Crossway Books recently posted another short, helpful set of instructions to help improve our personal bible study—A 7-Step Approach to In-Depth Bible Study.
Here are the highlights:
1. See the structure.
Start with looking for the structure of the passage. The first key question is How did this author structure or arrange this text?
2. Read in context.
Ask, How do the immediate and whole-Bible contexts inform the meaning of this text?
3. Consider the background.
Ask, What was the original setting and circumstance of the author and readers?
4. Grasp the main point.
…we ask the question, What is the main point the author is making? …Our goal is to say, Author, if I’m reading this correctly, here’s what you’re saying:_____; and the author would respond, Yes, that’s exactly my point!
5. Identify the purpose.
Once we’ve identified what the author said, we need to identify why he says it. So, we ask the question, What is the author’s purpose in writing this?
6. Relate to the gospel.
Ask the question, What are a few ways that this relates to the good news of God’s grace for sinners and sufferers?
7. Respond to implications.
Our final step is to draw out and respond to implications. We now ask, What are implications and applications for us today?
The post has lots of helpful details, and it’s not too long. I recommend you check out the whole thing.