Answering Questions with Questions

How did Jesus respond to questions?  With questions.  But we like to give answers.  Somethings is wrong there.  I blogged about this on Biblical Seminaries website recently: Answering Questions with Questions.  (Some of the material overlaps with my Behaving Badly at Bucknell blogs from a couple of weeks ago.)

(Even though the post is dated on Leap Day (Feb 29), it just became available March 2.)

How do you respond to questions?  (And you can’t respond, “I don’t know, how do you respond?”  That’s my line.)


  1. Should I respond to this question? Why?

    I.e. one responds to the same questions differently depending on the circumstances. Why and by whom the question was asked matters. Often questions are a good way to respond if one wants the asker to learn from the answer, but at times a simple factual response is needed…

    Context is (almost) everything…

  2. Tim, Yes. Context. I often hope the asker will learn by my question. Often students ask questions in class where they have at least as good of a sense about the answer as me, so I’ll reciprocate, “Well, what do you think?” Sometimes questions are a way for someone to make an overly tentative comment in a discussion, so by forcing the question back to them, I’m pushing them to make a more bold statement.

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