"On her deathbed, Gertrude Stein is said to have asked, 'What is the answer?' Then, after a long silence, 'What is the question?' Don't start looking in the Bible for the answers it gives. Start by listening for the questions it asks."
-- Frederick Beuchner Listening to Your Life (this quote from Wishful Thinking)
Beuchner is one of my favorite authors. He is correct in pointing out here that before we can understand the answers the Bible gives, we must know the questions it is answering.
For example, there is much conflict and confusion today over the book of Genesis. I call this the Fallacy of the Misplaced "W." Many Christians look to the first chapter of Genesis for the answer to the question "How?" Yet, Genesis chapter 1 seeks to answer the question "Who?"
Getting the "W" in the right place (looking for the answer to the right question) will resolve a lot of conflict and open a whole new world of understanding of the full biblical message.