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Question: "Why is it important to study the various characters in the Bible?"

Answer:
The Bible is filled with characters, literally and figuratively. Perhaps the best way to describe how the Bible portrays its characters is "human" because they are, in fact, human. The Bible is true and the people that inhabit its pages were real people with real problems, just like us. The Bible does not shy away from presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of those it portrays. This makes the characters in the Bible "practical" in the sense that we can relate to them and educational in the sense that we can learn from their successes and failures.

Adam and Eve were disobedient blame-shifters. Abraham was a liar. Jacob was a schemer. Joseph had somewhat of the "I'm better than you" attitude. Moses made excuses. Saul was jealous. David was an adulterer. Solomon was the smartest fool in the history of the world. Elijah seemed to be somewhat bi-polar. Peter definitely had "foot-in-mouth" disease. The list goes on and on. No matter your personality and struggles, there is someone in the Bible you can relate to and learn from.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). Ultimately, that must be our goal when we study Bible characters. Where they were successful in following God, we are to emulate them. Where they failed, we are to avoid making the same mistakes. "Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did...These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us...No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:6-13).

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