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Introduction

Welcome to How to Study the Bible with Word Studies. I’m your instructor, Johnny Cisneros. Thank you so much for enrolling in the course. I’m so glad you’re here! Where do we start? A word study is just exploring what a word means. I’ll expand on that definition in the next video, but for now, let’s talk about the value of word studies.

The Value of Word Studies

There are many ways to study the Bible, so why word studies? I would say there are two reasons why word studies are helpful for studying the Bible.

Word Studies Provide an Alternative Approach to Bible Study

First, it’s an alternative approach. I imagine many of us have tried to read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation with a yearly devotional plan. Have you ever felt like your eyes were just moving across the page? You’re reading, but you’re necessarily going any deeper. Word studies allow you to zero in on key words that interest or that you don’t understand, as you read through the Bible.

Word Studies Provide Insights Quickly

Second, word studies can give you those insights, those nuggets that makes you say: “Wow. I never saw that before.”

Look at these two verses:

  • John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (ESV).
  • 1 John 2:15: ”Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (ESV).

So, on one hand, God loves the world, but on the other hand, no one is supposed to love the world? How does that make sense? These verses seem to contradicts each other. What does the word “world” actually mean in these verses?

Now, maybe you’ve already used word study tools like Strong’s Dictionary and Strong’s Numbers. Maybe you already know that the Greek word for “world” is “kosmos” and that the Strong’s Number is G2889. And maybe you’ve already seen the Strong’s definition: “orderly arrangement.” Problem is, the same Greek word and the same Strong’s Number are used in both verses. And using “orderly arrangement” doesn’t clarify things either.

But when you learn how to study the Bible with word studies, you can to figure out the meaning of a word not only through tools, but through your own observations also.

You need the tools, but you also need the tactics.

First, let’s look at 1 John 2:15 and look at the other words around “world.” Look at the next verse, verse 16: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (ESV). See, the next verse explains what’s meant by “world.” It’s not just the physical creation; it’s the desires and the actions that are run contrary to God.

What about John 3:16? Let’s add some context with the verse after. You can see some of the words used here: “whoever” which refers to people. And actions words like: “believe”, “perish”, and “have” words that are tied to “whoever.” So, it’s not ungodly desires and actions that are in view, but people, and more specifically, people who are estranged from God.

So, the same word in English, even the same word in Greek, but used differently with different words for a different meaning. When you look at the verses in isolation they seem to contradiction each other, but when you look at the context, you can there’s actually no contradiction. That’s just a quick preview of what you’ll going to learn to do.

The Structure of the Course

But let’s talk more course a little more. This course is about helping you develop the knowledge and the skills to study the Bible with word studies. And here’s how we’re going to do that.

This course has four sections. First, you’ll learn the foundational ideas: what is a word study? How does languages work to communicate meaning? It’s important we all start with the same information. Then, you’ll learn about the 5 best tools for word studies—how to access them for free, and how you can use them in practice. Next, you’ll learn about the three (3) most common mistakes. How to recognize them and how to avoid them. And then finally, I’ll walk you through a word study from start to finish, with a simple, five-step process.

Before we jump into the next section, let me pray.

A Prayer

Father, we are grateful to belong to you. We thank you that you welcome us into Your presence. And we recognize that’s because of Christ’s work that we are yours. We that the knowledge and skills we gain through this course would help us to study your Word and to know you truly and deeply. We pray that as we learn, we would express more of your likeness through faith, hope, and love. May others experience your grace and kindness through us we pray, and for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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