When we sit down to study the Bible, we must first listen to the Text itself (Hebrews 4:12). This is the most foundational step in Bible study and developing our relationship with God.
The famous Journalistic Questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how), which we ask of any text, are helpful for learning from God’s written Word, and are a good starting place for studying the text. In order to understand the text we also want to ask basic questions of communication. These questions would include: Who is speaking? Who is being addressed? Are the imperatival statements (commands) necessary for those people or for all people? Are the statements and examples law for us today?
After doing some Bible study work, we need to ask some big-picture questions. With each reading, we want to reflect on what that text teaches us about God, what the text teaches about people, and what the text teaches about salvation.
After reflecting on those questions, we can then apply those studied reflections to ourselves. We can reflect on how God’s character affects us, how God’s view of mankind affects me, and how God’s view of salvation affects me now.
These questions will help us to find the answers God has given us in the Scriptures. This deeper understanding of the Scriptures will help us to grow into a deeper relationship with God. The deeper relationship with God will help to develop holiness in us (Hebrews 12:14).