Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines: Learning for a Lifetime

Posted by on 09/18/2017 in:

There are lots of ways to learn the Bible, but one of the better ways is to start is by getting an overview of the Bible’s big picture. Warren Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old and New Testament is a fantastic tool for achieving this.

HISTORY

The content in this book grew out of Bible studies Wiersbe prepared during his time at Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, Kentucky. Taking the course his predecessor, Dr. D. B. Easter, had devised, Wiersbe taught it to his congregation and distributed lessons week by week to his students. Eventually other churches heard about it and wanted to do the same, so the material was compiled into a notebook and published by the church. Now, in a more permanent form, an updated and revised version is available for all to partake.

The structure of Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines is straightforward. Each book of the Bible gives you three things: 1) a simple suggested outline for each book of the Bible, 2) some essential introductory material, and 3) summaries for key passages & chapters.

Let’s look at how these work in the Olive Tree Bible Study app, using James as our launching point.

OUTLINES

When you start studying a new book of the Bible, you want to first get a feel for its layout. Wiersbe makes this easy by putting it front and center. It’s the first thing you see when you open the book to James. But, instead of finding it ourselves, we’ll use the Resource Guide to make our job easier. Scroll down to Outlines and tap on Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines to drill down to the outline for James.

With this outline we get a good feel for the structure of James’ epistle. We quickly find that this letter has five chapters that can be broken down into four main sections, with each having two or three major sub-points.

INTRODUCTIONS

We can follow the same steps to access the introductory material for James’ letter. This time, we drill down into the Introductions section of the Resource Guide to find our information. In the introduction for each book, Wiersbe covers key material such as: the author, the basic theme, an overview, and any other pertinent details. The introductions give you just enough to get you familiar with the book without giving you anything you don’t need.

SUMMARIES

Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines is functionally a mini commentary on the Bible. The commentary comes in the form of short summaries for both chapters and key passages. Again, we can access this information through the Resource Guide by navigating to the Commentaries section and tapping into it. Once inside, you are presented with a compact summary of the entire chapter. If you’re looking to get a broad overview of the entire Bible, I’d stop here the first time through. Then, you can read the section summaries on your next time around to get more depth. Or, dive in and soak it all up!

PERFECT FOR EVERYONE

The great thing about Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines is that it’s truly for everyone. The title is a bit deceiving because you get a lot more than just outlines. If you add this resource to your Olive Tree library you’ll walk away with a solid overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Warren Wiersbe taught this to his students over the course of 7 years, but you get to glean from it for a lifetime! Add it to your Olive Tree library today!

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