The Biographical Method of Bible Study

The next couple of methods of Biblical study that I want to discuss are 2 methods that I have read about and I am interested in trying them but I have not tried them yet. The first one (that I want to discuss today) is the biographical method. The second one is the inductive method.

The biographical method interests me because I find history fascinating. Oh, not the memorizing of dates and such, but reading about the people and places and cultures. In my family, I am the genealogist.

So to me the biographical method seems like an interesting way to get to know the people of the Bible. It means taking a deeper look at who each person is and what shaped their lives or rather how their faith in God or their lack of faith in God shaped their lives.

In doing a biographical study we can see living examples of the faith it takes to follow Christ. We can also see the consequences of not walking closely with God.

So how do you do a biographical study of a person from the Bible?

According to Bible.org, you need the following tools:

  • Bible
  • Exhaustive and/or biographical concordance
  • Topical Bible
  • Bible dictionary or encyclopedia

Now if you don’t have a topical Bible, concordance, or a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia, then there are many places on the web that you can access these. Biblegateway.com, eSword, and Bible.org are just a few of the resources that are available.

Now for the steps in doing a biographical study:

1)      Who?

Select a person. Who in the Bible intrigues you? If you were to spend a day with someone in the Bible, who would you spend it with?

2)      Where?

Where is that person’s story found in the Bible? Create a list of all Biblical references concerning that person.

3)      What?

What do you know about this person? Note some of the basic information about that person as well as your first impression.

4)      When?

Create a chronological timeline for this person. When did the important events in this person’s life happen? At what age(s)?

5)      Observe

What do you notice about this person as you reading about them?

  • What was said about this person by God and by others?
  • What were their relationships like?
  • What are some of the personality traits that you see in this person?
  • How did he/she respond to the events in their life, both the good & the bad?
  • What are some of the strengths and weaknesses that you see in this person?

6)      Character

List some of the character qualities that you see in this person like honesty, faith, etc.

7)      Summarize

Write a summary of who that person was and what you have learned.

8)      Apply

How can you apply what you have learned to your own life?

I love learning people’s stories and the biographical method of Bible study appears to be a great way to do that.

Click here for a free printable for biographical studies.

Free Printable for Biographical Analysis
Free Printable for Biographical Analysis

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