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Welcome To Eagleflight.org

Thanks for stopping by! If this is your first visit, get to know Eagleflight.org by reading the latest posts or perusing the seminar that gave us the name. You can also search for training and resources by topic.

Why Eagleflight?

Learn how eagles reflect our spiritual journey...
With Eagle's Wings    |    Fly, Eagle, Fly

How to Do a Topical Study

How to Do A Topical Study will help you to do a thorough study and will make it less likely that a verse or verses are taken out of context and misapplied. The cults are notorious for taking Scriptures out of context and coming to bizarre interpretations based on their preconceived idea of what they want the passage to say. This process will help you to avoid that potential.

A. FIRST, IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT.

 

1. Name the subject of study in contemporary terms.
2. Name the biblical equivalent.
a. Contemporary example: stressed out, uptight
b. Biblical terms: anxious, worry, fret, anxiety, heavy laden, burdened

 

3. List biblical synonyms/complementary subjects.
a. Fear, cares, burdens
b. Salvation, born again, redemption

 

4. List antonyms/words just the opposite of your subject. For example, the antonym of anxiety would be peace or contentment.
5. Choose from the above list the key words you will concentrate on in this study. Try to narrow down your subject so you can handle it. For instance, "The Love of God" is too broad, but "The Love of Neighbors" can be handled in one study.

 

B. SECOND, GET DEFINITION OF THE KEY WORD(S). The word that is central to your subject.

 

1. Use English Dictionary
2. Use biblical language tools if available, e.g., Vines
3. Use also the context of references in step three to define the word.

 

a. Observe the setting of the words. Does it help you to understand the word? Is the word compared or contrasted? Is the word illustrated in the context?
b. Observe the use of the same word in other places in the same book. Does the author use the word differently?
C. THIRD, LIST ALL REFERENCES WHERE KEY WORDS AND SYNONYMS ARE MENTIONED.

 

1. Use Topical Bible, e.g., Naves, Zondervan's New Compact

 

2. Use Exhaustive Concordance
Note: use Exhaustive Concordance, so that you can know which references use the same Greek word.

 

a. List the key words from the Old and New Testaments
b. List the key similes
D. FOURTH, READ THROUGH ALL REFERENCES.

 

1. The guidelines:

 

a. Notice what is before and after each passage.
1) Remember that each Scripture you have listed has a context in which it is found. What's before and after your key word?
2) Remember this: TOPICAL STUDIES ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT KINDS OF STUDIES TO DO, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF EACH REFERENCE YOU USE.

 

b. Read carefully and with feeling.
c. Remember as you read this passage that it was originally written with a particular audience in mind. Therefore, before you draw any conclusions, seek to understand the passage you are studying in the light of the original hearers

 

2. The things to look for:

 

a. Warnings?
b. Promises?
c. Commands?
d. Advice?
e. Conditions?
f. Examples, illustrations?
g. Lists, series, or progression?

 

E. FIFTH, SUMMARIZE THE CONTEXT OF EACH PASSAGE OR VERSE IN A PHRASE OR SENTENCE.

 

EXAMPLE

Subject: Anxiety/Fretting

Phil. 4:4--Is controlled in an environment of praise.

Phil. 4:5--Gentleness needs to be developed and expressed in relationships.

Phil. 4:5b--Awareness of the Lord's presence is needed.

Phil. 4:6--Is relieved through prayer, petition and thanksgiving.

Phil. 4:8--Right thinking and obedience brings peace.

I Pet. 5:7--Cast anxiety on God because He cares for us.

I Pet. 5:6--Humility is the precondition for the full reception of God's care and the relief for anxiety.

Psalm 37--Positive steps to overcome worry and fretting.

Psalm 37:8--Fretting leads to sin.

 

F. SIXTH, LIST QUESTIONS YOUR OUTLINE ANSWERS.
A summary of the questions Subject: the Fear of God
1. What does the fear of God reveal about a person?--Prov. 1:7
2. How do we know if we have a healthy fear of God?--Prov. 8:13
3. How do we gain the awe?--Prov. 9:10
4. What are the benefits of the fear of God?--Prov. 14:26-27; 31:30; 22:4; 16:16; 19:23; 25:14

 

G. SEVENTH, OUTLINE AND SUMMARIZE YOUR FINDINGS.

 

1. Make a simple outline of the observations of the subject.
a. Combine observations that are similar.
b. Lay aside those that do not apply.

 

2. Write a summary of your summaries.

 

a. A summary outline Subject: the Fear of God
1) The relationship between wisdom and the fear of God--Prov. 1:7
2) The evidence of a healthy fear of God--Prov. 8:13
3) The acquisition of the fear of God--Prov. 9:10
4) The benefits of the fear of God
a) There will be security for you and your family--Prov. 14:26-27.
b) There will be honor for the man and woman who fears God-- Prov. 31:30; 22:4.
c) There will be an avoidance of evil--Prov. 16:6.
d) There will be true life and contentment--Prov. 19:33.
e) The Lord will confide in those who fear Him--Ps. 25:4.

 

b. A summary statement: A person begins a walk of wisdom when he or she develops a healthy fear of God. The fear of God will express itself by hatred of evil and sin. The awe of God is also expanded and developed by acquiring a greater knowledge of God. The benefits will be profound. Security, honor, avoidance of evil, true life, contentment and a special communication with God awaits a person who develops a fear of God.

 

H. EIGHTH, FIND AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE SUBJECT.
Take from the following:
1. Modern day
2. Reading
3. Personal life
4. Biblical characters, e.g., David

 

I. NINTH, RECORD PROBLEMS--THINGS THAT MIGHT ANGER, CHALLENGE, OR MAKE IT HARD FOR OTHERS/YOURSELF TO HEAR AND APPLY THIS STUDY.

 

1. Don't compromise the truth, just be aware of the roadblocks to its application. What are the excuses, sins, emotions that keep yourself and others from applying the truth of your study?
2. This step also alerts you to the necessity to be prayerful when applying this teaching.
3. This step allows you time to pray about the proper time, tact and setting to share this with others.

 

J. TENTH, FORM PRINCIPLES THAT CAPSULIZE THE IMPORTANT POINTS FROM YOUR STUDY, e.g., "God shares His secrets with those who fear Him."
K. ELEVENTH, APPLY THE WORD OR SUBJECT.
1. How does this apply to our day, e.g., government politics, economics, business, education, values, goals of society?
2. What is the social application?
3. How do we apply what the author said to our own personalities, needs, families, etc.? "What am I going to do about what I have learned"?

 

L. TWELFTH, FORMULATE A FINAL OUTLINE OR SUMMARY, THAT INCLUDES ALL THE ABOVE INFORMATION.