Tools for Verse-by Verse Analysis

A Study Bible
A Bible Dictionary or Encyclopedia
An exhaustive concordance
A set of word studies.

Definition of Verse-by-Verse Analysis.

Verse-by-verse analysis is passage analysis confined to the study of just a few verses. This method is suitable for times when you don’t have time to do a book study (background study, survey, analysis and synthesis) or any other large portion of scripture. This method is also good because it allows you to study an entire chapter or an entire book over a period of several days or weeks in a piecemeal fashion. If you use it to study larger portions, endeavor to go through it systematically. Avoid jumping from passage to passage.

We follow the same exact steps here as in the analysis of a passage: Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

Because the procedure is exactly the same as for passage analysis, we encourage you to find time to study the passage analysis chapter. It will increase your understanding of this method.


Step 1. Observation

Choose the verses that you want to study.
Select about 5 to 8 verses that you would like to study.

Write the verses out.
If you are using a computer, don’t copy and paste. Actually writing the verses out or typing them helps in the learning process.

Write a personal paraphrase.
Try to do this yourself. If you are starting off and don’t know how paraphrasing looks like, consult any of the two popular Bible paraphrases: The Message Bible, and the Living Bible. You can learn from how they paraphrase. If you don’t have any of these, then consult a different translation to see how they have rendered that verse. Try to keep your paraphrase as short as the text you are paraphrasing.

Interrogate the text
Apply the 5Ws, and 1H to the text. Ask why did the author write that verse? Why did God put that verse in that exact place? Why not later or earlier or in another book of the Bible?

Just observe.
Observe any links (contrasts, words of conclusion or explanations, chronology).


Step 2. Interpretation.

Word Study: Study any words you don’t know.
Establish context – Context is the text that comes before and after the verse.
Cross-reference each verse: Use a reference Bible or other reference tool to correlate each verse you study with others in the same book, by the same author, in the same testament and the entire Bible.
Employ principles of interpretation: This will help you make the proper interpretation.
Analyze and interrogate the verse again.
Ask the question: What lessons does this verse teach? Are there any commands? Promises? Warnings? And Write the answers: 1)______ 2)_________ 3)_________ and so on.
Meditate on each verse: use our MEDITATE acrostic. Meditation helps us understand the deeper meanings of a scripture passage. As you meditate, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden goal nuggets in that scripture to you.
Pray: Meditation often leads to prayer because as you meditate, God explains his word to you and speak to you through it. Pray to speak to God.

Step 3. Application

Write down one of the things you have learned as an application. Make it a time sensitive SMART goal. Remember that application is what really makes the difference in the life of a Christian.