Bible Study Ideas and Topics

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Bible Study on Ephesians



Bible Study on Ephesians.

The City of Ephesus.

It was the capital of pro-consular Asia, being about a mile from the sea coast, and was the great religious, commercial and political center of Asia. It was noteworthy because of two notable structures there. First, the great theatre which had a seating capacity of 50,000 people, and second, the temple of Diana which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was 342 feet long and 164 feet wide, made of shining marble, supported by a forest of columns 56 feet high, and was 220 years in building. This made it the center of the influence of Diana worship, of which we read in Acts 19:23-41. The statue with its many breasts betokened the fertility of nature.

Next to Rome, Ephesus was the most important city visited by Paul. It has been called the third capital of Christianity, it being the center of work in Asia through which were founded all the churches of Asia, especially the seven churches of Asia to which Jesus sent the messages of Revelations. Jerusalem, the birth place of power, is the first, and Antioch, the center of mission work, is the second capital.

Paul's Work at Ephesus

(1) Revisited there on the return from the second missionary journey (Acts 18:18-21). and left with them Aquila and Priscilla. (2) On the third missionary journey he spent about three years there, (Acts 20:31). (3) During this second visit he had such influence as to check the worship of Diana to such an extent as to arouse the opposition of her worshippers and make it necessary for him to depart into Macedonia (Acts 20:1). (4) On the return from the third missionary journey he stopped at Miletus, thirty miles away, and sent for the elders of Ephesus to whom he delivered a farewell address (Acts 20:16-38).

The Epistle of Ephesians.

The contents are much like to those of Colossians, but also differ greatly from them. (1) In each book half is doctrinal and half practical. (2) Colossians discusses Christ-hood or Christ the head of the church, while Ephesians discusses church-hood or the church as the body of Christ. (3) In Colossians Christ is "All and in all", in Ephesians the ascended Christ is seen in his church. (4) In Colossians we have Paul in the heated arena of controversy; in Ephesians he is quietly meditating upon a great theme.

It has been said to contain the profoundest truth revealed to men, and the church at Ephesus was, perhaps, better prepared than any other to be the custodian of such truth, since Paul's long stay there had so well prepared them to hear and understand it. It may have been written as a circular letter to be sent in turn to several churches of which the church at Ephesus was one.

Date of Ephesians.

By Paul, probably from Rome, A. D. 62 or 63.

Theme of Ephesians.

The church, Christ's mystical body.

Outline of Ephesians.

Salutation, 1:1-2.

I. The Spiritual Blessings of the Church. 1:3-14.

1. The origin of these blessings, v. 3.

2. The blessings enumerated, 4-14.

II. Prayer for the Readers, 1:15 end.

1. That God may grant them the spirit of wisdom, the Holy Spirit, 15-17.

2. That they may know what they have in Christ, 18-33.

III. The Great Work Done for Them, Ch. 2. Both Jews and Gentiles.

1. They were regenerated, 1:10.

2. They were organized, 11 end.

IV. Paul's Mission and Prayer for Them, Ch. 3.

1. His mission to preach the mystery of Christ. 1-13.

2. His prayer for them and doxology of praise to God, 14 end.

V. The Duty of the Churches as the Body of Christ, 4:1-6:20.

1. Duty of individual members in relation to other members and to the world. 4:1-5:21.

2. Duties of individuals in their home relations, 5:22-6:9.

3. Duties of individual members in their relation to the organized efforts of the church. 6:10-20.

Conclusion, 6:21 end.

Study and Discussion Questions on Book of Ephesians.

(1) The Christian's standing before God, Chs. 1-2. Such words as sealed, chosen, quickened.

(2) The blessings of the church, make a list, 1:3-14.

(3) The elements and characteristics of the new life, 4:25-32.

(4) The different things done in an intelligent Christian life, 5:3-17.

(5) The exalted nature and office of Christ, 1:2-33; 2:13-22.

(6) The eternal purpose of God, 2:3-5; 2:4-7; 3:9-12.

(7) Principles of Christian sociology seen in the home relations such as husband and wife, child and parents, and servant and master.

(8) The Christian's relation to Christ as seen in these relations.

Bible Study on Book of Revelations



Author of Revelations.

John, the Apostle, while in exile on the Isle of Patmos, 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8.

Date of Revelations.

About 95 or 96 A. D.

About Revelations.

(1) It is a book of symbols and imagery, and constantly creates excitement and wonder. (2) It is a book of wars, but war always ends in peace. The word war occurs seven times in Revelation, and only seven times in all the rest of the New Testament. (3) It is a book of thunder, but the thunder and earthquake die away and are followed by liturgies and psalms. (4) It is a book of the rewards of the righteous. This is seen in the letters to the seven churches, and in the victories of the right in all conflicts and wars of the book. (5) It is, therefore, a book of optimism. Everywhere God overcomes Satan, the Lamb triumphs, Babylon falls, etc.

Interpretations of Revelations.

