IV. Interpretation: What does it mean?
A. Content. This is not a secondary step; it’s crucial. We begin by examining the content—the words, repetitions, cause-effect, contrast, questions, and answers.
B. Context. It’s what goes before and what follows the passage.
C. Comparison. You’ll need a concordance to find any word in the Bible and its location so you can compare with other verses that will add and bring meaning to the passage you’re studying.
D. Culture. Cultures are different, and we need to take that into account when studying the Bible. Life does not exist in a vacuum; it exists in a culture that teaches us what they do and how and why they do it. A Bible dictionary will help you understand the terms and customs that we read about in the Bible.
E. Consultation. Sources, like a Bible Atlas, contain maps so you can see where the different places are. Also, a Bible dictionary and other Bible commentaries help. When you come to your interpretation of a passage, it’s good to test it with other commentaries. If nobody else sees what I saw, probably I’m wrong in my interpretation.
F. Assignment. Romans 12:1-2. Do the observation and interpretation; use the elements studied in this lesson.