The Top Ten Questions Asked in the Bible

by Mike Duran · 15 comments

The Bible is supposed to be a book of answers. So it’s rather interesting how many questions it asks. I’m not referring to unanswered questions about the Bible, nor the philosophical or existential questions raised by the Bible. I’m referring to actual questions asked in the Bible, whether by God, angels, or men.

While some of those questions arise in casual dialog, some are rhetorical devices used to provoke thought or philosophical noodling. For instance, when God asked the rebel Adam “Who told you you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11), He did this for Adam’s sake, not God’s. In fact, that question points to a larger issue like the awakening of the moral conscience, and the act which led to Adam’s need to sew the first set of chonies.

In that light, here’s my Top Ten Favorite Questions Asked in the Bible. Some of them are ironic, some paradoxical, some comic. But I believe all of them are designed to make us think about something other than a good answer.

  • “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) —  God seeking Adam after the Man had sinned.
  • “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) — Cain to God after murdering his brother.
  • “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25) — Abraham pleading with God to spare Sodom.
  • “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4) — God questions Job about the extent of his knowledge.
  • “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) — The godhead asks if anyone will represent Him.
  • “Who do you say that I am?” — (Mark 8:29) — Jesus pressing His disciples as to their opinions about His nature and identity.
  • “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark. 8:36) — Jesus on what’s really valuable. And what’s not.
  • “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) — The infamous question posed by a self-righteous religious lawyer that led Jesus into the parable of the Good Samaritan.
  • “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) — The angels to the women searching for Christ’s crucified body.
  • “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) — The apostle Paul on God’s absolute power.

Okay, so that’s my list. These questions may be good starter points for personal reflection or group discussion. Any other provocative “questions” asked by the Bible that you’d add to this list?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Jacobs October 29, 2010 at 6:14 AM

Really liked this. What a great sermon series this would make. It makes me think how better we’d all be if we majored in asking questions more than imposing on others what we think. Seek to understand rather than be understood.


Joe Cathey October 29, 2010 at 6:57 PM

The Job question is probably my favorite.
I believe God is not only challenging Job
but in the process deconstructing Jon’s
and our ideas of who the Holy One actually
is. It is done in such a way that the
foundations are saved but the critical
methodology is laid bear! Job has to
completely reconstruct his idea of God!


Sally Apokedak October 29, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Oh, great questions. Very thought provoking.

Hear are some I like.

The faithless ones:

Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work all by myself? (Martha to Jesus)

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? (the disciples to Jesus)

The sorrowful one:

Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? (Jesus to Philip)

The hopeful one:

Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Philippian jailer to Paul and Silas)

Lord, do you want us to call down fire from hea—oh, wait, that might go better with the faithless ones. :)

And the wonderful, reassuring ones:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Jesus to the people)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Paul to the Romans)


Hank Harwell November 2, 2010 at 5:33 AM

Two others:

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Eze 37:3 NIV)

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. (Mat 27:22 NIV)


Errol Austin August 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM

“Who is man that Thou art mindful of him” Ps. 8:4


Ambrose Ambed Kumar February 26, 2012 at 8:39 PM

i need to know the bible more


Macdonald June 27, 2012 at 3:15 AM

Is there no balm in gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of the people recovered?


duke February 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

“What is truth” pilate to Jesus (I think) how could you leave that one out?


Sam May 30, 2013 at 6:23 AM

Great questions, I have a few as well,
Matthew 16:26 b. What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?
John 3:4. How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mothers womb?
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people,and said, How long halt ye between two opinions?
2 Kings 3:3b Why set we here until we die?
Luke 7:20b. Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?
Matthew 19:16 And behold,one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing must I do, that I may have eternal life?

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again?


mimi June 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

God has all wisdom and knowledge so we know he did not ask because he needed instructions


mimi June 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM

God has all wisdom and knowledge so we know he did not ask because he needed instructions

God has all wisdom and knowledge so we know he does not need instruction


David July 22, 2013 at 6:33 AM

God never asked a question for information, only foe examination. I enjoy reading, and searching the scriptures for answers. It’s great for Sunday School lessons as well.


Marvin Thomas August 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I was thinking about creating a series of messages for my classes and the idea of biblical questions came to mind. Thanks for helping me with a list of questions from which to pull for the series.


Mark September 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Is there not a cause?


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