This afternoon I was able to conduct a brief workshop after Church on how to do a biographical or character study in session three of our “How to Study the Bible” series. This study compiles everything about a character in Scripture and looks at their story as a whole. Stories of individuals in the Bible are different from what we are used to since bits and pieces about their lives are recorded in a number of different books, which makes it easy to overlook one part of their testimony or story.
That’s where the biographical study helps as we create a chronological timeline of their life and activities throughout Scripture, and then study the characters entire story as a whole. Below are some steps to take when going through a biographical study and questions that can be asked. I pray that they can be a source of blessing and enjoyment as you learn more about your favorite Bible characters.
How to Do a Biographical Study:
Step One: Choose a character
Step Two: Find every Scripture passage that refers to that person (this can be done with a concordance, ble software, or Bible study websites)
Step Three: Read the passages as a group (at least three chapters at a time) note your thoughts while reading
Step Four: Read the passages again and make a chronological outline of the person’s life (include actions, trials, temptations, decisions, ect.)
Step Five: Read the passage a third time and note key points about the person (their background, relationships, strengths and weaknesses, character, decisions, significant events)
Step Six: Apply lessons learned from the study to your life
Questions for Biographical Study;
- What did enemies say about him/her?
- What did his/her family say about him/her?
- What did God say about him/her?
- What was his/her aims and motives?
- How did he/she respond to failure? Did they get discouraged easily?
- How did he/she respond to adversity?
- How quickly did he/she obey God when commanded to do something?
- What does his/her name mean? Why where they given that name?
- Where did he/she live? What was their everyday life like?
- Where they exposed to other cultures? Did they affect them?
- What was the spiritual, political condition of their Country?
- How did he/she handle the great crisis in their lives?
- How did he/she respond to God’s divine call?
- What crucial decisions did he/she have to make? What affect did they have?
- Did any recurring problem keep coming up in his or her life?
- How did he/she treat other people?
- What where their close friends like? How did they influence him/her?
- What influence did he/she have on others? Their Nation? Other Nations?
- Did his/her friends or family help them serve the Lord?
- What where his/her strengths or outstanding traits?
- Did they show development of character as time passed?
- What was his/her greatest spiritual battle?
- What were the results of his/her sins or weaknesses?