Summary: Questions to ask at small group Bible studies that get people thinking and talking.
Questions for Bible StudiesBible study questions for any book of the Bible
Doug Britton, MFT
Bring your Bible study alive with good questions
Have you ever read a few chapters of the Bible and not remembered anything you read? I have, and it has been frustrating. One thing that helps me remember is to ask questions as I read. This also helps me understand what I am reading.
Reading about the Bible is not enough
When people talk about having a Bible study, they often mean they are studying a Christian book on theology, doctrine, or daily living. If they are studying the Bible itself (which seems to be increasingly rare), they are probably studying it with the use of a study guide that helps them discover biblical insights.
Books about the Bible and books that help people live according to God’s principles are good. I have written many myself. However, we need to do more than read about the Bible. We also need to read the Bible itself.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
A good way to structure a direct study of Scripture is to use a series of questions. There’s nothing like a good question to get people thinking. You can use the following questions when you study any passage in the Bible.
General Bible study questions
These questions can help you better understand the word and help it come alive in you.
- What do you think is the key message of this chapter? Explain why you think this.
- What did you learn from this chapter?
- Which point in this chapter spoke to you the most? How did it affect you?
- Why do you think God included this chapter in the Bible? What’s the point?
- What was the context? What was going on at the time it was written?
- Do any of these truths written thousands of years ago apply today? If so, which ones? How do they apply?
- Are there truths in this chapter that contradict the ideas we hear in the world? If so, what are they?
- Is there something in this chapter that surprised you? If so, how were you surprised?
- Are there any verses in this chapter that confuse you or that seem to contradict other parts of the Bible?
- In view of what we have read, what changes do you think God would want you to make in your attitude, words, or actions?
“What is one passage” Bible study questions
These questions for Bible studies address the same issues, but come at them from a slightly different angle.
- What is one passage that encourages you? How does it encourage you?
- What is one passage that inspires you? How does it inspire you?
- What is one passage that convicts you of sin? How does it convict you?
- What is one passage that challenges you to change? How does it challenge you?
“Who/what/when” Bible study questions
These Bible study questions are adapted from ideas a friend shared with me.
- Who wrote this passage?
- What is the message of this passage?
- When was it written?
- Where was it written?
- Why was it written? (What was the purpose? How does it relate to passages that are before or after it?)
- How can I apply the message to my life?
Bible study questions — Conclusion
These suggestions are adapted from my book How to Lead a Christ-Centered Small Group. It has numerous other ideas that can help you lead a successful small group Bible study (or study the Bible on your own).
Doug Britton, MFT
Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)
Copyright © 2019 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.)
Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com for practical, biblical, cross-cultural books, Bible studies, and ebooks.