I recently discovered that Dwight Moody taught his students an overall view of the Bible by having them examine each Bible book in the following manner: He had the students summarize by memory a key word from each chapter. Moody then said, “We will each learn the verse in it that is most precious to us.” They would then discuss in chapel the main theme from each chapter of a book from the Bible.
Moody and the students went through the Bible in this manner and memorized a verse or two from each chapter. Moody gave an example from the Gospel of John.
The Gospel of John – Key Word – Highlighted Scripture
John 1 – Key Word: Receiving
John 1:11-12 He came to His own, and those who were His own didn’t receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in His name.
John 2 – Key Word: Obedience
John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
John 3 – Key Word: Believing
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 4 – Key Word: Worshipping
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 5 – Key Word: Healing
John 5:24 Most certainly I tell you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 6 – Key Word: Eating
John 6:51 I am the Living Bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.
John 7 – Key Word: Drinking
John 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!
John 8 – Key Word: Walking in the Light
John 8:12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 9 – Key Word: Testifying
John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.
John 10 – Key Word: Safety
John 10:11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
John 11 – Key Word: Resurrection
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will still live, even if he dies.”
John 12 – Key Word: Salvation of the World
John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.”
John 13 – Key Word: Teaching
John 13:34-35 [Jesus said] “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 14 – Key Word: Peace and Comfort
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO one comes to the Father, except through Me.”
John 15 – Key Word: Joy
John 15:5 [Jesus said] “I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in Me and I in Him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 16 – Key Word: Power
John 16:33 [Jesus answered] “I have told you these things, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.”
John 17 – Key Word: Separation
John 17:15 [Jesus prayed] “I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one.”
John 18 – Key Word: In Control
John 18:6 When therefore He said to them, “I am He,” they went backward, and fell to the ground.
John 19 – Key Word: Death
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
John 20 – Key Word: Resurrection
John 20:30-31 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 21 – Key Word: Ascension
John 21:24-25 This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that His witness is true. There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn’t have room for the books that would be written.
I found Moody’s method illuminating. I wish I had known of this method many years ago. I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t I learn this in college?” “How come no one told me about this in Church?” “How have I never heard of this method before?” This would have been so helpful!
Once I learned of it, I had to share it with you. I hope it excites you as much as it excites me. Though I wish I had learned of this method many years ago, I am thankful to have learned about it now.
Lord, we thank You for the opportunity to study Your Word. Lord, You say if anyone lacks wisdom to ask You for it; so we humble ourselves before You, asking for You to lead us in Your Word, teach us by Your Spirit, guide us in Your Truth with a spirit of wisdom and understanding.
We want to sit at Your feet and learn from You; we want to be renewed and transformed in our spirit, soul and body, so that we might reflect Your heart, Your character, Your kingdom and the fruits of Your Spirit to all those we interact with today.
Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Amen.
Moody, Dwight L. How to Study the Bible. Originally Published in 1895 by Fleming H. Revell Company, Public Domain. [Audio version available from audible with Narrator: Lyle Blaker; May 21, 2018.]
World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.