As you may know, I am a complete nerd when it comes to the bible. I absolutely love studying God’s word, and especially doing word studies! I’ll just be reading along and a word will just pop out at me and I’ll have to stop and study it out. I’ve gotten some really cool nuggets of truth this way, which really fuels my passion to keep digging.
Even those familiar words are important to study out because individual words are key to unlocking the deeper meaning and significance of the text. What they mean to us in English may not be the same as the Hebrew or Greek that they were originally written in. For example, the word “sober” for us in the 21st century means-not drunk, but the word “sober” in the bible means- to be in your right mind, exercising self control, and moderate as to opinion and passions. When we infer our own understanding on the text, we come up with a different interpretation and application than God intended. This is why it’s so important to actually study the bible instead of just reading it.
Be on the lookout for my e-book on How to Study the Bible- coming soon!
Here are 10 simple steps to doing a word study:
- Decide on a word.
- Define the word in a dictionary, writing down synonyms and antonyms.
- Look up the word in a bible study app like E-sword or Blue Letter Bible .
- Click on the word and choose Interlinear/concordance.
- Then tap on the specific word for the Hebrew(OT)/Greek(NT) definition and usage.
- Write down the scripture references and look them up.
- Read the context of the verse within the chapter and book.
- Compare scripture with scripture for a full understanding.
- Write out the biblical definition based on your study.
- Pray for God to reveal the doctrine, and the application. Ask him “What does this mean?”
The last word study I did was on “coat(s)”. While it’s an item of clothing to us, there is a deeper meaning behind this ordinary word.
Some of the coats mentioned in the bible:
- God made coats of skins and clothed Adam and Eve. (Gen. 3:21)
- Jacob made a coat of many colors for Joseph. (Gen. 37:3)
- Moses put coats of fine linen on Aaron and his sons for their service in the tabernacle as priests.(Lev.8:13)
- Nadab and Abihu got burned alive and carried out of the camp in their coats after offering strange fire in the tabernacle. (Lev.10:5)
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo were bound in their coats and thrown in the fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan.3:21)
What can we learn by looking up these verses and comparing scripture with scripture?
- The coats of skin that God made for Adam and Eve were a covering. It represents God covering our sin by a bloody sacrifice, pointing us to Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
- Jacob’s coat for Joseph shows his favoritism for his beloved son, pointing to the Father’s love for his “beloved Son in whom he is well pleased.” The many colors of his coat may represent the many colors of skin that Jesus redeems.
- Moses’ coats for the priests as they served and sacrificed in the tabernacle are called “holy linen coats” in Leviticus 16:4. They point us to the fine linen Jesus was wrapped in after his death, and to the fine linen of the saints in New Jerusalem, called the “righteousness of the saints”, and is the believers new heavenly attire.(Rev. 18:16, 19:8,14)
- Nadab and Abihu point us to the future fiery judgment the lost face as they pretend to be believers, wearing the Christian garb, serving in churches and communities, preaching in pulpits without reverencing the holiness and Lordship of Christ.
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo’s coats could represent the covering of faith, righteousness, and redemption. They had faith that God would deliver them. He loosed them from their bounds and walked with them in the midst of their fiery trial. He delivered them without a singed hair or a hint of smoke. This points to the believers coat of faith that delivers us from the fiery trials of life.
More than just outerwear, a coat in the word of God represents God’s covering, our faith, righteousness, and redemption. I’m so thankful for my gracious God who removed my coat of sin and replaced it with his righteousness, allowing me entrance into glory where I will join ten thousands upon ten thousands clothed in fine linen, white and clean, in worship and praise to our mighty King.
You can discover tasty tidbits like that as well, just follow the 10 simple steps, and enjoy your studying!
~2Timothy 2:15~Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.