What Does It Mean to Study a Text?

I was reading an article on the art of study, and it brought up a very simple, yet often overlooked, point that I wanted to record here. It made the point that often people review texts with the mentality of, “If that’s what it says, then that’s what it means.” However, to really study something, we should always read through the lens of:

“If that’s what it says, then what does it mean?”

I like this idea of challenging a text to find it’s true meaning—reading in a way that demands an explanation from the text. To really study something, we must explore, challenge, question, and enter into a conversation with both the “voices of the past and our global present.” Training our minds to question the possible implications and consequences of each line of text in this way allows us to deepen our ability to digest and reflect on the meaning behind words. It also allows us to examine the material in relation to those most vulnerable to it.