh and last method of study is the 
Study of the Bible for Practical Usefulness in 
Dealing with Men. 

To study the Bible in this way, make as com- 
plete a classification as possible of all the classes 
of men that one will meet. Write the names of 
the various classes at the head of separate sheets 
of paper or cards. Then begin the Bible and 
read it through slowly, and when you come to a 
passage that seems likely to prove useful in deal- 
ing with any class write it down upon its appro- 
priate sheet. Go through the Bible in this way. 
It would be well to have a special Bible for this 
purpose, and have different colored inks, or differ- 
ent letters or symbols, to represent the different 
classes, and underscore the texts with the proper 
colored ink, or mark it with the appropriate 
symbol. The results of the labors of others in 
this line can be found in a number of books, such 
as Munhall's Furnishing for Workers, Alexander 

88 



FOR PRACTICAL USEFULNESS 89 

Paterson's Bible Manual for Christian Workers, 
Drury's Hand-Book for Workers, and the Author's 
Vest Pocket Companion for Christian Workers 
and his book " How to Bring Men to Christ." 
But the best book is the one you get up yourself. 
The books mentioned will give you suggestions 
how to do it. As a suggestion for beginning in the 
work we give a list of classes of men, to which 
you can add for yourself. 
The careless and indifferent. 
Those who wish to be saved but do not know 

how. 

Those who know how to be saved but have diffi- 
culties 

" I am too great a sinner." 
" My heart is too hard." 
" I must become better before I become a 

Christian." 

" I am afraid I can't hold out." 
" I am too weak." 
" I. have tried before and failed." 
" I can not give up my evil ways." 
" I will be persecuted if I become a 

Christian." 

" It will hurt my business." 
" There is too much to give up." 
" The Christian life is too hard." 
" I am afraid of ridicule." 
" I will lose my friends." 



9O HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

" I have no feeling." 

" I have been seeking Christ, but can not 

find Him." 

" I have sinned away the day of grace." 
" God won't receive me." 
" I have committed the unpardonable sin." 
"It is too late." 

" Christians are so inconsistent." 
" God seems to me unjust and cruel." 
" There are so many things in the Bible 

which I can't understand." 
" There is some one I can't forgive." 
Those who are cherishing false hopes. 
The Hope of being saved by a righteous 

life. 
The Hope that " God is too good to damn 

anyone." 
The Hope of being saved by " trying to be a 

Christian." 
The Hope of being saved, because " I feel 

saved," or " I feel I am going to heaven." 
The Hope of being saved by a profession of 

religion, or church membership, or a 

faith, that does not save from sin. 
Those who lack assurance. 
Backsliders. 
Sceptics. 
Infidels. 



FOR PRACTICAL USEFULNESS 91 

Those ivho wish to put off the decision. 

Roman Catholics. 

Jews. 

Spiritualists. 

Christian Scientists. 

Secret Disciples. 

The Sorrowing. 

The Persecuted. 

The Discouraged. 

The Despondent. 

The Morbid. 

Worldly Christians. 

The Stingy. 

The results of this work will be of incalculable 
value. In the first place, you will get a new view 
of how perfectly the Bible is adapted to every 
man's need. In the second place, familiar pas- 
sages of the Bible will get a new meaning as you 
see their relation to the needs of men. The 
Bible will become a very living book. In the 
third place, in seeking food for others you will be 
fed yourself. And in the fourth place, you will 
get a vast amount of material to use in sermons, 
Bible-readings, prayer meeting talks and personal 
work. You will acquire a rare working knowl- 
edge of the Bible. 



PART II. 

FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS OF 
PROFITABLE BIBLE STUDY. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS OF THE MOST 
PROFITABLE BIBLE STUDY. 

