In the first part of this study method overview, we looked at the materials needed, and how to use the colored pencils to highlight particular words in the passage you intend to study.
An important aspect of this coding is to create a KEY for yourself so that you are able to recognize the meaning of words as you highlight them and can find correlations as you begin to study the Scriptures word by word. I created my own Key using a 4×6 card that rests inside my Bible cover. It is more for reference, and I don’t have to follow it to a T – it just helps me break the passage down into parts and sections that I can go back and look at in a more detailed manner as I begin to study.
After you have highlighted and marked your study text, similar to the S.O.A.P. study method, you can begin to note observations about the passage. The highlights done prior to the actual study help you focus on important aspects and answer the Big Six Questions:
These questions are fundamental to the Inductive Bible Study. They will guide your study and help you pull the meaning, the lessons, the truth from God’s Word. Once you have identified the answers to the Big Six Questions, you can begin to see the bigger picture – and how God wants you to apply His Word to your life. Furthermore, you can begin to ask more questions to dive deeper into the study as you investigate your passage. For example,
- What is the main theme identified in the passage you are studying?
- How do the central characters interact and why is that important?
- How does this passage speak to you about God’s message of redemption, salvation, and intimate relationship with Him?
The goal is to Observe, Interpret and Apply the passages within your study.
This reveals the events or message within the Scripture passage. It helps you understand the Who, What, When, and Where of the study.
Why is this passage important? It is included in Scripture for a particular reason and holds meaning. What are the key terms, phrases, or themes in the passage? What other passages relate to this one and why does it matter?
How does this passage affect my life? How does God want me to apply this to my life?
Although this particular Bible study method requires time and focused attention – it also becomes an important part of studying God’s Word and understanding all of its implications, nuances, and meanings. Using other Scripture to support and interpret a passage you are studying reveals the intricate and detailed effort God put into giving His Message to the whole world.
For more information on this study method, I recommend Kay Arthur’s The New How to Study Your Bible Workbook.
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