Unwrap the Meaning

In the Observe phase, you identified the context of the passage at a very primitive level. The primary objective was to identify any major components and themes of the passage. In the Unwrap phase, you will dive deeper to uncover the passage's literary, and in some cases, historical contexts. The literary context seeks to identify the genre and mood of the passage, and it examines the relationships of words, sentences, and paragraphs within and surrounding the passage you are studying. The historical context uncovers prominent people and events surrounding the passage. In the POUR method, we will only explore the historical context as it relates to this literary context, but not much further.

There are some areas of literary study that can be easily identified, such as the genre and mood (e.g., the general attitude of the author's message). Other areas will need a bit more time and intentionality. Therefore, it may be helpful to refer to your findings in the Observe stage and use them as an initial roadmap for your discovery and research. Those findings will not get you all the way, but they can be a good starting point. All in all, however, this phase will require the most effort. As stated above, make sure you give yourself enough margin for proper study and set realistic expectations for yourself. You'll only get out of this what you put into it, but make sure that you don't frustrate yourself in the process.

When exploring the literary context of a passage, you'll want to examine four primary elements:

POUR Method
The POUR Method is a hermeneutical approach to studying the Bible.
It develops a healthy discipline of examining Scripture through its proper contexts.
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