編號T0000000
主題preface (前言 )
中文內容
            新主題課本
                    20,000 個主題和附屬主題
                       30,000 條參考經文
                          查經方法
                        基要真理概述
                   妥瑞 (R. A. Torrey) 撰寫
                      無版權 -- 自由轉貼



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                       查經方法
                 作者/妥瑞牧師 (Rev. R. A. Torrey) 

 
一、首先,要下定決心,每天花時間讀上帝的話語。 

    這個決定很簡單,可是如果立志的人是認真的話,卻不容易做到。這個
決定讓所有基督徒獲益良多。從構思到持守,這決定已成為許多人的人生轉
捩點。許多人原本生命貧瘠,活得不稱心如意,因為開始固定每天讀經,持
之以恆,如今生命變得豐盛而有果效。剛開始,讀經或許沒什麼意思,或許
不能立竿見影;可是,若肯堅持不懈,讀經不久就會裨益品格發展,讓整個
人生豐富了起來,是其他事物無法望其項背的。若非身體簡直實在不行,不
應當讓任何事妨礙每日讀經。
 
    至於每天該花多少時間讀上帝的話語,要訂出適用於所有人的通則是不
可能的。我認識很多大忙人,包括不少辛勤工作的男女,他們每天讀經一小
時,不過如果你一天讀經不超過十五分鐘,還是可以有所收穫。要儘可能在
白天騰空讀經。最佳時光是清晨。若是可行,這段時間要跟上帝獨處一室。
 
二、立志研讀聖經。

    大家讀聖經時往往掉以輕心,這是令人驚奇的。人好像以為,聖經上有
某種魔力,只要翻開聖經扉頁,稍加瀏覽,就可以得到好處。聖經是有益的
,只因為其中有真理,要領悟真理,就需要留心細察。神把愛與能力放在一
節經文中,你往往得反覆讀上好幾次,才能看出那美妙信息。我們必須反覆
思想上帝的話語,才能受到最大的影響,為其完善所震撼。你得審視偉大的
藝術作品良久,才能體會它的美,懂得其意涵,同樣,你也得好好審視聖經
的重要經文,才能體會它的美,懂得其意涵。你讀了一節經文,要問問自己
:這節經文是什麼意思?然後提問:它對我有什麼意義?想到答案以後,再
次問自己:它的意思就這些嗎?不要想別的,除非你相當確定,目前想得到
的含意僅只於此。過了一段時間你再回頭看,也許會發現,這段經文有更豐
富的意義。如果這段經文有什麼關鍵字,估量這些字有多重要,查一查其他
用了這些字的經文,想法子瞭解這些字的完整涵義。上帝說,「晝夜思想」
上帝話語的人便為有福。 ( 詩 1:2,3 ) 懶洋洋地瀏覽幾節經文或速讀許多
章聖經,並不叫默想,也無法帶來什麼祝福。耶利米說:「我得著你的言語
就當食物吃了。」( 耶 15:16 )。吃東西最重要的就是咀嚼。如果人不好好
咀嚼食物,他很可能會消化不良。別讓任何人幫你咀嚼靈糧,要堅持自己來
。只要下定決心,誰都可以從中學習。起初會很辛苦,不過很快會變得易如
反掌。我見過一些人,因為把非常遲鈍的心放在磨石之下,因而變得敏銳。

