Welcome to the Chapter Summary Method: (Peter Rhebergen):
This Bible study method, accompanied by resources, will allow you to do a Bible study in your
own way. It is an example of some of the most effective Bible study methods found and discussed
more fully in the following book, which is unfortunately now out of print:
Warren, Richard, with William A. Shell, 12 Dynamic Bible Study Methods,
Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1987.
All the material that follows has been taken exclusively from this book and summarized for
this course. I had the privilege of studying this material under William (Bill) Shell in a class
on Biblical Interpretation at Reformed Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1988 – 1989
and found both him and his teaching very beneficial as his heart was dedicated to the equipping
of the saints. If there is any copyright infringement I am solely to blame and plead the excuse
that this material is simply too valuable not to share with others.
In each method described here, a basic outline of the method will be given and some useful
tools for this method will be listed. The studies begin with the basic method types and progress
toward studies that are more in depth and require greater allocations of time but which will also
yield greater results. Each method of Bible study presented here is accompanied by a chart, which
has been reproduced from the above book.
-- Peter Rhebergen
In the Chapter Summary Method of Bible study we attempt to gain an understanding of the contents
of any given chapter of the Bible by reading it in its entirety several times (at least five),
asking a series of questions relating to the content of the chapter, and ending with a general
summary of the chapter. Note that the chapter divisions currently in our Bible are not in the
original manuscripts but were added later (about 1,200 AD) by Bishop Stephen Langton in order
to make the various parts of the Bible more accessible to the general reader. Although usually
well done, at some points the chapter divisions interrupt the natural flow of the text. There
are 1,189 chapters in the Protestant Bible so there is a wealth of material to study.
2.1 - Tools
2.1.1 - Bible
2.1.2 - Cross references
2.2 - Hints
2.2.1 - Read the chapter from a Bible without notes in order to encourage
fresh insights rather than reaffirming those already found.
2.2.2 - Read the chapter without stopping in order to get a feel for the
flow of the chapter.
2.2.3 - Read the chapter in various translations noting important differences
2.2.4 - Read the chapter aloud, but quietly to yourself, as an aid to
2.3 - Steps
Step 1 - Caption - Give the chapter a short but descriptive heading. Headings
that are short and / or convey a vivid image of the chapter are especially beneficial.
Step 2 - Contents - Make a list or outline of the major point of the chapter.
Step 3 - Chief People - Make a list of the major individuals in the chapter,
some reference to the surrounding chapters may be necessary.
Step 4 - Central Verse - Select a verse that is significant in the chapter
or which you find is important during this study.
Step 5 - Crucial Word(s) - Make a list of the key word(s) of the chapter.
Step 6 - Challenges - List any difficulties you may have with the chapter.
What don't you understand? Are there areas of your life that need changing but cannot be changed?
Step 7 - Cross References - Use your cross references to find other passages
in the Bible that help you to understand this chapter.
- You should evaluate cross references in steps:
126.96.36.199 - Internal Cross References - Look for cross references within the
book you are studying.
188.8.131.52 - External Cross References - Look for cross references within other
books by the same author.
184.108.40.206 - Compare with cross references within the same Testament (Old or New)
220.127.116.11 - Compare with cross references within the Bible as a whole.
- There are also several types of cross reference, three are listed below
(see your cross reference resource for more details):
18.104.22.168 - Pure Cross Reference – Says almost exactly the same thing as the
verse you are studying.
22.214.171.124 - Illustrative Cross Reference – Illustrates what the verse you are
studying is saying.
126.96.36.199 - Contrasting Cross Reference – Says the opposite of what the verse
you are studying is saying.
Step 8 - Christ Revealed - As the Bible as a whole is the revelation of Jesus
Christ (the Old Testament points to Him, the Gospels give the details of His earthly life, and
Acts and the Letters show His activity in the world) it should be possible to find His presence
in all areas of the Bible. Find out what you can discover of the nature, ministry, or person of
Christ from this chapter.
Step 9 - Central Lesson(s) - List the major lessons taught in the chapter that
you have learned at this time (next time you study this chapter entirely new insights may become
Step 10 - Conclusion - Here you will begin to apply what you have learned. Two
questions that are important to ask during any application of the Bible are:
188.8.131.52 - How do these insights apply to me personally?
184.108.40.206 - What am I going to do about them?
Chart for the Chapter Summary Method of Bible study
Read five times (check here when done):
3. Chief People:
4. Choice Verse:
5. Crucial Word(s):
6. Challenges (Difficulties I need to study):
7. Cross References:
8. Christ Seen:
9. Central Lessons:
10. Conclusion (Personal application):
Peter Rhebergen, was raised in a Christian home and currently
attends Westney Heights Baptist Church with his family. He is a volunteer in several of its
ministries and has served as assistant pastor, youth leader, adult Sunday School teacher and as
pulpit supply at various churches and Bible Camps in Southern Ontario. He has been married since
1989 and together with his wife has three wonderful children who have introduced them to horses,
hermit crabs and numerous other creatures they would not otherwise have met. He is an avid
photographer and poet and has held a life-long interest in astronomy thanks to Psalm 19 and an
uncle. You can visit's Peters website at
This material can be freely used by anyone desiring to bring honour to our God - Peter Rhebergen