Observation is an important first step in studying the Bible. What does it say? The point is to observe carefully what the verses are saying before moving on to interpretation or application. You can start right now, observing a passage, and share the process with someone you are discipling.
- Repetition: Notice words or phrases that repeat.
- Compare & Contrast and If-Thens: Look for two items or ideas placed in relationship with each other—either as similar or different, or in an if-then relationship.
- Figures of Speech/Imagery: Make note of words that are not used in a literal sense.
- Conjunctions: Look for two ideas being joined, using words such as but, and, just, for, because, therefore.
- Verbs: Find the action words, note past/present/future tense and active or passive voice.
Dig deep into the two verses below. Underline, circle, write notes. Work through each of the observation tools listed here. Ask questions of what God is saying in the passage.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God— this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1,2
- What other information do you need?
- What will you want to find out in order to fully understand these verses?
Spend 10 minutes looking. Look again. Read. Read again. Try to make 15 observations of the Scripture.
See a sample of the passage with the questions answered at NavPress.org/AliveDay9
Excerpt from Help! My Bible is Alive! 30 Days of Learning to Love and Understand God’s Word by Nicole Unice. Used by permission of NavPress. To purchase this book: Visit navpress.com or call our publishing partner Tyndale House toll free 1-855-277-9400.