三、按著主題研讀聖經。

  逐一研讀聖經上探討的諸多主題,查考整本聖經,找出聖經是怎麼看待
這些主題的。知道上帝如何看待這些重要主題,遠比知道屬靈偉人如何看待
這些主題還來得重要。此外,知道上帝的一切看法也很重要。很多人通常只
知道上帝的一小部份看法,因此他們的觀念是片面而不完整的。要是他們知
道上帝關於這主題的全面看法就好了,他們和他們的朋友會獲益更多。要知
道上帝如何看待某一主題的不二法門就是,查考整本聖經探討該主題的經節
。不必逐章逐句,從創世記讀到啟示錄,如果每個主題都這樣的話就太慢了
。如果沒有主題參考書和經文彙編的話,這倒是必要的,不過我們有了許多
前人的心血結晶,就不用這麼費力。本網站蒐集了許多分類好的不同經文,
探討各個主題,我們因此得以在幾個鐘頭之內查到原本得經年累月才能查完
的經文。主題查經是最簡單、最令人著迷的研經方法,最能立竿見影,但主
題查經並不是研經的唯一法門,若單單靠著主題查經而不用其他研經方法的
話,就會與聖經上上帝要給你的大部分祝福失之交臂。[註]不過,主題查經
的確是有趣又有成效的研經法。慕迪最喜歡的研經法就是主題查經。主題查
經會讓你充分了解查考的主題。慕迪有一次花了幾天查考「恩典」。查完以
後,他的心思意念縈繞著恩典,於是跑到大街上,碰到第一個人就問:「你
認識恩典嗎?」「哪個恩典?」對方問道。「上帝拯救的恩典!」然後慕迪
就把他從上帝話語挖到的豐富寶藏傾囊相授。要掌握熟習聖經上任何主題的
方法就是主題查經。查考整本聖經,看看上面是怎麼談這個主題的。這很簡
單。來我們的主題查經網站,點選你要查的主題。假設你想查的主題是「禱
告」。點選「禱告」,你就可以找到一長串探討該主題的不同經文。逐一查
考,仔細研讀,看看這些經文要教導你什麼道理。全部讀過以後,你會比以
前更了解禱告的意義,這是閱讀其他好書所望塵莫及的。有時候,你得順便
查考密切相關的其他主題。舉例來說,你想研究上帝如何教導贖罪。這時,
你不只要查「贖罪」,還要連帶查「」、「基督之死」。要一次查考這些
主題,不見得要用經文彙編,不過經文彙編確實往往很有幫助。比方說,
假如你要查考的主題是「禱告」,你可以用經文彙編查有「祈求」、「禱告」
、「呼求」、「求問」、「求告」、「懇求」、「代求」等字眼的經文。不
過,不管鑰字是什麼,主題課本會把討論任何主題的絕大部分經文列出來。
 
    關於主題查經,我要提出四個很重要的建議:

    (1) 要有計畫有步驟:不要隨隨便便查主題。先慎重地把你想了解、有
    必要了解的主題列出一張清單,然後依序一一查考。如果略過這個
    步驟,你很可能就會一再查考幾個寶貝主題,最後只繞著這些主題
    打轉,結果這些主題可能會變得討人厭。到頭來,這些主題你了解
    得透澈,可是其他同樣重要的主題你卻一無所知。你會變成眼光狹
        隘的基督徒。

    (2) 要查得澈底:著手查一個主題之後,不要滿足於查考關於該主題的
    寥寥幾段經文,要盡可能查出聖經上探討該主題的所有經文,愈多
    愈好。如果你覺得本主題課本不夠完整,就把你自己所查到的附加
        上去吧。

    (3) 要精確:把主題課本中討論的任一段經節的意思絲毫不差地找出來
    。作法很簡單。首先,注意其中用了哪些字;接著,找出上面所用
    的字確切意思為何,方法是查考聖經上這些字的用法。聖經上的用
    詞不見得是現今常用的。比方說,聖經上的「成聖」和「稱義」,
    跟常用的意思不一樣。然後,觀察這節經文的上下文。如果經文意
    思含糊的話,觀察上下文往往可以確定它的意思。最後,看看這節
    經文有沒有平行經文。參照其他闡釋經文,即使是最難懂的經文也
        會變得淺顯易懂。
 
    (4) 把你查考聖經主題的結果有條理地寫下來:研讀聖經時,要經常用
    紙筆記錄下來。查完主題課本任一主題,你會得到一大堆資料,你
    要整理一番,以便使用。主題課本任一主題所提供的諸多經文已經
    分類好,但不見得適用於我們個人。比方說「禱告」這個主題好了
        。課本上的分類是很好的建議,不過若要達成某些目的,更好的分
        類如下:
     
      1. 上帝會聽誰的禱告?
      2. 禱告的對象是誰?
      3. 要為誰禱告?
      4. 何時該禱告?
      5. 在哪裡禱告?
      6. 為什麼事禱告?
      7. 如何禱告?
      8. 禱告的阻礙
      9. 禱告的結果
 
    主題課本中的經文會歸入這些標題之下。先試著為主題訂出次要標
    題,再著手收集個別經文,歸入適當的標題之下,這是可取的。等
    我們找到新的經文,可能要把它加進最初的次要標題裡。他人建議
    你如何把經文分類再怎麼有幫助,也不如你自己定分類來得好。
 
    有些主題是所有基督徒都應該查考的,而且要儘早查考。茲條列如
    下:
 
        罪
        贖罪 (靠基督寶血)
        稱義
        新生
        經上帝收為兒女
        成聖
        聖潔
        確據
        肉體
        潔淨
        信心
        悔改
        禱告
        感恩
        讚美
        愛:
            愛神
            愛耶穌基督
            愛基督徒
            愛所有人
        信徒將來的命運
        惡人將來的命運:
            惡人的刑罰
            惡人的死
        基督的品格
        基督復活
        基督升天
        基督再臨:事實、方法、目的、結果、時間
        基督作王
        聖靈
            祂的身分
            祂的內涵
            祂的作為
        上帝
            祂的屬性
            祂的作為
        恩典
        有關彌賽亞的預言
        教會
        猶太人
        喜樂
        審判
        生命
        平安
        完全
        逼迫
 
