A recent LOGOS training video lists recommended considerations in Bible study. Among these items, the instructor suggests paying special attention to the main characters. While “characters” as such may not immediately appear in poetry or epistles, in narrative, they do. In other words, the characters involved are more of a background factor in Galatians and Psalms, although still important to be aware of; understanding the characters is essential if one is to grasp Mark or Acts.
So, when delving into narrative, it is imperative to pay special attention to the characters—how they act, what they say, how other characters react to them, how they appear to change over time, any “speeches” they make, and more.
Lists of Bible study steps, considerations, and aspects frequently overlap each other but are never identical if they display any detail. The Logos list mentioned above includes these items (phrased slightly differently below) in its “Observation” category:
- Read the passage in context multiple times
- Identify themes
- Compare translations
- Explore literary contexts
- Explore historical/cultural contexts
- Pay attention to the characters
Gary D. Collier’s PROBE method prepends important “Pre-read and Pray” and “Recap” steps before to Observations phase; Logos’s list categorizes and delineates somewhat differently, including most of the same elements. If one such list doesn’t at least resemble the others you’ve seen in some respects, it is probably suspect. And, if a teacher or book doesn’t at least employ such a list in the methodological background, merely assuming that each verse “stands on its own” and “means what it says,” it’s probably better to move on to another teacher or method.