We have considered seven profitable methods 
of Bible study. There is something, however, 
in Bible study more important than the best 
methods, that is, The Fundamental Conditions of 
Profitable Study. The one who meets these con- 
ditions will get more out of the Bible, while pur- 
suing the poorest method, than the one who does 
not meet them will, while pursuing the best 
method. Many a one who is eagerly asking, 
" What method shall I pursue in my Bible study ?" 
needs something that goes far deeper than a new 
and better method. 

i . The first of the fundamental conditions of the 
most profitable Bible study is the student must be 
born again. The Bible is a spiritual book, it 
" combines spiritual things with spiritual words " 
(I Cor. ii: 13, R. V. Am. Ap.), and only a spir- 
itual man can understand its deepest and most 
characteristic and most precious teachings. " The 
natural man receiveth not the things of the 

95 



96 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto 
him; and he cannot know them, because they 
are spiritually judged. " (I Cor. ii: 14, R. V.) 
Spiritual discernment can be obtained in but 
one way, by being born again. " Except a man 
be born anew he cannot see the kingdom of 
God." (John iii: 3, R. V.) No mere knowl- 
edge of the human languages in which the 
Bible was written, however extensive and accur- 
ate it may be, will qualify one to understand and 
appreciate the Bible. One must understand the 
divine language in which it was written as well, 
the language of the Holy Spirit^ A person who 
understands the language of the Holy Spirit, but 
who does not understand a word of Greek or 
Hebrew or Aramiac, will get more out of the 
Bible, than one, who knows all about Greek and 
Hebrew and cognate languages, but is not born 
again, and, consequently, does not understand 
the language of the Holy Spirit. It is a well 
demonstrated fact that many plain men and wo- 
men who are entirely innocent of any knowledge 
of the original tongues in which the Bible was 
written, have a knowledge of the real contents 
of the Bible, its actual teaching, in its depth 
and fulness and beauty, that surpasses that of 
many learned professors in theological facul- 
ties. One of the greatest follies of the day, 
is to set unregenerate men to teaching the Bible, 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 97 

because of their rare knowledge of the human 
forms of speech in which the book was written. 
It would be as reasonable to set a man to teach 
art because he had an accurate technical knowl- 
edge of paints. It requires aesthetic sense to 
make a man a competent teacher of art. It re- 
quires spiritual sense to make a man a competent 
teacher of the Bible. The man who had aesthetic 
discernment, but little or no technical knowl- 
edge of paint, would be a far more competent 
critic of works of art, than a man, who had a great 
technical knowledge of paint, but no aesthetic 
discernment; and so the man who has no techni- 
cal knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, but who 
has spiritual discernment, is a far more compe- 
tent critic of the Bible than the one who has a 
rare technical knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, 
but no spiritual discernment. It is exceedingly 
unfortunate that, in some quarters, more emphasis 
is laid upon a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, 
in training for the ministry, than is laid upon spir- 
itual life and its consequent spiritual discernment. 
Unregenerate men should not be forbidden to 
study the Bible; for the Word of God is the in- 
strument the Holy Spirit uses in the New Birth 
(I Pet. i: 23; James i: 18): but it should be 
distinctly understood, that, while there are teach- 
ings in the Bible that the natural man can un- 
derstand, and beauties which he can see, its 

G 



98 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

most distinctive and characteristic teachings are 
beyond his grasp, and its highest beauties belong 
to a world in which he has no vision. The first 
fundamental condition of the most profitable 
Bible study, is, then, " Ye must be born again." 
You cannot study the Bible to the greatest profit 
if you have not been born again. Its best treas- 
ures are sealed to you. 

2. The second condition of the most profitable 
study is a love for the Bible. A man who eats 
with an appetite, will get far more good out of 
his meal than a man who eats from a sense of 
duty. It is well when a student of the Bible can 
say with Job, " I have treasured up the words of 
his mouth more than my necessary food," (Job, 
23: 12 R. V.) or with Jeremiah, " Thy words 
were found and I did eat them; and thy words 
were unto me a joy and the rejoicing of mine 
heart; for I am called by thy name, O, Lord God 
ofhosts." (Jer., 15: 16, R.V.) Many come to the 
table God has spread in His word with no appe- 
tite for spiritual food, and go mincing here and 
there and grumbling about everything. Spiritual 
indigestion lies at the bottom of much modern 
criticism of the Bible. But how can one get a 
love for the Bible ? First of all by being born 
again. Where there is life there is likely to be 
appetite. A dead man never hungers. This 
brings us back to the first condition. But going 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 99 

beyond this, the more there is of vitality the mare 
there is of hunger. Abounding life means abound- 
ing hunger for the Word. Study of the Word 
stimulates love for the Word. The author can 
well remember the time when he had more appe- 
tite for books about the Bible than he had for 
the Bible itself, but with increasing study there 
has come increasing love for the Book. Bearing 
in mind who the author of the Book is, what its 
purpose is, what its power is, what the riches of 
its contents are, will go far toward stimulating 
a love and appetite for the Book. 

