One of the most obvious keys to Bible study is paying attention to what you see in the text, but we so often miss things! “Noticing” is the first step in finding the heart of a text. So here are a few ideas to help you notice important words and concepts.
- Read the passage several times.
- Read the passage at various speeds.
- Read the passage in different ways. Try reading out loud, or in a whisper. Try reading it emphasizing the emotions you find there. Be creative!
- Write out the passage.
- Read the passage in another version. If you normally use a more literal version, try a less literal one and note the differences.
- Ask a lot of questions. Spend time just dreaming up questions to ask the text, and see if you can find something you didn’t see before.
- Listen to someone else read it.
- Look for different kinds of words:
- Long words
- Conditional words (an “if…then” statement is a common example)
- Comparison/contrast words
- Figures of speech.
- Look for contrasting thoughts.
- Pay attention to word order and emphasis.
- Pay attention to words or concepts that repeat.
- Pay attention to words that are confusing, don’t seem to fit, or are unexpected
- Pay special attention to verbs. The more you know about them, the better your study abilities will become.
These are simple ways to find more from a passage. If you apply yourself, you’ll pull back a layer of the Bible and find rich treasures within! The effort is well worth the result.
You probably could add to this list of idea. What do you do to help ensure you notice what’s in the text? Comment below!