In the workshops I facilitate, I encourage the men to follow a process in Bible study. Broadly that process has three steps.
- Survey, do an overview of, the book
- Study the parts
- Summary, put the parts back together
Or we move from the whole, to the parts, and back to the whole.
Why follow this process?
Safeguarding Your Study
If I start studying Titus, and just dive in at Titus 1:1 and start working verse by verse, I do not yet know what Paul is trying to communicate to Titus. I do not understand the flow or purpose of the book. Without surveying the book I will be forced to attempt to understand that flow as I work through the details.
The problem with that is that being so focused on the details I will more than likely miss the threads that are through the book, or if I do see them I may misunderstand their purpose.
Process Promotes Accuracy
Paul exhorts us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to handle the Word accurately. If I study the parts without at least having a working knowledge of the whole, I am more likely to misconstrue something Paul says because I do not have a feel for his purpose, the broader context of the book.
My overview, summary, may not be my final view of the book. In fact in the study of Titus we will finish tomorrow morning, my understanding of the book changed significantly during the verse by verse part, the section, parts, part of the study. That happens a lot. My summary of Titus is much different than my overview.
Try It, You'll Like It
Approaching your study this way will greatly impact your understanding of the text. If you need help getting started with this, let me know. I will help.