Thursday, October 12, 2023

2 - Chapter Summary Bible Study Method

Big Idea: Introduction to a Bible study method where a chapter of the Bible is read multiple times as questions are asked about the chapter, then a short summary is made.

Series note: The next 12 weeks will feature summaries of the 12 Bible Study Methods featured in the book by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.

What's that chapter of the Bible about?

If you could time-travel to any event in the Bible and talk to one of the writers, like the Apostle John, and talk to him about his writings, you might run into a roadblock.

“Hey John,” you’d say, “I really love that verse you wrote in John 3:16. Actually I love the whole chapter!”

John would give you a blank look. “You seem kind, but what are you talking about?”

The Bible originally written in Hebrew and Greek did not have chapter and verse markings.

Those were added about 1000 years after the early church to help us find our way around the Bible and be on the same page, so to speak! I think we agree, they are very useful to Bible study!

This Chapter Summary Bible Study Method is useful as a way to view a book of the Bible by its chapters, or a way to look at the content of an important chapter of the Bible.

Why this method is useful

1. It is easy to learn.
2. It does not take much time, depending on the length of the chapter, of course.
3. It does not require any outside helps or reference tools, but it is necessary to memorize the ten steps.
4. It is a good type of study to use when you are engaged in a rapid reading survey through the Bible.

10 steps devised by Rick Warren

1. Caption - A short descriptive title

2. Contents - List of points, observations outline or summarize

3. Chief people – List the people in it.

4. Central verse – choose what you believe is a significant verse to the chapter.

5. Crucial words – Make a list of key words.

6. Challenges – List what you don’t understand or difficulties you have with the chapter.

7. Cross References – Check cross references to add more understanding.

8. Christ Revealed – Consider how the passage points to Christ, or reveals more about Him.

9. Central Lessons – List major lessons in the chapter.

10. Conclusion – Start to apply this. Questions to ask yourself would be, how does this apply to me personally and what should I do about this?

This is just a statement of each of Warren's  proposed steps.  His book has a lot more direction for each step.  

Suggested passages to practice

I Corinthians 13
2 Timothy 2
1 John 1
John 17
The Gospel of Luke

Additional Tip : If you are reading a fast paced program through the Bible, you may find it useful to take time to use this method occasionally on one chapter in your reading for deeper insight.

For more on the chapter summary method, with a chart to make lists, go to this website.   

Here is an online PDF of the book by Rick Warren, Bible Study Methods: 12 ways you can unlock God's Word

Previous: Devotional Bible Study Method
Up next: The Character Quality Method of Bible Study


1. If you could go back in time to meet a Bible Character who would you want to meet? Why?

2. How useful do you think this method could be for you to use?

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