Some questions to ask about the text.
- What type of text is it?
- Where can I find more information about the text?
- Who wrote the text?
- Who was the intended reader – ie., Who is the writer speaking to [is it an individual or a group of people?
- What is the point that the author is making ie., what is the purpose of the text?
- How was the text transmitted to others?
- When was the text written?
- Where was the text written ie., what is the cultural background of the text?
- Would their cultural experience or background have helped or hindered their understanding of this text?
Some Specific question about the text.
- Is the statement or text you are reading simply a ‘fact’?
- Is it simply written in the first person, for example how is the text being presented to you as you read it?
- Is the text informing you of a point of information or simply causing you to stop and think?
- Is the text a statement which questions the readers spiritual position?
- Is the text part of a larger context and if so what is being said?
- Is the text bringing clarity to a previous text?
- Is the text a statement by the author which continues from a previous chapter?
- Is the text a statement which has relevance today, if so, in what way and can the text be applied within my own cultural understanding?
- Would members of non-Christian groups have had access to this text?
- Would members of other religious groups (ie., Pharisees / Sadducees or Zealots etc) have had access to this text?
Ask yourself, would any other individuals or grouof individuals have been expected to read or have had opportunity to read this text? Ie., would it have been a private document?
In the light of these questions:
Is your new understanding about this text: for example, about the way this text would have been interpreted by the original reader?
About the way they would have understood the text?
It is important to note that incorrect interpretation will give an incorrect understanding and a misguided view of scriptural integrity leading to incorrect spiritual lifestyle. Discuss the importance of correct interpretation of text.
- Ask yourself how the reader would have reacted to the text?
- Put yourself in the position of the original reader, how would you have reacted to the text.
- What does the text say to you personally?
- Ask yourself, what practical application does this text have in relation to my personal spiritual life, or the life of my church group?
- Are there any other questions that you personally could ask about this text and what it is saying?
- Ask yourself if questions like this are important to the individual reader and the ministry of the church today and the Christian Biblical Scriptures