We will spend a few weeks looking at how to study our Bibles. I often tell people how important it is to read your Bible, but then do not spend the time to teach how to read your Bible. The Bible is an ancient text translated into English that takes some effort to understand.
The first step to understanding a Bible passage is to make observations. Look at what exactly the text says. Answer the basic questions of who, what, where, and when. Notice what is specifically mentioned in the text and also take note of what is not in there. Sometimes when we read a familiar passage we put in details that are not actually in the passage.
We tried this yesterday in our worship service. We looked at Genesis 3:1-13 the passage about the fall of man. I invite anyone to share observations about this passage and especially details that might lead to some discussion.
I mentioned that the passage says a serpent came to talk to Eve. We often say the serpent was Satan, but that is not mentioned in the passage, so that is an interpretive step taken.
A couple of people noticed that the serpent talked to Eve, not Adam. We wondered if that was intentional or if she just happen to be the one who found the serpent first.
We mentioned that the fruit that was eaten was not said to be an apple. An apple is often a symbol of temptation because of this passage, but this passage just mentions fruit.
We also saw a lot of blaming going on when God showed up in the garden. Adam blamed both God and Eve for eating the fruit. He said he was given the fruit by the woman God had made. Eve then blames the serpent for deceiving her.
What other observations do you have of this passage? What questions do these observations bring to your mind? The conversation with the text begins with observations. In the next few weeks we will look at the next steps to better understanding God's Word.