Who doesn’t love a great story? Stories are a powerful way to illustrate different ideas, principles, and feelings we are trying to convey. Let’s talk today about character Bible study. As we study different characters in the Bible we are examining their stories.
We had some of our family visiting a while back. We stayed up late one night while one family member shared about his time serving in the Marine Corps.
He could have said something like, “war is horrible”. Instead, he shared stories of what he experienced while in combat. His narrative took us on an adventure. Not only did we gain a greater understanding of the events that happened, but his story gave us a glimpse of the personal struggles and victories he encountered.
Jesus used a similar strategy. When he taught he used parables. These parables were earthly stories that illustrated Kingdom truths.
What Is A Character Bible Study?
A character study is simply looking at different Bible characters and their stories. These biographies are designed to help us understand who God is, who we are, and how God works on our behalf.
As we get to know the characters in the Bible, we see that they are not so different from us. Their experiences and struggles are not so different from ours.
They have much to teach us.
How to Study a Character in the Bible?
Beyond just reading the stories of people in the Bible, there are a few strategies we can use to help us dig a bit deeper and study the lives and lessons of these men and women.
Make sure to get your Bible character study worksheets pdf.
What Are the Biblical Characters?
The first thing you want to do is to choose a biblical character you want to study. There is a TON to choose from.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Character Bible study of Moses
- Character study of Joseph
- Character of Jesus study
- Character of God study
You can also get this printable list of biblical characters.
Find Bible Verses Related to the Character You Are Studying
After you choose a character, you want to go and search for the different Bible verses about the character you are studying.
You may be able to look in the back of your Bible for a concordance. Some of these will list different Bible characters and what verses discuss their stories. If your Bible doesn’t have this tool, you can do a simple Google (or whichever search engine you use) search.
Once you find a list of verses either print it out or write them down. As you read through the scripture references, look for any details about the character that answers the 5w’s and h questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how). Make a list of these specifics as you go.
Summarize the Character’s Story
After you go through all the verses you gathered and make your list, write a brief summary statement (2-4 sentences) of the main events and what the character is known for.
Look for the Person’s Strengths and Weaknesses
An important step of a character Bible study is to consider the comparisons and contrasts within the life and circumstances of the person you are studying. As you studied your Bible character, did you notice any of their strengths or weaknesses? These could be physical, mental, or emotional. Make sure to take note of these.
What Were Their Victories and Struggles?
Also, make sure to not their victories and struggles. In what ways did the character succeed? In what ways did they struggle? Consider this in the light of their faith and obedience.
How Did God Act on Their Behalf
Do you see evidence of God’s hand in their life? How did the Lord intervene in their lives and circumstances and what was the result?
Make sure to write down your thoughts on all of this so you are able to consider these things more deeply as you move onto the last step of application.
Character Bible Study Application Questions
Finally, after completing your character Bible study, it’s time to apply what you have learned. This final step is so important, and yet, so often we fall short of bringing our study of the Bible through to this final phase.
God’s Word transforms us. However, we must take time to consider how to apply His truth to our own life. Otherwise, we are just gaining knowledge.
Here are a few application questions to ask yourself:
- As I consider the life of this person, what do I find encouraging? Scary? Comforting?
- Do I identify with this character? Why or why not?
- How does the life of this person point me to Christ?
- What lessons did this person teach me?
- What else can I apply to my life?
Example of a Character Bible Study
Here is an example of a character study of Jesus from John chapter 1. This is by no means an exhaustive study of the life of Jesus. Actually, our character study of Jesus extends throughout most of the Bible, because much of what we read in scripture is pointing to Jesus.
Bible Verses about Jesus from John 1
Here is an example of what your list may look like as you gather and study the different verses that discuss a biblical character. Here is what we learn about Jesus from looking at John chapter 1:1-29.
- Jesus is the Word – 1:1
- Jesus was with God in the beginning – 1:1
- All things came into being through Him – 1:2-3
- In Jesus is light – 1:3
- The light in Him is the light of man – 1:4
- He came to His own and they did not accept Him – 1:10
- He gives people the right to become children of God – 1:12
- The Word became flesh and dwelt among us – 1:14
- Jesus is the lamb of God – 1:29
- Jesus takes away the sin of the world – 1:29
These verses show me the deity of Jesus. He is one with God, yet He came in the flesh to show the light of Truth and to take away the sin of the world.
Strength’s/Weaknesses and Struggles/Victories
Jesus was one with God and lived a perfect, sinless life. However, because he became flesh He was acquainted with temptation.
A struggle he faced was the fact that the people he came to save did not accept Him.
How Did God Act On His Behalf
Jesus was God in the flesh. Therefore, as we study the life of Jesus we are learning about how God acted through Jesus on our behalf. These verses tell us that God came in the form of flesh to take away the sin of the world.