This is the forth article in a series on how to effectively use your Bible resources. If you missed the first one, I’d like to recommend that you click here to be taken to an article on how to use your Study Bibles and Commentaries. It provides a base for the rest of the articles in this series and I don’t want you to miss out on some of the important tips that were provided. Click here for the second article. It covers how to use the Strong’s Concordance and click here for the article on how to use Bible dictionaries.
Today I’m going to cover the use of Nave’s Topical Bible. If you have read through each of the first three articles on using your Bible resources then this will be a piece of cake. I wanted to create an article on Nave’s by itself, though, because that book can provide a great opportunity to build your own topical Bible study plan.
Go ahead and take the Nave’s Topical Bible off your shelf and let’s get started.
For Palm OS users tap Tap to open book in the lower left corner and select NAVES from the list. For Pocket PC users tap View and Add Book if you want to open a new window or select Change Book if you want to change a current window to Nave’s. You will find NAVES listed under the category of Dictionaries. Tap it and tap OK.
Nave’s is used like any of the other books we’ve already covered though it most closely resembles the dictionaries. You can use the Find to search for all articles containing a specific word or phrase, use the Lookup to look up a specific topic, you can just browse through the book or you can go to a specific location by reviewing the table of contents.
It is the table of contents that is going to be of greatest interest as I cover Nave’s Topical Bible. What makes Nave’s unique is what you see in the title. It is a Topical Bible. For those that are not familiar with a topical Bible, I’d like to explain why this is important.
Let’s say you have 3 different Bible translations and you’re preparing a lesson on the subject of marriage. What does the Bible say about marriage? If you use the Find feature to look up the word “marriage” in the NIV, you would find 48 verses. Look it up in the KJV and you find 18 verses. In the NASB it’s 33 verses. Why such a difference? Well, that’s because we’re searching for the word “marriage” and each translation may use a different word or phrase to describe marriage. Instead of “give me the girl in marriage” it may say “give me the girl as my wife”. The results of a word search will vary greatly depending on the translation.
With a topical Bible, you are reviewing the topic of marriage. The topic of a particular Bible verse is going to be exactly the same no matter which Bible translation you are using. The words are different but the topic stays the same.
So, let’s go to the table of contents and look up the topic of marriage. In MyBible tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the window that contains NAVES. Tap the second Change…. Tap Back until you are back as far as you can go. In PocketBible tap the second icon from the left. You should now be seeing a tree view of the table of contents. Scroll down to the M and tap the + to the left to expand the tree. Scroll down to “Marriage” and tap the + to the left to expand the tree.
What you are now reviewing about marriage can be turned into an outline for your Bible study. You will find 26 subtopics of marriage. Within several of those topics you will find more subtopics. Anywhere you see the + means that the topic can be expanded even further. As you can see, the Bible has much to say about the subject of marriage though many of these topics may not be what you had in mind when you set out on your study. But, it gives you a good place to start.
A quick and easy way to do a review of all of the verses on the topic of marriage is to go ahead and select Marriage. Then tap View or OK. Now you can tap a scripture link, read the verse, tap the next link, read the verse and continue through all of the verses associated with the subject of marriage. When you find a verse that is related to the specific area of marriage you are covering then be sure to write it down so you can easily find it later. Or, you can copy and paste the verse to the word processor on your PDA and add your notes as you go along.
You can actually copy and paste the entire outline if you’d like. In MyBible you can only do it one screen at a time. Drag your stylus across the screen so it’s highlighted. Tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the window and select Copy Selection. Go to your word processor and paste. Scroll down in MyBible and repeat the process.
In PocketBible it’s much easier. Select Edit, Copy Passage. The table of contents will appear. Select Marriage and tap OK. Go to your word processor and paste. You now have your entire outline. If you only want portions of the outline then you can drag your stylus downward selecting all that you want. Then tap Edit, Copy and you will only get what you’ve actually selected.
As you are reviewing a particular subject then you may find other suggestions that are related to the subject you are reviewing. For example, when I scrolled to the bottom of the subject of marriage I found “See Divorce; Husband; Wife”, each with a link to more information.
With this information in hand, you should find that doing a topical Bible study can be a fun and interesting experience as you learn more about God’s word. The next time someone is talking about a particular subject and you’d like to see what the Bible has to say, reach for your Nave’s Topical Bible. It’s an excellent resource to have on your PDA’s library shelf.
NOTE: If you are having trouble with your MyBible or PocketBible software, please do not post your technical support issues as a comment. Instead, you need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Be sure you’ve checked the Help Desk Knowledgebase before you request assistance. Thank you.