Asking the right questions

In a comment to my previous post, Rick Ritchie mentioned the importance of asking the right questions when reading and studying the Bible. I love the two questions he uses with the Bible class he teaches (the second of which I’ve adapted slightly for personal use):

  • “Where else in the Bible is this taught?”
  • “Is there anything I’ve noticed this time through that I’ve never noticed before in this passage?”

Does anyone have any other “killer questions” which they find helpful in getting more out of a passage? My own number one question, albeit less original than Rick’s, is “Where is Jesus in this passage?”. As J.C. Ryle said in his own guide to reading the Bible:

READ THE BIBLE WITH CHRIST CONSTANTLY IN VIEW. The whole Book is about Him. Look for Him on every page. He is there. If you fail to see Him there, you need to read that page again.

Any other suggestions are welcome in the comments.

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6 Responses to Asking the right questions

  1. Al says:

    My big question is always ‘Am I too concerned with understanding this text to be truly attentive to it?’

  2. Alden says:

    I would also add, “What are the historical understandings of this verse?”

  3. Phil Walker says:

    You’re spot-on, Ryle’s question is absolutely critical. If you’re not asking that, then that’s not the Bible you’re reading, it’s just a collection of ancient texts with a funky hisstory behind them.

    One handmaid to that all-important question is “Where are we up to in the story?”

  4. Ben George says:

    Very helpful observations, thanks!

  5. Jim says:

    The question I always ask is, “Why?” It’s a pious “why,” but “why” nonetheless.

    Another question I always ask is, “What are the trees in this passage; what is the forest?”

    And, finally, a question I often ask myself is, “Why do I resist what God teaches me in this passage?”

  6. Rick says:

    I used the above questions in Bible class yesterday. They provoked some great discussion. The class often took the questions in different directions than I originally foresaw, which made things even more interesting. I gave an account of this on my blog here: http://www.oldsolar.com/singlefile.php?singlefile=11032008

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