Word Study Method
In this method of study, we will look at a specific word and how that word is used throughout the Bible. Note, some words can appear hundreds of times, so use this method wisely. The goal of this method is not to come up with just a definition of a word. More importantly, we want to see how the word “operates” in the Bible. What does “honor” look like, act like, and sound like? Also, what is “honor” not? After doing this study, we want to know how to make a word a part of our lives or how to avoid a word.
For this study you will need your Bible and your Strong’s. You will also need some time because you do not want to rush through this study.
1. Select a word that you want to know more about. For example, you may want to look at honor, righteousness, beauty, anger, love, family, covet.
2. Decide if you want to include any derivatives of the word. For example, if you chose the word “honor” you might want to include “honorable.” If you select “righteousness,” you might want to include “righteous.”
3. For this method, we will not be compiling a list of questions. Instead, we will be looking at each verse to see what that verse tells us about that word.
4. Using your Strong’s, find a definition for your word and look at each verse that contains your word. Sometimes you may want to look at surrounding verses.
5. After each verse, list your observations and any insights the Lord gives you about the verse and the word.
6. Go to the next verse and do the same. Continue until you have exhausted the list or until you feel you have looked at enough verses to gain a good understanding.
7. Note, if your list is too long, you might want to concentrate on a book, the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Gospels.
8. From verse to verse, you will be looking for ideas that repeat themselves, for contrasting ideas, and for new understanding.
9. From time to time, write down a short summary of what you have learned. As the study continues, continue adding to this summary.
10. Finally, based upon your summary, what are you going to do with this new understanding? How are you going to make this word a part of your life (like “obedience”), or how are you going to avoid it (like “anger”)?
Word Study Method
The first time I used this method, my pastor told me to do a study over the word “fool”. As a new Christian, he thought this study would help me. At first, I wondered if he was calling me a fool. However, as I studied the word, I realized that my view of a fool was not the same as God’s. This study truly opened my eyes, so we will use the same word as our practice word. Also, for this study, we are going to look mainly in Proverbs
Strong’s definition for “fool” = foolish, a stupid person, a dullard, an arrogant person, one who despises wisdom
I have listed a couple of verses and my observations.
a. Fool is led away with persuasive words
b. Either can’t see the truth or chooses to ignore it
c. A fool listens when he should not
d. He is led away and is not able to see the trap being set before him
e. Fool knows God, but he listens to other people
b. This verse uses a comparison. It shows two people who are alike.
c. He who conceals hatred is a liar.
d. Why? Because God knows what is in our hearts. We can’t cover it up
e. In the same way, someone who spreads slander is a fool.
f. Why? Because God knows what we say and it will be found out.
g. Slander and lying hurt people in many ways.
h. A fool does not see that or does not care.
i. A fool believes he can say what he wants and nothing will happen to him
j. Verse 19 again tells us that a wise person holds his tongue while a fool lets it run loose.
a. Sport = laughter (in meriment or defiance):—derision, laughter (-ed to scorn, -ing), mocked, sport.
b. Fool = properly fat, that is, (figuratively) stupid or silly:—fool (-ish).
c. Mischief = a plan, especially a bad one:—heinous crime, lewd (-ly, -ness), mischief, purpose, thought, wicked (device, mind, -ness).
d. In other words, a fool is a stupid person who finds delight and enjoyment in bad, wicked plans
e. A fool thinks stealing a car and joyriding around is fun
f. A fool has no understanding in that he can’t see anything wrong with enjoying other people’s misery
g. i.e. Saddam Hussein, Hitler