ObservationWhat does the passage say?
After reading the passage, look back and observe what the passage is saying. Try to look for repeated words, key phrases, and cross-references. Also, think about questions that you have after reading. Allow your curiosity to lead you further in understanding.
- Who? What? When? Where? Why?
- What other questions arise from the passage?
InterpretationWhat does the passage mean?
After observing what was said in the text, interpretation seeks to understand what God, or the book’s author, is seeking to communicate through the passage. Context is crucial to determining the meaning of the text. Outside resources like Bible dictionaries and commentaries also help when seeking historical context for passages.
- What is the context?
- Why is the author bringing this up?
- What is God saying through this passage?
ApplicationHow do I need to respond?
It’s easy to breeze through passages, especially those familiar to us, without taking time to stop and think about how we can practically apply the truths we studied.
- How should I live my life in light of this passage?
- How does this truth compel me to be transformed?
- What does it look like to put this into practice?