3. The third condition is a willingness to do 
hard work. Solomon has given a graphic pic- 
ture of the Bible student who gets the most 
profit out of his study, " My son, if thou wilt 
receive my words, and lay up my commandments 
with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto 
wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 
yea, if thou cry after discernment, and lift up 
thy voice for understanding; if thou seek her as 
silver, and search for her as for hid treasures ; 
THEN shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord 
and find the knowledge of God." (Prov. ii: i- 
5, R. V.) Now, seeking for silver and searching 
for hid treasures, means hard work, and the one 
who wishes to get not only the silver but the 
gold as well out of the Bible, and find its " hid 
treasures, " must make up his mind to dig. It is 



IOO HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

not glancing at the word, or reading the word, but 
studying the word, meditating upon the word, 
pondering the word, that brings the richest yields. 
The reason why many get so little out of their 
Bible reading is simply because they are not 
willing to think. Intellectual laziness lies at the 
bottom of a large per cent, of fruitless Bible 
reading. People are constantly crying for 
new methods of Bible study, but what 
many of them wish is simply some method of 
Bible study by which they can get all the good 
out of the Bible without work. If some one 
could tell lazy Christians some method of Bible 
study whereby they could put the sleepiest ten 
minutes of the day, just before they go to bed, 
into Bible study, and get the profit out of it that 
God intends His children shall get out of the 
study of His Word, that would be just what they 
desire. But it can't be done. Men must be 
willing to work and work hard, if they wish to dig 
out the treasures of infinite wisdom and knowl- 
edge and blessing which He has stored up in 
His Word. A business friend once asked me in 
a hurried call to tell him " in a word" how to 
study his Bible. I replied, " Think." The Psalm- 
ist pronounces that man " blessed " who " medi- 
tates in the law of the Lord, day and night" 
(Ps. i: 2.) The Lord commanded Joshua to 
" meditate therein day and night," and assured 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS IOI 

him that as a result of this meditation " then 
thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then 
thou shalt have good success." (Josh, i: 8.) 
Of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we read, " Mary 
kept all these sayings, pondering them in her 
heart." (Luke ii: 19, R. V.) In this way alone 
can one study the Bible to the greatest profit. 
One pound of beef well chewed and digested 
and assimilated, will give more strength than tons 
of beef merely glanced at; and one verse of script- 
ure chewed and digested and assimilated, will 
give more strength than whole chapters simply 
skimmed. Weigh every word you read in the 
Bible. Look at it. Turn it over and over. The 
most familiar passages get a new meaning in this 
way. Spend fifteen minutes on each word in Ps. 
xxiii: I, or Phil, iv: 19, and see if it is not so. 

4. The fourth condition is a will wholly sur- 
rendered to God. Jesus said, " If any man will- 
eth to do his will he shall know of the teaching." 
(Jno. vii: 17, R. V.) A surrendered will gives 
that clearness of spiritual vision which is neces- 
sary to understand God's book. Many of the 
difficulties and obscurities of the Bible rise wholly 
from the fact that the will of the student is not 
surrendered to the will of the author of the book. 
It is remarkable how clear and simple and beau- 
tiful passages, that once puzzled us, become when 
we are brought to that place where we say to 



102 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

God, " I surrender my will unconditionally to 
Thine. I have no will but Thine. Teach me 
Thy will." A surrendered will will do more to 
make the Bible an open book than a university 
education. It is simply impossible to get the 
largest profit out of your Bible study until you 
do surrender your will to God. You must be 
very definite about this. There are many who 
say, " Oh, yes, my will, I think, is surrendered 
to God," and yet it is not. They have never 
gone alone with God and said intelligently and 
definitely to him, " O God, I here and now 
give myself up to Thee, for Thee to command me, 
and lead me, and shape me, and send me, and do 
with me, absolutely as Thou wilt." Such an act 
is a wonderful key to unlock the treasure house 
of God's Word. The Bible becomes a new book 
when a man does that. Doing that wrought a 
complete transformation in the author's theology 
and life and ministry. 

