What to observe in Bible study

by | Sep 7, 2016 | 04 Bible Study 101, How To Study

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”.

DescriptionDefinitionLook ForExample
Key Wordsthe words you must understand to make sense of the passagerepeated words repeated ideas synonyms“authority”
Matthew 21:23-27
Advice /
statements which the author tells you to pursue or avoidimperative verbsHonor your father and mother
Exodus 20:12
Reasons /
Explanations the author gives for his claims, warnings and advicecause & effect claims if.. then because… for/for this reason so that…so that you may live long
Exodus 20:12
Contrasts /
the association of things that are similar or oppositeis like but metaphors/similesis like a wise man but a foolish man is like
Matthew 7:24-27
Repetition /
words, ideas or phrases that are used more than once and/or ideas that build in sequencelists repetition sequence of ideasfaith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control
2 Peter 1:5-8
QuestionsAsking sentences which sometimes expect a specific answerwhat? who? why? where? how?“who has measured”
Isaiah 40:12-15
words that explain the relationships between phrases, sentences and paragraphsTherefore But If Because in/into with in order thatTherefore there is now no condemnation
Romans 8:1-2
Grammarthe form of words and the relationship of wordsTense verbs pronouns adverbs adjectives clausesPronoun shift (you vs. us vs we)
Ephesians 2:1-5

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