There are several classes of interpreters, as follows (1) The Praeterist, who thinks it has been fulfilled in its primary sense. He makes all the prophesies and visions refer to Jewish history down to the fall of Jerusalem, and to the history of Pagan Rome. (2) The Futurist, who interprets literally and thinks all the events of the book are to come just before or just after the second coming of Christ. (3) The Historical or Continuous School. These think some have been fulfilled, some are now being fulfilled, and some will be fulfilled in the future. (4) The Spiritualist, who objects to the other three classes of interpreters because they make so much of the time element. He lays stress upon the moral and spiritual element of the book and reads the book "as a representation of ideas rather than of events."

The Value of Revelations.

The chief value of the book seems to lie in its testimony to the faith and hope of persecuted Christians and in the comfort and inspiration it has brought to sorrowing and oppressed souls of every age. It points outthat there will be an end of conflict, that God and the Lamb will triumph that the enemies of our souls will be punished and that the followers of God will be rewarded with eternal reward.

Outline of Revelations.

Introduction, 1-8.

I. The Seven Churches, 1:9-3 end.

1. A preparatory vision of Christ, 1:9 end.

2. The addresses to the churches, Chs. 2-3.

II. The Seven Seals, 4:1-8:1.

1. A preparatory vision of the throne, Chs. 4-5.

2. Six seals opened in order, Ch. 6.

3. An episode-sealing God's servants, Ch, 7.

4. The seventh seal opened, 8:1.

III. The Seven Trumpets, 8:1l end.

1. A preparatory vision, 8:2-6.

2. Six trumpets sounded in order, 8:7-9 end.

3. An episode-Little book, measuring the temple and two witnesses, 10:1-11:14

4. The seventh trumpet sounded, 11:15 end.

IV. The Seven Mystic Figures. Chs. 12-14.

1. The sun-clothed woman, Ch. 12.

2. The red dragon, Ch, 12.

3. The man-child, Ch. 12.

4. The beast from the sea, 13:1-10.

5. The beast from the earth, 13:11-18.

6. The Lamb on Mount Sion, 14:1-13. Three angels.

7. The son of man on the cloud, 14:14-20. Three angels.

V. The Seven Vials, Chs. 15-16.

1. The preliminary vision, Ch. 15-a song of victory.

2. Six vials poured out in order, 16:1-12.

3. An episode, 16:13-16. The spirits of the devil gather the kings of the earth to the battle of Armageddon.

4. The seventh vial poured out, 16:17-21 (end).

VI. Three Final Conflicts and Triumphs, 17:1-22:5.

1. The first conflict and triumph, 17:1-19:10.

2. The second conflict and triumph, 19:11-20:6.

3. The third conflict and triumph, 20:7-22:5.

VII. The Epilogue Conclusion, 22:6-21 end.

1. Three-fold testimony to the truth of the vision. Angel, Jesus. John, 6-8.

2. Directions of the angels concerning the prophecy, 9-10.

3. The moral of the book, 11-17.

4. John's attestation and salutation, 18-21.

Study and Discussion Questions on Revelations.

(1) The vision of Jesus, 1:9 end.

(2) The letters to the seven churches: (a) Which churches are given noting but praise? (b) Which nothing but blame? (c) Which both praise and blame? (d) What is commended and what condemned in each. (3) The twenty-four elders, four living creatures, sealed book and the Lamb, Chs. 4-5.

(4) The sealing of God's servants, Ch. 7.

(5) The little book, Ch. 10.

(6) The measuring rod and two witnesses; 11:1-14.

(7) Each of the seven mystic figures, Chs. 12-14. Describe each.

(8) Mystery Babylon, Ch. 17.

(9) Song of triumph over Babylon, 19:1-10.

(10) The judgment of Satan, 20:1-10.

(11) The description of the general resurrection and judgment, 20:11-15; 22:10-15.

(12) The description of heaven, Chs. 21-22.

(13) Verify the following points of similarity in the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials, (a) that heaven is opened and a preliminary vision before each series, (b) that the first four in each series refer especially to the present
natural world, while the last three in each series refer more particularly to the future or spiritual world, (c) that in each series there is an episode after the sixth which is either an elaboration of the sixth or an introduction to the seventh.

(14) Compare these three series again and note, (a) that they portray the same events in similar language, (b) that the victory of the righteous and the destruction of the wicked are portrayed in each, (c) that the victory of the redeemed predominates in the first (seals) while the destruction of the wicked predominates in the last (vials).

(15) In the series note the progress in the severity of punishment, (a) one-
fourth afflicted in the first (seals), (b) one-third afflicted in the second (trumpets), (c) all are destroyed in the third (vials).

(16) From the following scriptures make a list allowing how nearly the same thing is affected in each of the seven trumpets and vials, (a) 8:7 and 16:2, (b) 8:8 and 16:3, (c) 8:10-11 and 16:4-7, (d) 8:12 and 16:8-9, (e) 9:9-11 and 16:10-11, (f) 9:13-21 and 16:12-16, (g) 11:15-18 and 16:17-21.

(17) The contrasts and resemblances of the trumpets and vials.

Trumpets. 1. Hail, fire blood cast on earth, one-third of the trees burned.

Vails. 1. The Vial poured out on the earth, affliction upon the followers of the beast.

Trumpets. 2. One-third of the sea made blood, one-third of its creatures and of its ships destroyed.

Vails. 2. The whole sea made blood, and every soul therein destroyed.

Trumpets. 3. One-third of the rivers made bitter, many men destroyed.