5. The fifth condition is very closely related 
to the fourth. The student of the Bible who would 
get the greatest profit out of his studies must be 
obedient to its teachings as soon as he sees them. 
It was good advice James gave to early Christians, 
and to us, " Be ye doers of the word, and not 
hearers only, deceiving your ownselves. " There 
are a good many, who consider themselves Bible 
students, who are deceiving themselves in this 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 1 03 

way to-day. They see what the Bible teaches, 
but they do not do it, and they soon lose their 
power to see it. Truth obeyed leads to more 
truth. Truth disobeyed destroys the capacity 
for discovering truth. There must be not only a 
general surrender of the will, but specific practi- 
cal obedience to each new word of God discov- 
ered. There is no place where the law, " unto 
every one that hath shall be given, and he shall 
have abundance; but from him that hath not 
shall be taken away even that which he hath," 
is more joyously certain on the one hand and 
more sternly inexorable on the other, than in the 
matter of using or refusing the truth revealed in 
the Bible. Use, and you get more; refuse, and 
you lose all. Do not study the Bible for the 
mere gratification of intellectual curiosity, but to 
find out how to live and to please God. What- 
ever duty you find commanded in the Bible, do 
it at once. Whatever good you see in any Bible 
character, imitate it immediately. Whatever mis- 
take you note in the actions of Bible men and 
women, scrutinize your own life to see if you are 
making the same mistake, and if you find you 
are, correct it forthwith. James compares the 
Bible to a looking glass. (Jas. i: 23, 24). The 
chief good of a looking glass, is to show you if 
there is anything out of fix about you, and, if you 
find there is, you can set it right. Use the Bible in 



104 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

that way. Obeying the truth you already see, 
will solve the enigmas in the verses you do not 
as yet understand. Disobeying the truth you see, 
darkens the whole world of truth. This is the 
secret of much of the scepticism and error of the 
day. Men saw the truth, but did not do it, now 
it is gone. I knew a bright and promising young 
minister. He made rapid advancement in the 
truth. He took very advanced ground upon one 
point especially, and the storm came. One day 
he said to his wife, " It is very nice to believe 
this, but we need not speak so much about it." 
They began, or he, at least, to hide their testi- 
mony. The wife died and he drifted. The Bible 
became to him a sealed book. Faith reeled. 
He publicly renounced his faith in some of the 
fundamental truths of the Bible. He seemed to 
lose his grip even on the doctrine of immortality. 
What was the cause of it all ? Truth not lived 
and stood for, flees. That man is much admired 
and applauded by some to-day, but daylight has 
given place to darkness in his soul. 

6. The sixth condition is a child-like mind. 
God reveals His deepest truths to babes. No age 
needs more than our own to lay to heart the 
words of Jesus, " I thank thee, O Father, Lord of 
Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these 
things from the wise and prudent, and has re- 
vealed them unto babes. " (Matt, xi: 25.) Where- 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 1 05 

in must we be babes if God is to reveal His truth 
unto us, and we 'are to understand His Word? 
A child is not full of its own wisdom. It recog- 
nizes its ignorance and is ready to be taught. It 
does not oppose its own notions and ideas to those 
of its teachers. It is in that spirit we should 
come to the Bible, if we are to get the most profit 
out of our study. Do not come to the Bible full 
of your own ideas, and seeking from it a confirma- 
tion of them. Come rather to find out what are 
God's ideas as He has revealed them there. Come 
not to find a confirmation of your own opinion, 
but to be taught what God may be pleased to 
teach. If a man comes to the Bible just to find 
his notions taught there, he will find them; but if 
he comes, recognizing his own ignorance, just as 
a little child, to be taught, he will find something 
infinitely better than his own notions, even the 
mind of God. We see why it is that many per- 
sons cannot see things which are plainly taught 
in the Bible. The doctrine taught is not their 
notion, of which they are so full that there is no 
room left for that which the Bible actually 
teaches. We have an illustration of this in the 
apostles themselves at one stage in their training. 
In Mark ix: 31 we read " he taught his disciples, 
and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered 
into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; 
and after that he is killed, he shall rise the 



