Five w’s and an h – asking the who, what, where, when, why, and how in Scripture to help you learn more about the passage you are reading. In high school, I first tasted the joy that comes from writing.
One of the things I learned, particularly when writing a journalistic article, is the importance of asking specific questions.
What are the five w’s and an h?:
Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why? and How?. These six questions are essential in information gathering. My son has somehow learned these questions and will quickly fire them when he doesn’t understand an instruction I gave.
What does this have to do with Bible study?
Everything! Asking these questions when reading a passage in Scripture is essential in unpacking the meaning of a passage. They will aid in helping you dig deeper into Scripture and leave a better understanding of what you read.
1. Ask “Who?” the passage was originally written to, who wrote the passage, and who you are reading about.
2. Ask “What?” to determine what the author is talking about and the passage’s main point.
3. Ask “When?” this passage was written, when the event happened or will happen, and when the people in the story did something.
4. Ask “Where?” did the story take place, where was the author writing from, where did the people go, and where does this passage take place in the book you are reading, as well as in the overall story of Scripture.
5. Ask “Why?” to figure out why the author said something, why did the characters do something, and why the passage is there.
6. Ask “How?” something was accomplished, how something is done, how did the person in the passage respond, and how should you respond.
If you mark up your Bible, you may like to mark the answers to the above questions in different colors. Keep a journal and document your answers to these questions as you study. Before you know it, asking these questions will become second nature in your Bible study time.