And I can't think of a better place to start in preparation for the advanced study methods. If you are faithful in mastering this pattern, it will set you up for success later. Take your time and build good habits, being thoughtful and careful in your studies.
On your paper, there will be five headings: Verse for Study, Context, Observations, Questions, and Application.
Verse for Study
Under this heading, you will write the Bible verse that you are studying from three different Bible translations. Two reasons for writing it down from three different versions is to 1) familiarize yourself with the verse, and 2) quick and easy reference of all verses in one spot with no flipping back and forth in different Bibles.
Within the observation place, write down factual statements that you observe from your verse. Put the observations in your own words.
In this section, you will look at the verse before and the verse after, and write down what thoughts these verses add to the verse under consideration.
This section is the place where you can ask questions. What do you not understand? Write it in question format. Maybe you did not have any questions. If that is the case, what insight did you find useful? Formulate a question that captures the essence of this insight and jot that down. You could also ask questions that you think someone else might have if they read the text. Either way, take the time to write at least one question.
Finally, record one concrete way you will change your thoughts or behavior, or some action you will take because of what you learned in this verse. Concerning actions, set a definite date you will complete the action. The more specific you are, the more likely it is to be completed.
My recommendation is to use this method in short passages from one of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Feel free to bounce around from passage to passage and book to book.
Do you have any questions or insights about Bible study methods? Please share them in the comments below so we can all grow together!
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