Wednesday, August 25, 2021

IBS-11 The Bible, My Workbook: comarisons and contrasts


The Big Idea: Suggestions how to show word relationships in a Bible passage.

The Bible, My Workbook

The Bible is a manual for life and godliness! It is not merely a pretty book for the shelf, or a family heirloom. It is the sacred Word of God. However its intent is as a resource for everyday life. Study it intently! Consider making a Bible passage worksheet and mark it up!

If you are following this blog series, you have already marked your chapter or passage for references to God, time and places, people and key words. Perhaps word relationships have jumped out at you. Try looking for these!

1. Identify Lists. In the text, number the items in the list. Some put a bracket around the section. I usually just label and write out a list on a piece of paper instead of number them in the Bible.

I love list making. I look for lists of what we should do, characteristics, what God does for us, bad examples and so forth. It will be particularly useful to review when you get to the application phase.

Easy list examples in Scripture:

  • Exodus 20               Ten Commandments
  • Proverbs 31             Character of a virtuous woman
  • Isaiah 9:6                 Characteristics of the Messiah
  • Galatians 5:22-23    Fruit of the Spirit

2. Mark Comparisons. You can circle the two words or phrases and draw a line between them to indicate the relationship. The wise man and the foolish man (Matt. 7:24-27). Treasures on earth versus treasures in heaven (Matt. 6: 19-21). You may also find cause and effect, such as when you do A, B will happen. What you plant is what you will harvest (Gal. 6:7-8)

3. Mark Contrasts. In 1 Peter 5:5 you see God's response to the proud and to the humble. Putting a slash between them identifies a contrast. I often underline the sections and draw a line with a slash through it because they may be in separate verses.

There are a lot of contrasts in the Bible. Starting in Genesis 1 light and darkness is contrasted and is revisited often in the Bible. Love and hate (I John 4:20). The flesh versus the Spirit (Eph. 2:1-3).  Look for contrasts because they will also be useful during application on the way to live and the way not to live.

4. Mark Conclusion and Transitional Words. You can put a square around these words to set them apart. They invite us to reflect, summarize, and make conclusions. Again helpful for application. My class must get tired of me saying, "Let's stop and talk about what the "therefore" is there for?"

Make the Bible your workbook. Enjoy your homework!


This is eleventh in a series called Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: The Chapter Theme
Previous post: Marking Key Words
Table of Contents 



1. Do you see the Bible as a workbook for life? Why or why not?

2. Give an example of how the Bible might be useful for an everyday situation.

3. Pray right now that God gives you a hunger to dig in the Bible with enthusiasm!

No comments:

Post a Comment