Sometimes asking the right question is harder than answering it. Correctly framing and phrasing a precise question requires one to think clearly about the issue. It will involve a grasp of the subject under consideration, and an appreciation for the process of approaching it. It may require the ability to exclude irrelevant or immaterial issues, which tend to distract attention or cloud the issue.
This is certainly true in journalism. Listening to an interview conducted by a good journalist leads to an appreciation and understanding of the subject. The questions are designed to illuminate the subject in an orderly fashion. All of us have had the unpleasant experience of listening to an interview where the journalist appears to be figuring out the questions as they are asked. The questions tend to run on and on, and are unclear. There is a lack of understanding and discipline on the part of the interviewer, who ends up wasting everyone’s time.
This is also true in law. In pretrial depositions, for example, the attorney asking the questions must have a thorough grasp of the issue. And in the trial itself, the questions must be crafted carefully. When this is done, the witnesses testimony flows smoothly, and the story unfolds naturally. The focus is not on the person asking the question, but upon the subject matter.
The Bible is full of great questions. Both in the Old and New Testaments great truths are presented and masterfully revealed by the use of penetrating questions. Profound questions are often asked with such comprehension that merely posing them enables the reader to understand the issue clearly. Sometimes because of context, sometimes by work done by the person asking the question, it appears more to teach or convict than to gain information.
Some of the great Bible questions from the Old Testament include the following:
1. Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen. 4:9)
2. What has thou done? (Gen. 4:10)
3. Who is on the Lord’s side? (Ex. 32:26)
4. What doth the Lord thy God require of thee? (Dt. 10:12; Mic. 6:8)
5. What have they seen in thine house? (2 Kg. 20:15)
6. Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Est. 4:14)
7. If a man die, shall he live again? (Job 14:14)
8. What is man that thou art mindful of him? (Ps. 8:4)
9. If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do? (Ps. 11:3)
10. Is there any word from the Lord? (Jer. 37:17)
11. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Am. 3:3)
12. Will a man rob God? (Mal. 3:8)
Likewise, some of the great New Testament questions are:
1. What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mt. 16:26)
2. What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? (Mt. 22:42)
3. Carest thou not that we perish? (Mk. 4:38)
4. Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Lk. 6:46)
5. To whom shall we go? (Jn. 6:68)
6. What is truth? (Jn. 18:38)
7. Understandest thou what thou readest? (Acts 8:30)
8. What must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30)
9. If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)
10. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? (2 Cor. 6:14)
11. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Gal. 4:16)
12. What is your life? (Jas. 4:14)
These, and many other important questions are addressed in the Bible. Carefully studying each question in its context, and meditating upon it in relation to the issues involved, can be a great benefit to each of us.
If, as you read through the above lists, these questions sounded familiar to you, you are probably well on the way to answering them. Think carefully about the context of each question, and the issues involved in that situation, and you will have your answers. The Bible has done the hard work of asking the right questions, so each of us can honestly answer them.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.