Asking Questions About What You Are Reading

BIBLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Use the questions on the following page for studying or discussing any of the following passages. Depending upon the passage, some questions will not be as helpful. You should look for answers to the questions in what you have just read. This will help you to think about what you have read. Remember: any section of text is part of a larger piece of writing. The meaning of any text is determined by the larger unit of text that surrounds it (context).

OBSERVING: What does the text (or author) say and how is it said?

What type of writing is this? (Does it tell about an event? Is it a poem? Does it give instructions?)

What is there? Ask “Who, what, where, when, how?” questions about the text.
What details does the author include?
How did the author arrange the material (the words, the story, etc.)

What words or ideas need to be explained? Are any definitions given in the text?

UNDERSTANDING: What does the text (author) mean?

In general, ask “why” questions about what has been observed. (For example, “Why does the author write about this person or event?” “Why does the author include this information but not mention other things?”)

What is the main idea or truth the author wants the reader to understand?

God, his character and purpose – What is said about God? What is he like? How is he described? What has he done? What purpose is discussed or suggested regarding his actions?

Jesus, his character and purpose – What is said about Jesus? What is he like? How is he described? What has he done? What purpose is discussed or suggested regarding his actions?

People – (These questions can be asked of specific people mentioned in the text and of people in general.) What are people like? What is implied about their desires and fears? What motivates people in making choices? What is suggested or implied about a person’s meaning or purpose in life?

Situations, Dilemmas, Choices - What situations are encountered or discussed? What choices are being made or suggested? What does this imply about the characters’ (or readers’) relationship to God? What does this suggest or imply about priorities? What attitude is expressed about some serious problems or dilemmas that people generally face?

Good and Evil – What is stated, suggested or implied about good and evil, right and wrong?

REFLECTING: What do you think about what you have read?

What is most helpful in this text?
What does all this mean for a person’s life here and now?
What are some lessons and insights?
Are there any dangers or situations to be avoided?
Is there something in the text that gives you hope or peace?
Is there something in the text that makes you discouraged or afraid?

INCORPORATING: How does this fit with what you already believe to be true?

How does this information compare with what you have already learned?
How does this challenge your current thinking or attitudes?

How does this widen your understanding?
What ideas or beliefs do you see changing because of what you are learning?

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