Vials. 3. All the rivers made blood and vengeance upon all men.

Trumpets. 4. One-third of the sun, etc., smitten, one-third of the day darkened.

Vials. 4. The whole sun smitten, men are scorched, they blaspheme and repent not.

Trumpets. 5. The stars of heaven fall into the pit; locusts sent forth; men seek death.

Vials. 5. The throne and kingdom of the beast smitten, men suffer and blaspheme and repent not.

Trumpets. 6. One-third of the men destroyed by the armies of the Euphrates; men do not repent. Episode: God's two witnesses witness for Him and work miracles. War against them by the beasts.

Vials. 6. A way prepared for the kings beyond the Euphrates. Episode: The dragon's three unclean spirits witness for him and work miracles. War by the world at Armageddon.

Trumpets. 7. Voices in heaven, judgment, earthquake, hail, etc.

Vials. 7, Voice in heaven, fall of Babylon, earthquake, hail, etc.

(18) The benedictions and doxologies of the book.

(19) Things taught
about Jesus.

(20) Things taught about Satan.

Bible Study on Book of Jude



The Author of Jude

The author is named as Jude, the brother of James. He probably means the James wrote the epistle of that name and is, therefore, the Lord's brother.

Purpose of Jude.

False teachers were boldly teaching their heresies in the meetings of the congregation. These men were also very immoral in conduct and the epistle is written to expose their errors and to exhort his readers to contend for the true faith and to live worthy lives. In many points it is very similar to the second letter of Peter.


It was probably written about A. D. 66. At any rate it must have been written before A. D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed, as Jude would hardly have failed to mention that event along with other examples of punishment, 5-7.

Outline of Jude.

Introduction, 1-4.

I. The Fate of Wicked Disturbers, 5-16.

1. God punishes the wicked, 5-7.

2. He will destroy these men, 8-16.

II. How to Contend For the Faith, 17-23.

1. Be mindful of the enemies, 17-19.

2. Be strong (built up in the faith), 20-21.

3. Maintain an evangelistic spirit, 22-23.

Conclusion, 24-25.

Study and Discussion Questions for Jude.

(1) Make a list of all the words and phrases occurring in threes, as mercy, love, peace, or Cain, Baalam, Korah.

(2) Make a list of all the different things taught about the evil workers mentioned, 8-10, 12, 13. 16, 19.

(3) What the apostles had foretold concerning them.

Bible Study on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John



First John

Author and Date of 1st John.

It was probably written from Ephesus, 80 or 85 A. D. though some put it as early as A. D. 69, while others put it as late as A. D. 95. The author nowhere indicates his name, but through all the centuries it has been attributed to John, the beloved disciple. For information concerning him see lesson twenty-eight.

The Readers.

It was doubtless written primarily to the churches of Asia Minor in which John by reason of his work at Ephesus had a special interest. It is evident that those addressed were of all ages and were hated of the world. They were inclined to worldliness and to the danger of looking too lightly upon sin. They were also in danger of being led into doubt by those who denied the deity of Jesus.

The Style.

It is more in the form of a sermon or pastoral address than of an epistle. It is written with a tone of conscious authority. The thought is profound and mystical, but the language is simple both in words and in sentences. The arguments are by immediate inference. Their are many contrasts, parallelisms and repetitions with no figures of speech except perhaps the words light and darkness.

The Purpose of I John.

The chief purpose was to tell them how they might know that they had eternal life, 5:13. The accomplishment of this purpose would also assure the fulfillment of the secondary purpose stated in 1:3, 4.

Theme. The evidence of eternal life.

Outline of I John.

Introduction, 1:1-4.

I. How Those Who Possess Eternal Life will Live, 1:5-5:12.

1. They will dwell in the light, 1:5-2:28.

2. They will do righteousness, 2:29-4:6.

3. They will live a life of love, 4:7-5:3.

4. They will walk by faith, 5:4-12.

II. What Those who Live such Lives may Know, 5:13-20.

1. That they have eternal life. 13.

2. That their prayers are answered, 14-17.

3. That God's people do not live in sin, 18.

4. Their true relation to God and to Christ, 19-20.

Conclusion, 5:21.

The following analysis made with the idea of the theme being "Fellowship with God" (1:3-4) is very suggestive.

Introduction, 1:1-4.

I. God is Light and our fellowship with him depends upon our walking in the light, 1:5-2:28.

II. God la Righteous and our fellowship with him depends upon our doing righteousness, 2-29, 4:6.

III. God is Love and our fellowship with him depends upon our having and manifesting a spirit of love, 4:7-5:3.

IV. God Is Faithful and our fellowship with him depends upon our exercising faith in him, 5:4-12.

Conclusion. 5:13-21 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for I John.

(1) The different things we may know and how we may know them. Make a list giving reference, as, "know Him if we keep His commandments" (2:3).

(2) Make a list of the things defined in the following scriptures, and give the definition in each case: 1:5; 2:25; 3:11, 3:23; 5:3; 5:4; 5:11; 5:14.

(3) The several figures and attributes of God, as light, righteousness and love.

(4) The requirements of deeds of righteousness, 1:6, 7; 2:9-11; 3:17-23.

