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Applying The Word

  1. What does the passage say?
  2. Why does the author say in this way?
  3. Why does the author say it here?
  4. Why does this passage belong at this point in the Bible story?
  5. What response did the author want from his readers?
  6. What response should we make today?
In short: ‘What?’ ‘Why?’ and ‘So what?’ It is the ‘Why?’ question that too often get missed out as people expound the Bible along with the question about what response the original author was looking for.

Basic Principles for Understanding Scripture by By Tremper Longman III

  1. Look for the author's intended meaning.
  2. Read a passage in context.
  3. Identify the genre of the passage you are reading.
  4. Consider the historical and cultural background of the Bible.
  5. Consider the grammar and structure within the passage.
  6. Interpret experience in the light of Scripture, not Scripture in the light of experience.
  7. Always seek the full counsel of Scripture.
Seek to answer these questions as you approach Scripture

1.       Observation

·         What does it say? This is the face value of the words.

2.      Interpretation

·         What does it mean? This is the meaning within/behind/inside the words, like reading between the lines.

·         What do I learn about God?

·         What do I learn about my relationship with God?

3.      Application  

·         What do I do with it?

·         How does God want me to live?

·         What steps of obedience do I need to take?