What's the most important question a person can ask when studying the Bible?
I don't think it's the history or the context. I don't think it's in knowing the meaning behind various names of characters. Author and year it was written? Nope. I don't even think it's figuring out how the verses apply to you and I in our everyday lives. While these are great and necessary questions to ask...
THE most important question... THE ultimate question is simply this: How does this point to Jesus?
How does Eden and the fall point to Jesus?
How does Moses leading the Israelites in their great exodus show us Jesus?
How do all the Levitical laws and regulations point to Jesus?
How does the story of a small shepherd boy, turned king direct us towards Jesus?
How does the love story of Ruth and Boaz or the two lovers in Song of Solomon reveal Jesus to us?
How does the tale of a man marrying a prostitute showcase Jesus?
The key is Jesus.
In Jesus all history hinges upon and context is wrapped around. In Jesus we can see His beauty in a name. Gomer is a good example of this. Gomer means complete. The root word (Gamar) means to perfect. While Gomer's unfaithfulness is proof that she is anything but perfect, in Hosea 2:19 we hear, "I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy." Righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and mercy were the bride price for Gomer, for Israel, and for you and I... found in Jesus. In Christ's death and sacrifice we're made complete... we're being perfected... the bride price is paid in full. Even in something as small as a name, we can find hints leading us to Jesus. And Jesus is always extremely applicable to our lives.
It all rightly leads to Him. Therefore it's the best question to ask. If you miss Him, you're missing the most important part.