I don’t hesitate to assert that OIA (observe, interpret, apply) is the best method you can use to study the Bible. But in asserting this, I must make clear that it is not the terminology that matters but the substance. Many Bible teachers do excellent OIA Bible study without calling it “OIA Bible study.”
Case in point: John Piper. In this article entitled “How to Read the Bible for Yourself,” he explains his methodology for reading the Bible. And he never uses the words “observe” or “interpret.” He uses “apply” one time.
But he speaks of reading, understanding, noticing, and asking questions. He pushes for life change. And he packages his ideas in a few simple points:
- Read for the author’s meaning, not your own
- Ask questions to unlock the riches of the Bible
- At every page, pray and ask for God’s help
I commend Piper’s summary to you as another angle on how to study the Bible. Check it out!