Saturday, September 13, 2008

How to read a Bible story

When reading a narrative story, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I need to read another section in this Bible in order to understand this passage better? Are there other Bible passages that complement this one?
2. Is there another story in the Bible that mirrors this one?
3. What does this story tell us about God? What attribute(s) of God is shown?
4. What happens in this event? What is the spiritual or social situation?
5. Who is (are) the main characters? What is his obstacle, flaw, or virtue?
6. What evil, temptation, or trial is the main character subject to? Is this evil from within his mind or outside of it?
7. How is God’s relationship with this person shown?
8. What blessings or promises does this character have from God?
9. Are there other characters in this story? What purpose do they play?
10. How do these events affect future events?
11. Is this event –or character-- mentioned again anywhere in the Bible? What do future Bible writers think of it?
12. Compare and Contrast this Bible story with others similar to it?
13. Do many ministers speak about this particular Bible passage?
14. What is one the main message or result of this particular story?
15. Is this story for all Christians at any stage of their lives or is it written for a specific situation:?
16. Is there anything about this story that would offend modern Christians?
17. How does this story fit in with the main aspects of Christianity?

Exercise:
Using the gospel Chronology, check to see how many times Jesus throw out the money changers.
There are two different stories about the king who gives talents to his servants. One depicts everyone getting the same measure. Another depicts people giving different measures.
Read Psalm 107. What events does this psalm describe?
Read Psalm 139, Genesis 1, and Isaiah 40.
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