anatomy of the question


Scripture-blocks are at the heart of this site. The “building-blocks,” as they are literally what any answer is built upon. If there are no relevant scripture-blocks to formulate the answer, then it’s either the wrong question or not a question worth asking.

Each block provides the passage (ESV) and asks two questions. The first simply restates it, possibly adapting the sentence structure to read more easily. The second attempts to qualify the context in which it was written.

Jesus acknowledged this first step in understanding Scripture.  “Have you not read?” is what He asked those challenging Him (

Matthew 19:4-5
) and it was his expectation of the lawyer (
Luke 10:25-26
).  We have to read what’s written!

For our scripture-blocks, we pull the text directly from the ESV and try to keep it to 1-2 verses or at least a complete sentence.

Somewhere between the two questions Jesus asked the lawyer (“What is written in the law?” and “How do you read it?”), was the need for the lawyer to understand what he had read (i.e. restate it). We try to be careful here not to inject any commentary or any “think-sos” but rather simply restate what the passage is saying.  Maybe it’s reorganizing it grammatically. Or maybe it’s using modern-day terminology. This is usually pretty simple, but sometimes can be tricky to simply state what it actually says without interpreting it.

This is implied in Jesus’ encounters with the lawyer and Satan.  It’s what the lawyer did right and Satan did wrong. Here we want to consider the immediate context of the passage. It may be accomplished with surrounding verses.  However, sometimes it’s necessary to consider the chapter, surrounding chapters, or maybe the entire book is important to consider for proper context. This may be the most critical part of getting to an accurate application.

Since the answers to these three questions don’t change and are not question-dependent, each one can be stored and used across the entire site. God’s word, through these scripture-blocks, is quite literally what this site is built upon.


Bible Study Applied

Once you have the relevant scripture-block(s), you’re ready to formulate a Bible-based answer to the question.

How does it applyhere? The passage was picked for a reason; we “thought” it applied. But based on the context, does it really and how? This can be the most dangerous part of getting to an accurate interpretation. We may come to find this passage actually doesn’t apply to the question.

Further still, there may be times that we can’t be sure of its application with just the passage alone. Therefore, it could be that we must hedge a little with a “Somewhat” or “Not exactly” or “Possibly”. In these cases, we don’t want to jump to a conclusion and apply that passage without first weighing its applicability in light of the other passages. In other words, letting Scripture interpret Scripture! A good example of this is with prophecy, where an inspired writer has not interpreted God’s message for us. This is, yet again, Scripture interpreting Scripture in practice.