四、逐章查考聖經。

  這種方法對一般人並不難,只要肯每天至少花十五分鐘查經就成了
。不過如果一天只花十五分鐘的話,一章就得一天以上才查得完。
 
    (1) 選一章你想查考的聖經。挑一卷書,按照順序一章一章查,是
    不錯的方法。一開始可以從使徒行傳或約翰福音下手。假以時
    日,你會讀到每一章聖經,不過一開始就查創世記可不明智。

    (2) 把今天要查的那一章讀五次。至少有一次要大聲讀出來。筆者
    大聲讀聖經時,可以領悟到許多默讀時沒悟到的道理。每讀一
    次,會體會一些新的觀點。

    (3) 把各章按照文理自然分段,為各段找出最貼切的標題。比方說
    ,假設你查考的是 約一 5 ,你可能會這麼分段:
 
       1. 約一 5:1-3     信徒出身尊貴
       2. 約一 5:4,5     信徒榮耀的勝利
       3. 約一 5:6-10    信徒信心穩固的緣由
       4. 約一 5:11,12   信徒的無價資產
        5. 約一 5:13      信徒的有福確據
        6. 約一 5:14,15   信徒毫不猶豫的信心
        7. 約一 5:16,17   信徒的大能和重任
        8. 約一 5:18,19   信徒全然平安
        9. 約一 5:20      信徒的可貴知識
       10. 約一 5:21      信徒永恆不變的本分
 
      其他章的自然分段往往比這一章長。
 
    (4) 按照恰當的順序,把該章的重要事實寫下來。

    (5) 把該章提到的人物,還有其性格給你的啟發記下來。比方說,
    你查的是 徒 16 。這裡提到的人有:
 
       提摩太
       提摩太的母親
       提摩太的父親
       路司得和以哥念的弟兄
       保羅
       路司得和以哥念的猶太人
       耶路撒冷的使徒和長老
       馬其頓人
       路加
       一些腓立比婦女
       呂底亞
       呂底亞一家
       被巫鬼所附的使女
       使女的主人
       西拉
       腓立比的官長
       腓立比的民眾
       腓立比的禁卒
       腓立比監牢的囚犯
       禁卒一家
       腓立比的差役
       腓立比的弟兄
 
     本章的每一個人物分別給了你什麼啟發?

    (6) 把從本章學到的主要功課寫下來。可以分為:關於上帝、基督
       、聖靈的功課,等等。
 
    (7) 把本章的核心真理寫下來。
 
    (8) 如果有的話,把本章的鑰句寫下來。

    (9) 把本章最棒的一節寫下來。這就見仁見智了。不過關鍵是:依
    你這一次的閱讀心得,哪一節最令人低迴不已?標出來並背起
        來。
 
    (10) 把適合用來講道、討論或當作閱讀材料的經節記錄下來。如果
     有空的話,分析這些經節的思路,寫在頁邊。

    (11) 為本章命名。舉例來說, 徒 1 可能叫作「升天」, 徒 2 可
     能叫「五旬節」, 徒 3 可能叫「瘸子」,以此類推。你要自
     己為各章起名。名字要能闡明本章最重要、別具一格的特色。

    (12) 把本章主題寫下來,以備進一步查考。比方說,你讀的是 徒 1 
     。建議進一步的查考主題是「聖靈的洗禮」、「基督升天」、
     「基督再臨」。

    (13) 選定一些字詞寫下來,以備進一步查考。比方說,你查考的是
      約 3 ,那麼應該進一步查考的字詞有「永生」、「重生」、
     「水」、「信徒」、「神的國度」等。
 
    (14) 把你從本章新學到的真理寫下來。如果你沒有新的收穫,最好
     重來一次。

    (15) 有沒有什麼已知真理帶給你新的震撼?

    (16) 讀了本章以後,什麼事是你決心一定要做的呢?要把查考每一
     章的心得寫下來,做一份永久記錄。

五、要把聖經視為上帝的話語來查考。

  聖經是上帝的話語,而我們要汲取任一本書的菁華,方法就是考究
其真義,人家常說,我們應該探究聖經,正如我們探究其他書一樣。這
個道理只說對了一半,另一半大錯特錯。沒錯,聖經也是書,跟其他書
一樣有文法、文學結構、詮釋的法則。然而聖經完完全全是獨一無二的
書,是其他書籍所無可比擬的,因為這是上帝的話語。對任何直率誠懇
的人來說,這是顯而易見的。因此,我們應當殷切認真查考聖經,勝於
其他書籍,要把聖經當作上帝的話語來查考 ( 帖前 2:13 )。這可以分
為九點來談:
 