(5) God's love for his children, 3:1-2; 4:8-11, 16, 19.

(6) Christians' duty to love one another, 2:10; 3:10-24; 4:7-21; 5:1-2.

(7) The propitiatory death of Jesus Christ, 1:7; 2:1-2; 4:10.

(8) Difference between Christians and non-Christians, 3:4-10. How many times do each of the following words occur? Love, light, life, know, darkness, hate, righteousness, sin, liar and lie, true and truth.

Second John

It is a friendly, personal letter, written some time after the first letter, to the "elect lady" who, as I think, was John's friend, and not a church or some nation as has sometimes been argued. The aim is evidently to warn his friend against certain false teachers.

Outline of II John.

1. Greeting, 1-3.

2. Thanksgiving, 4.

3. Exhortation to obedience. 5-6.

4. Warning against anti-Christs, 7-9.

5. How to deal with false teachers, 10-11.

6. Conclusion, 12-13.

Study and Discussion Questions for II John.

(1) The character of the children of the elect lady.

(2) Evidence of real discipleship.
(3) How to deal with false teachers.

Third John

This also is a private letter written, some time after First John, to his personal friend, Gaius. There was some confusion about receiving certain evangelists. Gaius had received them while Diotrephes had opposed their reception. He commends Gaius for his Christian hospitality and character.

Outline of III John.

1. Greeting, 1.

2. Prayer for his posterity, 2.

3. Commends his godly walk, 3-4.

4. Commends his hospitality, 5-8.

5. Complaint against Diotrephes, 9-10.

6. Test of relation to God, and worth of Demetrius, 11-12.

7. Conclusion, 13-14.

Study and Discussion Questions for III John.

(1) The character of Gaius and Diotrephes.

(2) Christian hospitality.

(3) Such words as truth, sincerity and reality.

Bible Study on First and Second Peter.



About Peter.

The author was the Apostle Peter, whose name before he became a disciple, was Simon. He was born in Bethsaida and lived in Capernaum where he followed the occupation of fishing. He was brought to Jesus by Andrew, his brother, and became one of the leaders of the Apostles, both before and after Christ's death. His career should be studied as it is found in Acts. He was impetuous, brave and energetic, and after the ascension performed many miracles.

First Peter.

Audience of I Peter.

The sojourn of the dispersion (1:1) points to Jewish Christians. They were strangers (sojourners) 1:1, 17; 2:11, who were persecuted, 3:17; 4:12-19, but whose persecution came, not from the Jews, but from pagans, 4:3-4. They had certain faults and wrong tendencies, 2:1, 11, 12, 16; 8:8-12; 4:9; 5:2-3.

Purpose of I Peter.

To console them in their suffering, and to exhort them to faithfulness and duty.


Probably about 64-68 A. D. Certainly not after 70 A. D., as he was not doubt put to death before then.

Outline of I Peter.

Introduction, 1:1-2.

I. Thanksgiving for the Blessing of Grace, 1:3-12.

1. For a living hope and an abiding inheritance, 3-5.

2. For joyful faith during trials, 6-9.

3. For salvation, 10-12.

II. Obligations Growing out of the Blessings of Grace, 1:13-4:19.

1. A right relation of the heart toward God and man, 1:13-2:10.

2. Right conduct in life relations, 2:11-3:12.

3. Right attitude toward suffering, 3:13-4:19 end.

III. Exhortations to Particular Classes, 5:1-9.

Conclusion 5:10 end.

Study and Discussion Questions on I Peter.

(1) Peter's loyalty to Christ. (a) He makes everything depend on Christ, his cross (1:18-19; 2:24; 3:18), his suffering (2:21; 3:18; 4:13), his resurrection (1:3), his manifestation (1:7-13), his exaltation (3:22; 4:11; 5:10). (b) He calls Christ a living stone, 2:4-8. (c) He clings to Christ's teaching, submission to rightful authority (2:13-16), forgiveness of others (4:8; Matt. 18:22), humility (5:5).

(2) The mercy of God our hope 1:3-7. From this passage list what is said of spiritual inheritors and their inheritance.

(3) How to obtain the Christian ideal, 1:13-21.

(4) Spiritual development. 2:1-10.

(5) Various deities of society, 2:13-17; of domestic life 2:18; 3:1, 7; of Christian brotherhood, 1:22, 2:1-5; 3:8-9; 4:8-11; 5:1-5.

(6) The work of the different persons of the Trinity. (7) The words precious, joy and rejoicing, mercy, love and faith.

Second Peter.

The Occasion.

The occasion of the epistle is found in the harm being done to the church by false teachers, who were of two classes, the libertines and the mockers about whom he warns.

Purpose of II Peter.

Its purpose was to exhort them to Christian growth and to warn them against false teachers.

Comparison with First Peter.

It has no reference to Christ's death, suffering, resurrection and ascension. Glance through 1 Peter again to see how often these are mentioned. The spirit manifested is one of anxiety, severity, and denunciation, white in 1 Peter it is one of mildness, sweetness and fatherly dignity. It connects the second coming of Christ with the punishment of the wicked, while 1 Peter connects it with the glorification of the saints. Its key-note is knowledge, while that of 1 Peter is hope.

Teachings of II Peter..