106 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

third day." Now, that is as plain and definite as 
language can make it, but it was utterly contrary 
to the notions of the apostles as to what was to 
happen to the Christ. So we read in the next 
verse " they understood not that saying." Is not 
that wonderful ? But is it any more wonderful 
than our own inability to comprehend plain state- 
ments in the Bible when they run counter to 
our preconceived notions? What trouble many 
Christians find with portions of the Sermon on 
the Mount, that would be plain enough, if we just 
came to Christ like a child to be taught what to 
believe and do, rather rather than coming as full 
grown men, who already know it all, and who must 
find some interpretations of Christ's words that 
will fit into our mature and infallible philosophy. 
Many a man is so full of an unbiblical the- 
ology he has been taught, that it takes him 
a lifetime to get rid of it, and understand the 
clear teaching of the Bible. " Oh, what can 
this verse mean?" many a bewildered man 
cries. Why, it means what it plainly says; but 
what you are after is not the meaning God has 
manifestly put into it, but the meaning you can by 
some ingenious trick of exegesis twist out of it, 
and make it fit into your scheme. Don't come 
to the Bible to find out what you can make it 
mean, but to find out what God intended it to 
mean. Men often miss the real truth of a verse 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 

by saying, " But that can be interpreted this 
way." Oh, yes, so it can, but is that the way 
God intended it to be interpreted ? We all need 
to pray often, if we would get the most profit out 
of our Bible study, " Oh, God, make me a little 
child. Empty me of my own notions. Teach 
me thine own mind. Make me ready like a little 
child to receive all that thou hast to say, no mat- 
ter how contrary it is to what I have thought 
hitherto." How the Bible opens up to one who 
approaches it in that way! How it closes up to 
the wise fool, who thinks he knows everything, 
and imagines he can give points to Peter and 
Paul, and even to Jesus Christ and to God Him- 
self! Some one has well said the best method of 
Bible study is " the baby method." I was once 
talking with a ministerial friend about what 
seemed to be the clear teaching of a certain pas- 
sage. " Yes, " he replied, " but that doesn't agree 
with my philosophy. " Alas! But this man was 
sincere, yet he did not have the child-like spirit, 
which is anessentialcondition of the most profit- 
able Bible study. But there are many who ap- 
proach the Bible in the same way. It is a great 
point gained in Bible study when we are brought 
to realize that an infinite God knows more than 
we, that indeed our highest wisdom is less than 
the knowledge of the most ignorant babe com- 
pared with His, and when we come to Him as 



IO8 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

babes, just to be taught by Him, and not to argue 
with Him. But we so easily and so constantly 
forget this, that every time we open our Bibles we 
would do well to get down humbly before God 
and say, " Father, I am but a child, teach me." 

This leads to the seventh condition. 

7. The seventh condition of studying the 
Bible to the greatest profit is, that we study it as 
the -word of God. The Apostle Paul, in writing 
to the Church of the Thessalonians, thanked God 
without ceasing that when they received the word 
of God they " accepted it not as the word of men, 
but as it is in truth the word of God." (IThess. 
ii: 13, R. V.) Well might he thank God for that, 
and well may we thank God when we get to the 
place where we receive the word of God as the 
word of God. Not that the one who does not be- 
lieve the Bible is the word of God should be dis- 
couraged from studying it. Indeed, one of the 
best things that one who does not believe 
that the Bible is the word of God can do, 
if he is honest, is to study it. The author 
of this book once doubted utterly that the 
Bible was the word of God, and the firm 
confidence that he has to-day that the Bible is 
the Word of God, has come more from the study 
of the book itself than from anything else. Those 
who doubt it are more usually those who study 
about the book, than those who dig into the actual 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 1 09 

teachings of the book itself. But while the best 
book of Christian evidences is the Bible, and 
while the most utter sceptic should be encouraged 
to study it, we will not get the largest measure 
of profit out of that study until we reach the 
point where we become convinced that the Bible 
is God's Word, and when we study it as such. 
There is a great difference between believing 
theoretically that the Bible is God's Word and 
studying it as God's Word. Thousands would 
tell you that they believed the Bible is God's 
Word, who do not study it as God's Word. 
Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves 
four things, (i) First, it involves the unques- 
tioning acceptance of its teachings when definitely 
ascertained, even when they may appear unreason- 
able or impossible. Reason demands that we 
submit our judgment and reasonings to the state- 
ments of infinite wisdom. There is nothing more 
irrational than rationalism, which makes the finite 
wisdom the test of infinite wisdom, and submits the 
teachings of God's omniscience to the approval 
of man's judgment. It is the sublimest and 
absurdest conceit that says, " This cannot be 
true, though God says it, for it does not approve 
itself to my reason." " Nay, but, O man, who 
art thou that repliest against God ? " (Rom. 
ix: 20.) Real human wisdom, when it finds 
infinite wisdom, bows before it and says, 



