The Bible is a powerful book to read, and learning about its stories and characters will help you make sense of it all. Its stories span thousands of years, and more than 3,000 people are mentioned in the Bible. The Book of Genesis, for example, tells the story of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, illustrating how God met those people in the early days of human existence.
Identifying key details in the passage
Identifying key details in the passage of Scripture requires that you consider the Big Idea of the passage. The Big Idea is the central idea or message of the passage, a concise sentence that answers the passage’s main question. It also includes all the other important details of the passage, such as the story’s context and the historical events mentioned in the text. The Bible tells a story of God’s mercy and grace, and the passage helps us understand that God provides hope and redemption for all people.
When reading the Bible, observe and identify the passage’s key words and phrases. Key words and phrases often appear several times in a paragraph or chapter. Try to make note of those key words or phrases and focus on them in the passage. Then, look for other details that may provide context for the key words. Once you have identified the important details, you can move on to the next section and apply the same technique to a different passage.
When analyzing a passage of the Bible, pay special attention to connecting words and phrases. These words, like “so,” can help you understand the flow of thought in the passage. They indicate connections between ideas. Since Scripture is interrelated, identifying connecting words is essential for understanding a passage’s message. When you encounter conjunctions in a passage, look for them and ask yourself relevant 5W/H questions.
When preparing a sermon, identify the recurring ideas in the text. These ideas guide the reader towards the main idea and flow of ideas. While you are struggling with your sermon, you can always read commentaries on the passage. Often, they will help you to clarify the main issues and key theological concepts. Try to identify if you and others agree with the key message. If not, consider changing the topic or a different passage altogether.
Once you have identified key words and code words, you can begin to identify other details in the passage. Code words, such as Contrast, Conclusion, Terms of explanation, and Chronology, can also help you refine your skills of observation. However, questioning the text does not mean compromising the inerrancy of God’s Holy Word. Instead, it means analyzing how the author intended to say a particular thing, and determining whether it is relevant to your own situation.