1

#2 THE CHAPTER
SUMMARY METHOD
OF BIBLE STUDY
2
HOW TO BEGIN
UNDERSTANDING
CHAPTERS OF THE
BIBLE
3
Originally the Bible had no chapters and verses
In 1228 Bishop Stephen Langton added chapter
divisions
Sometimes chapter divisions are unhelpful, but
most times they provide good breaking points and
help our Bible study
4
1,189 chapters in the Bible
1 chapter a day, study whole Bible in 3 years
2 chapters a day, study it in about 20 months
Not recommended as you would probably get
bored and not apply the Scripture to your life!

4
In this method:
Select the chapter you want to study
If possible try to do a whole book using this
method
Be careful—Vary what you do: Using a variety
of methods is always helpful in Bible study
5
DEFINITION OF THE
CHAPTER SUMMARY
STUDY METHOD

6
The Chapter method of Bible
study involves gaining a
good understanding of the
contents in a chapter by,

7
reading it through
at least five
times

7
asking a series
of content
questions
e.g. 5 W’s and an H
7
summarising the
central thoughts of
a passage.

7
Chapter Summary Study Form
Date:________ Passage: Challenges
_____________ __________________
_________ Cross references
Read 5 times: 1 2 3 4 5
(mark each time you read the Christ Seen
chapter)
Title Central lessons
Contents
Chief People Conclusion (Personal
Choice Verse Application)
Crucial Word (s)
WHY IS THIS
METHOD
IMPORTANT?

9
This method is important because it enables you
to begin understanding chapters of the
books of the Bible. 

10
It is a good method for those beginning Bible
study, because chapters are usually fairly short and
it does not require deep study to do.

It is an excellent basis for deeper study
because…
10
1. It is easy to learn
You learn the ten basic steps
and start working!

11
2. It doesn’t take much time
Usually 20-30 minutes.
- Less if it is a historical passage
- More for Psalms, prophetic
books or NT epistles.
12
3. It doesn’t require outside
materials or tools
Do this any place, any time with
only a Bible, paper and pen!

13
4. It helps to get a rapid
survey of sections of the
Bible

14
10 EASY STEPS FOR
DOING A CHAPTER
SUMMARY

15
In preparing for this study, read through the
chapter at least five times. 
The more times you read a passage of
scripture the more alive it will become to
you.

16
The great Bible expositor G. Campbell Morgan was
famous for his powerful, exciting sermons.  When
asked for the secret of his ability to communicate
God’s word, he replied that…

17
…he made it a habit to read a passage of
scripture 30 or 40 times before he began
working on it for a sermon.

17
…he made it a habit to read a passage of
scripture 30 or 40 times before he began
working on it for a sermon.

17
HOW TO READ A
CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE

18
1.  Read it in a Bible without notes. 
If you read it in a Bible with notes, you might
concentrate on the notes. 
Read it on your own first and allow the Lord to give
you insights.

19
2.  Read the whole passage
through in one go. 
Get the flow of the whole chapter. 
Don’t be concerned with details—
capture the idea of the chapter.
20
3.  [If possible] Read the
chapter several times in
different translations.
Look for interesting differences.

21
3.  [If possible] Read the
chapter several times in
different translations.
Look for interesting differences.

21
4. If you struggle to
concentrate read it aloud to
yourself.
This helps you to focus better on
the text.
It helps you remember more.
22
RESTART

23
10 STEPS IN THE
CHAPTER SUMMARY
METHOD

24
USE THESE AS A
CHECKLIST AS YOU
STUDY A CHAPTER
24
25
Chapter Summary Study Form Crucial Word (s)

Date:_________ Passage:
____________ ______________ Challenges
_____________

Read 5 times: 1 2 3 4 Cross references
5 (mark each time you read
the chapter) Christ Seen

Caption—Title
Central lessons
Contents
Chief People
Conclusion (Personal Application)
Choice Verse
C
APTION
ONTENTS
HIEF PEOPLE
HOICE VERSE
RUCIAL WORDS
HALLENGES
ROSS REFERENCES
HRIST SEEN
ENTRAL LESSON(S)
ONCLUSION
27
1. Caption—a TITLE
Write your own short, descriptive title for the
chapter.
Warren suggests between one and five words -
this will take practice!

28
A key word from the chapter will help you here e.g.
“Heroes of the Faith” for Hebrews 11
Someone suggested “Well-Well” for John 4 - two
events, the woman at the well and the son of the
nobleman is made well

28
2. Contents
Describe, summarize, paraphrase,
outline, or make a list of the major
points in a chapter.
Choose the method you most like
and is easy for you.
29
Some people like to summarize;
analytical people enjoy outlining.
Don’t interpret the chapter; just
make observations on its contents.
Record what you think the writer
said.
29
3. Chief People
Who are the main characters?
Who is important?
Note the use of he, she, they, I etc.
Why do you think they are important?

30
4. Choice [Memory] Verse
In your opinion which verse best
summarises the chapter?
Does one verse summarise the writers
argument?
Is one verse applicable for your life?
31
5. Crucial [Important] Words
What are the key word(s)?
Which words are used most often?
This most be crucial, but might not
be the most used word!

32
6. Challenges—Difficulties
What don’t you understand?
What needs to be studied
more? e.g. a word study, a
doctrine you don’t understand
etc.
33
7. Cross-References
Use the cross-references in your study
Bible and look up other verses to help
increase your understanding.
This gives you a bigger picture of how
the Bible looks at a subject or issue.
34
8. Christ Seen
The whole Bible points to Jesus
Christ.
In Lk 24:47 Jesus uses the OT to
teach his disciples about
himself.
35
What does this chapter teach
me about Father, Son or HS?
Do I lean more about the nature
or character of Jesus here?

35
9. Central Lesson [Teaching]
What principles, insights or lessons does God want
you to learn from this chapter?
Why did God want it included in the Bible?
What is the central thought the writer wants to
communicate?
36
10. Conclusion - APPLICATION
The APPLICATION part of your study.
You might develop this by asking:
a. How does this truth apply to me personally?
b. What am I going to do now?

37
ASSIGNMENT

38
Some chapters on which you can start using this method:
1 Corinthians 13
2 Timothy 2
1 John 1
John 17
Any chapter in the gospel of Luke
Your own favourite chapter!
39
THE END

40