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BTI-5100.A. Hermeneutics: Step 3: The MIT

An Introduction to helpful resources for BTI-5100.A.

Questions to Find the Main Idea of the Text (MIT)

  1. What was the main point then? (Idea)
  2. What was the biblical author talking about? (Theme)
  3. What was the biblical author saying about what he was talking about? (Complement)

Discover & Define the MIT

  • Define the main idea precisely in your own mind.
  • Strive to reflect what the biblical writer is saying.
  • Give the main idea an accurate description so that the same words can be used in your teaching.
  • Carefully locate the theological themes of the text.
  • Consider the plain obvious meaning of the text for indications of the main idea.
  • Look for pivotal verses in the text which may contain the main theme.

Practical Steps to Consider for the MIT

  • Give a tentative title to the text. This could well be the "theme" of the MIT.
  • If possible, write a personal translation or paraphrase of the text reflecting the flow of the argument in the text.
  • Write out the main idea of the text. Put the theme and complement in full-sentence form. The full statement does not need to be long, but make it adequate.

Helpful Tips

  • Write one sentence that is the main idea of the text.
  • This sentence should be made up of two components: the theme and the complement.
  • State the MIT sentence in the past tense. 
    • e.g. Hebrews 12:1-3. the author compared growth in the Christian life to a long distance race that focuses on successful endurance.
  • It should always be in the form of a full grammatical sentence, stated clearly and concisely.
  • The MIT should precisely reflect your particular text and it should cover the assertions of the text.
  • Finding, and clearly stating the MIT will:
    • Help you avoid the often-heard criticism that expository sermons/teaching lack structure.
    • Give you a better understanding of the truths you will share with your people.
    • Assist those hearing you to understand your teaching.