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. These six questions are essential in information gathering. My son has somehow learned these questions and will quickly fire them at me when he doesn’t understand an instruction I gave. What are these questions?: Who?, What?, When?,Where?, Why? and How?.
What does this have to do with Bible study? Why, everything! Asking these questions when reading a passage in Scripture are essential in unpacking the meaning of a passage. They will aid in helping you dig deeper into Scripture and leave having a better understanding of what you read.
1. Ask “Who?” to find out who the passage was originally written to, who wrote the passage and who are you reading about.
2. Ask “What?” to determine what the author is talking about and what is the main point of the passage.
3. Ask “When?” to learn when was this passage written, when the event that is talked about did or will happen, and when the people written about in the story did something.
4. Ask “Where?” to help you understand where did the story take place, where was the author writing from, where did the people in the passage go and where is this passage placed 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 characters did something, and why the passage is there.
6. Ask “How?” to discover how was something accomplished, how is something to be done, how did the people in the passage respond, and how should you respond.
If you are one who marks 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.