In my previous post, I described how to do a topical study using topical resources like Nave's Topical Bible or Torrey's New Topical Textbook. With these tools, you search for a particular topic and then follow the list of verses provided. In this post, I'll pick up where I left off and look at ways to sift through those verses to find the ones of greatest interest.
When you command-click or click and drag to hypertext to multiple verses (see previous post for more on that), you get a text window displaying each of those verses. In the example we used previously, Nave's article on "love of man for God," we get 65 verses. Let's say I want to go through these verses and find all the ones which make an explicit connection between loving God and keeping his commands. To do that, I would read through each verse and option-click the ones I want to mark. This will place a blue bookmark icon next to the verses clicked.
Once I've marked the verses I want to zero in on, I can place them in a separate verse list window by choosing New Reference List Window from the Add Marked Verses To submenu of the Selection menu. Now that I have this subset of verses collected in one place, I can place a description such as "Loving God means keeping His commands" in the Description field at the top of the window, and save it so that I can call it up again later.
Collecting verses in a reference list window enables me to interact with my search results and focus on particular connections. Now if I wanted to add a note to each of these verses, I could do so relatively quickly, without having to wade past other verses which are not relevant to this particular topic. Or, if I wanted to paste a list of references on this topic into a paper or sermon outline, I could select all the verses in the Reference List and choose References from the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu.
In my next post, I'll talk about ways you can use your reference list as the basis for other searches.