In last week’s study tip we looked at the benefits of a fly-over, that is a quick overview read-through. It helps us become familiar with the layout, the major themes, and the key people or events. Today we’ll take a little closer look in a drive-by.
Imagine you want to buy a new house, and you’ve scoured the weekend papers, and circled all the possibilities in red. Your next step in the search will be cruising the neighborhoods with a lingering look at each prospect. This is the kind of Scriptural drive-by we’re working toward, not the zipping down the highway kind, but the slow, stalker-ish kind of look. And since we’re driving by so slowly, we’re not going to cover a lot of ground, so we’ll limit this kind of examination to the chapter.
Here are the steps to a drive-by.
1. Read the chapter straight through as a unified whole. Don’t necessarily look at the divisions or headings if your Bible has them. Just read like you’d read any other writing.
2. What are your first impressions? Is this a story or is it more informational?
If it’s a story, what happens? Were you surprised by the events? Did it ‘end’ or do you need to keep reading to get to the end?
If it’s informational, what’s the tone? A rebuke, or encouragement? Maybe it’s instructional.
3. If you’re a note-taker, write down a summary statement or a chapter title. This goes a long way toward helping you remember what the chapter is about.
Next week, we’ll get out of this metaphorical car and walk around a bit.