"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Context ~ What has gone before this section of text? How does this text or book fit into the whole Bible?
Observation ~ What does the text say? What do we observe stands out?
Meaning ~ What does this mean? What is the big idea, the threaded theme that all the supporting points show us?
Application ~ What needs to change for us? What ought we do now? What has Christ done that enables us do this?
C.O.M.A is a helpful way to approach your reading and discovery of God's word. It encourages us to ask good questions of the passage in order to understand it clearly and thoroughly. It also provides a better understanding of how to read and interpret different parts of Scripture with its genre taken into account. Below are some helpful bible study questions when reading different genres in Scripture. They are helpful for both individual reading and studying the bible together (e.g growth groups).
C.O.M.A was developed by David Helm and more help can be found in his book "One-to-One Bible Reading."
Below are useful C.O.M.A questions for the different biblical genres.
Gospels & Acts
Old Testament Narrative
Wisdom Literature & Poetry