    (1) 查經要比讀任何書更熱切、更謹慎、更懇摯,找出它究竟要教
        導我們什麼道理。我們得知道上帝的心意;而上帝的心意就揭
        示在聖經上。
 
    (2) 一旦確定聖經的教導,縱使這些教導在我們看來不合情理或做
        不到,也要立刻接受並順服,毫不猶豫。既然這是上帝的話語
        ,用我們有限的理性來批判其教導,是何等愚昧的事啊!因為
        少不更事,就斷定明達父親的話不合理並加以懷疑,這樣的小
        男孩可不是哲學家,而是傻瓜。我們一旦確定聖經是上帝的話
        語,就要以聖經上的明白教導為準,終止一切爭議和討論。
 
    (3) 全然倚靠所有聖經上的應許,因為它長闊高深。把聖經當作上
    帝話語查考的人,不管每一個應許看起來多麼茫茫而難以置信
    ,都會這麼說:「不能說謊的上帝如此應許,所以我支取這個
    應許。」把你支取的應許標出來。天天從你無窮的天父那兒找
    尋新的應許。祂已經把「祂榮耀的豐富」放在你手裡任你使用
    ( 腓 4:19 )。
 
    (4) 順服 ── 分毫不差、毫不猶豫、立即而喜樂的順服 ── 順
    服文脈昭然揭示的每一項命令。留心尋察萬王之王的新指示。
    順服之後,祝福就在前方。上帝的吩咐不過是指示牌,標出通
    往現今成功蒙福與永恆榮耀的路,
 
    (5) 把聖經當作上帝的話語來查考,含意是將之視為上帝的聲音直
    接向你說話。當你打開聖經查考,要明白你已進入上帝的同在
    ,現在祂要向你說話。因此,每花一個小時查經,就是花一個
    小時與上帝同行談心。
 
    (6) 用禱告的心讀經。只要我們向祂求,聖經的作者很樂意解釋聖
    經。若人憑信心像詩篇作者一樣認真禱告:「求你開我的眼睛
    ,使我看出你律法中的奇妙」,他的眼目就必開啟,得見上帝
    話語的榮美奇妙,是他作夢也想不到的。這點你切莫懷疑。你
    每次打開聖經,不管查考多久,都求上帝開啟你的眼睛,賜你
    洞悉的目光,然後期待祂會這麼做。你每次遇到困難,就帶到
    上帝面前,祈求得到解釋,然後期待解釋來到。我們因艱深的
    經文困惑不解時,是多麼常這樣想啊:「要是有誰誰誰在這裡
    解釋給我聽該多好!」上帝永遠同在。把疑惑帶到祂面前吧。
 
    (7) 留心所有經文中「關於基督的事」。基督在聖經上俯拾皆是 (
     路 24:27 )。仔細尋覓,若發現祂的蹤影就標出來。
 
    (8) 利用閒暇時刻讀經。幾乎每個人生命中每天都會虛耗好幾分鐘
    光陰;等開飯、等車、開車時等等,歲月就這樣蹉跎掉了。不
    妨隨身攜帶袖珍聖經,把握這珍貴韶光,善加利用,傾聽上帝
    的聲音。
 
    (9) 把經文存記在你的心懷意念中。這會使你免於犯罪 ( 詩 119:11 )
    , 免受虛假道理迷惑 ( 徒 20:29,30,32  提後 3:13-15 ), 
    並用喜樂 ( 耶 15:16 )、平安 ( 詩 85:8 ) 充滿你心, 使你
    勝過惡者 ( 約一 2:14 ), 讓你的禱告有能力 ( 約 15:7 ), 
    使你比年老者和你的敵人更有智慧 ( 詩 119:100,98,130 ), 
    使你「完全,預備行各樣的善事」( 提後 3:16,17 )。試試看
    。不要東背一句西背一句,要有系統地背誦經文。按著適切的
    順序背誦有關各個主題的經句。把重要的篇章經節背起來,這
    樣,若有人對信仰提出異議,你就知道該明確指出哪些經文來
    回應了。


[註] 各種裨益良多的查經方法,詳見妥瑞先生的 "How to Study the
Bible for Greatest Profit" 一書。
內容
                       The New Topical Textbook
                     20,000 Topics and Sub-topics
                       30,000 Bible References
                        Methods of Bible Study
                    Fundamental Doctrines Outline
                           By R. A. Torrey
                     Public Domain -- Copy Freely

These topical references are from R. A. Torrey's New Topical Textbook
published by Sword of the Lord Publishers, P.O. Box 1099,
Murfreesboro, TN, 37133.  No copyright notice appears on the book, and
it is a reprint of the original edition which is out of copyright.