(1) To be holy, not to secure an inheritance, but because we already have it.

(2) To love the brethren, not to purify our soul, but because it is pure.

(3) That we sacrifice, not as penance, but as an expression of praise.

Outline of II Peter..

Introduction, 1:1-2.

I. Progress in the Christian Life, 1:3-21 end.

1. An exhortation to growth, 3-11.

2. Reasons for these exhortations, 12-21.

II. False Teachers, Ch. 2.

1. The evil teachers and their followers, 1-3.

2. Their punishment, 5-10.

3. Their character, evil ways and end, 11-32.

III. The Second Coming of Christ, 3:1-13. He will bring both blessings and destruction.

Conclusion, 3:14-18.

Study and Discussion Questions on II Peter..

(1) What our salvation involves, 1:5-11.

(2) The characteristics of the false teachers, 2:1-3, 10, 12-14.

(3) The certain punishment of these false teachers, 2:4-6, 15, 16, 21, 22.

(4) The exhortations of the book such as to sobriety, 1:13.

(5) The predictions of the book.

Bible Study on Book of James



The Author of James.

Three persons called James are mentioned in the New Testament. One of these is James, the Lord's brother (Matt. 13:55), who did not believe on Jesus until after the resurrection, Jno. 7:2-9; Mar. 3:21, 31; Acts 1:13-14. This James occupies and important place as pastor at Jerusalem, and made an important speech at the council of the Apostles, Acts 15: 13-21. He is mentioned elsewhere, in Acts, 12:17; Gal. 1:19; 2:9-12. Josephus tells us that he was stoned to death about 62 A. D. on a charge of departing from the Jewish law. This James, the Lord's brother, is supposed to be the author of this epistle.

To Whom Written. This letter was written to the Jews scattered everywhere, 1:1, and evidently to Christian Jews, 2:1. Some of them were rich, some poor, 2:1-10. They were lustful, greedy, and proud, 4:1-12, and were omitting to do the Lord's work as they should. 1:22-

The Epistle of James.

The chief characteristic of style is abruptness. Change is made from one subject to another with no effort to connect them. There is, therefore, no general subject, and a lack of close connection between the points of analysis. "Faith without works is dead" flashes in every section as a sort of bond of unity. It is eloquent, stern and sincere, and has a distinct Jewish tone. It lacks the doctrinal emphasis found in Paul and states the Christian faith in terms of moral excellence and instructs them in the subject of Christian morals. It is notable for its omissions. It does not have
the resurrection or ascension and only mentions Christ's name twice.

Date and Place of Writing.

It was no doubt written from Jerusalem where he was pastor, but the date is much disputed. Some put it as early as A. D. 40. Others among whom is Dr. Robertson say it was written not later than A. D. 50. Still others put it about A. D. 61 or 62, just before the martyrdom of James. It is probably safe to say that it was one of the very earliest of the New Testament books.

Outline of Book of James.

Salutation, 1:1.

I. Proper Attitude Toward Trials. 1:2-18.

II. Proper Altitude Toward God's Word, 1:19-27 end.

III. Various Warnings. 2:1-4:12.

1. Against respect of persons, 2:1-13.

2. Against barren professions of faith, 2:14-26.

3. Against the dangers of the tongue, 3:1-12.

4. Against false wisdom, 3:13-18.

5. Against quarrels, greed and pride. 4:1-12.

IV. Various Denunciations, 4:13-5:6.

V. Various Exhortations, 5:7-20 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for James.

(1) From the following scriptures make a list of all the things James advises us not to do: 1;6, 13, 16, 22; 2:1, 14; 3:1. 10; 4:1, 11, 13; 5:9, 12.

(2) From the following scriptures make a list of all the things James advises us to do; 1:2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 22, 26; 2:8, 12; 3:13; 4:8. 5:7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 19.

(3) Make a sketch of heavenly wisdom, showing the different things said about it, studying especially, 1:5-8 and 3:13-18.

(4) Study the ethics of speech and of the tongue, 1:19-21 and 3:1-12.

(5) Life's trial and temptations, 1:2-4, 12-15.

(6) Make a list of ail the figures of speech, especially similes and metaphors as "a doubter is like a surge of the sea," 1:6.

(7) James' rebuke of selfishness, 5:1-

(8) The utility and power of prayer, 5:13-18.

Bible Study on the Book of Hebrews



The Author of Hebrews.

The writer nowhere indicates his name, and there is difference of opinion as to who wrote it. I am personally inclined to the view of those who regard Paul as the author, which for a long time was the common view. The main points against his authorship are that the language and style are dissimilar to Paul's and that it is less like an epistle than any other book that bears his name. It seems clear, however, that the thoughts and course of reasoning are Pauline and the differences otherwise may be explained by the difference of purpose and spirit in writing. For the arguments for and against his authorship the student is referred to the larger commentaries and introductions to the New Testament literature.

Those To Whom It Was Written.

