How to Find Out What God Thinks About Anything

Necessary Materials

If you have a Bible, a dictionary (preferably Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language), a notebook, pen, and a bit of time and patience, then you have all you need to know the Lord's thoughts on practically any subject.

Read on to learn how to employ these simple tools to study those ideas and concepts that have had you puzzled!

Identify What You Want to Study

First, identify a subject you would like to know more about. You can take a broad topic, such as faith, love, grace, mercy, or hope, or you can choose a narrower i.e, more specific subject, such as marriage, music, or wealth. Decide what concept or idea you would most like to learn about in depth. For the purpose of this "how to" illustration, I am going to study the word, rage.

Look Up Your Word in the Dictionary

Take your word and look it up in Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. Choose the definition that most closely approximates the aspect of the word you wish to study. Use whichever definitions seem appropriate to your interest, be they nouns, verbs or adjectives. (This is your study!) Write the word and its definition(s) in your notebook.

For rage, the Webster's 1828 Dictionary has this definition for the noun: "Violent anger accompanied with furious words, gestures or agitation; anger excited to fury. Passion sometimes rises to rage." In my notebook, I wrote what seemed relevant to me: "Violent anger excited to fury." For the verb, rage, Webster's had this: "To be furious with anger; to be exasperated to fury; to be violently agitated with passion." I wrote this entire definition in my notebook as it all seemed entirely relevant.

Underline Words in Definition With Meaning

Next, in your notebook, underline the nouns and verbs in the definition(s) you recorded. For rage, I underlined: violent, anger, excited, fury, furious, exasperated, agitated, passion.

Look Up Relevant Definition Words in a Concordance

Now, take each of the above words,‭ ‬and, one by one, look them up in a concordance,‭ ‬which is a book that lists every word in the Bible,‭ ‬and every incidence of that word,‭ ‬as well as references to the Hebrew and Greek words from which it was translated,‭ ‬(should you choose to take your study that far).‭ ‬The most widely known and used concordance in the world is the King James Version of Strong's Concordance.

Find Concordance Specified Verses in the Bible

Look up each of your underlined words in the concordance, and read those verses in the Bible, recording the ones that seem relevant to you in your notebook. You need to use a version of the Bible that matches your concordance to locate the Scripture references, but once you have done so, you can then read them in any version of the Bible you prefer. Looking up the first of my underlined words, violent, gave me ten references in Strong's, 2 Sam. 2:49, Psalm 7:16, Psalm 18:48, etc. I can now read these, meditate upon them, and copy the ones that seem the most significant to me in my notebook. From there, I can go to my next underlined word, and do the same.

Identify Scripture Keywords

After looking up all of your underlined words, take a look at the Scriptures you copied as being the most meaningful to the heart of your study. What are the key words in those Scriptures? Take those words, now, underline them, and look them up in the Webster's 1828 dictionary. Essentially, you now start all over, only you are a layer deeper into the significance and sense of the word.

Gradually, the depth of meaning from God's word as regards the topic you chose will be imparted to you.

This is a method of Bible study is deceptively simple. Don't be surprised if you yourself engrossed in a study that goes on for years.

May you be blessed in your quest for knowledge!

Links

Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, Online and Searchable: http://1828.mshaffer.com/

Strong's Concordance With Hebrew and Greek Lexicon: http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html

Holy Bible, online, searchable, in more than 100 versions: http://www.biblegateway.com/


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Comments 9 comments

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

This is very good.. thank you for writing this... The bible is the best source of learning what God thinks and teaching us how to live and act. And it's His loves letters to us.. Wonderful Hub

Voted up

Debbie


thost profile image

thost 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

I’m glad I read this Hub, sometimes I feel there’s something wrong.

Anger and pain surface because I do not understand, here is a simple guide. Thank you for a great Hub. Vote up.


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US Author

Thost ... thank you for your kind words!!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

This is similar to the way I study scripture or a subject in depth in the Bible. I was wondering what the best available dictionary would be for this, I specifically bought the oldest Webster's I could find, it goes back to last copyright 1971 based on a 1966 revision I believe. It's pretty good, but I figure an older one will have less revisions that depart from definitions that align with words in the Bible.

I love to check the original Greek and Hebrew words and then also the root meanings as far back as I can go. I wish I understood how to use all of the concordance for a complete understanding, but what I can learn has really opened my eyes.

This hub is simply right on - you don't need anyone to explain the Bible or teach you the in-depth stuff. If you have these tools you can dig in deep yourself.

Thanks for those indispensable links, they will serve me well until I can find an 1828 copy of the dictionary!


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US Author

Bless your heart ... thank you for your kind comments. I was thinking on Sunday that I want to start looking back at the Greek and Hebrew ... our pastor always sparks my interest by saying what words really meant. Three of my four children took Greek in homeschool, so I should be able to get a tutor for free ... if they remember any of it, lol. http://www.amazon.com/American-Dictionary-English-... is the 1828 copy that I use ... it is just the most marvelous dictionary. It is fun to see how the meaning of some words have changed over time, many have been deliberately distorted, or so it seems to me. Enjoy your studies, and thanks for your feedback!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Thanks so much for that link, I am going to save up for that - 70 dollars is definitely worth it.

I took note of what you said about deliberate distortion in the dictionary. I wholeheartedly agree and I wrote a hub having to do with that and the true meaning of charity in the Bible, I think you may like it. Please don't feel obligated to read it, but here is the link if you do: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Real-M...

Wow, your kids learned Greek? Now that's an education!


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US Author

I will read your article ... was talking just this past week with one of my children about the meaning of charity, and how I liked it when 1 Corinthians 1 is read with "charity" vs. "love".


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Charity is a much more beautiful word, in our day we overuse love because it generally covers everything. I love the older languages.


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US Author

I totally agree!

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