The current format has been designed for programatic reference;
placing 50 topics in a file; preceeding each topic with $$topic_number
and surrounding the topic-name with back-slashes.  Within each topic
(prior to next $$t marker) there are one to many topical references
preceeded by '' and terminated by ''.

The 'Major Doctrines' appendix from the Textbook has been included in
the ttt-doc.zip file as an additional topic file with seperate .idx
file.  Like the topics, this appendix has been formatted for
programatic reference following the same guidlines mentioned above.

The most current and correct copies of these files can be obtained
from the following.  If any errors are located, please ensure you have
the latest files, and if so, we would appreciate being informed of the
error.

   Bible Foundation, http://www.bf.org

Or by contacting:

   Mark Fuller
   1129 East Loyola Drive
   Tempe, Arizona, 85282
   602-829-8542 (voice)


--------------------------------------------------------------------


                      METHODS OF BIBLE STUDY
                       by Rev. R. A. Torrey
 
 
        First of all make up your mind that you will put some
time _every day_ into the study of the Word of God.  That is an
easy resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep;
if the one who makes it is in earnest.  It is one of the most
fruitful resolutions that any Christian ever made.  The forming
of that resolution and the holding faithfully to it, has been
the turning point in many a life.  Many a life that has been
barren and unsatisfactory has become rich and useful through the
introduction into it of regular, persevering, daily study of the
Bible.  This study may not be very interesting at first, the
results may not be very encouraging; but, if one will keep
pegging away, it will soon begin to count as nothing else has
ever counted in the development of character, and in the
enrichment of the whole life.  Nothing short of absolute
physical inability should be allowed to interfere with this
daily study.
 
    It is impossible to make a rule that will apply to everyone
as to the amount of time that shall be given each day to the
study of the Word.  I know many busy people, including not a few
labouring men and women, who give an hour a day to Bible study,
but if one cannot give more than fifteen minutes a great deal
can be accomplished.  Wherever it is possible the time set apart
for the work should be in the daylight hours. The very best time
is in the early morning hours.  If possible lock yourself in
with God alone.
 
    2. Make up your mind to _study_ the Bible.  It is astounding
how much heedless reading of the Bible is done.  Men seem to
think that there is some magic power in the book, and that, if
they will but open its pages and skim over its words, they will
get good out of it.  The Bible is good only because of the truth
that is in it, and to see this truth demands close attention.  A
verse must often-times be read and re-read and read again before
the wondrous message of love and power that God has put into it
begins to appear. Words must be turned over and over in the mind
before their full force and beauty takes possession of us.  One
must look a long time at the great masterpieces of art to
appreciate their beauty and understand their meaning, and so one
must look a long time at the great verses of the Bible to
appreciate their beauty and understand their meaning.  When you
read a verse in the Bible ask yourself, What does this verse
mean? Then ask: What does it mean for me? When that is answered
ask yourself again: Is that all it means? and do not leave it
until you are quite sure that is all it means for the present.
You may come back at some future time and find it means yet a
great deal more.  If there are any important words in the verse
weigh them, look up other passages where they are used, and try
to get their full significance.  God pronounces that man blessed
who "meditates" on the Word of God "day and night."  Ps 1:2,3.
An indolent skimming over a few verses or many chapters in the
Bible is not meditation, and there is not much blessing in it.
Jeremiah said: "Thy words were found and I did eat them." (Jer
15:16). Nothing is more important in eating than chewing.  If
one does not properly chew his food, he is quite as likely to
get dyspepsia as nourishment.  Don't let anyone chew your
spiritual food for you.  Insist on doing it for yourself.  Any
one can be a student who makes up his mind to.  It is hard at
first but it soon becomes easy.  I have seen very dull minds
become keen by holding them right down to the grindstone.

        3. _Study the Bible topically_.  Take up the various
subjects treated in the Bible, one by one, and go through the
Bible and find what it has to say on these subjects.  It may be
important to know what the great men have to say on important
subjects; it is far more important to know what God has to say
on these subjects. It is important also to know all that God has
to say.  A great many people know a part of what God has to
say--and usually a very small part--and so their ideas are very
imperfect and one-sided.  If they only knew all God had to say
on the subject, it would be far better for them and for their
friends.  The only way to know all God has to say on any subject
is to go through the Bible on that subject.  To do this it is
not necessary to read every verse in the Bible from Genesis to
Revelation.  It would be slow work, if we had to do that on
every subject we took up. This would be necessary were it not
for Textbooks and Concordances. But in these we have the results
of the hard work of many minds. Here we have the various
passages that bear on any subject brought together and
classified for use, so that now we can do in a few hours what
would otherwise take months or years. The topical method of
Bible study is simplest, most fascinating and yields the largest
immediate results.  It is not the only method of Bible study,
and the one who pursues it exclusively will miss much of the
blessing God has for him in the Bible. [*]  But it is a very
interesting and fruitful method of study.  It was Mr. Moody's
favourite method.  It fills one's mind very full on any subject
studied.  Mr. Moody once gave several days to the study of
"Grace."  When he had finished he was so full of the subject
that he rushed out on the street and going up to the first man
he met he said: "Do you know anything about Grace?"  "Grace
who," the man asked.  "The Grace of God that bringeth
salvation."  And then Mr. Moody poured out upon that man the
rich treasures he had dug out of the Word of God. That is the
way to master any subject and get full of it.  Go through the
Bible and see what it has to say on this subject. This is easily
done. Take your Textbook and turn to the subject. Suppose the
subject you desire to study is "Prayer."  On pages 201-204
will be found a long list of the various passages of
Scripture that bear on this subject. Look them up one after
another and study them carefully and see just what their
teaching is. When you have gone through them you will know far
more about prayer than you ever knew before, and far more than
you could learn by reading any books that men have written about
prayer, profitable as many of these books are. Sometimes it will
be necessary to look up other subjects that are closely related
to the one in hand.  For example, you wish to study what the
teaching of God's Word is regarding the atonement.  In this case
you will not only look under the head "Atonement" on page 36,
but also under the head "Blood" on page 43, and under the head
"Death of Christ," on page 71.  To do this work a concordance is
not necessary but it is often very helpful. For example, if you
are studying the subject "Prayer" you can look up from the
concordance the passages that contain the words "pray,"
"prayer," "cry," "ask," "call," "supplication," "intercession,"
etc. But the Textbook will give most of the passages on any
subject regardless of what the words used in the passage may be.
Other passages will be found in the section on Bible Doctrines
under their proper headings.
 
        There are four important suggestions to make regarding
Topical Study of the Bible.

        First: _Be systematic_.  Do not take up subjects for
study at random.  Have a carefully prepared list of the subjects
you wish to know about, and need to know about, and take them up
one by one, in order.  If you do not do this, the probability is
that you will have a few pet topics and will be studying these
over and over until you get to be a crank about them, and
possibly a nuisance.  You will know much about these subjects,
but about many other subjects equally important you will know
nothing. You will be a one-sided Christian.

        Second: _Be thorough_.  When you take up a subject do
not be content to study a few passages on this subject, but find
just as far as possible every passage in the Bible on this
subject.  If you find the Textbook incomplete make additions of
your own to it.

        Third: _Be exact_.  Find the exact meaning of every
passage given in the Textbook on any subject.  The way to do
this is simple. In the first place note the exact words used. In
the next place get the exact meaning of the words used.  This is
done by finding how the word is used in the Bible. The Bible
usage of the word is not always the common use of today. For
example, the Bible use of the words "sanctification" and
"justification" is not the same as the common use. Then notice
what goes before and what comes after the verse.  This will
oftentimes settle the meaning of a verse when it appears
doubtful. Finally see if there are any parallel passages.  The
meaning of many of the most difficult passages in the Bible is
made perfectly plain by some other passages that throws light
upon them.  Then parallel passages are given in the margin of a
good reference Bible and still more fully in "The Treasury of
Scripture Knowledge," a volume worthy of a place in the library
of every Bible student.
 
        Fourth: Arrange the results of your topical study in an
orderly way and write them down.  One should constantly use pen
and paper in Bible study.  When one has gone through the
Textbook on any subject, he will have a large amount of
material, but he will want to get it into usable shape.  The
various passages given on any topic in the Textbook are
classified, but the classification is not always just the one
best adapted to our individual use.  Take for example the
subject "Prayer."  The classification of texts in the topic is
very suggestive, but a better one for some purposes would be:
 
    1. Who Can Pray so that God Will Hear?
    2. To Whom to Pray.
    3. For Whom to Pray.
    4. When to Pray.
    5. Where to Pray.
    6. For what to Pray.
    7. How to Pray.
    8. Hindrances to Prayer.
    9. The Results of Prayer.
 
The passages given in the Textbook would come under these heads.
It is well to make a trial division of the subject before taking
up the individual passages given and to arrange each passage as
we take it up under the appropriate head.  We may have to add to
the divisions with which we began as we find new passages. The
best classification of passages for any individual is the one he
makes for himself, although he will get helpful suggestions from
others.
 
