section 2 of the first session, you spent some time
discussing how the Bible interprets itself, and you
may remember looking at Isaiah 53.
learned from that example that the Bible interprets
examining that passage we also introduced the tip on
“listening” for Bible echoes. That was a very good example
of how using crossreferences can be valuable.
Basically, crossreferences can be used to help
the listening process by indicating for you some passages
which are “echoes”.
crossreference is a list of verses supplied by
the publishers which direct the reader to other locations
in the Bible where a given event, place, person, phrase
or word may be found.
hope that you have crossreferences in your Bible,
because it can be one of your greatest aids when you
are trying to understand a difficult passage.
are two types of crossreference. We have reproduced
typical examples of cross references below. The
first are those which fall into the category of “centre”
references by location
The first, below, is an example of one such
Bible. In this case, each letter appearing as
a superscript in the main text is linked to
a crossreference or references. Sometimes
there are also alternative meanings of words.
In this example they are organised by the order
they appear, generally in the vicinity of the
references by verse
The second example also has the references in
the centre margin, but this time references are
organised by verse.
third example has the crossreferences
at the bottom of the page in the form of footnotes.
Such crossreferences are usually not as
complete as those listed in the centre.
you do not have good crossreferences in your Bible,
and you really do not want to buy a new one, there are
books available which only contain crossreferences.
The most popular one is The Treasury of Scripture
Knowledge. It simply lists crossreferences
for each verse in the Bible. A word or phrase from the
verse is listed with the list of references.
are going to look at some examples of how crossreferences
can be of help in making your reading more effective.
There are four main ways in which crossreferences
can be of help.
Linking teaching and prophecies between the Old
and New Testaments.
this first example, we have shown Luke 1 v.3133
from the New King James Bible to show exactly
how to use cross references. Click on the small
picture to look at it more closely.
verse 32, if you wonder what is the throne
of his father David?, the marginal references
can help. You will notice a small letter c
just before the word throne. The
Bible is a by verse type, so look
down the margin for the references to verse
32, then look for reference c, which
is 2Samuel 7 v.1417, Acts 2 v.33 and Acts
7 v.55. The Samuel reference helps you to understand
that Jesus is to fulfil the promise to David
in 2 Samuel 7.
you look at Luke 4 v 1621, you see that
Jesus is reading from the book of Isaiah in
the Old Testament. If you refer to the crossreferences,
you will see that the actual passage he was
quoting from is Isaiah 61 v 1
in details on persons, places, subjects.
Hebrews 7 v 1, you could ask, “Who is Melchizedek?”.
The marginal references lead us to Genesis 14
book of the Acts starts “The former account
I made O Theophilus....”. If you ask “What is
this ‘former account’”, the margin leads to
Luke 1 v 3, where you see that the Gospel of
Luke was also written for “Theophilus”, so you
can conclude that Luke's Gospel is the “former
in detail from parallel accounts.
Kings 15 v 34 says that King Baasha walked “in
the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin”. The margin
helps you to find more about “the way of Jeroboam”.
One reference is 1 Kings 13 v 33, which elaborates
Jeroboam’s way of life.
9 v 79 tells that Herod had killed John
the Baptist. You might ask “Why?” The references
in the “interlinear” Bible to Matthew 14 v 1
to 12 and Mark 6 v 14 to 29 help tell you why.
If you read both of these passages, you see
that John had reproved Herod for marrying his
brother’s wife. Herod’s wife then used devious
means to make Herod kill John.
of the meaning of a passage.
9 v 1013. In verse 13, Jesus asked the
Pharisees the meaning of “I desire mercy and
not sacrifice”. The margin says that this is
a quote from Hosea 6 v 6, where Hosea was telling
the people that lots of sacrifices cannot make
wicked men acceptable to God. The implication
is that Jesus was telling the Pharisees that
they are in fact as wicked as people in Hosea’s
Acts 8 v 2740 you read of Philip and the
Ethiopian who was reading his Bible. The margin
tells what he was reading. In Acts 8 v 32, the
margin says that he was reading Isaiah 53 v
7 and 8. So you know that Philip explained Isaiah
53 to the Ethiopian.
you have a Bible with crossreferences, choose
one of the readings for the day from the Bible
Companion and look up some of the crossreferences
and see where they lead you. If you find an interesting
“echo”, look up the crossreferences from that
verse as well. If you pick any of the major themes in
the Bible, you can be led all round the Bible in this
you don’t have a Bible with crossreferences, look
at some of the references we have mentioned.
down what you have found out.