The second stage of passage study is all about interpreting the details in the passage. This stage is not complete until you get to the idea, which is actually stage 4. In order to distinguish the stages somewhat, I tend to view stage 2 as determining the flow or outline of the text’s content. This third stage focuses our attention beyond content alone. As you study the passage, you are studying not only the author’s content, but also his intent. Why did he write this passage and what was he trying to achieve? It is the understanding of both content (stage 2) and intent (stage 3) that leads to a full understanding of the passage, its idea (stage 4).
Previously – There have been several posts addressing the issue of authorial intent or passage purpose. Why was the text written as well as purpose and preaching, both touch on this stage significantly. Two posts on preaching help to clarify that the author’s purpose may differ from ours, but we must be careful not to bend the text too far to achieve our own purposes.
To see a full list of all posts that relate to stage 3, please click on the menu to the right.