TIP of the day: Topics section of Passage Guide and Sermon Starter Guide

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jul 22 2015 5:27 PM

Admission: When topics and themes were first introduced, I confused the two and didn't see a need for both. I probably gave some very bad feedback in the beta testing. Although there is a great deal of overlap between the two, there are distinct differences. To summarize:

  1. Interesting Words deals with the important words that are actually in the text.
  2. Topics deals with ideas and concept actually mentioned in the text implicitly or explicitly, including intertextual attributes..
  3. Themes deals with ideas and concepts abstracted from the text

In a teaching situation, one could take the list of items included under Topics and draw links back to where the text speaks of the topic. This is a step in learning to find the topics for oneself as you read.

1. The Topics section exists by default in both the Passage Guide and the Sermon Starter Guide. Note that the content is the same even though the Wordle is (potentially) formatted differently each time it is invoked.

2. The top portion of the section is the topics list presented in Wordle format. The bottom portion shows the detail information regarding the selected topic - by default the most important topic as based on a measure of frequency in texts searched and "average usage". Examples of the texst search include:

  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
  • Nelson's Topical Bible Index
  • New Nave's Topical Bible
  • New Topical Textbook
  • Harper's Bible Dictionary
  • The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary
  • The New Bible Dictionary
  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Dictionary of Bible Themes
  • Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
  • A Dictionary of the Bible: Dealing with Its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology
  • Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments
  • Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
  • Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
  • LBAL Indice de Topicos
  • Lexham Theological Wordbook
  • Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • Tyndale Bible Dictionary
  • Where To Find It in the Bible
  • Willmington's Book of Bible Lists
  • The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
  • The Lexham Bible Dictionary
  • Catholic Bible Dictionary
  • BI100 Learn to Study the Bible . . . .

Note that the resource list made be expanded by clicking on <more> when present. Links to a Topic Guide and/or a Sermon Start Guide are provided for Faithlife identified Topic and Theme tags. Hovering over the topic word brings up a preview pane.

3. Hovering over the resource title opens the small resource information panel.

4. Clicking on the topic word opens the resource to that location.

5. Clicking on the resource name opens the resource to the title page.

6. Clicking on a word in the Wordle opens that word as the detail entry.

7. Use the options at the upper right of the section to switch to tag view. Note that the tags are shown in alphabetical order. On the left is the default view with only the last word shown showing font size adjusted to show frequency. Clicking on the last word produces the view shown on the right.

8.Clicking on the ellipse ... expands the list to view the full list (left side). Clicking on the two double brackets at the end of the list closes the expanded list back into the default view.(right side).

9.Hovering over the topic word opens a preview pane; clicking opens the resource to the topic.

10.Hovering on the resource title opens the preview pane; clicking opens the resource.

11.The third available view is the list form which, like the tags, is in alphabetical order.

12.Click on "more" to expand the list.

14. The section bar menu has only standard options.

13. Click on the arrowhead at the front of each topic to expand and contract the individual entries.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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