The Power of Cross Reference Bible Study Demonstrated

In my immediately preceding post I cited Bishop Horsley on the value of using cross references in Bible study.

The study of the Bible using cross references will permit the Bible reader to come to an accurate understanding of what the Bible itself teaches. After studying the Bible using cross references, no other source of Bible teaching will shake your faith because you absolutely know for yourself what it is the Bible declares on any subject in the Bible you have studied this way.

Studying the Bible using cross references is a sure way to become grounded in your faith. It is a sure method of Bible study that will protect you from those who would attempt to teach you false doctrine, or false teaching, as if from the Bible.

More than a decade ago I visited the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at their kind invitation, on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, for a most important service at the time of year we call Easter. I met one of the congregation leaders after the service, a local doctor, who asked if he might come to my home to study the Bible with me and share what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. I said that I always welcome further Bible teaching, and anything they could show me that could be sustained by what the Bible actually teaches, I would surely believe.

As I recall, we commenced a “book study.” I obtained through him a large, hardbound, red-covered study on the book of Revelation. That might have been the piece of literature we were studying from.

In any case, the Jehovah’s Witness literature made reference to a very interesting verse of Scripture, though it really did not directly comment upon the passage itself, it only cited it at the end of a paragraph.

I asked the good doctor if he could tell me more about that verse.

He said that frankly, he could not. But he would look further into the matter and bring me a copy of what explanation the Watchtower Society might have in its other literature.

When he next came, he brought me a Xerox copy of a page which cited the verse. He admitted there was no actual explanation about the verse available in any of the Watchtower literature sources he could access.

I offered to print out for him from my computer upstairs a page of cross references for the chapter, and that verse, for his reference. He said he would like for me to do that. I printed out the copy, and gave it to him. He said he would study the cross references as given.

When he came back for the next study, he shared with me that he now saw that I was right, and that he and the Watchtower Society of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were absolutely wrong. But, he said, “I am glad that I have no fear of death, for I shall die like a dog, and not have to face hell torment.”

The doctor told me he could not give up his association with the Watchtower, for his family was deeply connected with it, and he could not face losing them. Furthermore, he told me, so many individuals in his practice were Jehovah’s Witnesses, he could not remain in business if he lost those clients.

The doctor told me that he could not continue any further with me in our studies, and that, following the command of Jesus, he must leave my home, and “shake the dust off his feet” as he left. My wife and I observed him do just that, and we have never seen him again.

A number of people have asked me just what verse of Scripture I had furnished him the cross references to. Over this period of time, well more than a decade now, I have forgotten just which Scripture text was involved.

This morning I resolved to find the Xerox page the doctor had brought me. I found the page. My memory was correct that the verse involved came from Isaiah. But I had completely forgotten, and wrongly remembered, just which text this was. The doctor had highlighted the Scripture reference with a yellow highlighter, and the passage involved was Isaiah 55:3.

Now consider. Here was an experienced leader in the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I did not discuss with the doctor my own belief at any time. I read along with him material from his Watchtower Society literature, and dutifully answered the questions for each paragraph, questions given at the bottom of each page. I did not argue any Bible doctrine with him whatsoever.

I shared with him a printout of cross references for Isaiah 55:3 without comment of any kind.

He, apart from me, not in my presence, looked up those verses which explain that text.

The verses completely convinced him that his whole system of belief was absolutely wrong, and clearly not in accord with what the Bible itself teaches.

This strikingly demonstrates the power of cross reference Bible study, and confirms what Bishop Horsley claims about the importance and usefulness of this method of Bible study.

Here is the text of the verse the doctor consulted, namely, Isaiah 55:3,

Isa 55:3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

And here are the cross references for Isaiah 55:3,

3. Incline. Ps 78:1. 119:112. Pr 4:20. come. Mt 11:28. Jn 6:37, 44, 45. 7:37. hear. Mt 13:16. 17:5. Jn 5:24, 25. 8:47. 10:27. soul. Heb. nephesh, +Ge 12:13. and I will. Is 54:8. 61:8. Ge 17:7. Je 31:33, 34. 32:40. 50:5. He 13:20. everlasting. Heb. olam, +Ge 17:7. +Ge 9:16. covenant. Jg 2:1. 2 S 7:10-16. +Ps 74:20. 89:34. the sure mercies. +Is 41:9. +Is 54:8-10. +Is 59:21. +2 S 7:10, 15. 23:5. +Ps 89:3, 28, 33, 35-37. +Ps 132:11. +Je 33:20, 21, 25, 26. Ezk 37:24, 25. +Ac 13:34. of David. Is 38:5. +Ac 13:23.

The “+” symbol means “find more here” in the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible.

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24 Responses to The Power of Cross Reference Bible Study Demonstrated

  1. cna training says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. admin says:

    Thank you CNA for your comment!

    I hope many more will find this article, and share the fact of its existence with others.

    I personally believe what I have written would help anyone learn how to study the Bible and understand it better.

  3. As always, great information! I shared it on Twitter…

  4. admin says:

    Thank you, Scott, for reading my post!

    It was an eye-opener for me this past Sunday when I went to the attic to find that Xerox page from the doctor. I was hoping that that page would serve to correct my memory of just what verse in Isaiah was involved. I was not disappointed!

    Another powerful text I used much more recently in a post I made to the religion forum of a secular website is Isaiah 24:23.

    In that case I took the time to print out the full Bible text of all the cross references given.

    That REALLY upset the resident JW posters on that site!

    Such experiences ought to turn them to true faith in Jesus Christ, if they truly believe the Bible. Surely the Bible can speak for itself, and using cross references for Bible study, it always does.