It was, no doubt, addressed to Hebrew Christians, but whether to a special church or to those in a special locality, is a matter of dispute. Several things, however, may be learned about them. (1) They had steadfastly endured persecution and the loss of property. (2) They had shown sympathy with other Christians, 6:10; 10:32-34. (3) They had been Christians some time, 5:12. (4) They knew the writer whom they are, by their prayers, to help restore to themselves, 13:19. (5) They knew Timothy who was to visit them, 13:23. (6) They were now in danger of apostacy to Judaism but had not yet resisted to blood, 12:3-4; 5:11; 6:9. Their danger of going back to Judaism might arise from several sources. (1) There was a tendency to disbelieve Christ and his claims, 3:12. (2) The elaborate worship of the Temple compared with the simple worship of the Christian church. (3) The Jews branded them as traitors and taunted them for turning against the law, which was given by prophets, angels, and Moses, and from the sanctuary ministered to by the priests of God. (4) They were suffering persecution.

Purpose and Content of Hebrews.

The purpose was to prevent apostacy from Christianity to Judaism and incidentally to comfort them in their suffering and persecution. To accomplish this purpose the author shows, by a series of comparisons, that the religion of Christ is superior to that which preceded it. "Better" is the key-word, which along with other terms of comparison such as "more excellent" is constantly used to show the superiority of Christianity. It is very much like a sermon, the author often turning aside to exhort, then returning to the theme.


It was written from Jerusalem, Alexandria or Rome some time before A. D. 70, since the temple was still standing, 9:6-7; 10:1.

Outline of Book of of Hebrews.

I. Christianity is Superior to Judaism because Christ through Whom it was Introduced is Superior to the Messengers of Judaism, chs. 1-6.

1. He is superior to prophets, 1:1-3.

2. He is superior to angels. 1:4-2 end.

3. He is superior to Moses, including Joshua, chs. 3-6.

Three points in each of these comparisons are the same.

1. He is God's son.

2. He is man's Savior.

3. He is man's high priest.

Neither prophets nor angels nor Moses equal Jesus in these points.
There are two notable exhortations, (a) 2:1-4; (b) 5:11-6 end.

II. Christianity in Superior to Judaism because Its Priesthood is Superior to that of Judaism, 7:1-10:18.

1. Christ its priest is superior to the priests of Judaism, 7:1-

2. Its covenant is superior to that of Judaism, 8:7 end.

3. Its tabernacle is superior to that of Judaism, ch. 9.

4. Its sacrifice is superior to those of Judaism, 10:1-18.

III. Christianity is Superior to Judaism, because the Blessings it Confers are Superior to those of Judaism. 10:19-11 end.

1. In the liberty of approach to God, 10:19 end.

2. In the superior ground of faith, 11:1-12:17.

3. In our coming to Mount Zion instead of Mount Sinai, 12:18 end.

IV. Practical Conclusion, ch. 13.

Study and Discussion Questions for Hebrews.

(1) Description of Christ. 1:1-3.

(2) Christ's superiority to angels. 1:3-14.

(3) Christ's humiliation for our salvation, 2:9-18.

(4) How is Christ superior to Aaronic priests, 3:14, 15; 5:1-7, 9; 7:28.

(5) The two covenants, 8:6-12.

(6) Typical character of the old ordinances. 9:1-10:4.

(7) Our assurance and hope, 6:13-20.

(8) The danger of rejecting Christ, 10:26-31.

(9) The benefit of affliction, 12:4-11.

(10) The comparisons of 12:18-29.

(11) The warning of 13.-8-15,

(12) The exhortations of the book, as 2:1-4. Make a list.

(13) All the terms of comparison, as better and more excellent. Make a list.

(14) Every reference to Christ as high priest.

(15) Every reference to the Holy Spirit-What are his works and where in the book is it taught?

Bible Study on First and Second Timothy



About Timothy.

He was a native of Lycaonia. His father was a Greek, but his mother and grandmother were Jews, 2 Tim. 1:5. He was taught the scriptures from his very youth, 2 Tim. 3:15, and was probably converted during Paul's first visit to Lystra, Acts 14:8-20. He was ordained as an evangelist 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6, and, after Paul's second visit to Lystra. he spent most of his time with Paul, Acts 16:1. He did much valuable service for Paul, and was greatly esteemed by him. Acts 17:14; 18:5; 20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10. His name is associated with Paul in writing a number of letters, 2 Cor. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1. He was pastor at Ephesus and while there received these letters, 1 Tim. 1:3-4. Paul desired to have him with him when death came, 2 Tim. 4:9; 13, 21.

First Timothy.

This epistle was written while Timothy was pastor at Ephesus, probably between A. D. 64 and 66. Its purpose was to instruct Timothy with regard to his pastoral duties. It, therefore, reflects the condition of the church and especially the errors which he would correct or against which he wished to warn his "true child in the faith."

Outline of I Timothy.

Greeting, 1:1-2.

I. The True Teachings of the Gospel, 1:3 end.

1. Gnostic teachings and the true purpose of the law, 3-11.

2. Paul's salvation. 12-17.

3. Further warnings against false teachers, 18 end.

II. Public Worship. Ch. 2.

1. Prayer, 1-7.

2. Conduct of men and women in church assemblies, 8 end.

III. Church Officers. Ch. 3.

1. A bishop or pastor, 1-7.

2. Deacons and deaconesses. 8-13.

3. A personal word, 14 end.

IV. Pastoral Duties, 4:1-6:2.

1. As to the true doctrine, Ch. 4.

2. Toward the various classes of the church, 5:1-20.

3. Concerning himself, 5:21 end.

4. In teaching slaves and their masters, 6:1-2.

V. Final Warnings and Exhortations, 6:3 end.

1. Against false teachers, 3-10.

2. To be truly godly, 11-16.

3. To teach the rich aright, 17-19.

4. To be true to his charge, 20 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for I Timothy.

(1) False teachings, 1:3-11; 4:1-8; 6:20-21.