110 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

" Speak what thou wilt and I will believe." 
When we have once became convinced that the 
Bible is God's Word, its teachings must be the 
end of all controversy and discussion. A " thus 
saith the Lord " will settle every question. Yet 
there are many who profess to believe that the 
Bible is the Word of God, and if you show them 
what the Bible clearly teaches on some disputed 
point, they will shake their heads and say, " Yes, 

but I think so and so," or " Doctor , or 

Prof, this, or our church don't teach that 
way." There is little profit in that sort of Bible 
study. (2) Studying the Bible as the word of 
God involves, in the second place, absolute reli- 
ance upon all its promises in all their length and 
breadth. The man who studies the Bible as 
the word of God, will not discount any one of its 
promises one iota. The one who studies the 
Bible as the word of God will say, " God who 
cannot lie has promised," and will not try to 
make God a liar by trying to make one of his 
promises mean less than it says. The one who 
studies the Bible as the word of God, will be on 
the lookout for promises, and as soon as he finds 
one he will seek to ascertain just what it means, 
and, as soon as he discovers, he will step right 
out upon that promise, and risk everything upon 
its full import. That is one of the secrets of 
profitable Bible study. Be hunting for promises 



.FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS III 

and appropriate them as fast as you find them 
this is done by meeting the conditions and risking 
all upon them. That is the way to make your 
own all the fulness of blessing God has for you. 
This is the key to all the treasures of God's grace. 
Happy is the man who has so learned to study 
the Bible as God's word, that he is ready to 
claim for himself every new promise as it ap- 
pears, and to risk everything upon it. (3) Study- 
ing the Bible as the Word of God involves, in 
the third place, obedience prompt, exact obedi- 
ence, without asking any questions to its every 
precept. Obedience may seem hard, it may 
seem impossible, but God has bidden it and I 
have nothing to do but to obey, and leave the 
results with God. If you would get the very 
most profit out of your Bible study resolve that 
from this time you will claim every clear prom- 
ise and obey every plain command, and that as 
to the promises and commands whose import is 
not yet clear you will try to get their meaning 
made clear. (4) Studying the Bible as the 
word of God involves, in the fourth place, study- 
ing it as in God's presence. When you read a 
verse of scripture hear the voice of the living 
God speaking directly to you in these written 
words. There is new power and attract- 
iveness in the Bible when you have learned to 
hear a living, present person, God, our Father, 



112 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

Himself talking directly to you in these 
words. One of the most fascinating and inspir- 
ing statements in the Bible is " Enoch walked 
with God." (Gen. v: 24.) We can have God's 
glorious companionship any moment we please, 
by simply opening His Word and letting the living 
and ever present God speak to us through it. 
With what holy awe and strange and unutterable 
joy one studies the Bible if he studies it in this 
way! It is heaven come down to earth. 

8. The eighth and last condition of the most 
profitable Bible study is Prayerfulness. The 
Psalmist prayed " Open thou mine eyes, that I 
may behold wondrous things out of thy law." 
(Ps. cxix: 1 8.) Every one who desires to get the 
greatest profit out of his Bible study, needs to 
offer that or a similar prayer every time he un- 
dertakes the study of the word. Few keys open 
so many caskets that contain hidden treasure as 
prayer. Few clews unravel so many difficulties. 
Few microscopes will disclose so many beauties 
hidden from the eye of the ordinary observer. 
What new light often shines from an old familiar 
text as you bend over it in prayer! I believe in 
studying the Bible a good deal on your knees. 
When one reads an entire book through upon his 
knees and this is easily done that book has a 
new meaning and becomes a new book. One 
ought never to open the Bible to read it without 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 113 

at least lifting the heart to God in silent prayer 
that He will interpret it, illumine its pages by the 
light of His Spirit. It is a rare privilege to study 
any book under the immediate guidance and in- 
struction of its author, and this is the privilege 
of us all in studying the Bible. When one comes 
to a passage that is difficult to understand or 
difficult to interpret, instead of giving it up, or 
rushing to some learned friend, or to some com- 
mentary, he should lay that passage before God, 
and ask Him to explain it to him, pleading God's 
promise, " if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask 
of GOD, that giveth to all men liberally, and 
upraideth not, and it shall be given him. But 
let him ask in faith, nothing doubting." (Jas. i: 
5, 6, R. V.) It is simply wonderful how the 
seemingly most difficult passages become plain 
by this treatment. Harry Morehouse, one of the 
most remarkable Bible scholars among unlearned 
men, used to say, that whenever he came to a 
passage in the Bible which he could not under- 
stand, he would search through the Bible for 
some other passage that threw light upon it, and 
lay it before God in prayer, and that he had 
never found a passage that did not yield to this 
treatment. The author of this book has had a 
quite similar experience. Some years ago I was 
making with a friend a tour afoot of the 
Franconian Switzerland, and visiting some of 



