I mentioned some things to think about when reading a passage:
- Genre: what kind of text is it (legal, prophetic, letter, historical)?
- Author: do we know who wrote it?
- Audience: who is this text written to? What did they experience/know?
- Historical context: when and in what context was this text written?
- Biblical context: where is it in the canon, what books were written before it?
- Context of the passage: what is written before and after it?
- Finally: what does this passage mean?
Then we talked about how to draw meaning from a passage, and the websites below give good bible study methods, in particular the Desiring God one. I find the questions helpful:
- What does it say about God (Father, Son and/or Spirit)?
- What does it say about mankind (fallen, redeemed)?
- What does it say about sin?
- What does it say about the church?
- What does it say to me?
Finally, I recommend to pray through passages, which I do occasionally, but brings the passage to life in my own life.
Some passages which we looked at and that are surprising given their content and what we can draw from them are here below. I want to encourage you to do Bible studies of these passages and draw your own conclusions.