1. Determine the Scripture portion that you’re seeking to interpret. This could be one verse, several verses, a chapter, or a topical study (for example, on humility).
2. Read the Scripture portion in several translations. I read the New King James, the New American Standard Bible, Berkeley, and New International Version. The Revised Standard Version enables one to see the distinctiveness of each proverb.
3. Outline (or diagram) the structure of the Scripture portion as it appears. Don’t add interpretive comments, and don’t start reading commentaries. Begin to think in terms of the purpose for this Scripture. Ask yourself: Why did the Holy Spirit put this verse here? I like to create a working preaching-outline before I become inundated with everyone else’s opinions. The advantage of this is simplicity, and you know what you’re talking about.
4. Write out your own observations. Thoughts. Principles. Doctrines. Applications. Write down anything you think of.
5. Translate the portion. If you don’t know Hebrew, go to the next step.
6. Exegete the Scripture portion. Start with a concordance, then move on to commentaries.
7. Set the portion in its biblical-theological framework.
8. Write a one sentence thesis that summarizes your message. This is not necessarily the theme of the Scripture portion. The theme states the purpose of the verse: Your thesis expresses your preaching thrust. Reduce your message to a “key” word.
9. Using your thesis, develop a full outline or manuscript based on the E-I-D-A outline method.
(E. Langston Haygood)

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