Study the Bible Like a Textbook for Women
Study the Bible Like a Textbook for Women
As Christian women, most of us are quite familiar with “Women’s Studies”. We learn about the woman in Proverbs 31; about Sarah and Mary; about being a wife and mother. Having those studies, written by others, is a great blessing, but even greater is your own ability to study those things for yourself. You not only need to study those topics, but you also need to be able to discern the truth by exercising your own study skills (Heb. 5:14; 1 Jn. 4:1). This is why it is helpful to know how to study the Bible like a textbook for women.
In “You Need to Know How to Study the Bible Like a Textbook” I talked about using a means of marking your Bible to make topics and threads more distinctive. This Bible Marking system and a video to explain its use are two of many freebies I share with those who join The Diligent Woman email list. We also utilize the system in The Diligent Woman Facebook group in conjunction with the studies we do there. (Studies like the Scripture Writing Plans or the Sword & Shield Bible Study in Ephesians) Let’s look at how to use that marking guide along with studying a specific topic that applies to women.
The Tools You Need for the Bible Marking System
The tools I like to use for marking my Bible are these highlighters and these pens. I like both of these sets because they come with the color inks I need for the Bible Marking Guide system. I also have used these pens and like them equally well. The yellow ink pens are pretty light to write with, so I will use the light brown in place of yellow for notations that go with that color of the system. The Bibles that I am using the most are this interleaved version and this wide margin study Bible. I love having plenty of room to make notes!
It’s really very simple to study in this way, the complexity comes in because of all the glorious information you will glean. A good idea is to have a notebook that is used just for one topic.
Start to study like it is a textbook for women.
You can begin in one of two ways:
1. Start at the beginning.
In Genesis you begin reading: when you come to a passage that deals with women or topics for women, you highlight that passage in Pink. In the Bible Marking Guide Pink is used for “Family, Friendship, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Women”. When you get Genesis 1:27-31 you have the first mention of God creating woman. So you highlight these verses in pink. I tend to highlight the whole section and then use my pink pen to note the keyword in the margin or to underline it. Continue to move forward through Genesis and decide which contexts pertain to the topic you are studying.
As you use the system you will find that you have to make some decisions. Genesis 1:27 I would actually highlight in Purple because it is telling an action of GOD. Then I would note “male” and “female” in the margin with my pink pen. Someone else might highlight it all in Pink and underline verse 27 in Purple pen to indicate that it is about women, but it also tells us something about GOD. This is what makes your study go deeper. YOU are thinking about it. YOU are marking it. No one is telling you what to mark or what to note. The next time you open to that scripture, your markings will stand out to you in a way that you will readily recognize.
2. Do a word study.
This one takes a little more time to get started, because you have to do the search for all of the verses that contain your given word, in this case “women” and any corresponding words like woman, female, wife, daughter, mother, sister, and widow.
Strong’s is the concordance that I trust the most, and I do prefer using a REAL book. It is much faster to print off a list of verses though from a digital version. I use sites like Blue Letter Bible or Bible Gateway. On my computer, I use the Online Bible software because of its price tag and ease of use.
You would do a search, I suggest choosing one word at a time, and then go through the given list highlighting those verses in Pink. Again, you’re going to make decisions with each verse. Just because the word “woman” is in a verse, you may decide that the teaching is not specifically related to the topics under the Pink label. Exodus 21:28 discusses an ox goring a man or a woman: the subject matter is not related to what a woman is to do as a WOMAN. Rather, it is a verse talking about handling disputes when one person’s property does damage to another person. The topic is really the behavior of the ox. So the verse will fall under the topic of “instruction”. But as you make those evaluations, ever so subtly you are taking more and more teaching into your consciousness. You are picking up on nuances and intentions that God put into every teaching in scripture.
Making notes in the margin with your Pink pen also helps to highlight areas you are studying deeper. In Genesis 4:1-2 and 25, I will highlight those verses in Pink because of Eve and the relationships indicated. But I will also note, in Pink, what she named the boys in the margin of my Bible. Then I will use Strong’s to look up what those names mean, and note the meaning next to their names. Very often names mean things in Scripture, in that the name’s meaning brings something to the story of those God is telling us about. Think of Abram having his name changed to Abraham to signify the coming fulfillment of the promises God made with him.
Start to use your Bible like a textbook. Do not just think of it as a generic textbook for “life”. Look at it as a “textbook for women”. In future posts we will talk about studying this textbook is other ways and about other topics. It’s not a one-dimensional textbook. This book delves deep into every subject that we need to know anything about for “life and godliness” (1 Pet. 1:3 (NASB). Own it as though it has an inscription that says, “I wrote this just for you. – Love, Your heavenly Father”.