STEP III: OBSERVE IT
The Third Step of
Inductive Bible Study is Asking
the Big Question,
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” (2 Tim. 2:15-16)
Observation is taking a careful look of what is going on. And we have to know what is going on before we can act on a plan or action. Bible students must know the Word themselves before they can teach it.
OBSERVING IS: Before the process of interpretation, asking, “What does it say?” You must do this before you ask what does it mean and how to apply it to your life!
If you do the opposite as many do, you will not go deep enough and allow God’s Word to transform you before you respond to that change!
When we try to do something for God before we are changed is like trying to drive a car manual instead of the car itself.
FIRST: Give the Book the “Looks.”
REMEMBER: VERY EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IS THE CONTEXT!
The context is what is going on around the passage you are studying. If you take and read one verse without carefully studying the previous and preceding text, you will miss a great deal and possibly misinterpret what is being said.
THINGS TO OBSERVE:
Verbs are crucial “Tense, voice, mood, person, & number.” And check NOUNS in “Bible Dictionaries!” The context will give you the clues!
Ask these Essential Questions to aid your observations once you get a handle on the above principles. The goal is to interview the passage to be more challenged and to draw out more information:
Now interview the text and yourself:
Start with the simple questions and as you progress you will start to see more and ask more. Not every question will apply to every passage, perhaps only a couple will out of dozens. Remember, these are just tools; He is the means and reason why we study.
Make sure you trust and obey what God is telling you!
Like looking at a diamond from only one angle is like looking at glass, you see nothing interesting or spectacular. But when you turn the diamond in the light, you see all the facets and depth, so it is with Scripture! Looking at various translations side by side is like looking at more facets, it brings out the “3-D” depth, and becomes clearer and easier to understand and then to teach!
Condensed from the book, "Into Thy Word"