Once a friend confessed: “I know an essential step of any Bible study is observation. But what am I suppose to observe?” So glad you asked! Sometimes we take this step for granted when talking about how to study the Bible, but observation is a skill we learn and practice like any other.
Generally, the study process begins with the big picture, zooms into the details and then returns to the big picture to put it all together. Observation takes place in the “detail” stage.
Here’s are a few basic things you can “observe”.
|Key Words||the words you must understand to make sense of the passage||repeated words repeated ideas synonyms||“authority”|
|statements which the author tells you to pursue or avoid||imperative verbs||Honor your father and mother|
|Explanations the author gives for his claims, warnings and advice||cause & effect claims if.. then because… for/for this reason so that…||so that you may live long|
|the association of things that are similar or opposite||is like but metaphors/similes||is like a wise man but a foolish man is like|
|words, ideas or phrases that are used more than once and/or ideas that build in sequence||lists repetition sequence of ideas||faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control|
2 Peter 1:5-8
|Questions||Asking sentences which sometimes expect a specific answer||what? who? why? where? how?||“who has measured”|
|words that explain the relationships between phrases, sentences and paragraphs||Therefore But If Because in/into with in order that||Therefore there is now no condemnation|
|Grammar||the form of words and the relationship of words||Tense verbs pronouns adverbs adjectives clauses||Pronoun shift (you vs. us vs we)|
Previous: How to Observe
Part of the Series: Bible Study 101
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