Scripture Study Tools
October 2006

“Scripture Study Tools,” Ensign, Oct. 2006, 72

Scripture Study Tools

To enhance your understanding of the scriptures, the following study helps are included in the Latter-day Saint set of standard works.

Bible Dictionary. Located in the appendix to the Bible, the dictionary follows the Topical Guide. In it you’ll find explanations of names and places mentioned in the Bible. It also offers short explanations of cultural items and key doctrines, as well as a chronology of important dates.

Topical Guide and Index. Located at the back of the Bible and triple combination (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price), respectively, these study aids are organized by key words to help you find commonly used scriptures for a given topic.

Chapter or Section Headings. Providing an overview of the chapter or section, headings may include information about doctrine, historical context, or people.

Footnotes and Cross-References. The most common type of footnote is a cross-reference to related passages of scripture. In addition, the footnotes often include acronyms:

  • (GR): Greek translations

  • (HEB): Hebrew translations

  • (TG): Topical Guide references

  • (IE): Explanations of idioms and difficult constructions

  • (JST): Excerpts from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible. Short JST entries appear in the footnotes; longer entries can be found in a section immediately after the Bible Dictionary.

Maps and Photographs. In the appendix of new sets of the standard works, scriptural sites and areas important to Church history are shown through a variety of maps and photographs. Chronological information is again included to help you better understand Church history.

As you use these study aids, you may find it helpful to mark your scriptures, although this is not necessary. If you do wish to mark them, consider highlighting verses or words that are meaningful to you and use whatever method works best for you. As you prayerfully study the scriptures, their meaning will become even more personal to you.

Note: Additional ideas for studying and marking your scriptures can be found in Teaching, No Greater Call (item no. 36123; U.S. $2.00), pages 56–59.