A New Tool for Bible Study
We are living in a golden age of resources. The technological revolution has opened up to the common man incredible abilities to search information and use information by way of digital tools. This has never been so accessible or so easy to use. For Christians, this means we can access the writings and work of past Christians more than ever before. This also means that Christians can search and study the Bible in ways never before imagined. Since the Bible is the greatest treasure in all the world, then these new abilities are the greatest tools in all the world.
And I found a new tool the other day that I am really excited about.
The website is www.biblearc.com. This is a bible study website rich with usability, versatility, and helpfulness. Let me tell you about it.
First it gets its name from one particular form of Bible study called arching. Arching is a way to show the relationship between the phrases and clauses of a portion of scripture. It helps you see the flow of logic and get the meaning the author is trying to communicate.
For instance, Romans 1:15-16 says, “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel…” If you were going to arch this passage, you would make an arch connecting these two verses because the word “for” connects them. But what is “for” telling us about the relationship? It is giving us the grounds for why Paul is eager to preach. Paul’s argument continues to expand as you continue to read and arching forces you to determine the flow of Paul’s argument. Arching assumes you understand the words being used, and our great translations make that a good assumption. Therefore, grasping Paul’s flow of thought by way of arching is to understand what is meant, and when you have that, you now have the truth of the Scripture. And the truth of Scripture is what the Spirit uses to unleash power and transformation.
What makes this website so great is how it makes it so easy to do. You can easily break up the paragraph into its small parts, make arches, choose from a list of options regarding the relationship in each arch, make notes, and then download it and print it off for later use. Where this website gets really helpful is how it provides options and direction for making these interpretive decisions. If you are not sure if the relationship between two thoughts is an “Action-Manner” relationship or an “Action-Result” relationship, just click on the “more info” link and you can find more descriptions about these, a video describing what to look for, and other compare-contrast helps for making your decision. The site, from beginning to end, provides helps at every point so that you can learn how to make full use of all its tools and make good interpretive decisions. And if you would prefer to do sentence diagramming or an approach called phrasing, those tools are available as well.
If this wasn’t enough, the website also allows you to open up many different Bible translations, arrange them in different windows, do searches on individual words, make parallel groupings of translations and use interlinear helps for the original languages. There is also a scholar’s search page that allows you to do complicated searches in both English and in the original languages if you know them. All of this is free. If one would like, there is a subscription you can take that allows you to save to the cloud, and courses you can pay for to learn how to do this even better, but even these are very cheap.
What a resource! We want you to wrestle with the text of Scripture because it is the very Word of God and these are the words of life. And now you can do it easier than ever before in human history.