SOAP isn’t rocket science. And we’re not talking about taking a bath, either. SOAP is an acronym for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
SOAP is changing the way people read the Bible. This new way of reading and thinking about Scripture has come to us from Honolulu by way of Bishop Dick Wills. The basic idea is to read from the Bible daily– and not just a little passage or two. The SOAP schedule presents the reader with at least 3 and no more than 5 chapters every day.
The principle is simple: God still speaks to us through the Scriptures. Reading the Bible is a way to gain insight into God’s intention for how we are to live, work, and worship together.
Wayne Cordiero’s LifeJournal
With your reading, there’s a chance to do some journaling. Journaling is vital because you should really check your work with other disciples who are listening to the same passages you are. You can use a blank notebook, download our Life Journals for Leaders, or obtain a copy of Wayne Cordiero’s LifeJournal from www.enewhope.org.
The journaling records your impressions of the scripture and any observations you might want to make. Next, you record the application that the passage is suggesting for your life, and close with a written prayer.
The idea is not to wrestle with the technical problems of Greek and Hebrew language. Instead, the words speak for themselves–informed by the scholarship of the disciple to that point. The passage “reads” the disciple as much as he or she reads it.
What You Won’t See
My journal is here online in part, and in a personal notebook for the rest. A word about what my journal includes: Like most journals, my SOAP journal contains information that is personal and confidential. I won’t be posting that. I will be posting material that I hope will encourage others to think about the meaning of Scripture for daily living.
In my discipleship journey, I have found nothing more effective than this 21st Century version of what John Wesley called, “Searching the Scriptures.” You see, with SOAP, one isn’t reading to ‘study’ the text. I don’t comment much in my journaling about the setting of the passage, or the author, or the dating of the text. What I’m looking for is an experience of the text that encourages a response from me.
One friend mentioned that this method “isn’t so much reading the text as it is letting the text read you.”
Another note: With several passages of scripture to read, two people reading the same selected passages might find different verses to write about. And the message each writer hears may be just different enough that their journal entries are as night and day. In short, don’t make the mistake of thinking that my entries will be like yours. They are simply my thoughts about what God may have been trying to get across to me with the Scriptures I was reading for the day.
For more information on SOAP and how you can make it a part of your faith-journey, check out the rest of the SOAP section, here on iJoey.org.