How to Chain Reference Your Bible

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Many of us find that even after listening for years to sermons, sermonettes; reading booklets and articles; that we still have difficulty in locating scripture and explaining our beliefs to others. We know that the scriptures are "in there somewhere," but we often forget where to locate them. "Chain-referencing" your Bible is a way to overcome that weakness and really gain a command of scripture and Bible Doctrine. Remember the axiom, that until you understand a subject well enough to teach and explain it, you do not really understand it.

"Chain-referencing" is really very simple, a lot of fun and will help you to really grow in your command of scripture. Here is how to do it:

1. When studying an article or booklet on doctrine or evaluating a spoken message, try to locate the most important scriptures and comments. Notice how the writer or speaker explains the doctrine or subject and which scriptures are the most vital. Notice especially the order in which the scriptures are used, because good teaching follows a logical order.

2. Make a "Chain-Reference" index in the front of your Bible, where you can list the subjects you wish to be able to explain or understand. Beside the subject you will list the first scripture which will get you into your subject. For example, you might have an index which begins like this:

  1. Salvation-Conversion-Acts 2:37-38
  2. Sabbath - Genesis 2:2
  3. Heaven-Do Christians Go There When They Die?-Genesis 13:14-15
  4. Repentance from Dead Works - Hebrews 6:1
  5. Baptism - How to Understand Baptism-Mark 1:14-15
Now let's suppose that you want to chain-reference the subject "Sabbath" in your Bible. Genesis 2:2 will be your starting scripture. To explain the Sabbath, all you have to do is turn to your index, get your starting scripture, Genesis 2:2, and turn to that passage. Then beside this passage you will make a little box, with C.R., Sabbath and your next scripture. So once you get on the chain-reference road, it will take you to the end. Following is an illustration of how the Sabbath could be referenced. Notice especially the logical order of scripture and how each scripture "under-girds" the next one. It is a marvelous way to explain and understand Biblical Doctrine.