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Studying a passage (observation)

Effective Bible Study   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Aim: To start making observations from a passage - step one of four step method

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Studying is more than reading
We have been commanded to study
Study to show yourself approved
Study to grow in maturity and unity of the faith
Study and be blessed
We have looked at terms like
Exegesis - What does the text say
Hermeneutics - what does the text mean
Eisegesis - a wrong way to look at a text, it is reading into the text instead of taking from the text it is open to personal interpretation
We looked last week at Context, context, Context
Historical context
Cultural/social context
Literary context
Tonight we will start into a 4-step method of studying a text. Tonight we are looking at observation. The other steps just so you know are: Interpretation, application and correlation, you may note those down for next few weeks.
When you think about observation what do you think of?
Have someone look up the word observation for definition.
(N) Oxford Dictionary: the action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.
When it comes to studying a passage here are some introduction things to consider
It is see what is in the text
It is seeing what is going on in the text
It is looking at the circumstances of the text (keep things in context so you may have to read back or forward)
It is starting to ask questions of the text the who, what, where, why and how.
I think it only fair to give a little on the other steps, which we will get more into in the near future.
Interpretation: This is looking at the text and sorting through it to see what it means, it is coming to an understanding on what God meant by it. - There can be, will be many interpretations but God had only one meaning and it could have several applications.
Application: This is is the “so that” and we have talked about those in scripture for these lead to application of the previous text, what are we to do with it. - some passages we are given command, some come with implied but not direct command, while others only an inference (a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning)
Then the 4th-step is correlation (a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things). This is where it gets fun, it gets exciting where the student, the reader starts pulling scriptures together (i.e. Jn3:16, Rom10:9-10, Act2:38, Rom6:1-4, Act22:16) - this is how does this passage tie in with others in book, or the bible as a whole. we need to remember
Ps119:160 “160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
We need all these things to get to the sum!
Now, what fun is it if we don’t get into the bible and put this method of observation to use?
Turn to Act1:8
Acts 1:8 NASB95
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Make a general observation of this passage?
Now, time to look at start asking questions of the passage. Now, I have to be honest, I picked this verse because of the content, but also because to answer some of these questions we are going to need to do some investigation work to answer them.
The who?
Who is the who, and how do you know (answer in 1:2-3)
Now this could also draw back to Lk24:48-49 “48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.””
The what?
What is the what? - it is the power. The same power noted in Lk24:49.
The where?
Where is the where? - Jerusalem
But we also see that it will carry out from there to Judea, Samaria and the remotest part of the earth
The how?
How, what is the how? It is by the power from on high (Lk24:49) it is by the Holy Spirit .
and the why?
Why? - So they would be his witnesses, they would testify starting in Jerusalem and so on. To carry out the commission of
Mt28:19 “19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”
Other questions things you can do when making observations.
You see the word power, what power is this? What kind of power is this?
They are to be witnesses, witnesses of what?
Why is the geography listed here?
See, when observing it opens the doors to digging in more, to studying more, to investigating more and to the things we will be looking at next week. But we have time, lets turn to Heb1:1-4, and look at this passage which we touched on a few weeks ago.
Hebrews 1:1–2 NASB95
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Hebrews 1:3–4 NASB95
3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
General observation?
Who, what, where, how and why now.
Sum this up and then (Prayer)
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