This method for studying the Bible that focuses on one specific person written about in God’s Word in order to learn from their mistakes and victories, understand their role in God’s ultimate plan, and apply lessons in their life to ours.
1. Choosing a character
Simply choose your character. Some will have a lot of information to sort through, some will have very little to their story, so there are challenges either way. But either way you will learn and grow.
2. Summary of their story
Look up your character’s stories and the passages and verses they are in. You need to have an understanding of who they are before you can complete some of the other steps later on. When you feel like you have a good understanding of this character’s story, write a summary of it. Write down some highlights and some key points in their life. Jot down some things that stood out to you. But because this is a summary, keep it short. Narrow things down. Try and write only a handful of sentences or bullet points.
Example: Esther, the cousin of Mordecai, was chosen to be the new queen for King Ahasuerus. King Ahasuerus’s second in command, Haman, hated Mordecai for not bowing down to him. Finding out Mordecai was a Jew, Haman plotted to kill all the Jews in the king’s land. Mordecai charged Esther with the task to convince the king not to kill the Jews. But doing so would require her to go to the king without being summoned, something that could result in death. However, she boldly went anyways and the king did not kill her, for he found favor with her. Long story short, she opened the king’s eyes to see the evil plot of Haman and was able to save the Jews from annihilation.
3. What they are known for
Write down what this character is known for. While the summary focuses on the overall view of their story, this step focuses on specifics. Think back to what you’ve learned in the past or what you’ve heard about this character already. Ask yourself, “when I hear about (your character), I automatically know they did (this) and/or they were like (this).” Keep it simple. Try to answer this section in one sentence.
Example: Esther is known for boldly confronting the king to save her people (the Jews) from annihilation, even when faced with the possibility of death, and successfully saving the Jews.
4. Strengths and Weaknesses
Find your character’s strengths and weaknesses. Write them down.
Strengths – bold, courageous, willing to sacrifice her life to save her people
Weaknesses – hesitant at first, fearful,
5. Victories and Challenges
Just as you looked at your character’s strengths and weaknesses, you’re now going to look at their victories and challenges. This is looking at things that they have or haven’t done.
Victories – convinced the king to not kill the Jews
Challenges – going around Haman and straight to the king, there was already a written decree to annihilate the Jews
6. How they point us to Christ
Everything in God’s Word points to Christ and His redemption for us. Same goes for the people written about in the Bible. Sometimes they exemplify Christ. Other times their actions point us to God’s plan. Some people are in the physical lineage of Christ. Other characters reveal some of God’s attributes, whether in their example or how God interacts with that character.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you complete this step: Do they exemplify Christ, and if so, how? Do their actions point to Christ and what He has done for us, and if so, how? Are they in the lineage of Christ? What attributes do they reveal about God? How do they fit in God’s redemptive plan for us? How does their sin and/or their righteousness point us to Christ?
Example: Esther exemplifies the boldness that Christ displayed on the cross. She was willing to sacrifice her own life to save her people just as Christ was willing to sacrifice His life in order to save us.
7. Lessons we can learn from them
Regardless of who your chosen Bible character is, there is something you can learn from them. Either you can learn to do something that they did OR you can learn what not to do based on what they wrongly did or didn’t do. This is the application portion of this study. Look over the previous steps you’ve done to formulate some lessons that you can apply to your own life.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself: What did this person do in their walk with God that I can be doing in mine? What things did this person do or not do that I need to be doing or not doing? How did this person grow in their faith with God? What can I learn from their mistakes?
Example: A lesson I can learn from Esther is to not let fear keep me from doing the right thing. When God calls me to do the seemingly impossible, I can rely on Him to be bold and courageous to accomplish what He has for me to do. Another lesson I can learn from Esther is how she listened to her cousin Mordecai’s advice. It’s important to listen to other believers around us. They are our accountability partners, our encouragement, our brothers/sisters, and our fellowship. God gives them to us for a reason. So I can learn to rely on who God has placed around me and wisely heed their godly advice when they give it.
Infomation Adapted from this blog How to Do a Bible Character Study
Given character study resources here
More information and character studies here
Video on how to do a character Bible Study here