EFFECTIVE BIBLE STUDY
There is no better commentary on the Bible than
itself and no-one is better suited for interpreting God's Word than God
Himself. It is here that cross references can be so valuable.
WHAT IS A CROSS REFERENCE?
Cross references are verse "references"
supplied by the translators that direct the reader to other locations in
the Bible where the same (or similar) phrase, word or event can be
FORMATS FOR CROSS REFERENCES:
- Centre or side margin references
- Footnote references
- Separate books (e.g. The Treasury of Scripture
- Computer reference systems
USES OF CROSS REFERENCES:
- Linking teachings and prophecies
between the Old and New Testaments
Example 1: Link: Luke 1:31-33
31 "And behold, you will conceive in your
womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
32 "He will be great, and will be called
the Son of the Highest; and the Lord
God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His
kingdom there will be no end."
With: 2 Samuel 7:14-17
"'I will be his Father, and he
shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him
with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My
mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, who I removed
from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established
forever before you. Your throne
shall be established forever.' According
to these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to
Example 2: Link John 1:19-21
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the
Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am not the
21 And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am
not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' And
he answered, 'No.'
With: Deuteronomy 18:15,18
"'The Lord your God will raise up for you a
Prophet like me from
your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear . . . and will put
My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command
Example 3: Link Luke 4:16-21
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been
brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the
Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had
opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 "The Spirit of
the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel
to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach
deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set
at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
20 Then He closed the book, and
gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who
were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is
fulfilled in your hearing."
With: Isaiah 61:1,2
"The Spirit of the
Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good
tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of
the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of
the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God."
- Filling in details on persons, places
Example 1: Hebrews 6:20
where the forerunner has entered for us, even
Jesus, having become High Priest forever
according to the order of
Who is Melchizedek?
"Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out
bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High." Genesis
Example 2: Matthew 12:42
42 "The queen
of the South will rise
up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came
from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a
greater than Solomon is here."
Who was the queen of the
"Now when the queen
of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name
of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions."1 Kings
Example 3: Acts 1:1
account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both
to do and teach,"
What was the former account?
"It seemed good to me also, having had
perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to
you an orderly account, most
excellent Theophilus." Luke 1:3
- Filling in the details of parallel accounts
Example 1: History of Kings of Israel
1 Kings 15:34
34 "He did evil in the sight of the Lord,
and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made
"After this event Jeroboam did not turn
from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of
people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he
became one of the priest of the high places. And this thing was the
sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from
the face of the earth." 1 Kings 13:33
1 Kings 15:23
23 "The rest of all the acts of Asa, and
his might, all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they
not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? But
in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet".
"And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign,
Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was very severe; yet
in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians." 2
1 Kings 22:44
44 "Also Jehoshaphat made peace with the
king of Israel."
"Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and by marriage
he allied himself with Ahab [king of Israel]." 2 Chronicles 18:1
Example 2: Gospel Accounts
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was
done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that
John had risen from the dead,
8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the
old prophets had risen again.
9 And Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom
I hear such things?"
sought to see Him.
"But when Herod's birthday was celebrated,
the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod.
Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, 'Give me John the
Baptist's head here on a platter.'" Matthew 14:6-8
44 "Even the robbers who were crucified
with Him reviled Him with the same thing."
"Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him,
saying, 'If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.' But the other,
answering, rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you
are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive
the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing
wrong." Luke 23:39-41
- Clarification of meanings and teachings
Example 1: Matthew 9:10-13
10 And so it was, as Jesus sat at the table in
the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat
down with Him and His disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples,
"Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
12 But when Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are
well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13 "But go and learn what this means 'I
desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
"For I desire
mercy and not sacrifice, and knowledge of God more than
burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6
Example 2: John 4:5
So He came to a city of Samaria which is called
Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
"And he bought the parcel of land, where he
had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem's father,
for one hundred pieces of money." Genesis 33:19