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Grace. Truth. Family.

Doing a Topical Study in Proverbs

This week marks the last topical study we will do in Proverbs (at this time – I left a lot of verses on the “cutting room floor” that we’ll return to at a later date, Lord willing).  If you’re interested in digging deeper into a different topic that wasn’t covered, here’s a quick guide on how to do that using the website biblegateway.com.

How to Use Biblegateway to Do a Topical Study in Proverbs:

a) Go to biblegateway.com

b) Change NIV to NASB (or ESV) on the right hand side scroll bar.  Using a more literal translation like the NASB will help you get more accurate and comprehensive results.

c) Type in the word you wish to search and click “Search.”  A list of all occurrences of that word will appear on the screen (about 25 per page – you may have to go to the next page to see the rest of the results).

d) Find the occurrences of that word in Proverbs. Copy and paste to a word document.

e) You will want to search as many related words to your subject as possible in order to get the best results (example: if you are studying “anger,” you will want to search “anger,” “angry,” “angered,” “mad,” etc). The goal is to learn everything Proverbs says on a particular subject.

f) Begin to study your verses. Make notes on your printed verse list. What common threads do you see with this topic? Is there something the author keeps saying? What does the author say you should or shouldn’t do regarding your topic? Try to find a few common principles that are found in more than one verse and write them down (example: angry people get in fights, angry people are not godly, etc).

Topic Ideas (with suggested searches in parenthesis)

1) Fear of the Lord (fear, Lord)

2) Food/Gluttony (glutton, food, eat, drink)

3) Marriage (husband, wife, woman)

4) Anger (anger, angry, mad)

5) Parenting (child, children, son, daughter)

6) Drunkenness (drunkard, drinker, wine, beer)

7) Good Company (companion, friend, friends, brother)

8) Discipline (discipline, rod)

9) Contentment (satisfied, satisfy)

10) Naivety and Prudence (naïve, prudence, prudent)

11) Laziness (laziness, lazy, sluggard)

12) Pride (pride, proud, humble, humility)

13) The Fool (fool, foolish)

14) Authorities (king, kings, ruler, rulers)

15) Joy (joy, joyful)

16) Truth (truth, truthful, true)

17) Tongue (tongue, word, words, mouth, lips, speech, speak, talk)

18) Upright (upright, uprightness)

19) Death (death, dead, sheol)

20) Wicked (wicked, wickedness)

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