        There are some subjects that every Christian should
study and study as soon as possible.  We give a list of these:
 
    Sin
    The Atonement (of the Blood of Christ)
    Justification
    The New Birth
    Adoption
    Sanctification
    Holiness
    Assurance
    The Flesh
    Cleansing
    Faith
    Repentance
    Prayer
    Thanksgiving
    Praise
    Love:
        To God
        To Jesus Christ
        To Christians
        To all men
    The Future Destiny of Believers
    The Future Destiny of the Wicked:
        Punishment of the Wicked
        Death of the Wicked
    The Character of Christ
    The Resurrection of Christ
    The Ascension of Christ
    The Second Coming of Christ: The fact,
        the manner, the purpose, the results,
        the time
    The Reign of Christ
    The Holy Spirit
        Who and
        What He is;
        His Work
    God.
        His Attributes
        and Work
    Grace
    Messianic Prophecies
    The Church
    The Jews
    Joy
    The Judgment
    Life
    Peace
    Perfection
    Persecution
 
        4. _Study the Bible by chapters_.  This method of Bible
study is not beyond any person of average intelligence who has
fifteen minutes or more a day to put into Bible Study.  It will
take, however, more than one day to the study a chapter if only
fifteen minutes a day are set apart for the work.
 
        First: Select the chapters you wish to study.  It is
well to take a whole book and study the chapters in their order.
The Acts of the Apostles (or the Gospel of John) is a good book
to begin with.  In time one may take up every chapter in the
Bible, but it would not be wise to begin with Genesis.

        Second: Read the chapter for today's study five times.
It is well to read it aloud at least once.  The writer sees many
things when he reads the Bible aloud that he does not see when
he reads silently.  Each new reading will bring out some new
point.

        Third: Divide the chapters into their natural divisions
and find headings for them that describe in the most striking
way their contents.  For example, suppose the chapter studied is
1Jo 5. You might divide in this way:
 
     1. vs 1-3    The Believer's Noble Parentage
     2. vs 4,5    The Believer's Glorious Victory
     3. vs 6-10   The Believer's Sure Ground of Faith
     4. vs 11,12  The Believer's Priceless Possession
     5. v  13     The Believer's Blessed Assurance
     6. vs 14,15  The Believer's Unquestioning Confidence
     7. vs 16,17  The Believer's Great Power and Responsibility
     8. vs 18,19  The Believer's Perfect Security
     9. v  20     The Believer's Precious Knowledge
    10. v  21     The Believer's Constant Duty
 
In many cases the natural divisions will be longer than in this
chapter.
 
        Fourth: Note the important differences between the
Authorized Version and the Revised and write them in the margin
of your Bible.

        Fifth: Write down the leading facts of the chapter in
their proper order.

        Sixth: Make a note of the persons mentioned in the
chapter and of any light thrown upon their character.  For
example, your chapter is Ac 16. The persons mentioned are:
 
     Timothy
     Timothy's mother
     Timothy's father
     The brethren at Lystra and Iconium
     Paul
     The Jews of Lystra and Iconium
     The apostles and elders at Jerusalem
     A man of Macedonia
     Luke
     Some women of Philippi
     Lydia
     The household of Lydia
     A certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination
     The masters of this damsel
     Silas
     The praetors of Philippi
     The Philippian mob
     The jailor of Philippi
     The prisoners in the Philippian jail
     The household of the jailor
     The lictors of Philippi
     The brethren in Philippi
 
What light does the chapter throw upon the character of each?
 
        Seventh: Note the principal lessons of the chapter.  It
would be well to classify these: e.g., lessons about God,
Christ, the Holy Spirit, etc., etc.
 
        Eighth: The Central Truth of the chapter.
 
        Ninth: The key verse of the chapter if there is one.
 
        Tenth: The best verse in the chapter.  Opinions will
differ widely here.  But the question is, which is the best
verse to you at this present reading?  Mark it and memorize it.
 
        Eleventh: Note the verses that are usable as texts for
sermons or talks or Bible readings.  If you have time make an
analysis of the thought of these verses and write it in the
margin, or on the opposite leaf if you have an interleaved
Bible.

        Twelfth: Name the chapter.  For example, Acts 1 might be
called The Ascension Chapter; Acts 2, The Day of Pentecost
Chapter; Acts 3, The Lame Man's Chapter; etc. Give your own
names to the chapters. Give the name that sets forth the most
important and characteristic feature of the chapter.
 
        Thirteenth: Note subjects for further study.  For
example, you are studying Acts 1.  Subjects suggested for
further study are, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit; The
Ascension; The Second Coming of Christ.
 
        Fourteenth: Words and phrases for further study.  For
example you are studying Joh 3, you should look up words and
expressions such as, "Eternal life," "Born again," "Water,"
"Believer," "The Kingdom of God."
 