(2) The kind of man a pastor should be, 4:12-5:2.

(3) The kind of men to select for church officers, 3:1-13. (Fifteen qualifications of a pastor and seven of a deacon).

(4) Church government and services of worship, 2:1, 2, 8; 3:14, 15.

(5) The word's doctrine or teaching, godliness and faith meaning doctrine.

Second Timothy.

This letter was written from Rome just before his martyrdom A. D. 67. It was written to further instruct Timothy and to explain his own personal affairs. It is the last letter written by Paul, a sort of last will and testimony and is of great importance as it tells as how he fared just before his death. It is more personal in tone than First Timothy and shows us how very pitiable was his plight in these last days.

Outline of II Timothy.

Introduction, 1:1-5.

I. Exhortations to Timothy. 1:6-2 end.

1. To steadfastness in the gospel. 1:6 end.

2. To patient endurance of suffering, 2:1-13.

3. To faithfulness as a pastor, 2:14-26 end.

II. Warnings to Timothy. 3:1-4:5.

1. Concerning the perilous, 3:1-13.

2. Concerning his duties in such times, 3:14-4:5.

III. Paul's View of Death, 4:6-18.

1. His satisfaction and hope at its approach, 6-8.

2. His hope during this loneliness and need, 9-18. Conclusion, 4:19 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for II Timothy.

(1) Paul's condition when he wrote,1:17; 4:7, 13-16; 6:20.

(2) The desire or appeal of 1:4; 3:8; 4:5, 9, 13, 21.

(3) The exhortations to Timothy, 1:6, 7, 13, 14; 2:1-6, 15, 23; 3:14; 4:5.

(4) perilous times to come, Ch. 3.

(5) Paul's view of death, 4:5-22.

Bible Study on First and Second Thessalonians.



The City of Thessalonica.

It was founded by Cassander, King of Macedon 315 B. C., and was about a hundred miles west of Philippi. It was a great commercial center of Paul's time, the inhabitants being Greeks, Romans and Jews. It still exists under the name of Saloniki, and has a population of from 75,000 to 85,000 about half of whom are Jews.

The Church of Thessalonica.

Upon being delivered from prison at Philippi. Paul continued his second missionary journey to Thessalonica, having also Silas and Timothy with him (Acts 17:1-5). He spent three Sabbaths there, but on account of the persecution of the Jews, went from there to Berea, then to Athens, and then to Corinth where he spent 18 months. The first letter bears testimony to the splendid Christian character of these new converts from heathenism.

First Thessalonians.

This is probably the first epistle written by Paul and perhaps the first written document of the Christian religion. It is not doctrinal, has no element of controversy and is one of the most gentle and affectionate of Paul's letters. It is notable for its special salutations and refers to their expectations of the immediate return of Jesus. Its main idea is consolation (4:17-18), its keynote hope and its leading words affliction and advent. Its purpose was: (1) to send affectionate greetings, (2) to console them in their afflictions, (3) to correct their wrong, their mistaken views of Christ's second coming, (4) to exhort then to proper living as against certain immoral tendencies.


From Corinth A. D. 53.

Outline of I Thessalonians.

I. The Spiritual Condition of the Church, Ch. 1.

1. Introduction. 1.

2. Their faith, love and hope, 2-3.

3. The cause of these, 4-5.

4. The result of these, 6-10.

II. Paul's Character and Conduct While With Them, 2:1-16.

1. How he brought them the gospel, 1-12.

2. How they received it, 13-16.

III. Paul's Interest in the Church Since Leaving Them. 2:17-3 end.

1. Desired to visit them, 2:17 end.

2. He sent Timothy to them and rejoices in his report of them, 3:1-

3. Benediction upon them, 3:11 end.

IV. Exhortation for the Future, 4:1-5:11.

1. To purity, 4:1-8.

2. To brotherly love, 4:9-10.

3. To honest industry, 4:11-12.

4. To be comforted in the loss of their dead in Christ, 4:13-5:11.

Conclusion, 5:12.

Study and Discussion Questions for I Thessalonians.

(1) Things in the church for which Paul is
thankful, 1:2-6.

(2) What is said about how the gospel was preached to them, 2:1-16.

(3) Paul's longing to know about them, 3:1-9.

(4) The duties enjoined, 4:1-12.

(5) The second coming of Christ and the resurrection, 4:13-18.

(6) How we are prepared for the great day of his coming, 5:3-10.

(7) The several exhortations in 5:12-22.

(8) The human elements or explanation of Paul's power as a preacher Ch. 2.

(9) The deity of Jesus seen in the book

Second Thessalonians.

