METHOD OF BIBLE STUDY
Method 11 - Book Synthesis
Method Of Bible Study
In the Book Synthesis Method of Bible study, we will summarize and condense the lessons learned previously. The word synthesis indicates the putting together of the discrete items that together compose a whole; thus in the Book Synthesis Method of Bible study, we will put back together the details we extracted from the book through our previous two studies.
The Book Synthesis Method of Bible study is the last of three methods of Bible study that, together, will give you an extremely comprehensive view of each book of the Bible. These three methods will require the greatest effort on your part but will ultimately yield the best results. Each of the three emphasizes a different aspect of one overall process of study:
Survey (Method 9 - Book Survey Method) - obtain a detailed overview of a particular book of the Bible.
Analysis (Method 10 - Chapter Analysis Method) - study each chapter of the book in great detail.
Synthesis (Method 11 - Book Synthesis Method) - take what you learned in the previous two study stages and put it all back together, drawing conclusions as you go and gaining an appreciation of the whole of the book.
11.1 - Tools
11.1.1 - Bible and several additional modern translations
11.1.2 - Bible dictionary and/or Bible encyclopedia
11.1.3 - Bible handbooks, such as Unger's or Halley's
11.1.4 - Old and New Testament surveys
11.1.5 - Cultural contextualization tools
11.2 - Hints
11.3 - Steps
Step 1 - Reread the book several times in the same manner as you did in the Book Survey method.
Step 2 - Write out a detailed, final, outline using the preliminary outline from your Book Survey and the passage summaries from your Chapter Analysis. These, when coupled with your current readings, will allow you to put this outline in its final form.
Step 3 - Write down a descriptive book title using the same methods by which you gave titles to each section in your Chapter Analysis. The title should be original and define the contents of the book in as few words as possible.
Step 4 - Make a summary of your insights. You will here summarize the major and minor themes as well as the conclusions of the book as you discovered them in the previous two studies. Avoid commentaries for the moment as you are attempting to arrive at your own understanding of the Bible. Feel free to add new ideas you have discovered during the readings in step one.
Step 5 - Write out a personal application. Review all applications listed in your Book Survey and Chapter Analysis studies, noting any which you have not yet completed and making definite plans to complete them in the near future if not immediately. If all are complete select other potential applications and make plans to implement these in your life as soon as possible.
Step 6 - Share the results of your study with others. The Christian faith is unique in that each of us is individually saved through Christ Jesus, yet our carrying out of that faith is best done in a community of believers. Time and again we as Christians are referred to in the New Testament as the Body of Christ and we are encouraged to build each other up in the faith:
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:11-16)
One of the ways in which the building up other Christians takes place is to share with them what you have learned of God, be it through Bible studies such as this or illuminations from the Holy Spirit.
Chart for the Book Synthesis Method of Bible study
Number of Times Read:
2. Detailed Final Outline:
3. Descriptive Title:
4. Summary of Insights:
5. Personal Application:
6. People with Whom to Share this Study: