Chapter Study Method
In this method of study, we will look at an entire chapter of the Bible. We will be looking at the chapter as a whole, but we also need to remember that the chapter is part of a book. However, we can still learn a great deal from this method of study.
After selecting a chapter to study, we first need to understand the context. This means we need to look at the chapter before and after our chapter. Read section titles, footnotes, or other materials to get an idea as to the general subject matter.
Read the chapter through without stopping and without taking any notes. When you finish, take a few minutes to reflect on the chapter and then read it again. If you feel led, read the chapter as many times as you want to be sure you understand it.
Make a list of all the characters in the chapter. Then, do a little detective work. Learn all you can about those characters. You can use biographical dictionaries, the Internet, character summaries in your Bible, or the methods we studied in our Character Study Method.
As you do these character summaries, write out what you have learned about each character. Look to see how the characters are related or how they have come to be in contact with each other. Write these discoveries down as well.
If applicable, note the names of places or events and see what you can learn about them. For example, if we were studying a chapter out of Jonah, you might want to do a little research on Ninevah. You also might want to look at a map to learn about the sea voyage.
With these new insights on the people, places, and events, read the chapter once again. After finishing, summarize the chapter. Do not record your impressions or feelings or interpretations at this time. This is a summary of the main points of the chapter. If you prefer, you can use an outline to write this summary.
Now, using your notes and summary, write down some questions. (You might want to refer to our study on how to write questions.) Focus on what happened and on what interests you. Allow the questions to take you into the chapter and beyond it, if necessary. Use cross references to broaden the scope.
Using your questions, write out your answers. List your insights. Record your thoughts. Note your observations.
If there is a verse that stands out or that captures the essence of the chapter, write it down and memorize it.
Finally, write out what you have learned. What have you learned about the people? About yourself? About God? About Jesus? What have you learned that you can make a part of your life now? What would you like to share with others?
Chapter Study Method Ė Practice
For our practice study, letís look at John 11.