This letter was also written from Corinth and during the same year. It is the shortest letter Paul wrote to any church and is characterized by its lack of special salutations and for its general idea of patient waiting for our Lord. The occasion seems to be to correct their wrong views of the second coming of Christ and the errors of life growing out of it. It may be that they had misunderstood his own teaching to be that the day of the Lord was already at hand (2:2).

Outline of of II Thessalonians.

Introduction, 1:1-2.

I. Thanksgiving and Prayer for in View of The Second Coming of Christ, 1:2 end.

II. Warnings about Christ's Second Coming. 2:1-12.

III. Their Escape at His Coming, 2:13 end.

IV. Practical Matters, 3:1-15.

1. Their prayers for each other, 1-5.

2. Discipline for the disorderly, 6-15.

Conclusion, 3:16 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for II Thessalonians.

(1) Things commendable in the church, 13-14.

(2) Moral disorders of the church, 3:7-11.

(3) How to deal with the disorderly, 3:6, 14, 15.

(4) How to deal with the idle, 3:12.

(5)Facts concerning Christ's second coming, from the whole book.

(6) Facts concerning the judgment of the wicked.

Bible Study on Book of Colossians.



The City.

It was situated about 100 miles east of Ephesus, and was of little importance at the time of this epistle, though it had once been of considerable influence. It was one of a group of three cities, Laodicia and Hierapolis being the Other two, situated on the Lycus river near where it flows into the famous Meander.

The Church of Colossae.

It was perhaps founded by Epaphras (1:6-7; 4:12-13) who was directed by Paul in his work there "for us" "on our behalf", (1:7). Paul though having a very vital connection with it. had never visited the church (1:7; 2:1). He seems to have kept posted about conditions in the church (1:3; 4, 9, 2:1), and to have approved the work and discipline of the church (1:5-7, 23, 2:5-7; 4:12-13). He was loved by them (1:8) and knew and loved some of them. See also Phile 9.

Condition of the Church and Occasion for the Epistle. False teachers or a false teacher, had come among them and had greatly hindered the prosperity of the church. The main source of all their false teaching lay in an old eastern dogma, that all matter is evil and its source also evil. If this were true, God, who is in no wise evil, could not have created matter. And since our bodies are matters they are evil and God could not have created them. From this notion that our bodies are evil two extremes of error arose: (1) That only by various ascetic practices, whereby we punish the body, can we hope to save it, 2:20-
23. (2) That since the body is evil, none of its deeds are to be accounted for. License was, therefore, granted to evil conduct, and evil passions were indulged at pleasure and without impunity (3:5-8).

In seeking to find relief from this condition they formulated two other false doctrines. (1) An esoteric and exclusive theory which was a doctrine of secrets and initiation (2:2, 3, 8). By this doctrine they declared that the remedy for man's condition was known to only a few, and to learn this secret one must be initiated into their company. (2) That since God could not have been creator of these sinful bodies, they could not, therefore, come to him for blessing, and so they formulated, in their theory, a series of intermediary beings or Aeons, such as angels, that must have created us and whom we must worship (2:18), especially as a means of finally reaching God.

All these false theories conspired to limit the greatness and authority of Jesus Christ, and to limit the efficiency of redemption in him (2:9-10). They are called by the one name, Gnosticism, and present four aspects of error in this book. (1) Philosophic, 2:3, 4, 8. (2) Ritualistic, or Judaistic, 2:11, 14, 16-17. (3) Visionary, or angel-worship, 1:16; 2:10, 15, 18. (4) Ascetic practices, 2:20-23.
There are three modern applications of the Colossian heresy. (1) Ceremonialism, or ritualism. (2) Speculation. (3) Low standards of righteousness.

The Epistle of Colossians.

The news of these false teachings was brought to Paul probably by Epaphras. 1:7-8, and he wrote to combat them. It is polemic in spirit and argues that we have everything in Christ, that he is the source and Lord of all creation and that he alone can forgive sins and reconcile us to God. It, therefore, represents more fully than any other of Paul's epistles his doctrine of the person and preeminence of Christ.

Outline of Colossians.

I. Doctrinal Teachings, Ch. 1.

1. Introduction, 1-14.

2. Christ in relation to creation, 15-17.

3. Christ in relation to the church, 18 end.

II. Polemic Against False Teachings, ch. 2.

1. Introduction, 1-7.

2. Polemic against the general false teachings, 8-15.

3. Polemic against the particular claims of the false teachers, 16 end.

III. Hortatory Section, 3:1-4:6.

1. To a lofty Christian life, 3:1-4.

2. To exchange the old vices for the Christian graces, 3:5-14.

3. To make Christ sovereign over the whole of life, 3:15-17.

4. To the Christian discharge of relative duties, 3:18-4:1.

3. To a proper prayer life, 4:2-6.

IV. Personal Section, 4:7 end.

Study and Discussions for Colossians.

(1) Paul's prayer for them, 1:9-14.

(2) The preeminence of the Savior,1:5-20.

(3) The false and true philosophy of religion, 2:8-15.

(4) The worldly vices, 3:5-8.

(5) The Christian graces, 3:9-14.

(6) The lofty Christian life, 3:15-17.

(7) All references to the false teachings as in the words mystery, head, body, Lord, fullness, etc. Note 2:3, 8, 11, 16, 18, and many others.

(8) Paul's view of Jesus. Study every reference to him.