I 14 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

the more famous zoolithic caves. One 
day the country letter-carrier stopped us, 
and asked if we would not like to see a cave of 
rare beauty and interest, away from the beaten 
tracks of travel. Of course, we said, yes. He 
led us through the woods and underbrush to the 
mouth of the cave, and we entered. All was dark 
and uncanny. He expatiated greatly on the 
beauty of the cave, telling us of altars and fan- 
tastic formations, but we could see absolutely 
nothing. Now and then he uttered a note to 
warn us to have a care, as near our feet lay a 
gulf the bottom of which had never been dis- 
covered. We began to have a fear that we 
might be the first discoverers of the bottom. 
There was nothing pleasant about the whole 
affair. But as soon as a magnesian taper was 
lighted, all became different. There were the 
stalagmites rising from the floor to meet the 
stalactites as they came down from the ceiling. 
There was the great altar of nature, that peasant 
fancy ascribed to the skill of ancient worshipers, 
there were the beautiful and fantastic formations 
on every hand, and all glistening in fairy-like 
beauty in the brilliant light. So I have often 
thought it was with many a passage of Scripture. 
Others tell you of its beauty, but you cannot see 
it. It looks dark and intricate and forbidding 
and dangerous, but when God's own light is 



FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS 

kindled there by prayer, how different all be- 
comes in an instant. You see a beauty that 
language cannot express, and that those alone can 
appreciate who have stood there in the same 
light. He who would understand and love his 
Bible must be much in prayer. Prayer will do 
more than a college education to make the Bible 
an open and a glorious book. Perhaps the best 
lesson I learned in a German university, where I 
had the privilege of receiving the instruction of 
one of the most noted and most gifted Bible 
teachers of any age, was that which came through 
the statement of the famulus of this professor, 
that Professor Delitzsch worked out much of his 
teaching upon his knees. 



CHAPTER 1 1. 

FINAL SUGGESTIONS. 

There are some suggestions that remaia to be 
given before we close this book. 

i . Study the Bible daily. Regularity counts 
for more in Bible study than most people fancy. 
The spasmodic student, who at certain seasons 
gives a great deal of time to the study of the 
Word, and at other seasons quite neglects it, even 
for days at a time, does not achieve the results 
that he does who plods on regularly day by day. 
The Bereans were wise as well as " noble " in 
that they " searched the scriptures daily." (Acts, 
xvii: n; see also R. V.) A man who is well 
known among the Christian college students of 
America, once remarked at a student convention, 
that he had been at many conventions and had 
received great blessings from them, but the 
greatest blessing he had ever received was from 
a convention where there were only four persons 
gathered together. The blessing had come to 
him in this way. These four had covenanted 
together to spend a certain portion of every day 

116 



FINAL SUGGESTIONS 



in Bible study. Since that day much of his 
time had been spent on the cars or in hotels and 
at conventions, but he had tried to keep that 
covenant, and the greatest blessing that had 
come to him in his Christian life had come 
through this daily study of the Word. No one 
who has not tried it realizes how much can be 
accomplished by setting apart a fixed portion of 
each day, (it may not be more than fifteen or 
thirty minutes, but it surely should be an hour) 
for Bible study, and keeping it sacredly for that 
purpose under all circumstances. Many will say 
I cannot spare the time. It will be time saved. 
Lord Cairnes, one of the busiest as well as 
most eminent men of his day, before his death 
testified, that the first two hours of every day 
were given to the study of the Bible and prayer, 
and he attributed the great achievements of his 
life to that fact. It will not do to study the 
Bible only when we feel like it. It will not do to 
study the Bible only when we have leisure. We 
must have fixed principles and habits in this 
matter, if we are to study the Bible to the greatest 
profit. Nothing that we do will be more import- 
ant than our Bible study, and it cannot give way 
to other less important things. What regularity in 
eating is to physical life, regularity in Bible study 
is to spiritual life. Fix upon some time, even if 
it is no more than fifteen minutes to start with, 



Il8 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

and hold to it until you are ready to set a longer 
period. 

