Observation: Analyzing Structure

by | Jun 7, 2022 | 04 Bible Study 101, How To Study

Most bible students quickly learn that observation is an essential part of Bible study. When you’re studying a text, don’t forget to watch for the structure. The details are important, but we want to place them back in the context and make sure we understand the main point those details contribute to.

Watch for these things when you’re making an analytical outline.

Cause & Effect (often marked by connectives)One event, concept or action that causes another. Key terms: therefore, so then as a resultRomans 8:1 Therefore
ClimaxA progression of events or ideas that climb to a certain high point before resolution or descendingNehemiah 8 turning point in the story
Repetition/ProgressionA progression of words or ideas that lead to a conclusion2Peter 1:5-8
Comparison2 or more elements that are alike or similar. Key Terms: like, as too, also, so alsoPsalm 42
Contrast2 or more elements that are unlike or dissimilar. Key Terms: but, yet)Psalm 73
Explanation or reasonThe presentation of an idea or event followed or preceded by its interpretationMark 4:13-20
InterchangeWhen the action, conversation or concept moves to another and then back againRomans 1-4 – Paul argues that we are justified by faith alone
Introduction & SummaryOpening or concluding remarks on a subject or situationMatthew 6:1
Pivot or hingeA sudden change in the direction or flow of the context; a minor climaxActs 2 (Pentecost)
ProportionEmphasis indicated by the amount of space the writer devotes to a subjectGenesis 37-50 Story of Joseph
PurposeA declaration of the author’s purpose for writing1John 1:1-5
Question & AnswerUsing questions and answers to make a point or provoke a responseMark 2:1-12
Specific to general;
general to specific
Progression of though from a single example to a general principle or vice versa1Peter 2:12-25
Advice/warningsCommands or directivesExodus 20:12
Reasons/resultsAn explanation for a command or a result of obedience to a commandExodus 20:12

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