Many words are used in this text on How to Study the Bible. Some of the words may be new to the reader. This chapter provides a definition of many of the words that the reader needs to know to understand the text.
1) Systematically: The Bible should be studied systematically and not randomly. This doesn’t necessarily mean chronologically. It means more than studying cover-to-cover. It also means more than starting a book and finishing it before going to the next.
Here is the dictionary definition of systematically from dictionary.com:
1. Having, showing, or involving a system, method, or plan: a systematic course of reading; systematic efforts.
2. Given to or using a system or method; methodical: a systematic person.
3. Arranged in or comprising an ordered system: systematic theology.
4. Concerned with classification: systematic botany.
5. Pertaining to, based on, or in accordance with a system of classification: the systematic names of plants.
To study the Bible systematically means to use a system, a method, and to classify things. Systematic theology is a division of theology into systems that explain various areas. For example, many books in the Bible give information about Christ. No single book gives you all the information about Christ. Systematic theology goes through all the books in the Bible and gather all the information they have about Christ and organize them into a system called Christology (the study of Christ). Systematic theology is all about organizing the teachings of the Bible into categorical systems.
With systematic theology, you can gather all the information on angels in the Bible and put it into a category called angelology. The Holy Spirit is called “pneuma” in Greek. So if you gather all the information on the Holy Spirit and put it into a categorical system, you call it pneumatology. In the same way, soteriology is the study of salvation, eschatology is the study of the end times, ecclesiology is the study of the church, and demonology is the study of demons.
When you study the Bible systematically like that, it helps us to understand and teach the Bible in an organized manner. The topical Bible study method is a method that allows you to study the Bible systematically.