Way back in the early 1990’s when I was homeschooling our two teenagers through high school, I wanted a way to help them ~ and myself ~ study Scripture in greater depth, in an orderly, organized, uncomplicated way.
So I created two forms, both of which enable us to dig deeper into the Word by dissecting and examining several key words in the verse and definitions. One is the “Word Alive Study” and the other is the “Scripture Verse Study.”
By the end of either study, the meaning of our word or Scripture verse has been blown wide open, having come alive in a totally fresh way.
Both are very eye-opening, and if you allow the Lord to speak to you, not just doing them in an “intellectual” way, they are heart-changing.
One of these forms is called a “Word Alive Study” and the other is a “Scripture Verse Study.” The two have similar components, yet different purposes and results. I will explain both, as well as include free printables of both at the very end. But first, here’s what they are and how to use them…
WORD ALIVE STUDY
For the “Word Alive Study,” you choose a word that you want to study, one that has special significance to you. It could be a word that you feel the Lord has given you. This might be for the coming year, for a season you’re in, or for your life. Some of my favorites are hear, surrender, commune, and redeem ~ the latter being my life verse. The first three were in seasons, and I have written about some of these in the articles that I have linked you to in two of of them. (Plus here are two more on “redeem”: HERE and HERE.)
Or it could be a particular “theme” that’s been springing up in your life. Struggles are often telling, and one of the things they can “tell” us is what God is currently working on in us.
- Like are you finding yourself more frustrated and impatient than usual? … Patience would be a good word.
- Do you tend to feel jealous of certain people? … Jealousy, envy or contented could be your word.
- Do you feel like you lack in order in your day, how you deal with your children, or your eating? … Discipline or self-control.
- Maybe you feel sad or depressed more often than you’d like? … Study joy or rejoice.
Next, here’s a picture of the form for you to refer to as I explain how to use it: (You can’t actually copy and paste this or print it; the free printable given at the end is what you’ll print.)
Decide on your word, and look it up in a dictionary. But I would suggest not just any dictionary. The one I highly recommend is Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. This is an amazing resource! It’s actually Noah Webster’s original work. What they call “Webster’s Dictionary” today is not even close to his original, which included Bible verses and character traits as being part of the definition ~ all of which have been omitted in today’s versions. Webster would roll over in his grave if he saw a modern version in which the heart of his work has been extracted. I bet he would insist his name be removed from the title. (I am not kidding or exaggerating!) Take a look at one definition, and you’ll see what I mean…
Go to the main page of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and type “house” into the box at the very top. Look at all the definitions that have Scriptures in them!
Now go to the definition of house in the modern Merriam-Webster Dictionary… Do you see even one Bible verse there?
So back to the Word Alive Study… You will still get plenty out of this study even if you use a modern dictionary because of how merely defining words opens up scripture!
Go back to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and type your word into the box at the top. Let’s use integrity.
There are always multiple definitions, and here’s what to do with them.
First, I don’t use any of their examples as part of my definition. I colored the examples grey below to show you what I mean…
INTEG’RITY, noun [Latin integritas, from integer.]
1. Wholeness; entireness; unbroken state. The constitution of the U.States guaranties to each state the integrity of its territories. The contracting parties guarantied the integrity of the empire.
2. The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. integrity comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others.
The moral grandeur of independent integrity is the sublimest thing in nature, before which the pomp of eastern magnificence and the splendor of conquest are odious as well as perishable.
3. Purity; genuine, unadulterated, unimpaired state; as the integrity of language.
So all the grey words are out.
Next let’s condense the above three definitions:
“Wholeness; unbroken state. The entire unimpaired state of a thing, moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. Genuine, unadulterated.
Comparing this to the definition above, you’ll see that I deleted repeat concepts, removed examples, and did some condensing.
This is the definition that I would enter into the definition line on the form.
In the next section of the form it says: “Seven major words from the definition and their definitions:” So on the top line of each of the seven subsequent line-pairs, I’ll put one of the words in my combined, condensed definition. So I will choose these words ~ the ones in red ~ here:
Wholeness; unbroken state. The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. Genuine, unadulterated.
You can choose any seven words, but those are just the ones I chose.
You can actually omit the “ness” part, if you want, as that is the root word. In fact, I looked up “wholeness” in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, and it’s not even there, so I just used “whole,” which was ample! So now I will look up each of those seven words and put a combined, condensed definition for each of them. Here’s the first definition. (I choose my favorite.)
The entire thing; the entire or total assemblage of parts. (The whole of religion is contained in the short precept, Love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.)
Next I looked up unimpaired. It’s not there, so I deleted that word and went to the next word: soundness:
Firmness; strength; solidity; truth; as soundness of reasoning or argument, of doctrine or principles.
Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; as purity of heart or life.
not marred, impaired or spoiled; not defiled or depraved; pure; sound; untainted; applicable to persons, principles or substances.
Honest; just; adhering to rectitude in all social intercourse; not deviating from correct moral principles
…and last, genuine:
real; natural; true; pure; not spurious, false or adulterated. Vices and crimes are the genuine effects of depravity, as virtue and piety are the genuine fruits of holiness
When I’m done with that, I’ll do what it says in the next section, which is “Now go deeper with four definitions above that stand out to you and write what you feel God is saying to you: [Hint #1: If you do not feel that you are hearing God, just go with whatever you feel excited about, convicted about, or edified or encouraged by. Hint #2: That’s probably hearing God!] (You will probably need to use the other side if hand-writing this.)
So, of these, the four words that stand out to me the most are: untainted, honest, rectitude, unadulterated.
I guarantee that it doesn’t matter what word you choose, you’re going to end up blessed and enriched by it!
Now let’s look at the…
SCRIPTURE VERSE STUDY:
This has similar components to the Word Alive Study above, but you study a verse instead of a word.
Let’s do this verse as an example…
“I send forth my word and it shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
There’s space for 8 major words in the verse, but I found 6 to be enough; there’s no need to delve into words that are insignificant.
Look up each of those six words and put a synopsis (short version) of each of them here. Then, just as we did in the first form, look up the four “best” or “majorest” words in those six definitions. (You do these just as you did for the Word Alive Study, so I’m not putting examples here.)
Last, write any revelations, discoveries, and insights that came to you as you were doing the study.
PRINTABLES OF THE FORMS
There are two versions of each form: One is to print out and hand-write on, for those who like to sit in a cozy chair with a blanket and a fave beverage, and hand-write your thoughts. The other version is to open on your computer and type in. (You can still have a blanket and fave beverage nearby! And if you have a laptop, you can still be in a cozy chair!)
On the do-on-your-computer version, the boxes expand with your typing. The printable versions just have a certain number of lines to write in, but you can certainly use the back! These do-on-your-computer versions are in Word format because you need to be able to type in that one, and PDF’s are non-type-in-able.
Word Alive Study:
To type in on your computer (Word document)
To print out and write in (PDF document)
Scripture Verse Study:
To type in on your computer (Word document)
To print out and write in (PDF document)
I’d love to hear any revelations ~ “heavy revvies” as we used to call them back in the 70′! ~ you get while doing either of these studies!