|Series Theme: Bible Study Approaches|
Title: 7. Comparing Scripture with Scripture
A page that explains a variety of approaches to Studying the Bible
This page shows us the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture in the Bible.
Comparing Scripture against Scripture is a really important method of obtaining the fullest picture of what happened or what is being taught. On this page we will consider various ways of comparing Scripture and then provide a resource for doing that in the Old Testament.
2. Comparing Scripture to Enlarge the Picture.
Sometimes when we read one verse or one paragraph, we can get a rather limited view of what took place. This can be overcome by using cross-references to see other passages where the same events are being referred to.
For a major study using this method in the Old Testament. we have provided a study later on using David's life.
In the New Testament this form of study is particularly useful in the following cases:
a) In the Gospels:
In the Gospels it is useful to put together the pieces recorded by each of the writers. The first three Gospels are fairly similar (referred to as the Synoptic Gospels) as they view the life of Christ from a common standpoint.
For example. compare Mt 4:1,2 / Mk 1:12,13 / Lk 4:1,2
They EACH inform us that Jesus was taken into the desert by the Holy Spirit, where he stayed for 40 days and was tempted by Satan.
Mark adds further that angels looked after him there. Luke emphasises that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. Matthew seems to emphasise that the reason Jesus was led there by the Spirit was to go through the confrontation with Satan.
The first three Gospel writers appear to use much common material, presumably drawn from common sources, whereas John, who wrote later and with a stronger and different purpose (see Jn 20:31 ), didn't bother to include some of their details, and indeed for most of his Gospel provided his own experiences for his account.
b) In the Epistles & Acts :
Comparing the Epistles with the Acts of the Apostles is a further useful exercise as it helps put Paul's writings in an historical and geographical context.
For example, check Acts 16:1-3 with 2 Tim 1:15
Why not do a study in Acts and see what it tells us about Timothy and then compare it with what you can find in the two epistles written to him.
3. Comparing Scripture to Enlarge Understanding of Doctrine
a) To show when the NT supersedes the OT teaching
Lev 7:1,2 instructs the bringing of animals as a sacrifice to God for the guilt of sin.
Eph 2: 15 / Heb 9:28, 10:10 / Rom 8:1 show that the New Testament believer is freed from the ceremonial law because Christ has been the one and only sacrifice that can make us completely right with God, and the believer is released from guilt and condemnation.
Rom 12: 1 and Heb 13: 15 give the New Testament believer other things to offer to God instead of animals i.e. themselves- and the praise from their lips.
b) To show when the NT ratified the OT teaching
For example :
Exo 20:12 instructs us to honour our parents.
Eph 6: 1 ratifies this and shows that we can do this as God's representatives in our families (see the Amplified Bible) to bring extra blessing to them.
c) To show when the NT enlarges the OT teaching
For example :
Exo 20:13 instructs us not to commit murder .
Mt 5:21-22 show that Jesus took the outward act and said that for his followers the inward feelings were just as bad and should be avoided.
4. Example of comparing Scripture:
The following is an illustration of a structure for comparing Scripture with Scripture to obtain the fullest picture. The information that is provided below is to enable you to look up the parallel passages and compare them. In that sense this study is purely a resource to help you:
EXAMPLE: THE REIGN OF KING DAVID
1. David made king over all Israel 2 Sam 5:1-5/ 1 Chron 11:1-3
2. David takes Jerusalem 2 Sam 5:6-10/ 1 Chron 11:4-9
3. David had mighty men 2 Sam 23:8-39/ 1 Chron 11:10 -49
4. David had many warriors from the tribes 1 Chron 12:1-40 only -
5. David brought the ark into Jerusalem 2 Sam 6:1-23/ 1 Chron 13:1-14, 15:1-29, 16:1-43
6. King Hiram offers help 2 Sam 5:11 ,12/ 1 Chron 14:1,2
7. David had wives and concubines 2 Sam 5:13 -16/ 1 Chron 14:8-17
8. David fights against the Philistines 2 Sam 5: 17 -25 / 1 Chron 14:8-17
9. David wanted to build a Temple but was stopped by God 2 Sam 7:1-29/ I Chron 17:1-27
10. David defeated many surrounding enemies 2 Sam 8:1-18/1 Chron 18:1-17
11. David looked after Mephibosheth 2 Sam 9:1-13 only
12. The foolishness of Hanun towards David's envoys 2 Sam 10:1-19/ 1 Chron 19:1-19
13. David and Bathsheba 2 Sam 11:1- 12:25
14. Joab & David take Rabbah from the Ammonites 2 Sam 12:26 -31 / 1 Chron 20: 1-3.
15. Problems with Ammon (family problems for David) 2 Sam 13:1-22
16. Problems with Absalom and his revolt 2 Sam 13:23 - 19:43
17. Sheba 's revolt 2 Sam 20:1-22
18. David's chief leaders 2 Sam 20:23-26 / 1 Chron 18: 14-17
19. David's atonement for Saul's sin against Gibeonites 2 Sam 21:1-14
20. David nearly killed by Philistine giant 2 Sam 21:15-17
21. More fighting against the Philistines 2 Sam 21: 18-22 / 1 Chron 20:4-8
22. David wrote Psalms 2 Sam 22:2-15 = Psa 18:2-50 / 1 Chron 16:8-22 = Psa 105:1-5
23. David numbered Israel 2 Sam 24:1-25/ 1 Chron 21:1-27
a) This is the end of 2 Samuel
b) 1 Kings 1 & 2 is about David in old age and the political intrigue establishing Solomon as king before David's
c) 1 Chron 22-29 shows David establishing Solomon
A. Main part of David's reign 2 Sam 5- 10 / 1 Chron 11- 20
B. David & Bathsheba & results 2 Sam 11 -20
C. Misc. parts of David's reign 2 Sam 21- 24 / 1 Chron 21
D. Scheming for Solomon's reign 1 Kings 1 & 2
E. Establishing Solomon & the Temple 1 Chron 22 -29