The Posture of Questions

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Curious questions stimulate lively small group conversation and promote thinking. In a Bible study conversation, the curious, interesting, “ah-ha” moments are often when people gain a deeper understanding of God and his Word.

Questions are one of the tools that kindle discovery. It takes practice in order to ask good questions. Different types of Bible study questions help us learn about the Bible in different ways.

Here’s a fun exercise to strengthen your question asking skills: practice developing questions by writing three different types of questions during your personal Bible study. Choose a book of the Bible to study. Read or copy the verses from an online tool like BibleGateway.com, or from your physical Bible. If you use your computer, paste the verses onto the left column of a word document. Or, as you read from your Bible, have a notebook by your side. As you read, write your questions on the right hand side of the page.

The three different types of Bible study questions are categorized into observation, interpretation, and application questions. Fact or Observation questions help people observe what the text says. Try to write observation questions that have more than one possible answer. Then, explore interpretation or thinking question. Explore the meaning of words. Look for ways to compare and contrast ideas. Wonder how the original readers were impacted. Finally, write questions that explore how the text might impact people.  What does this mean for us? How does this affect my life?

I have been exploring this exercise using the book of Isaiah and have found it to be very meaningful. Attached is a sample of questions that I prepared.  

While the practice is a great way to enhance your ability to ask questions, The Discover Your Bible Study and Leader’s Guides also provide great small group questions. Click and explore Discover Isaiah Chapters 1-12. Keep practicing creating your own questions as well. For more help on formulating questions, read pages 10-14 from our free leadership guide Leading Bible Discovery

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Thanks Sam!  I think one of the things that I'm learning is our need to 'wonder'!  I often challenge people to try to read the text as if reading it for the first time.  (We often read through our 'churchy' eyes, and miss some key details.)  What do you wonder about?  What questions does it raise for you?  

Sometimes we ask questions with the answer already in mind.  What about the things we don't readily have answers to?  What might we learn or begin to see about who God is?  What are we wrestling with in the text?

I love the beauty of asking questions, and how they help us to dig deeper into the truth of scripture.  Jesus asked questions of his listeners and followers, a lot!  

Thanks for the reminder, Sam!

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