Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage.

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P A | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Mar 23 2013 6:24 AM

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

Disclaimer. The best way is to spend time with text and draw it out.

 

But if you are short of time and have a particular difficult text. What resources are there in Logos that give you the main idea or thought in a nutshell?

 

P A

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P A | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 23 2013 6:46 AM

Smile

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 23 2013 8:04 AM

Most of the time reading through the passage several times (maybe using several different English versions) will give you a good understanding. Contextual reading also plays an important role. Sometimes the pericope titles the translators have assigned will help as well.

I use a method pretty regularly that I picked up through www.learnlogos.com 

Using the OpenText clause analysis tool identify the Predicate and Subject of each Primary Clause in the passage. Those will give you a better understanding of what the main point (s) of a passage are. The Predicates and Subjects of the Secondary Clauses are usually sub-points related to the primary.

For the OT use the Andersen-Forbes. Identify clauses with the cl-oblq labels and the verb-gram and subj-gram connected to the clause.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 23 2013 8:46 AM

P A:

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

Disclaimer. The best way is to spend time with text and draw it out.

But if you are short of time and have a particular difficult text. What resources are there in Logos that give you the main idea or thought in a nutshell?

This may sound trite: the best resource for getting to the main idea is the Bible itself. That is, a thorough knowledge and familiarity with the Bible, with the narrative arc, with the particular book's purpose and its author's style are the best ways to get at the main idea of a particular passage. Often the way a passage is written will help draw focus to what it intends to tell us. Sometimes, as in the book of Esther, what is not said (e.g., the words "God" and "prayer") is just as important in understanding what the author intends to tell us (for Esther, I think the author wants us to see God's hand between all the lines, and prayer as the key to releasing His protection and providence).

However, one should be careful not to assume that there is only one main idea in a passage. Consider the Lord's prayer, given in the context of a teaching on prayer, still the Lord draws attention to the part of forgiving as we've been forgiven. Also the Lord's prayer carries within it themes and main points from several threads running through the Gospel narrative. Another example, in the parable usually called the prodigal son, there are at least three main ideas represented by its three main characters: 1) turn from sin and return to God; 2) God is unimaginably merciful; 3) the faithful should not resent God's mercy to the repentant. In fact, there are other main themes that we find in that passage: the way of sin leads to impoverishment; when we return as a servant, God welcomes us as a son/daughter; heaven celebrates the return of a sinner; the repentant sinner is given the Father's honor; not all who appear dutiful, serve from the heart; the temptation to earn God's love may result in resentment about God's mercy; and the dangling question at the end of the parable: will you join the celebration or stay out in the workman's field? I would argue that one could easily and properly preach a long series of sermons on this particularly rich parable, and still find 'main ideas' that are worth developing further. I would further argue that unless one takes the three main ideas together, one will invariably miss something essential here. And certainly the parable cannot stand on its own without the cross and resurrection, which unlocks God's mercy, and sets us free from sin's power, which, together with the inner work of the Spirit, make genuine repentance possible - a main idea not even in the parable!

In short, while for some passages, the "main idea" is a good starting point for understanding the other ideas in the text, for many passages I would resist the idea that there is a single 'main idea,' and encourage the exploration of all the ideas which are woven together not only in the context of the passage, but also the context of the book, and the entire corpus of Scripture.

[Yes, I'm reacting/responding a bit to some stuff I've heard recently that tries to use this 'main idea' concept as a short cut to understanding what a passage was about - and missed dramatically, more than once.]

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Orpheus Heyward | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 23 2013 10:07 AM

I would suggest in addition to a continuous reading of the passage and its context, the syntax graphs can be helpful in helping to identify the main idea of a passage by helping you see how the words function in relation to each other.  I am not sure how familiar you are with these graphs, but spending some time learning them is a worth while investment.  I would also suggests Steve Runge's Lexham High Definition ESV NT.  

