My method of study is this: I read the passage, then write out by hand the verses I’m studying on that given day. I then read each of the commentaries and word studies listed below and write out (sometimes in the author’s words, sometimes in my own words) any points that I find worthwhile. I use multiple sources so I don’t fall into any errors made by any one man, and I also check everything against what the Scripture actually says. I pray often that the Holy Spirit will assist me in determining the truth. (I have never agreed 100% with any one author, although there are some with whom I agree on all major points.)
I don’t write lengthy paragraphs, just notes to help me recall what I’ve studied. When you see a word or phrase in the passage followed by a dash (—), what follows are general comments on that word or passage. When I use an equal sign (=), what follows is a literal translation of the original language.
Here’s a list of the books I’m using for my study in John.
Grace and Truth: Studies in John’s Gospel, by J.F. Strombeck
Exposition of the Gospel of John, by Arthur W. Pink
The Leading Themes of the Gospel of John, by W.E. Vine
Opening the Gospel of John, by Philip W. Comfort and Wendell C. Hawley
The Gospel of John, by Arno Clemens Gaebelein
Addresses on the Gospel of John, by H.A. Ironside
The Dispensational Position of the Writings of John, by Cornelius S. Stam
Most of these books are older ones that I have inherited from my father. I’m OK with this for three reasons:
- I can’t afford new books.
- I have always been in general (but not absolute) agreement with my father’s teaching and so I figure I can’t go far wrong using the resources he used.
- I don’t buy into “fad” theology. The Bible says what God means it to say. It doesn’t say something brand new to a younger generation of theologians who are trying to make a name for themselves.
I generally use the KJV when I quote Scripture because that’s the version I grew up with and that I’m most familiar with, but I often check out the NIV and NAS to get multiple translations.