The spirit-key to an understanding of God's Word is surrender of will and life to His mastery. |He that is willing to do His will will know of the teaching.| The mental-key to a grasp of the contents of that Book is habitual broad reading
. It cannot be too insistently insisted upon that wide reading from end to end of the Book, and from end to end of the year, is the
simple essential to a clear understanding and a firm grasp of the Bible. It is the only possible salvation from the piece-meal, microscopic study of sentences and verses that has been in common use clear out of all proportion
. Such disproportionate study steals away very largely the historical setting, and the simple meaning in the mind of speaker and writer. Wide reading habitually indulged in should come first, and out of that will naturally grow the closer study. This is the true order. In giving references it is needful to mark particular verses. Yet this is to be regretted because of our inveterate habit of reading only the marked verses instead of getting the sweep of their connection. The connection is a very large part of the interpretation of any passage. The references here are meant to be indices to the whole passage in connection. They are not meant to be full, but simply to start one going. They should be supplemented by others suggested by one's own reading, by marginal references (those of the American Revision are specially well selected), and by concordance and topical text-book. What a student digs out for himself is in a peculiar sense his own. It is woven into his fibre. It helps make him the man he comes to be. Those who may want a course to follow rigidly without independent study will find these notes disappointing. For those who want a daily scheme of study the allotment for the day can be by certain designated pages of reading with the corresponding paragraphs in the Study Notes. The paragraphing will be found to be in some measure, though not wholly, a sub-analysis. The American Revision is used here.