Commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. However, sometimes we forget that scripture itself can help us understand other parts of scripture. God’s inspired Word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible.
Finding the pattern in this tapestry isn’t an easy task, though. I like to use the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. It quickly reveals thousands of thematic chains within my Olive Tree Bible App at the touch of my finger. Not only that, but this resource also contains a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and more.
Instead of simply telling you, I’ll show you how easy this tool is to use in five easy steps on my iPad.
1. PICK A PASSAGE
Pull up 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible, or any other passage you want to study. Your screen may look a bit different than ours depending on what device you’re using and the number of resources you have.
2. OPEN THE RESOURCE
Tap “Thompson Chain Reference” from the resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a list of verses directly related to your location in the Bible.
3. CHOOSE A VERSE
Select the verse you want by tapping on it in the split window. In this example we’ll choose 17:4.
4. PICK A THEME
You can now choose the theme you want to explore in the list under the verse. For example, choosing “1409 Giants” results in the following:
Now it’s as easy as tapping on each verse reference to get a pop-up window. There you can read verses that touch on the same topic. Now you’ve just learned more about giants in the Bible!