Today’s post is written by Gary H. Everett, author of Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. Gary received his MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate. He has served as a missionary in Kampala, Uganda, pastored, and taught in Bible colleges.
A Unique Approach to Bible Study
Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures is designed to guide readers into the biblical text using proposed thematic schemes that follow the redemptive structure of the Holy Bible. This way, readers know what a passage of Scripture is saying in respect to the overall theme, or message, of that particular book. These thematic schemes serve as a key unlocking the meaning of the Scriptures in a magnificent way. An accumulation of 30 years of Bible study, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures is a 7,981-page* resource especially designed to aid the preacher and teacher by helping them navigate through a sermon/teaching series so that there is a cohesive unity throughout a series of messages on a book of the Bible, guiding the listeners along a spiritual journey with a clearly defined destination, transforming each person to become more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Identify the Central Theme of the Text
Every week a preacher wrestles with the central idea of the text. Sometimes he identifies it, and sometimes he is sidetracked by a secondary theme of interest. There is never-ending effort to identify the theme and preach the text correctly, and commentaries and other reference books offer little assistance in this area. I believe that the themes of each book of the Holy Bible can be established by following a procedure called composition criticism. Composition criticism is a relatively new and undeveloped field of biblical criticism. Historical-grammatical studies, textual criticism, and various forms of higher criticism have been used by scholars and pastors for centuries, but none of these has successfully “extracted” recognizable themes from each book of the Bible. Composition criticism has been of tremendous value in my efforts to identify biblical themes.
Amazingly, as one identifies and compares the themes of each biblical book, it becomes clear that the Bible is intricately woven into harmonious unity. We conclude that the themes and arrangements of these books were orchestrated by God Himself guiding approximately forty authors over 1,600 years of its writing and composition.
Don’t get bogged down in minutia before you grasp the big picture; let Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures help you follow the arc of the biblical story by helping you identify its themes.