  5. Hey, There, “Real Bible Student,”

    As always, your information is a real blessing. Wouldn’t it be great someday if someone published a brand new and expanded cross reference tool for Bible study??!!!

    For those readers of yours who use “eSword” or “The Word” Bible software packages, they should visit my website – – for free access to a hundred conservative Bible study modules – and more added all the time.


  6. admin says:

    Thank you for your most welcome comment, DoctorDaveT!

    I think I’ll follow through, the Lord enabling, on your suggestion to create “a brand new and expanded cross reference tool for Bible study.”

    I trust everyone who reads here will visit your site and get those free modules to a hundred resources for conservative Bible study that you mention.

  7. Bible Study Boy says:

    Cross reference bible study is the only way to study the bible. There is no other way to unlock the hidden, spiritual wisdom of God. Unfortunately, many have not discovered how valuable this method of bible study really is. Here is a bible study site that demonstrates the importance of concordance/cross reference bible study in order to unlock the scriptures. I encourage all to try cross reference study.

  8. admin says:

    Thank you for your supportive comments, Bible Study Boy!

    I am beginning to wonder, myself, if most Christians don’t even know what a cross reference is!

    Properly, a cross reference is a reference to another verse or passage in the Bible that sheds light, explains, or otherwise has some bearing upon the verse where the cross reference is given.

    I have seen recent advertising in Christian publications and websites that seem to think that “cross referencing” means to correlate what is in one Bible study resource with what can be found in another, like a Bible dictionary, sometimes regarding Bible software that contains many such helpful resources.

    I certainly agree with you that cross reference Bible study is the only way to study the Bible.

  9. You appear to have some especially intriguing ideas on religion. Would like to meet you sometime.

  10. admin says:

    People have occasionally told me this in person.

    One pastor even told me, upon his first visit to my home, “You talk too much about the Bible, and too much about the Lord.”

    I think that pastor must have missed reading Malachi 3:16, 17 and Psalm 1:2 or Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

    Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
    Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

    Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
    Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
    Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

    In any case, I am always open to dialog and discussion. I love to answer questions about the Bible.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, and for leaving an interesting comment.

  11. ken sagely says:

    hello jerome really enjoying your website when your new treasury first came out i wrote you to thank you for the blessing the lord had given me from its by the grace of god i am still at digging out the great treasures of his word again appreciate this great tool! also i have found there a very few that are interested in real bible study so your website realy encourages me in him ken sagely

  12. admin says:

    Dear Ken,

    It is good to hear from you again!

    You were among the very first to write to me about The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge when it first came out.

    I agree with you. There seem to be very few who are interested in real Bible study.

    I hope more people will find this site and get excited about studying the Bible!

    Now you have me mystified–how did you ever find my site?

  13. Von Dagan says:

    Hi there could I reference some of the insight found in this blog if I reference you with a link back to your site?

  14. admin says:

    You are always welcome to reference this blog.
    If more people actually knew and understood what I have presented here, surely the world would be a better place for all.
    The Bible has the answers, and engaging in real Bible study will lead you directly to them.

  15. Can you make the text size larger? I am having a lot of trouble reading some of this without my glasses.

  16. thanks for such a insightfull post, I came accross your article while surfing the internet for something simmilar. But I dont concur with everything that you have written but then it is your post and up to you what gets posted. Largely I have found your prose inteligently written and well presented.I will send your blog details to several of my contacts as i am certain they will not only want to read this article but check on your blog as you look as if to have your finger on the pulse and can explain things in a clear and interesting fashion.Well an adequate amount of the flimflam good luck and keep blogging.

  17. admin says:

    Thank you for your kind observations.

    Now, to make this even more interesting, feel free to share your viewpoint behind your comment, “But I don’t concur with everything that you have written…”

    I’m open to discussion, and we can all look forward to learning something new.

    Certainly, no one can properly disagree about the power of cross reference Bible study, once this Bible study method is actually tried in person!

  18. Didn’t I read this EXACT SAME ARTICLE at another website yesterday? You know plagiarizing is a serious crime.

  19. admin says:

    Nothing on my Real Bible Study site is plagiarized, you may be sure.

    Send me (or post here under comments) the link to “this EXACT SAME ARTICLE” you claim to have read at another website “yesterday.”

    I am rather well-known by many at the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) for having produced and shared a research paper teaching unit to teach my students how not to plagiarize.

    Your own link to “” states it is out of date.

  20. admin says:

    At first I thought you were correct about the small size of print used here. That was when I was logged in as the “administrator.” I found no options to change the size of text. But when I used my web browser to access this site, I was able to zoom to the appropriate type size to make this easier to read, and everything looked just fine.

  21. optiver says:

    This is one of the better posts on this blog – thank you for sharing with us. I wait every week to read and you never let us down you do a great service for the community, thumbs up keep it up.

  22. admin says:

    I trust you will return to read more of what is here.

    Your post may be an instance of generic spam, but I “approved” it because I am interested in encouraging a greater knowledge of mathematics, as well as Bible.

    There is an amazing connection between the two, which you can learn about by studying the information I placed in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on the subject of numbers in the Bible.

    Are you aware of the Trachtenburg system of mathematics?

    I used it once to assist a student who told me she could not learn mathematics no matter what. It worked.

  23. “The Power of Cross Reference Bible Study Demonstrated | Real
    Bible Study” was extremely entertaining and beneficial!
    Within modern universe that is tough to achieve.
    Thx, Delores

  24. Jerry says:

    Dear Delores,

    Thank you for stopping by to read material on this site.

    Thank you, too, for your kind comment.

    I hope you will find it possible to return to read more of what is posted here.

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