Four Questions to Ask When Studying the Bible

Sep 07, 2021
questions to ask when studying the Bible

Do you ever feel like Bible study should come naturally to you?  Maybe you think you are behind because you struggle with it. Can I come alongside you and tell you that you are not alone! 

I am Eva Kubasiak, and this is Bible Study Made Simple. Have you ever felt intimidated or confused by the Bible? Or maybe you have started studying the Bible before but haven’t found a way to incorporate it into your regular routine. The Bible Study Made Simple podcast is here to help you move from intimidated and confused to confident and joyful in your approach to Scripture, and help you find a routine that sticks. The goal isn’t checking off a box perfectly, but instead, our goal is an intimate connection with the God of the Bible - plus having tons of fun along the way! 

Finding time to sit down and make your Bible study a priority is tricky enough, and then you add in the fact that the book was written by multiple different authors over 2,000 years ago to an entirely different culture… Bible study can be HARD! 

But it doesn’t have to be! God has given us all the tools we need to understand His Word, we just have to take the intentional step towards Him through our study time. Studying the Bible is the best way to get to know the creator of the universe, the God who loves you dearly. 

In episode 4 (blog link) we talked about where to start when studying the Bible, and I gave you some free resources to get you started. If you haven’t listened to that one yet, you can check that episode out. It will make sure you have all the tools you need to start studying the Bible. 

In this episode, we will go over the 4 questions I ask when I am studying the Bible. The way it’s structured is these are the main questions, and then I ask some follow-up questions to help me narrow down what each one means even more. So join me, and let’s take the first steps together as we learn how to study the Bible!

The first question to ask  is: “What is the background?”

Have you ever had a conversation with someone without knowing their background info? Things can get really awkward, really fast. That is why it is so important to ask people about themselves before you start making assumptions. 

The same thing happens with Bible study. Instead of making assumptions about the text based on what we think, it is best to learn the background information! After all, as I said earlier, the Bible is a book that was written 2,000 years ago to an entirely different culture. That just makes background information that much more important! 

It’s important to know, no one expects you to know the background information off the top of your head. There are several resources out there to help you get started like or a good study Bible. When you look up some background information before approaching the text, you will see how it transforms your Bible study! 

Here are a few questions to ask when looking for the background information. 

Who wrote the book of the Bible you are studying?

When did they write the book?

To whom did they write it to? 

What is the genre of literature?

These questions will help you break down that background info, and help you uncover important things as you approach your study time. 

You might be asking, “what is genre?” And I am glad you asked! I have a free resource, just for you at Spelled out, that is and the link is in the show notes. Plus, over the next few weeks, there is a podcast episode coming out specifically about genre and why it is important in Bible study. So make sure you are subscribed and don’t miss it.

The next question is “what happened?”

Have you ever gotten to the bottom of a passage of Scripture and realized that you didn’t comprehend anything you just read? It is like your eyes glaze over, and you don’t recall them landing on a single word. That happens to me all the time! When that happens, I go back and slow down and ask myself, what is actually happening? 

We can also read a passage of Scripture, and just because of the way it was written, struggle to understand exactly what it is saying. That is where slowing down and going verse by verse can really help. Our goal is to know God better through studying Scripture, so it can be helpful to pay special attention to what God does and doesn’t do in the passage. 

Here’s a few questions to ask when finding out what happened: 

What observations do you have about this passage?

In a couple of sentences, summarize what you’ve read. 

Do you have any questions about the text?

Asking these questions will help you break down even further what actually happened, so you can understand what Scripture is teaching you. 

The next question follows up on the heels of that and asks, “what did I learn?”

When you are studying the Bible, the goal is to get to know God. We want to know Him, love Him, and see how He is working. If we were to simply look at our observations and walk away, that would be okay, but reflecting on those observations to relate to God totally and completely changes the game! 

Studying the Bible shouldn’t be simply an academic exercise, it should also be a heart exercise. Taking what you learned and translating that into what you now know about the character of God will help you to see just how truly wonderful our God is! 

Us getting to know the heart of our Heavenly Father is the key to Bible study! 

But as we get to know God’s heart, it should prompt our last question, “what does this change?”

So we know the background, we know what happened, and we know what that means about God. Now what? We don’t want to stay the same, but we want our Bible study to change the way we live our lives. In fact, James tells us that it is a sin to know what we should do and then not do it (4:17). Yikes! 

Taking action from what you learned won’t look the same each time. It could be an attitude to change or adopt, a specific step to take, or even just a prayer to pray. But ending your time in the Word with an action step will ensure that you truly are living out your faith. 

If you want a guide to help you walk through these questions, I have a journal just for you. If you go to you will find all the information as well as several different ways to purchase the journal in a format that fits your lifestyle. It will be linked in the show notes below. 

Friend, I hope you know that studying the Bible isn’t about getting the right answers or filling out our journals perfectly, or even covering our Bibles with perfect handwriting and notes taken next to a candle with a piping hot latte in hand. Our time in God’s Word is meant to draw us closer to the heart of the Father. He wants to meet with you! 

Here’s a prayer for you as you are getting to know Him on the pages of His Word.

Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for giving us the tools to understand it! Thank You for using Your Word to reveal Your heart to me. I am ready and willing to learn more about who You are and to take steps closer to Your heart. Amen. 

Now that we know what questions to ask when studying Scripture, do it! Grab a journal, either the one I have made for you, or make your own, and get into God’s Word. It might be a little clunky at first, but over time, you will get more and more comfortable in the pages of your Bible. 

If you want a group of friends to walk with you through the Bible, I will continue the conversation in my Facebook group with you! Click the link in the show notes and come join us! And no matter what your next step is, as you take that step towards God through studying the Bible, I pray that you remember our goal is connection with God over perfection in our day-to-day routine. 

Thank you for listening to episode 7 of the Bible Study Made Simple Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, would you leave a 5-star rating? Ratings are so important for helping others find this podcast. I really appreciate you taking a minute to do that for me! I am so grateful for you, and I am looking forward to chatting again next week on Bible Study Made Simple.