So last week I went over some Basic Bible Study Tools. This week I’m going to share the first three, the big three if you like, of my Basic Bible Study Questions. These are questions that I have gleaned from lectures/sermons on Bible study and my own reading. Today’s questions, I believe, are the core or essential questions to all Bible study. They are not presented in any particular order, so I beg you not to get bogged down in ideas of ranking which question is the most important.
Do I read over these questions every time I read or study? No. This is not a checklist, but a guideline. These questions have become what I naturally ask when spending time in God’s word. It is like I have a conversation with the text. I start in prayer by basically asking God, “What are you going to show me today?”
These first three questions are essential. Without bringing these into your Bible study you may gain a lot of knowledge, but it will have little positive impact on you.
- Read the passage and ask: “How does this applies to me?” Maybe the passage highlights a sin with which you struggle: be it a character trait, a habit, or an attitude. Let the passage expose those wounded and disconnected areas of you life. By seeing these areas for what they are, our prayers can take on a new dimension, for we know specifically what to pray for.
- Read the passage and ask: “How does this illumine God to me?” To know God better and better is the goal of the Christian life. If you merely want to be a better person, you can accomplish that without God — many people have. However, if you want to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus, it can only accomplished by spending much time gazing at Him by learning of and from Him through the Bible that you will be changed.
- Read the passage and ask: “How does this reveal the snares of the enemy?” We often glance over this one. People think it is enough to have a close walk with God. But He has told us to be “[w]ise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matt. 10:16). We don’t need to know all the gritty details of the evil in this world, but we need to be aware of the enemy’s methods. Our awareness does not protect us, but again it enhances our prayers, for we can see the weaknesses in our characters and lives that the enemy seeks to take advantage of.
These are the most basic of my Basic Bible Study Questions. Practice them this week and see what a difference it makes to your study. You may find that having a journal to write out your answers/thoughts is helpful.
Next week I will share some questions that pertain more to the structure of the passage.
The goal is to keep in the word of God. So don’t be afraid of getting the wrong answer. That will happen. Just keep reading and asking God to guide you. He will because He delights to spend time with us.