2. Select for your Bible study the best portion 
of the day that you can give to it. Do not put 
your Bible study off until nearly bed-time, when 
the mind is drowsy. It is well to take a parting 
verse for the day when one retires for the night, 
but this is not the time for study. No study de- 
mands all that there is in a man as Bible study 
does. Do not take the time immediately after a 
heavy meal. The mind is more or less torpid 
after a heavy meal, and it is unwise to put it on 
the stretch then. It is almost the unanimous 
opinion of those who have given this subject 
careful attention, that the early hours of the day 
are the best for Bible study, if they can be 
secured free from interruption. It is well, 
wherever possible, to lock yourself in and lock 
the world out, when you are about to give your- 
self up to the study of the Bible. 

3. In all your Bible study look for Christ in 
the passage under examination. We read of 
Jesus that " beginning at Moses and all the 
prophets, he expounded unto them in all the 
Scriptures the things concerning HIMSELF." 
(Luke xxiv: 27.) Jesus Christ is the subject of 
the whole Bible and the subject pervades the 
book. Some of the seemingly driest portions of 
the Bible became instinct with a new life when 



FINAL SUGGESTIONS IIQ 

we learn to see Christ in them. I remember in 
my early reading of the Bible what a stupid book 
Leviticus seemed, but it all became different 
when I learned to see Jesus in the various offer- 
ings and sacrifices, in the high-priest and his 
garments, in the tabernacle and its furniture, 
indeed everywhere. Look for Christ in every 
verse you study, and even the genealogies and 
catalogues of the names of towns will begin to 
have beauty and power. 

4. Memorize Scripture. The Psalmist said, 
" Thy word have I laid up in mine heart, that I 
might not sin against thee. " (Ps. cxix: n, R.V.) 
There is nothing better to keep one from sin- 
ning than this. By the word of God laid up in 
His heart Jesus overcame the tempter. (Matt. 
iv: 4, 7, 10.) But the word of God laid up in 
the heart is good for other purposes than victory 
over sin. It is good to meet and expose error; it 
is good to enable one " to speak a word in season 
to him that is weary," (Is. 1:4.) It is good for 
manifold uses, even " that the man of God may 
be complete, furnished completely unto every 
good work." (II Tim. iii: 17, R. V.) Memorize 
scripture by chapter and verse. It is quite as 
easy as merely memorizing the words, and it is 
immeasurably more useful for practical purposes. 
Memorize the scripture in systematic form. Do 
not have a chaotic heap of texts in the mind, but 



120 HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE 

pigeon-hole under appropriate titles the scripture 
you store in memory. Then you can bring it out 
when you need it, without racking your brains. 
There are many men who can stand up without 
a moment's warning, and talk coherently and 
cogently and scripturally, on any vital theme; 
because they have a vast fund of wisdom in the 
form of scripture texts stored away in their mind 
in systematic form. 

5. Finally, utilize spare moments in the study 
of the Bible. In most men's lives there is a vast 
amount of wasted time. Time spent in traveling 
on the street cars and railroads; time spent in 
waiting for persons with whom they have engage- 
ments; time spent in waiting for meals, etc., 
etc. Most of this can be utilized in Bible study, 
if one carries with him a pocket Bible or pocket 
Testament. Or one can utilize it in meditation 
upon texts stored away in memory. Many of 
the author's sermons and addresses are worked 
out in that way. It is said that Henry Ward 
Beecher read one of the larger histories of 
England through while waiting day after day for 
his meals to be brought on to the table. How 
many books of the Bible could be studied in the 
same time ? A friend once told me that the man 
who had, in some respects, the most extraordi- 
nary knowledge of the Bible of any man he 
knew, was a junk dealer in a Canadian city. This 



FINAL SUGGESTIONS 121 

man had a Bible open on his shelves and in in- 
tervals of business he was pondering the Book of 
God. The book became very black by handling 
in such surroundings, but I have little doubt his 
soul became correspondingly white. There is no 
economy that pays as does economy of time, 
but there is no way of economizing time so thriftily 
as putting the moments that are going to waste 
into the study of or meditation upon the word of 
God. 



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