Biographical Method

In biographical narrative, the aim is simply to learn the biographical facts concerning a biblical
personality, as those details are revealed either in a single book or in all of Scripture.

1. Collect all material, which the Bible contains, concerning the one character about to be studied. In
doing so, be sure that you are not gathering material for two or three different persons of the same
name, e.g., there are thirty characters in the Old Testament by the name of Zechariah, fifteen
Jonathan’s and twenty Nathan’s.

2. Carefully study the ancestry of each character, and especially the characteristics of the parents, if
they are known.

3. Attempt to estimate the advantages in training which the subject of your study had during the early
days of his or her youth.

4. Carefully attempt to determine the work that your character accomplished.

5. What was the great crisis in this person’s life, and how did he meet it?

6. What traits of character does this person display throughout his life?

7. What friendships did the person have—were they noble or ignoble; did they help him or hinder
him in his life work?

8. Determine, as far as possible, the influence this particular character had upon others, upon the
nation, upon the history of religion.

9. What growth does the character of this person show?

10. Carefully determine the religious experiences of the character you are studying—his prayer life,
faith in God, service for god, knowledge of the Scriptures, courage in testimony, and his attitude in
worship.

11. What faults and shortcomings are revealed?

12. What do you think was the great sin in any one character’s life, if there was one? What was the
nature of the sin? What were the steps leading up to the sin? What effect did this sin have upon
this person’s future?

13. What do you find to be the character and influence of this person’s children?

14. In what way do you think the character you are studying is a type or anti-type of Christ?

15. What is the one great lesson in this person’s life for you?

Things to observe in a biographical study:

I. Birth and Early Life
A. Parents
B. Place and circumstances of birth
C. Early training and/or experiences

II. Conversion Experience and Call to a Specific Task

III. Ministry for the Lord
A.Nature of it
B.Reactions to other to it

IV. Character Evaluation
A.Good
B.Bad

V. Relations With Others

VI. Death and Comments About It

VII. Reason for the Inclusion of These Facts in the Text

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