        Fifteenth: Write down what new truth you have learned
from the chapter. If you have learned none, you had better go
over it again.
 
        Sixteenth: What truth already known has come to you with
new power?
 
        Seventeenth: What definite thing have you resolved to do
as a result of studying this chapter?  A permanent record should
be kept of the results of the study of each chapter. It is well
to have an interleaved Bible and keep the most important results
in this.
 
        5. _Study the Bible as the Word of God_.  The Bible is
the Word of God, and we get the most good out of any book by
studying it as what it really is.  It is often said that we
should study the Bible just as we study any other book.  That
principle contains a truth, but it also contains a great error.
The Bible, it is true, is a book as other books are books, the
same laws of grammatical and literary construction and
interpretation hold here as hold in other books.  But the Bible
is an entirely unique book.  It is what no other book is--The
Word of God.  This can be easily proven to any candid man.  The
Bible ought then to be studied as no other book is.  It should
be studied as the Word of God. (1Th 2:13). This involves five
things.
 
        First: A greater eagerness and more careful and candid
study to find out just what it teaches than is bestowed upon any
other book or upon all other books.  We must know the mind of
God; here it is revealed.
 
        Second: A prompt and unquestioning acceptance of and
submission to its teachings when definitely ascertained, even
when these teachings appear to us unreasonable or impossible. If
this book is the Word of God how foolish to submit its teachings
to the criticism of our finite reason. The little boy who
discredits his wise father's statements because to his infant
mind they appear unreasonable, is not a philosopher but a fool.
When we are once satisfied that the Bible is the Word of God,
its clear teachings must be the end of all controversy and
discussion.
 
        Third: Absolute reliance upon all its promises in all
their length and breadth and depth and height.  The one who
studies the Bible as the Word of God will say of every promise
no matter how vast and beyond belief it appears, "God who cannot
lie has promised this, so I claim it for myself." Mark the
promises you thus claim.  Look each day for some new promise
from your infinite Father. He has put "His riches in glory" at
your disposal.  (Php 4:19).
 
        Fourth: Obedience--prompt, exact, unquestioning, joyous
obedience--to every command that is evident from the context
applies to you.  Be on the lookout for new orders from the King.
Blessing lies in the direction of obedience to them.  God's
commands are but signboards that mark the road to present
success and blessedness and to eternal glory.
 
        Fifth: Studying the Bible as the Word of God, involves
studying it as His own voice speaking directly to you.   When
you open the Bible to study it realize that you have come into
the very presence of God and that now He is going to speak to
you.  Every hour thus spent in Bible study will be an hour's
walk and talk with God.
 
        Sixth: _Study the Bible prayerfully_.  The author of the
book is willing to act as interpreter of it.  He does so when we
ask Him to.  The one who prays with earnestness and faith, the
Psalmist's prayer, "Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold
wondrous things out of Thy law," will get his eyes opened to see
beauties and wonders in the Word that he never dreamed of
before.  Be very definite about this.  Each time you open the
Bible to study it for a few minutes or many, ask God to give you
the open and discerning eye, and expect Him to do it.  Every
time you come to a difficulty lay it before God and ask an
explanation and expect it.  How often we think as we puzzle over
hard passages, "Oh if I only had so and so here to explain
this." God is always present.  Take it to Him.
 
        Seventh: _Look for "the things concerning Christ" "in
all the Scriptures_." Christ is everywhere in the Bible (Lu
24:27). Be on the lookout for Him and mark His presence when you
find it.
 
        Eighth: _Improve spare moments in Bible study_.  In
almost every man's life many minutes each day are lost; while
waiting for meals or trains, while riding in the car, etc. Carry
a pocket Bible or Testament with you and save these golden
minutes by putting them to the very best use listening to the
voice of God.  The Textbook can easily be carried in the pocket
as a help in your work.
 
        Ninth: _Store away the Scripture in your mind and
heart_.  It will keep you from sin (Ps 119:11 R.V.), from false
doctrine (Ac 20:29,30,32; 2Ti 3:13-15), it will fill you heart
with joy (Jer 15:16), and peace (Ps 85:8), it will give you the
victory over the Evil One (1Jo 2:14), it will give you power in
prayer (Joh 15:7), it will make you wiser than the aged and your
enemies (Ps 119:100,98,130) it will make you "complete,
furnished completely unto every good work." (2Ti 3:16,17 R.V.).
Try it.  Do not memorize at random but memorize Scripture in a
connected way.  Memorize texts bearing on various subjects in
proper order.  Memorize by chapter and verse that you may know
where to put your finger upon the text if anyone disputes it.

[*] A full description and illustration of various profitable
methods of Bible study will be found in Mr. Torrey's book on
"How to Study the Bible for Greatest Profit."


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