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The Best Bible Commentary. A Study of Bible Cross-References. The Best Bible Commentary. Commentaries written by men may, and often do, contain error. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself. When possible, let the Bible comment on itself. We call this cross-referencing.

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The Best Bible Commentary

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The Best Bible Commentary

A Study of Bible Cross-References


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The Best Bible Commentary

  • Commentaries written by men may, and often do, contain error.

  • The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself. When possible, let the Bible comment on itself. We call this cross-referencing.

  • The practice of printing cross-references in the margin of the Bible began as early as 1483.

  • Cross-references can be effective in showing the internal, interrelationship of the Bible text.


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The Best Bible Commentary

“One of the fundamental principles of Protestant biblical interpretation is that ‘Scripture is its own best interpreter.’ Luther expressed this principle with the words, Scriptura sui ipsius interpres (‘Scripture is its own expositor’), and it was summed up by the authors of the Westminster Confession thus: ‘The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture ... it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly’” – www.bible-researcher.com


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Categories of Cross-References

  • Indirect – the same word or phrase used in more than one verse (these cross-references may be misleading and unreliable because of the different contexts)

    • Example: Mt. 19:28 [today] cross-references with Mt. 25:31 [the judgment day]

  • Direct – a direct quotation, a fulfilled prophecy, types and antitypes, the same story or doctrine retold in more than one verse, etc.


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Where Can GoodCross-References Be Found?

  • Bibles / Study Bibles

  • Bible Software

  • Reference Works

  • Commentaries

  • Online Sources


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Bibles

  • Many Bibles contain center or side margin cross-references

  • American Standard Teacher’s Ed. (Nelson/Star)

  • New American Standard Reference Ed. (Lockman)

  • English Standard Version (Crossway)

  • Cambridge Interlinear Bible

  • Greek New Testament (27th NA)


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Bibles

  • Write in your own cross-references in the margin of your Bible, or underscore the ones that are already there and directly relate


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Study Bibles

  • The Companion Bible (Bullinger)

  • Dake Annotated Reference Bible

  • Thompson Chain Reference Bible

  • NLT Full-Verse Cross-Reference Bible (Tyndale)

  • NRSV Harper Study Bible (Zondervan)


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Bible Software

  • Many Bible software packages allow you to search by word or by phrase

  • Parson’s QuickVerse

  • BibleSoft

  • Esword (free, downloadable Bible software)

  • Logos, Gramcord, BibleWorks, Accordance, and Pradis (these allow you to search in the original Hebrew and Greek language)


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Reference Works

General Cross-References

  • Bible Concordance (Young, Strong)

  • The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (authors)

  • Nelson’s Cross-Reference Guide (J. Smith)

  • Cross-Reference Digest of the Bible (Monser)

  • Short Bible Reference System (Bratcher)

  • Bible Index (Bratcher and Thompson)


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Reference Works

General Cross-References

  • Nave’s Topical Bible

  • Torrey’s Topical Textbook

  • Several “Topical Bibles” are in print


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Reference Works

Cross-References from the Old Testament in the New

  • Commentary on the NT Use of the OT (Beale and Carson)

  • NT Fulfillment of OT Prophecies

  • OT Quotations in the NT (Archer and Chirichigno, Bratcher)

  • Indices in the back of the NA 27th and UBS 4th Greek text

  • The Jefford Bible Handbook (C.N. Jefford)


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Reference Works

Cross-References from Parallel Accounts

  • Harmony of the Gospels (A.T. Robertson)

  • Harmony of the Life of St. Paul (Goodwin)

  • Harmony of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Psalms (Newsom, Crockett)


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Commentaries

Cross-References from Commentaries

  • Expositor’s Greek Testament (W.R. Nicoll)

  • Select commentaries wherein the author uses numerous cross-references


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Online Sources

Cross-References Online

  • The Bible Cross-Reference section of TheGoodTeacher.com (under “Study Resources”)

  • Cross Reference Bible http://members.aol.com/Sftrail/crossreferencebible/index.html


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Cross-Reference Caution

  • Cross-references are provided by men, they are not “inspired” by God … study them with caution

  • Cross-references may reflect the beliefs and theology of the compiler

    • Example: 2 Thess. 2:3 cross-referenced with 1 Jn. 2:18,22; and 2 Jn. 7

    • Example: Isa. 14:12 cross-referenced with Lk. 10:18 and Rev. 12:7-9


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Rewards ofBible Cross-Referencing

  • Bible students: you will keep a passage in its context and you will not go astray by reading erroneous comments of men

  • Bible teachers: you will have more Bible-based material to supplement your lesson

  • Preachers: you will have direct references to sustain your point, rather than random, unrelated references found all over the Bible


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