How to do a Bible Outline!
For this one, you’ll need to actually open your Bible. I’m not giving you the text to look at mwahahahaha!!!!!
Or if you use Wordsearch like I do, and you’re signed into www.MyWsb.com, you can just look it up there. They’re trying to synchronize it so that many of the titles they offer for sale are available online. If you own them and sign in with your Wordsearch user name and password, it will have all your user books. And if you backup to the “cloud” occaisionally, you will have access to your own user notes and etc.
Ok, get your Bible open. Pick a book. Not Romans. Why?
Romans is… complicated, structure wise. Paul LITERALLY carries a single thought for four chapters. You almost need to lay it out on a chalk board, with looping arrows to point back to where THIS thought comes from and where THAT thought connects. Sure, do Romans – but not for your first book outline!
It was my first book outline, and when I tried other books, I was thinking, “Wow, these are easier!”
The “middle epistles” of Paul are a good choice – they usually are 4 to 6 chapters.
So, how do you do it? You can do this on scrap paper, a notebook, use the notebook or word processor function in Wordsearch, etc.
Read the book (“Do I have to?”). EAch epistle has an introduction, usually 2-4 verses. That’s the first thing you write down, like this…
Now, read until the subject changes, ever so slightly. Write down a synopsis of that. (Outlines like this are very important for helping you to see the structure of the book – if you see the structure, it helps you to understand the context).
1:3-8 Greeting and thanksgiving
1:9-11 Prayer for salvation, safety and sanctification for the Colossians.
it’s up to you to break up 12-28. It’s not one big section, even though its a run-on thought. There’s a LOT in Colossians 1, serious meat to mull over.
Since we’re doing this as a Bible study, and not just an exercise, here’s a handy trick. Look for Contrastive Thought.
Like, verse 13. Did you spot it before I mentioned them? Good job!
Contrastive Thought is Condition A = CONTRASTED AGAINST = Condition B.
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:13 (KJV)
Power of Darkness = DELIVERED US, TRANSLATED US INTO = kingdom of His dear Son.
recognizing Contrastive Thought (sadly, not taught in every seminary!) is vitally important. So important, I’ll say it once and for all, knocked the Evangelicalism out of me forever, leaving me firmly a Fundamentalist.
How important is Colossians 1? Did you notice verse 16??? Cults try to de-emphasize verse 16 by trying to pin your attention to verse 15.
15 Who is the image of the invisible G od, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: Colossians 1:15-16 (KJV)
Firstborn. They try to pin everything on that and shout, “See? Christ is a created being?”
THey are ignorant of Jewish culture and of Greek. πρωτοτοκος Prototokos (protow tak-oss) means firstborn IN THE SENSE OF THE HEIR. Can you get that in English? YEah, if you’re using the next two tools…
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, Matthew 19:4 (KJV)
The Lord here uses a tool called the Tool of First Reference. The King James Bible is its own dictionary, if you use it in this sense. The first use of a word in context usually determines the meaning of that word everywhere else in the Bible.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (KJV)
Comparing Scripture with Scripture!
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, Genesis 10:15 (KJV)
Sidon here inherits the bulk of the estate of Canaan. Heth is left to carve out his own empire – and oh boy does he ever! with the lesser part of the estate.
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. Genesis 27:19 (KJV)
33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. Genesis 43:33 (K JV)
So the Bible is making a praise of Jesus Christ, and not claiming that he is created.
Getting back to verse 16 – it makes a deliberate claim to the deity of Jesus Christ (which, incidentally, also refutes the JW interpretation of verse 15) by explaining he created everything for His own purpose.
Jesus Christ is God.
Colossians 1:15-16(TMSG) 15We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. 16For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.
Obviously, a modern mis-translation like The Message totally obscures the awesomeness of how it is actually written!
First and foremost, your most important tool for understanding the Bible is… the King James Bible.