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Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 23 2013 10:49 AM

PA,

I thought about what you are inquiring and I agree with Richard, that this is not an easy task. But for me, I will have all of my bible programs open and do as much study as I can and compare the results of all, if the particular text is difficult at the beginning then the study may be more in-depth.

Remember it is the Spirit that teaches men, not by men's cunning or ability to use a program, and as stated already, there may be more than one meaning or teaching involved.....

 

Hope this helps..

 

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

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Augusto Liza | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 28 2020 6:47 AM

Excelent... Finaly somebory says it.

Necesito informacaión para el entrenamientos del Logos

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Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 3:12 AM

P A:
Disclaimer. The best way is to spend time with text and draw it out.

As great as all of these answers are, and they good reminders, I think based on the quote above that the OP knows that prayerfully Reading the Bible passage over and over is the best Method. I (and undoubtedly the OP too) would like to read some posts that answer that actually touch on the OPs question: Other than reading the passage, how can the meaning of the passage be found? 

Personally, If I am short of time and need an answer fast (for whatever reason), I will often turn to resources like sermon outlines or commentators that break down the passage into key points. Dale Ralph Davis‘ commentaries are particularly good for this. Whole Bible commentaries such as the New Bible Commentary or the Knowledge Bible Commentary are also useful as they often cover passages in short, readable chunks that give one the gist of what is being said without wading through the technical stuff. Helpful if in a rush. 

Carpe verbum.

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Sascha John | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 5:07 AM

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

1) Ask the Question:"What has the Author in Mind for the Audience he is talking to?"

2) Don't touch difficult Passages if you don't have time to answer the First Question!

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 7:23 AM

Sascha John:
Ask the Question:"What has the Author in Mind for the Audience he is talking to?"

Not arguing (and an older thread), but being a member of the Literalist Denomination, most if not all verse readers must read each verse with their denomination as an overlay. Else they'd devolve into chaos.  It wasn't by accident that the Ethiopian Eunuch needed his chariot visitor for explanation.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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John W | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 9:26 AM

I find these helpful:

  1. The Bible Reader's Companion
  2. Summarized NT
  3. The Bible Guide
  4. The Outline Bible

All in Logos

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 9:33 AM

Sascha John:

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

1) Ask the Question:"What has the Author in Mind for the Audience he is talking to?"

2) Don't touch difficult Passages if you don't have time to answer the First Question!

Nobody can answer question # 1 without injecting their own theological bias into the answer.  Many can/might see what the text/author is actually saying, but if it goes against their own theological convictions what the text or authors had in mind literally goes out the window.  I’ve seen it too many times.

So to answer the OP’s question without giving different feeble methodologies here are some resources, as per his request (My top 3):

1.  Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries (ZECOT/ZECNT).

2.  Teach the Text commentaries.

3.  Teaching the Bible Series.

A last one worth considering is Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures.

Sorry, I’m on my phone so no links included.  Those are well known resources so they’re easy to look up on the website 👍😁👌

DAL

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 11:22 AM

P A:

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

Disclaimer. The best way is to spend time with text and draw it out.

But if you are short of time and have a particular difficult text. What resources are there in Logos that give you the main idea or thought in a nutshell?

P A

If you have literally no time. Then don't forget that the Holy Spirit spoke to many others as they struggled with the text.

You might start your sermon with... "This is a sermon that I would love to have preached first. Unfortunately for me, Andy Capp (or whoever the appropriate theologian is) got there first. Here is what God told them about this text."

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

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Richard J. Ward | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 12:12 PM

P A:

Identifying the main idea or thought in scripture passage

Disclaimer. The best way is to spend time with text and draw it out.

 

But if you are short of time and have a particular difficult text. What resources are there in Logos that give you the main idea or thought in a nutshell?

 

P A

I find the Exalting Jesus series to be helpful for what the OP was looking for. At the head of every division, there is a "Main Idea" section. There the author briefly sums up the passage. 

Posts 549
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2020 1:21 PM

Denise:
an older thread

Good spot, Denise. Blast i feel foolish for responding to a Necro’ed thread the way I did. Embarrassed

Carpe verbum.

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