Sunday, December 21, 2008

Biographical Study

The following material is based on the books:
1. Walter Henrichsen, Gayle Jackson Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible
2. Understanding the Bible (published by ICI)

Biographical study is the application of the inductive method to study a character of the Bible.

1. Choose a person whose life you want to study. Decide the borders of your study - whether you will study the person's whole life or a part of it.
2. Find all the verses of the Bible where this person is mentioned. Use concordance for that.
3. Read each passage and find the main idea of each of them.
4. Write down observations, problems (what you do not understand), and possible applications for each passage.
5. Find out the biography type:
1) Simple narrative - description of facts about the person's life
2) Explanatory narrative - the biography that gives some lesson (examples: Daniel, Paul, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph)
6. Write down plan of the person's biography.
7. Write down the summary of the person's life in several paragraphs. Include the main events and facts without their interpretation. Try to keep chronological order.
8. Write down the strong and weak points of that person. What points of the person's actions or character were praised in the Bible? What were his/her errors or failures?
9. Find the key verse for his/her life. This is the verse that states the main direction of the person's life. Define the main achievement of that person.
10. Define the main idea about this person's life. It can be either positive or negative.
11. Find out historic situation and environment of that person's life. Use the Bible dictionary to find information when you need it.
1) When did the person live? What was political, social, religious, and economical situation of that time?
2) When was the person born? Who were his/her parents? Was there anything unusual in his/her birth or childhood?
3) What was his/her occupation? Did it influence his/her ministry?
4) Who was his/her spouse? Did they have children? What kind of people were the spouse and children?
5) Draw the route of the person's journeys. Where did he/she go? Why? What was done there?
6) How did the person die? Was there anything unusual in his/her life?
12. Write down about the person's life philosophy. What were his/her motives? What were his/her positions? What were his/her life goals? What did this person want to reach? Did he/she reach that?
13. Compare this person with other Bible characters.
14. Consider the application of what you have learned.

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