Do you love a juicy story?
Especially ones filled with bombshell details / scandalous revelations?
Yeah me too, I love me a good drama series. Apart from topical Bible studies, doing a character bible study is one of my absolute favorite ways to study the Bible. Bible character studies allow you to deep dive into Bible characters and their stories and to walk away with tangible lessons that we can apply to our lives today.
Want to give character bible studies a try? Bring the popcorn and pull up a chair, and let me show you how to study Bible characters and their stories.
I can’t promise you won’t fall in love with character Bible Studies as much as I did.
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What is a Character Bible Study?
We often fail to realize that characters of the bible were real men and women like me and you today.They weren’t superheroes blessed with magical powers. Bible characters were human, they struggled with sin and had worries and flaws just like we do today. Despite their shortcomings however, God still used them.
If you fancy reading biographies of famous personalities such as this one from former First Lady Michelle Obama, then you will likely love character Bible studies. A character bible study is basically a study on different characters of the bible, it’s deep diving into their stories with the hope of learning from them in the process.
How to do a Character Bible Study?
If you would like to give a character Bible Study a try, the following character Bible study outline pinpoints the steps involved in studying biblical characters.
1. Choose A Bible Character
The first step in a character Bible Study is first deciding on a bible character to study. Do you wish to study specific women in the bible, a biblical character that struggled with a similar situation you are going through or perhaps a major or minor bible character? If you aren’t sure where to start, consult this printable list of over 102 Bible characters. Alternatively, Bible Gateway has a list of all the men and women in the Bible that you can reference.
2. Look up References
Once you have settled on a Bible character, you will want to search for scripture passages that references your Bible character. You will want to use an exhaustive concordance to help you pinpoint where in the Bible references your chosen Bible character. If you don’t have one on hand, you could always just do a quick internet search. Bible verses about “ insert bible character”.
Depending on whether your Bible character was a major or minor character, they may or may not have a lot written about them. Record the references in your favorite journal. If your Bible character is one of those with lot’s written about him or her, you may need to be selective on the verses you settle on.
3. Review scripture passages
Once you have your verses selected, set aside time to review the scripture passages. Feel free to review any cross references that are listed as well. In your Bible study journal as you read, make note of the characters story, strengths, weaknesses, struggles, triumphs, evidence of God working in their life and any other points that you believe are worth making note of.
4. Create a Biological Sketch
After reviewing each individual passages, next you will want to create a biological sketch. To a certain extent you already started the basis of the sketch in the previous step but here are some additional questions you will want to answer as you continue to develop your biographical sketch:
*The meaning of the persons name
*What were the major events of his life
*When an where the character lived
*Family background and the characters occupation
*What were the persons influences
*Contemporaries and associates
At this point you may wish to consult reference books such as a Bible atlas, encyclopedia or Bible commentaries to learn more about the customs / place the Bible character lived at that time.
Its now time to apply what you have learnt. What life lessons can you learn from this Bible character? There are lessons to learn from every character in the Bible, we will either learn things we should avoid doing or things that we should try to do more of. At the end of your study, you should walk away with tangible lessons you can apply to your life.
6. Choose a Key Verse
Sum up your Bible character study by choosing a key verse that sums up your character’s life. You may also wish to commit this verse to memory. Try one of these scripture memorization hacks to aid in scripture memorization.
Character Study Outline and Resources For Bible Character Studies
Deborah Character Bible Study – Study the life of Deborah with this beautiful 5-page digital bible character study on the life of Deborah. Scripture cards included!
The Scribes Portion – Has a number of Bible Study worksheets which you can download and reuse over and over again as you study various Bible characters.
The Delilah Box – Want to study women of the Bible? The Delilah box is a monthly Christian subscription box that highlights some of the lesser known women of the Bible.
Character Bible Lessons– Okay, so they used mule mail instead of email but they were still surprisingly modern men and women. Here are 12 character Bible studies included in one convenient booklet, you are sure to enjoy!
Character Bible Study
Now that you know how to execute a character Bible Study, I challenge you to do one on your own. Use one of the resources above or you can try this character bible study focused on Elijah written by Priscilla Shirer. Elijah is an Old Testament hero that has a lot for us to learn from. Especially as it relates to how to pray and how to move more deeply into our relationship with God.
Have you ever done a character Bible Study? What has been your favorite Bible character to study thus far? Drop them in the comments below!