Letting Scripture Speak

When my Christmas barrel arrived, one of the gifts that my mother included was a set of my favorite Bible marking pens. She sends these every year because mom knows I LOVE to mark my Bible!

Actually, my marking is a bit more elaborate than others. Bible pages will be filled with circles, arrows, and lots of underlining (of course there’s a color coding system).

This is partly because I am a visual learner so marking the Bible while reading helps me…..

But mostly it’s because I want to find the theme of the passage

The theme (or big idea) of a passage is the Biblical truth that is emphasized within it. This is usually done by repetition, but illustration, and explanation can also point out the main truth. My goal with all of the circles and arrows is to point out one verse that emphasizes that main truth.

Finding the theme of a passage is incredibly important because by doing this we allow Scripture to speak for itself. The danger is for us to “speak for Scripture” by looking for a verse that speaks to us instead of the one that’s emphasized by the text.

Now often the main verse of a passage will speak to us…..but looking for a verse that speaks to our hearts focuses on interpretation (What does it mean?) and ignoring observation (what does it say?)

It is through observation (thinking about the text) that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Skipping over this important step means we get to decide what the Bible says! This can obviously lead to confusion and false doctrine in the worst cases.

Which is why I use Bible-marking pens

You don’t have to use pens and visual cues like me friends. But we all must make sure to observe Scripture letting it speak before trying to interpret what it says.

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